24 May 2007

From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:24 May 2007, 11:42
Subject: Leisure - A Curse Behind the Boon?  

Leisure activites - must it benefit?I spent my whole afternoon and today fiddling with Adobe Photoshop once again trying to manipulate pictures to create vector artworks (see the boy with his head on the sidebar as an example). I initially wanted to toy around with my Sims but I have a sudden urge to produce another vector art. So I did and I created a decent-looking vectorized Beast Boy from Teen Titans. I was pretty satisfied with the outcome and I'm glad I am since I spent the whole afternoon and night yesterday working on him. =D I tried creating an animal vector today but unfortunately, it ended up looking like a golden idol instead of a live mammal with fur! It looked too odd; I gave up halfway and I resorted to reading books instead.

While vectorizing the pictures, I spent many a happy minute zooming in the details of the picture while exploiting the Pen tool to match the shapes and colours of the original. I enjoy myself immensely. Sometimes, my thoughts wander and I ask myself why I am dedicating so much of my time to such an unproductive job? I thought I was being a spoilsport to think like that. Today is a day off from school! So why am I idling my mind to do such a monotonous job, as from other point of views?

I have this odd notion that I have to make sure every inch of my grey matter has to be occupied and stimulated by my hobbies and whatever things I do, else it wouldn't be termed one and I would simply be "wasting my time". Sure, it's good to give my brain a break once in a while after exerting its brainpower and taxing it, but I don't know how much is too little, or too much. The only thing I can feel is that pangs of regret will bubble up from inside me, and to be frank, I don't know what I regret about.

Back to my vectorizing. It's a wonder how I can spend hours upon hours to try and smooth out the art. The funny thing is that the same results can be achieved by other people in a shorter time and usually with a far better outcome. When I think of that, suddenly I don't feel quite good about it. =S It's like as if it's not on par with the majority.

Now wait a minute! Here I am again comparing myself with others. Why do I have to give myself the unneeded stress? I don't recall I being exceptionally good in art! =P Hahahaha! Come to think of it, vectorizing is my "best" art although it's not very impressive. =P Sometimes, I do wonder why I seek the fun of doing it even though it's not mentally stimulating...

On the other hand, my hobbies can actually be quite addictive! Like reading. Nearing the end of my exams, I picked out a book from my shelf of unread books and I started reading. That was when I rediscovered the joys of reading. I just love to immerse myself into the story - into the author's world and let him or her take me on a wonderful journey where my emotions are toyed with. I feel very satisfied if the whole story itself is pretty good as I know it is time well spent. It feels awful to have read a very thick book only to find that the whole book isn't very interesting or a complete flop. I guess that is why I tend to avoid reading books over 300 pages thick. I doubt its quality. =\

Once the story is wrapped up, I can fly into either a bliss of elation or sadness, depending on the mood of the story. In the end though, I always ask myself, "Is it worth my time to spend reading a novel? In what way does it help me?" Sometimes, I do get the moral behind the story but sadly, I've never tried to apply them in my life. I also tend not to remember the knowledge the author has included in the story. Within a few hours time, I would have completely forgotten what I had just read and continue living normally as if the book has played no significance in my life.

I gain nothing much from novels and yet, I still read them. They are highly entertaining, that's for sure. But, what good can I derive out of them? Am I doing something unproductive, or did I spend my time wisely? Even during the holidays when I have nothing better to do but to read and pass time, I asked myself that question.

Internet is starting to take a toll over my life as it completely displace the rest of my hobbies and I find myself doomed to surf the Internet aimlessly. It's like I'm loitering virtually, as a bad, obsessive hobby. It's weird. There isn't anything much I want to specifically see and yet, I'm losing many hours to my compulsive random online surfing.

Many times, my conscience tell me to stop and get back with reality. I can even feel myself physically tired and want to tear away from the screen. Eerily, there's this part of me which encourages me to continue. And continue I did. Is it wrong to do this during the holidays?

What's worse is, even my school work is quite affected by it. The recent exams I had had is a strong evidence of my sacrificing my study time for the sake of going online! And what more, I do not remember what I was surfing at all! I felt so passive, useless and lazy. What was I doing? Why did I do it? Why do I still continue doing it? All these questions are attacking my brain.

Am I suffering from Internet "addiction"? What was once a hobby became something worse?

I certainly hope not. If I really am, I guess I have take measures to stop it once and for all, seeing that it's not healthy in the long run.


After typing all these out, I realised one thing. I treat everything I do too seriously. It seems like in whatever I do, I try to get the benefit out from entertainment. I don't know why it is a must for me to do beneficial things. So what is really beneficial for me? For me, it is gaining knowledge. My education. Ensuring that the activities I do somehow exercises my brain so that it will not fall into disuse. Yet, the biggest irony is that I'm not paying as much attention to my studies and my physical health anymore. I haven't been catering my brain by feeding it with knowledge. I have slackened, and...well, frankly, I don't care! =O

Are all these feelings a result of too much play, or too much work? It seems like my equilibrium of work and play has been distorted, and the lever is slumping down to one of the extremes rather steeply.

With that said, philosophy is a subject I don't really enjoy indulging and involving myself in! Philosophy, in this case, is "the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct". Not my own philosophy of living; I do that kind of thinking all the time. =P I seriously dislike delving into this discipline and asking ridiculous questions to get answers that border the level of Socrates (or some other philosopher in history. =S ). That's probably why I have a certain peeve towards people who give you answers that in a way, don't really answer the question and forces the listeners to think instead. I noticed this mainly occuring among the guys and well, it annoys me to a certain extent. I just want a straight answer, not a U-turn answer which ricochets off in a blurred way and doesn't really help.

