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Patience-Based Hobbies
For the chronically distracted
I get bored easily.
so
I like to do things.
I keep myself occupied with the weird and
the new.
I like to go places.
I like to see amazing things.
I like to read things.
I require stimuli.
I seek novelty.
New, new new.
Go, go, go.
Everything goes to 11.
If it doesn’t, I get bored.
Go.
Go, Go.
Go, Go, Go, Go, Go.
So much going. I go.
People near me go!
We are always on.
On, On, On!
Go, Go, Go!
And then. Stop.
Crash.
On or off.
It’s exciting.




      Me.

                 My sister,
                 Maggie.
But it is also exhausting.

                         My sister,
                         Maggie.
  Me.




        I’ve been like
          this a long
             time.
One day, I realized this was happening.
                        Me




 On    Off   On   Off   On   Off   On   Off   On
Ratcheting up.
Not coming back down.
My only weapon was sleep.
Weird things started happening to me.
I felt over-amped.
I felt jittery.
I felt anxious.
So much internal noise.
It was very tiring.
Things felt off-kilter and jarring.
I didn’t know how to make it stop.
And then, in
   2008
I got sick.
This was not much fun.
But it forced me to lay around a lot.
And think and read a lot.
I thought about things I liked a lot.
I noticed a pattern.
For example, photography.
A long-time hobby.
The times I most enjoyed photography...
Were the slow times
And the images I sought out most...
Were the simple...
even...boring ones.
Slow.
Simple.
Somewhat repetitive.
A light went on.
What if activities that force repetition
and patience led to a kind of
happiness?
Some moments when I take photos
I am neither on nor off
I just...am.
The premise is basic.
Light touches a medium or sensor that is photo-
sensitive
An image is created
You can jazz it up all you
like
But in the end, the premise is still basic
Could other slow, basic things
make me feel this quiet?
Letterpress
The premise is basic.
Moveable type* is inked,
then pressed into paper

* Or a plate
My tabletop letterpress
A basic, antique premise.
Repetitive.
Slow.
Tactile.
Sorting type.
Organizing, thinking carefully, cleaning.
Cannot be rushed.
Manual.
Quiet.
Perfect.
Distillation (2009)
The premise is simple.
To distill is to separate
something into constituent parts
Steam Distillation.
Steam Distillation

Material is suspended above water
Water is boiled, forcing steam through material,
extracting oils
Steam is cooled back to liquid form via a condenser
Separated oil and water comes out
Ancient, with a simple premise.
Slow.
Repetitive.
Tactile.
Manual.
Perfect.
Clockwork and gears (2010)
The premise is basic.
All things clockwork


Have an energy source
Have a way to control the flow of energy
Use gears to adjust speed
When I was 17, I made a clock out of
paper.
It didn’t work.
Go, go go. Rush rush rush.
This time, it’s different.
I’ve learned a bit.
Slowness. Patience.
Repetition.
Apply the quietness.
Perfect!
How to make this
experience stick?
Do
Choose things that are interesting and
aesthetic (to you!).
Choose pastimes that allow you to create.
Seek out things that are tactile.
Engage in your repetitive activity during
discrete, scheduled times.
Accept (and enjoy!) that other parts of life
will still be go, go, go.
Embrace meaningful tedium.
Be patient and enjoy!
Me.


Lyza Danger Gardner
@lyzadanger
http://www.lyza.com
Image Credits
All photos are mine and were taken by me, except:
  Slides 24, 41-44, 59, 61, 67, 90 by David Hoenig
  Slides 14, 27 by my mom, Fran Gardner
  Slides 17, 87 from Wikipedia (public domain)
  Slide 18 by my mother-in-law, Cathy Hoenig
  Slide 26 by my stepmother, Christie Mueller
  Slide 16 was taken by a former coworker, but by
  whom exactly, I do not know.

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Discover Patience with Hobbies like Letterpress, Photography and Distillation

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