6 to 11

You might have a 9 to 5, but do you have a 6 to 11?

Good question. I read it on a blog I like called the Moo Blog. The post is called “It’s Time To Find Your 6 to 11.” It’s about people who have monetized their hobbies; an idea that seems appealing but I can’t imagine it for myself, unless I can find people who will pay me to watch reruns of Law & Order and Seinfeld.

I’ve written in other posts about hobbies, their importance, and even some hobby ideas for us men-of-a-certain-age. I actually started a list and so far have over 140 ideas. Some of them could make you some money, in fact there are people who do. Most are just for fun and enrichment—something to keep you from just settling into a recliner, watching reruns.

But when I read that question: “Do you have a 6 to 11”, I didn’t think immediately of hobbies or second jobs. I thought of how do I spend those few hours of the day when I’m awake and not at work. The last hour of that time frame is pretty set. I love to read, so 10p to 11p is pretty much my reading time.

I’ll admit it. I spend too much time watching TV, but not as much these days. There’s not a lot of programming I care to see right now. The only sports on air is baseball, and while I love going to a game, I can bear to watch it on TV. I haven’t caught Olympic fever which is good because we have DISH network and they are fighting with our local NBC affiliate, so we’re not getting prime time Olympic coverage at our house. Oh, I did find an obscure sports channel that shows some events. So I’ve seen one ping pong match and a couple of badminton matches (if that’s what you call them).

It’s in the evenings that I catch up on blogs I enjoy, I skim through Facebook and Instagram to see if any new pictures of our Grand-Girls have been posted, and I check the online versions of my favorite news sources: NPR, The Atlantic and others, which I won’t list for fear some might label me too hastily.

I enjoy spending evening-time researching potential new purchases; or as my Amazing-Missus might say, “over researching to the point of obsessive and beyond.” But, can you be too careful. For example, if you’re going to buy a cooler that’s so expensive it will require a second mortgage on the home, you need to watch every video on YouTube to see if a YETI® is really worth it. Let me save you some time on this one: Yes, yes it is. It might not work much better than an Igloo® or Coleman®, but they throw in a couple of really cool stickers at no extra charge. Put one on the back window of your pickup and tell the world, “Yes, I’m one of those dudes that will pay way too much for an ice chest.”

See here’s how it works (in my mind), if I spend an inordinate amount of my 6 to 11 in heavy scrutiny over a purchase, it’s okay if it’s expensive, because I’ve done my due diligence and I know I’m getting great value. I have a shirt from a company called Reyn Spooner. Their shirts are relatively high, but worth it. I’ve had one for probably 30 years. And, yes, in my world of fashion it is still boss. (Back in the 60s when I came of age along with Reyn Spooner, “boss” meant cool.) So from time to time, when Spooner is having a sale, I’ll use a couple of good evenings selecting which amazing pattern I will add to the wardrobe—something that says, “Yes, I’m in my 60s, but I still feel like I’m living in the 60s.”

So, here I am sitting in front of a too expensive travel trailer, with my feet propped up on a too expensive cooler, in a too expensive shirt, listening to some old guys singing their wish that all the girls could be California girls. That’s how I’m rockin this 6 to 11.