When Do Many Avocations Become a Vocation?

Beltane                                       Waning Flower Moon

Beekeeping, it seems to me, must always fall under the avocational** rather than hobby* definition, because it engages one’s time in a manner similar to an occupation, only perhaps not in as time intensive a way.  Under the latter definition I have an avocational interest in gardening, writing, art, religion, politics and now Latin.
Add them all together, as I do in my life, and the result is a vocation composed of many parts integrated through my particular participation in them.

I like the idea of a hobby as an Old World falcon, that is, engaging the world with grace and speed, stooping now and then to pluck a prize from the earth below then returning to some nest high and remote to enjoy it.

Whoa.  Worked out last night at the new, amped up level, after advice given to me by an exercise physiologist.  My polar tech watch which monitors my heart rate began to fade so I didn’t have a reliable way of checking my heart rate.   Guess I overworked myself because when I finished dizziness hit me and nausea soon followed.  Kate was home last night so she took care of me, eventually giving me a tab of my anti-nausea med.  That calmed things down, but didn’t put me right.  So I went to bed early.  Even this morning my stomach was sore, like someone had removed it and wrung it out like a dish rag.  Kate says I may have too little fluid during the day yesterday combined with salty foods.  Combined with the more vigorous workout it upset my body’s homeostasis.  It put me temporarily in the same place as the benign positional vertigo.  No fun.  No fun at all.

Lunch today with Paul Strickland.  He still doesn’t know for sure why his hemoglobin levels dropped so far.  He had a five-hour iron infusion last week and his color is better as are other symptoms.  We talked about his and Sarah’s place in Maine which has the possibility of a large LNG port being created nearby.  This is Eastport, Maine, roughly, and borders Canada, so the Canadian government has a voice as well as environmental groups.  Sounds horrific, an example of big corporate power taking on a relatively weak local government.  Bastards.

More sleep after.  I have returned to near normal but I’m going to skip the workout tonight just to be sure.

I have never sought nor do I plan to seek retirement though most folks would call me retired and I so call myself at times in order to give folks a handle easily understood.

At 6:00 pm I’m going to my first meeting of the Minnesota Hobby Beekeeper’s Association. It raises an interesting question for me about the difference between a hobby and an avocation.

The first two definitions here are of the word hobby:

*1. Etymology: Middle English hoby, from Anglo-French hobel, hobé
Date: 15th century

: a small Old World falcon (Falco subbuteo) that is dark blue above and white below with dark streaking on the breast

2. Etymology: short for hobbyhorse
Date: 1816
This one comes from an entry on avocation:

: a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation

** Etymology: Latin avocation-, avocatio, from avocare to call away, from ab- + vocare to call, from voc-, vox voice — more at voice
Date: circa 1617   : a subordinate occupation pursued in addition to one’s vocation especially for enjoyment
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