There is no other hobby that one can get so caught up in, that the entire world, and any worries fade away, and one thinks of nothing other than what they’re doing at that moment, every moment that machine is in their hand. It frees the mind, and it’s a high like no other, which calms you to your soul.
I’ve always been a free, independent spirit, with a love of the outdoors and nature. Growing up I preferred to be out wandering in the woods all day, exploring and building forts. I had a great imagination, and in my mind actually lived in these forts and off the land, that is, until I heard the bell ringing in the distance indicating it was time to come home for dinner.
Those carefree childhood days were the best, and I feel sorry for children today who don’t have the freedom to be out from dawn to dusk, with no cell phones, or worries to interrupt their playtime or imaginations.
As I got older and life took over, with the exception of occasional hikes with dog, that was the end of my relationship with childhood and nature, that is, until I got my first metal detector. Oh how I wanted one so badly, and how I thought metal detecting was so cool. But still, after acquiring one, wondered honestly if I’d find anything, or how long it would hold my interest. If scrapbooking, crocheting, and crafts were an indicator of my attention span, I gave it a good 6 months until I was on to something else. Then a funny thing happened…
I found my passion.
Metal detecting and everything related to the hobby is my passion. There I was, back in the woods, surrounded by nature, discovering history and treasure, playing in the woods all day, and it felt awesome!
I was thinking recently how much life would suck if I hadn’t found my passion. Would I still be the happy homemaker, baking cookies, and living in a house full of half crocheted afghans, waiting for the next craft project to capture my attention, rather than wandering around the woods all weekend searching for hidden treasures? The thought of going back to a life without metal detecting just makes me shudder.
Not that there’s anything wrong with following the natural progression from child to wife, to mother, and all the rewarding things that naturally go along with that. If I had never found this hobby, I would probably still be happy doing all those things, and being everything to everyone, because I would still be clueless. Clueless because I would never know there was such added joy to life when you do find your passion.
When you are truly passionate about something, there is something inside you that changes. You are more focused, and less inclined to get involved in the daily BS life throws your way. You always have something fun to look forward to. You don’t sit around waiting for cousin Joey’s third wedding, or some party invitation to have a good time—you have a good time, every time you go out detecting. That’s just how it is. Even if it’s the suckiest day you ever had while detecting, it’s still a great day because it was fueled by passion, and the joy you get from doing something you absolutely love.
And when you find great stuff, it’s even better.
The down side to being so passionate about something is that others (non-detectorist’s) don’t always understand it. My family has gone from thinking I am a totally obsessed freak, to accepting that I am a totally obsessed freak. It took almost a decade for this level of acceptance, so be patient, each family has their own window of adjustment.
At times it has also wreaked havoc in my relationships, like with my ex, who gave me the ultimatum “It’s me or it’s metal detecting”. Hey, if you’re going to give someone an ultimatum, you’ve got to be prepared for the outcome. This is why he is now referred to as my ex. But it wasn’t just the fact he wanted me to quit detecting that led to that decision. In my mind and in my heart, I reasoned—if this person is supposed to love me so much, why would they want to take away the one thing in my life I had found that I was so passionate about, and made me so happy? And it wasn’t just because it was metal detecting. I would have felt the same way if he had insisted I stop crocheting and leaving half finished afghans laying about the house.
Some people aren’t passionate about anything, or have no real interests or hobbies, or maybe I was his hobby, I’m not really sure, but I am sure I made the right decision in that case. I’ve since made better choices in the significant other department, including putting the freedom to pursue my hobby pretty near the top of the list of things I desire. Not at the very top, but close enough—I’ve still got that feminine side, and I can be pretty passionate about my domestic abilities as well. I’m also empathetic toward the non-detectorist who’s at home awaiting my return. Just because I wear camo, doesn’t mean I live camo.
Despite the obsession, there is one thing I’ve stayed true to along this journey, and that is knowing that some things really are more important than detecting (the ex excluded). So be thoughtful, and try to maintain those non-detectorist connections with family, friends and significant others. Not everyone has found their passion, so not everyone will understand that you want to be hunting every waking hour you’re not at work (or are at work), or every weekend, or that posting your finds on multiple social media sites really IS that important.
The treasure will still be there tomorrow.