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Welcome back, everyone!
Some of these answers may give clues about my age. Here are four of the hobbies I used to enjoy but no longer participate in.
This was a virtual pet that was wildly popular back at the turn of the century (Yes, I’m being a little tongue-in-cheek here).
I never actually bought one. Instead, my best friend gave hers to me after she grew tired of it.
I spent many happy hours over the summer keeping my Tamagotchi happy and healthy before passing it onto my siblings.
We must have given it to someone else after that, but I don’t remember who was the next lucky kid to play with it. Here’s hoping they loved it as much as we did.
When I was a kid, I spent hours going on long bike rides over the summer.
My family lived in a housing development at the time, so the only traffic there was local. The streets were quiet and safe to ride on 99% of the time.
Once we moved into a small city, I only cycled on the residential streets close to my home as there weren’t any bike lanes on the main roads through town and they were far too busy to accommodate cyclists.
After I moved to the big city, I didn’t cycle at all because there weren’t any bike lanes to speak of at the time and it was terribly dangerous to ride alongside cars. There was also the problem of bike theft. You have to be quite careful about where you chain up your bike and how you chain it up here if you would like every part of it to still be there when you return.
Toronto has begun adding bike lanes to certain streets which has definitely improved the safety aspect of cycling here, but theft remains a big issue. I hope that changes someday as I really miss this form of exercise!
I used to love reading and writing poetry, but both of those hobbies faded away in my early 20s.
Despite several attempts to revive my interest in them, I’ve never been able to recapture the old magic of that experience.
Maybe when I am an old woman I will find one or both of them enjoyable again.
Picking Up Trash
Okay, so I might need to explain this one a little.
I spent much of my childhood in rural places where there’s honestly not a great infrastructure for picking up trash that accidentally – or maybe purposefully – gets left behind. Much of it would just sit there until a kind stranger picked it up, the county assigned people to pick it up as part of court-ordered community service, or a inmates did it on day release from the local jail in order to make a little money.
My family were among those private citizens who picked trash up without being legally required to do so. Sometimes mom and dad would turn it into a free date night activity for themselves. They’d leave us kids home for an hour or so, go clean up the neighbourhood or a local road, and talk about whatever it is grown-ups discuss when their children aren’t around.
I took note of how my parents behaved and would sometimes go out on my own trash-finding adventures. Most of the items I picked up would be soda cans, beer cans, or plastic bags.
In college, I took Ecology as one of my science credits, and one of our assignments was to clean up all of the trash by the side of the road next to our school. That was a fun project. We did it in March or April and found everything from broken toys to cassettes tapes to, I believe, a few Christmas decorations as well.
Toronto was such a clean city that I never got into the habit of doing that after I moved here. We have city employees who drive machines that suck up every the smallest pieces of trash here, so there was usually nothing to pick up.
That began to change when Covid happened. Unfortunately, most of the trash I see on the streets these days would be dangerous to pick up with bare hands. Think broken glass, used hypodermic needles, dirty masks, human or animal excrement, etc. You don’t see it on every block or on every day, but it unfortunately is the sort of trash I’m seeing more often over time now.
If or when I begin seeing other sorts of trash in my area, I will start carrying a pair of gloves on me and once again keep things tidy.