This will be the "short version!"
I don't actually have what most would recognize as hobbies, I tend towards a series of obsessions, instead. Something catches my interest, I become completely immersed in it, reaching a certain level of competency, then something else comes along and displaces it. Finally, I've learned not to get rid of everything I collected for an obsession, as I do tend to come back to them over time.
Here is how I got to where I am now:
First, I was oil painting. Day and night, in a garage studio and on the road, "en plein air." Then, I wanted to emulate one of my "heroes," Claude Monet, and paint waterlilies in a pond in my backyard. When the pond was done and waterlilies were blooming, I decided to add some goldfish for mosquito (Okeepa) control. The pet store had something they called "Koi." So I tossed a couple of those in, as well.
As the Koi grew, I became fascinated with them. I learned all I could about Koi, and started building more ponds. Then I was buying imported Koi, showing Koi, breeding Koi, having gone "Koi Kichi." The waterlilies kept growing and I had enough ponds by now that I actually did some whole sale to a local pond store. But the interest in Koi displaced the aquatic nursery, and by the way, I never did paint waterlilies from life, in the back yard.
The Koi thing went on for quite a while. But a power failure took out most all the Koi, and my confidence in myself, as well. I did get back into keeping Koi, but it just wasn't the same and moved on.
There has been other obsessions both before and after all the above, but I did say this would be the "short version." One thing that does make a difference is having a wife willing to put up with my "serial obsessions." (Had to go through two others before finding one that would!)
In talking to some friends about past obsessions, the subject of water gardening came up. That's all it took to send me off again! But this time, I had a purpose. Not just something to do, but something I loved to do that could be translated into a retirement business down the road. After all, I still have the space I need and the old aquatic greenhouse that could be resurrected. And the short time the aquatic nursery was up and running, it was fun and worked out rather well.
So, here I am. Off on another obsession. But I hope to make this one last!
Spring Hill, FL