Sunday, June 3, 2012

Obsession Returns?

Long before the very bad thing that happened so long ago, I was what I will call serially obsessive. I would get interested in a topic or activity and engage in a frenzy of activity around that thing. After a few months, that would go away and a few months after that, something else would catch my attention. It never caused a negative life experience.

I am now playing disc golf three or four days a week. Sometimes I play a round with friends. Sometimes, like today, I played 3 rounds of 18 holes on my own. Well, if on my own means I just pick up whomever else is running around out there and play along.

Since I've played that regularly, my back has not hurt but once or twice. Neither time did I need vicoden. So, it has been nearly 3 months without any at all. At the moment, I am crediting the disc golf for that. I believe I am playing so much because it feels really good to be active after been down so long with back issues.

My friend, Bert, told me he was concerned that I was getting obsessed. I understand his concern. I think this is just the 'new thing' excitement for me. If it is a problem, at least it is physically healthy. I'd much rather have this than the old 'bad thing' obsession.

More importantly, I appreciate that he said something. Friends that care enough to pay attention to your life and have the courage to say something if they believe something is amiss are priceless. That is the type of friend you need if you do theurgic work. I suggest you go out and find one or two.


Louie said...

Sometimes its ok to have a hobby that turns into an obsession. As long as you listen to your body and watch your finances so it doesn't become an unhealthy one.

Andrew B. Watt said...

What Louie said:

An obsession that keeps you healthy, pain-free, active, energized and social with a wide circle of friends isn't an obsession at all. It's practice to mastery, and it's an important type of learning activity.

There's an American educational theorist whose name escapes me at the moment, but his book is called "the childhood roots of adult happiness.". He offers a five-stage learning process: connect, play, practice, mastery, recognition. Basically, kids learn — actually, anybody at all, really — learns when an adult connects them to a skill or knowledge set they hadn't had before. The kid/learner then plays with that concept or skill. Then they practice it. They then master it — which doesn't mean perfection,,just significant improvement. Finally, they're recognized in some fashion by the adult or adults who initiated them into that skill.

It sounds to me like you're going through a practice stage on your way to mastery. Given how beneficial exercise is, for brain and for body, I think you should keep going and put off the recognition part as long as possible. :-)