Thus, logic thinking is a no-no to me. Lol! =D How ironic, don't you think? ;) This, I guess, stimulates my brain a lot and can be "useful" but it's too bad it clashes with my very nature.

Oh great, now I have sucked myself into a vortex of questions. Hoo boy...

Are hobbies and leisure activities good and healthy to pursue (not counting my surfing the Internet as a "obsession" (Is mine that extreme?)?)?

Comments (16):

Well, I know I CERTAINLY am addicted to the Internet.
You, however, are very responsible and it's good that you realise that your studies must always come first. But, all work and no play also makes for an unhappy day...
Suggestion: Since you can't remember what you surfed, why don't you make a point of it to surf for school related stuff. For example, if you had a Physics class today, surf for things related to the things you covered in class etc.

Enjoy your day off from school! :)

Well, I should try and minimise the usage of the Internet, whenn! ;) Studies certainly come first for me, but lately, this top priority are overshadowed by a couple of temptations. =(

I did look up for more information on Physics when we were learning about Kinematics. It was soo interesting, I somehow understood the whole thing and went off tangent, surfing other sites instead. Lol! =P

Yesterday was a day off for me, and that was only because I am sitting for none of the papers scheduled. =D It's too bad I have to drag myself to school for the next two weeks or so before school breaks out for the term vacation. ;)

So, you're finished your exams? Or you've just got one day?

Oh, FK...as you so perceive about yourself, you take things way too seriously! Which, of course, you need to sometimes, but when you're relaxing, post-stressful period (you've just had) then it's perfectly ok to just sit and stare at a wall, draw a rubbish/ fantastic picture, or surf the net... it's called 'mellowing out' and you need to do that every now and then.

Also, you need to do things that aren't necessarily educational or productive... but just relax you. If it is always productive, then you haven't got the balance...

Books... seriously, there are some good books that are over an inch or two thick, and there are even series of books that are stories in themselves, but also develop over the series... these writers are good.

got to go...catch u later!

Well, I have no complaints about you surfing the internet since it means you'll come and visit my blog! *giggles*

Pssst. you've been tagged with link love.....

I think I'm addict now with internet! And I think I will have to programm a big plan to organize my time! i love the bloggospher! Sure! We have to think how conciliate real life and virtual life! it 's not easy but necessary! Courage! But we can't run away! We must react!

by Anonymous
Date:25/5/07 20:59  

Enjoying your activities when you have time off from school can be a relaxing and productive time for you. I really like to read how you think things through. And you do reach conclusions which is difficult for some of us older ones! Time off from whatever is the main theme in our lives is just that: Time off. I will be having a couple days off work in August and I am looking forward to those days already. I wish I had a friend like you when I was your age. None of the people I knew at school had the dedication or wisdom that you have.

*embarassed* I confess to being allergic to fictional books, and often steer clear of them - similar to the way i don't watch television. A great part of me perceives them as major time wasters and it's difficult for me to take on anything that doesn't have some kind of productive outcome.

On the otherhand, i'm a workaholic. As work often brings me joy, it's often hard to perceive it as "work" or a chore. It can be addictive too. As i rarely schedule "recreational" time for myself, the act of sitting down to a fictional book has at times, felt like I've gone on a holiday - especially if it's one of those really fat ones that have forced me to neglect the rest of the world for a few days. To be appreciated at times I guess, but I've never really enjoyed how it's pushed other things out of whack tho.

Important to take a break at times, to schedule rest & relaxation - and not leave it to something like a serious illness that forces you to 'take a break' by default ;) I'm really not very good at that myself.

I use Corel Trace to generate vector images from high resolution graphics - great tool & time saver ;)

Hey annelisa! At this point of writing, I have got one more practicals to take care of before exams officially end for me.

Yeah, I do take things seriously and there are people telling me to relax and have fun. It's too bad I relax and play seriously, if you get what I mean. Sometimes, I feel that I overplay and at times, I feel that I do not have enough.

I'm afraid that I get so engrossed with my book that I don't give a care to the world and I won't snap out of the world the book has conjured until I finish them. =P Guess what? I bought the first trilogy of the Lord of the Rings recently! =D I will get to reading it after I finished a few more books I'm supposed to finish reading by now.

Hey Cap'n! A meme for me? Cool, I check it out. =P

Yes, it's true that I won't even get to know about your blog were it not for Internet surfing. ;)

Hey Claudie! I too need to budget my time well especially during times of exams. It's too bad it's necessary. =( Sometimes, I use the Internet to run away from problems, stress and worries though.

Hi Technobabe! Sometimes, I just cannot grasp the concept of time off. I seriously need to sit down and just enjoy without caring how much time I spent. I look forward to my upcoming June holidays too! It gives me the opportunity to catch up with school work (probably not do it) or just relax and play seriously. Hahaha.

Hey, I am prone to be lazy and slack off and be immature too! =P But thanks for the compliment. =) I too wish to see you and all my wonderful blogfriends in school too. =P

Hey R'acquel! Yes, that's exactly what I'm feeling! I steer clear from TV series because I know I will be hooked and cannot escape from it! =O =D Yes, I share the same view as you too! =O

I'm a workaholic too! (I must've inherited my mom's genes.) I find that work brings me joy too when I am fully immersed in it! =D And yes, it can be pretty hard to stop once I am "in the flow" (which happens only sometimes). I love fiction - I don't like the fact that it takes time to fully know and understand and read the story fully! =P

Lol! I hate coming down with an illness. I am always bored out of my wits, so much so that my boredom prolongs my sickness instead. Lol! =P

I can't draw vector images from scratch. I can only do that by basing it on photos and by using Adobe. Lol (I'm quite loyal to it)! I might try Corel one day although it's not very well-known here.

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