Hiatus, Fallow, and Funk

We've been travelling a lot lately, which throws me off in multiple ways.  Best laid plans to do, well, anything, get knocked awry.  It's the kids, really.  Running around the country with two of them is difficult, even though they are really good travelers and I really, really think travel is important for their learning.  How much they learn at this point (other than how to sleep really well in a car seat), is still a matter for debate.

One our long drive back from Texas, I was struck with an epiphany of sorts, connected to a general funk I've been feeling lately.  More an aimless feeling than a funk, I guess.  The epiphany sparked an almost physical reaction, but I keep that in check since I was riding shotgun in our new mini-van and didn't want to freak out my wife and endanger our children.

I really need to engage in some sort of creative activity -- some sort of making -- with my hands.

This reaction was so pointed, so immediate, that I began to think of things I could do and things that would allow me to do it.  I generally suck at a lot of these sorts of activities, however.  In many ways, I am just not "handy."  Which is doubly problematic because I come from a family of people who make, grow, and fix things.  What do I do?  What do I like to do, most of the time?

I am fortunate enough that what I do (for a living) and what I like to do (for fun as well as spiritual sustenance) presents a high degree of overlap:

I like to read books and talk about them.

That's what I spent my youth doing, it's why I went into the major I did in college, it's why I went on to grad school.  It's what I wish I could do more of as a professor (even though I know that's not what most of my students need -- the last thing higher ed needs is yet another someone who mistakes their own interests and likes for the needs of their students).

So I have this dilemma where a substantial part of my personal and professional life is built on reading and talking (or writing), yet this desire to physically create has reached a nigh-fever pitch.

Note: gaming, while very creative, is also primarily about reading books and talking.  Although I could paint minis, or make cool plaster-of-paris dungeons.

I thought about putting the blog on hiatus until I figured this out, but have come down from that ledge a bit.  Even as I see today, that's almost exactly what Christian did.  And good for him.  Because his zine is one of those physically creative acts that I am talking about.  I was so happy to get in in the mail Monday.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.


  1. Thanks for sharing this post with us. How about playing in the kitchen? It's fun and you can be creative with your hands and brain. It's wonderful.

  2. @Wisk -- I do like to cook, but my personal palette is really narrow (I am a picky eater who is trying to get better). Certainly an option.

  3. I know picky. I used to be extremely picky. Absolute nightmare. But now ... I try all kinds of things and I tell ya, it's much better over on this side.

    So come play.

  4. Jogging is nice too, as a hobby. I do a lot of writing and sitting and for me, jogging is a meditation. I love it.

    It's a nice break away from all the brain work.

  5. I have started making it to the gym regularly -- well, three times in one week since we've made it back from our travels. That's a must, not just for the physical activity, but to combat the expanding wasteline.

  6. I had this same kind of moment about 2-3 years ago. Actually, I was having it repeatedly for several years, but that was the time when I decided to do something about it, and I started taking pottery classes. It worked, and I loved it. I took them right up until Owen was born, and just restarted them in late June.

    You like books. What about learning how to do bookbinding or printing?


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