New Hobbies During The Pandemic

ohmisseevee

Member
Sep 25, 2019
578
3,079
Using 'hobbies' loosely here that can cover anything from a new skill that you learned, to a new language you are trying to pick up, to something you are trying to spend more time doing, or to an actual new hobby.
  • I created this thread hoping to share a new passion/interest of mine, that was somewhat incidental to and not something I sought out to learn during the pandemic. I want to be clear that my intent is not to make anyone feel bad or slighted or less anything if they have not had time or mental bandwidth to pick up a new skill and/or just are barely keeping afloat with their lives with all of the 'normal' stuff in addition to stuff that has been caused by the pandemic.
  • Being 'okay' right now can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, depending on the circumstances, and I hate this idea that if we did not "pick up a new skill" or "learn something" during the pandemic, that somehow means we squandered our time or were less productive in some way. Kudos to you for surviving right now and I hope that you all have a way to manage your mental health and stay safe.
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For me, one of my new hobbies was actually necessitated and sparked by the immense increase in work-related stress at my job due to the pandemic. I started experiencing gradual but increasing wrist pain due to my setup at work - perhaps my mouse position or the mouse itself, combined with the keyboard position, combined with the larger volume of work (which involves a lot of typing) - and while this had been happening pre-pandemic/shelter in place, the changes caused by SIP were probably the proverbial straw that made the wrist pain unbearable. It got to the point where anytime I would move my wrist to type on my keyboard, I would get a flash of pain in the wrist, and the pain would not go away and would flare up even outside of work.

Around this time (mid- to late March), my partner's friends had been trying to encourage him to get back into the mechanical keyboard hobby, and I also found myself interested, in part because I saw a lot of pictures of cute keycaps and board designs and was interested in the idea of a keyboard that was not as much of a pain to type on as my work keyboard. I wondered if there was an ergonomic keyboard option that might help alleviate my wrist pain - and to my delight, after some research, I did find that there were quite a few! I discovered that split keyboards as a concept not only existed, but not all of them were ugly monstrosities, and on top of that I could even customize the keyboard itself so it looked cute/fun. In addition to being more ergonomic due to the various positioning options available because of the split design and tenting legs, I also began exploring the possibility of programming certain shortcuts or layouts onto my board in order to make typing at work more efficient and more comfortable overall.

It's a pretty deep rabbit hole that has led me to buying several new keyboards (one at work and one at home), learning a new keyboard layout (Colemak vs. the standard Qwerty used in the United States) learning how to solder (so I can build my own keyboards in the future), learning how to modify switches (so they are quieter and smoother during use), learning all about keycaps in general, then buying new keycaps, and putting together a couple of cute macropads as well as one full keyboard. I also find myself oohing and aahing over artisan/handmade keycaps, which are luckily much lower in price point than a luxury handbag, and thus easier to collect and mix and match on my keyboard(s)!

I am also happy to report that the wrist pain was corrected by the new keyboard (an Ergodox EZ) and a new trackball mouse.

Pictures below are:
  • #1 - #3 - my new work setup and keyboard, a split ortholinear board called the Ergodox EZ
  • #4 - a split-staggered 65% keyboard I built for my friend (it actually comes apart down the middle) to see if a split keyboard would help her with her wrist pain
  • #5 - a cute macropad I built from a kit of parts, with my home keyboard in the background
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May 29, 2010
4,257
5,546
I cook more- a lot more. I have to research and experiment with different recipes to please the tastebuds of 3 children and utilize everything. There are many times that my kids wanted different types of foodS that wasn’t in my house (refried beans, taco shells, pizza, etc). Normally I would just go to the supermarket or order in. However now I learned to make the things my kids wanted and keep my cooking supplies fully stocked.
 

canto bight

Member
Feb 10, 2018
695
1,657
I resumed my post-graduate studies in September so I don't really have free time anymore, but when I did have some extra time I took acting and stand up classes (virtually), took up painting, did a lot of home improvement projects myself (probably what I am most proud of), read more comic books, and cooked a meal or two here and there.
 

880

30th anniversary cuff
O.G.
Aug 31, 2008
9,127
17,980
I resumed my post-graduate studies in September so I don't really have free time anymore, but when I did have some extra time I took acting and stand up classes (virtually), took up painting, did a lot of home improvement projects myself (probably what I am most proud of), read more comic books, and cooked a meal or two here and there.
Wow! This is so impressive and inspiring! :biggrin:
 
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