We’ve all been there: you’ve indulged in something you love so much that you get sick of it. This something you love is your passion. Hopefully this passion is your life’s work. Maybe you’re a scientist working to find a cure. Maybe you’re really into Dungeons and Dragons. Perhaps you knit, or craft something with your hands. You genuinely love it. You love it so much that it is your hobby.
You love it, but now, unfortunately, you’ve overindulged. You’re looking at something you love and you’re JUST. FUCKING. SICK. OF. IT.
So what do you do? You’re experiencing burn out. This happens to college students every semester. And unfortunately, this happens to the best of us on occasion. Well, it’s my opinion that you need to find your contrahobby. Don’t bother Googling this word, because I made it up.
Let me first explain my personal etymology of this word. It’s composed of a familiar word with a familiar prefix:
Hobby – An activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.
Contra – against, in opposition or contrast to.
So what I’m proposing is you find a hobby that is in opposition or contrast to your regular hobby.
I think of the word contra because of a simple concept in Discrete Mathematics: the contrapositive. A contrapositive is a statement crafted in such a way that it is equally valid to another statement, but entirely different. Formally, the definition states
If P, then Q;
If not Q, then not P;
For example, take a look at this contrapositive:
If Socrates is man, then Socrates is human;
If Socrates is NOT human, then Socrates is NOT man.
They’re both equally true. Both say the exact same thing about Socrates, just differently.
The contrahobby has a similar purpose. It uses a different approach to arrive at the same solution (the solution being that my mind is occupied with something that helps me unwind, relax, and enjoy myself).
Now, the proof of this won’t work out mathematically, but it does make sense topically.
My hobby (and my work) is web development. I like reading about web development in my spare time, and I like playing around with many new techniques to make something work better, faster, or more intuitively.
But when that gets old, and my mind won’t take anymore, I turn to my contrahobby: cooking. Yes, cooking. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t seem related to my interests–and that’s what makes it a contrahobby. It is a very NOT computer way to solve a problem that normally takes a computer to solve.
So, hopefully I’ve illustrated the contrahobby concept to you adequately and I’ve given you some insight into another way to solve your problems.
Do you have a contrahobby? Are you burnt out? Let’s talk about it. Leave a comment, or send me a tweet @bradkovach.