Wednesday, 24 May 2017


I mentioned in this previous post I'd be using Left for Dead for a few posts, and it fits perfectly with #Lifethisweek's theme of hobbies. The book is by Beck Weathers and to join in as a book club type discussion, grab a copy and read it. (A&R $16.99 for Oz or Amazon for the US).

A hobby is an activity done regularly for pleasure in one's leisure time. Most hobbies are harmless, but sometimes hobbies can have a detrimental affect on the family. Only you can tell when a hobby is taking you away from what really matters. In Left for Dead, Beck notes how a lot of the big events in his children's lives occurred in his absence, while he was climbing mountains, a very extreme hobby that became a ruling obsession for him, as he became "increasingly self absorbed" in his pursuit, he emotionally abandoned his family. His climbing had driven his wife and children away from him, Their family vacations became more about Beck going climbing, leaving his wife to look after the children. One of the saddest parts in the book is when his teenage son says, with no malice, "I never really noticed when he was gone, because he was absent when he was here." He'd get up four in the morning to work out and then come home, eat dinner and fall asleep. Peach concludes "It was very boring. We had no social life."

Beck was never available to do anything with his wife and the kids, and he began to project, I can only assume to deny any guilt, that his wife Peach was unhappy because she needed a hobby of her own. Yet Peach was happy taking care of the kids, she wasn't happy with an absent partner and seeing her kids grow up without a dad.

When Beck wasn't climbing, he'd talk about climbing. He'd assumed everyone was interested in his climbing, when usually they were just asking out of politeness. We had a group of runners over for dinner, and all they wanted to talk about was running. The marathons they'd done, the next one they were doing. Whenever I tried to change the subject, it would be quickly switched back. They were like an exclusive little club and had no interest at all in anyone or anything else. The conversation never altered once throughout the night. When they left, I felt the only reason I was there was to clean up after them, and vowed never to invite them again. Not only was it rude, it was incredibly boring.

Beck also became very singular in his plans for climbing. One family weekend away he couldn't attend because he couldn't take the Friday off to leave early, and then Peach discovers he'd booked a week away to climb soon after. She also heard about the plan to climb Everest in a restaurant, when someone they knew congratulated Beck on his upcoming expedition. He'd spent $65k on himself without a discussion, Even though they still lived together, when he was in town, they were living very separate lives. Peach and the kids had started taking holidays without him when he booked a climb. He had forced them to make a life without him.

Obviously, mountaineering is extreme. And obviously it's important to follow your dreams. However, we need to remember that everything comes with a cost, and you have to weigh up what you are sacrificing to achieve your dream. It's worth asking yourself a few questions:

1. How much does the hobby keep you away from the family? 
2. How much are you missing out on?  
3. If the kids and your partner cheer you on, do you cheer them on in return in their endeavours, even if they aren't the same hobby? 
4. Does your partner have to sacrifice his interests to support the kids while you're following your interests? 
5. Are you missing from family holidays, even though you have gone on the trip? If you seem to be having a completely different holiday to the rest of the family, there's probably a problem.
6. Are you forcing them to live a life without you?
7. When you aren't doing your hobby, are you present? I mean don't have your head in your phone, make sure you aren't talking to other people while never making an effort to really relate to those you live with.
8, Can you name your kids hobbies? Can you talk about them? Do you know what's going on in their lives? What about your spouse? What are they up to?

It's very health to have hobbies and interests that you love, however it's more important not to neglect those that matter to you in the process. I'm not saying you have to give it up, I'm saying you have to work out the balance.

Linking with #BooknificentThursdays


  1. It sounds like a great read. I think it's probably relevant to social media as well. I have stopped looking at IG or checking mail if we are out together because Al isn't on SM and he doesn't get it at all. For us, being present when we are together is important, because he is away so often. There are times when I will put my crocheting down if we are watching something together but invariably, he falls asleep and I pick it up again.
    Sometimes it's such a fine line you don't realise you have crossed it and I think sometimes once it's crossed, you have to work so hard to cross back that people feel it isn't worth it - which is sad.

    1. I am bad with the phone. I put it in another room in the evening, and leave it in my pocket of with friends. Once it comes out, I have poor manners and no restraint.

  2. This is a great post Lydia! I can see this book has had a huge impact on you. Love how you've worked that all into the hobby theme.

  3. Great discussion points, Lydia. I consider blogging one of my hobbies and points 1 & 2 are things I'm conscious of. Blogging is me time and while I schedule it into my week, I am mindful that it doesn't invade into time with family. A constant juggling act.

    SSG xxx

  4. Really impactful post Lydia. I can see that in some families and relationships the hobbies take away one of a couple to other fields and areas. Food for thought here about how a 'harmless' hobby could grow in such an extreme way. Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 22/52. Next week's prompt: View From Here.

  5. I enjoyed reading your discussion topics. It's hard to balance everything but if we are aware of how much time we are spending on hobbies we can be more careful not to overdo. Thanks for linking with me! Teresa

  6. Oh gosh, that's pretty rough on his wife and kids. I was watching a documentary called Meru a couple of years ago, about climbing this mountain called Meru. And it struck me how the climbers are always just hanging out for the next adrenaline rush. #Lifethisweek

  7. This book sounds really interesting. More than just a hobby - an obsession. I think hobbies can become more than a sideline if it's something you are passionate about. But you need to remember to make room for family. #Stayclassymama

  8. My hubby and I more or less share the same interests. Neither of us does anything that takes us away from our family, I couldn't imagine ever doing this.
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

  9. Blogging is also my hobby and I do try and keep it to working in the evenings when the kids are in bed and I don't blog over the weekend. However, I do use my phone a bit too much and I definitely need to be more mindful of this. #KCACOLS

  10. Ah this is so sad. Is this a true story. There's a way to find a balance surely. Or maybe don't have children and a wife if you can't commit to them. Sounds like an interesting read. I love reading biographies.

    My hubby bets on the horses but he sets himself a limit and he wins enough to earn us little treats and keep us comfortable. It doesn't infringe on our family time. He prepares it in the mornings whilst we are getting ready. He and little one watch some of the races together. We even recently went for a family day at the races and gave little one his own kitty which we bet on his behalf and earned enough to buy him a trampoline. It's nice if you can share your hobby with your family.

    My hubby understands that I treat my blog as work and a hobby and that I seek certain photos whilst we are going about our day. He's quite happy to assist or suggest ideas for posts. He loves my creative side and actively encourages me to pursue it further and write a novel.

    Thanks for linking up.

  11. When we adopted our children I had to give up my hobbies to be their mother and to help with their needs. A year later I still feel I can't devote time to my hobbies, but I sure hope it will come soon. Good read, thank you! #KCACOLS