Achieving Perfect Hobbitness
Growing up being read tales of elves and talking trees, my sister and I regard much of JRR Tolkien’s work as literary gold. The legendary quests of Middle Earth are considered just shy of Gospel in our family. As kids, we would make up characters for ourselves, people of steadfast quality that young Mr. Frodo met during his travels in the War of the Ring. We always liked to imagine ourselves as wise and immortal elven folk or as being among the viking-like race of the fair-haired horse lords of the Rohirrim. Although picturing ourselves as valorous shield maidens will always be cause for endless entertainment and the source of some truly epic childhood fantasies, the older I get the more I realize that I am first and foremost a Hobbit at heart. The last four years of my life have been spent studying to one day become a successful engineer. However, I tend to prefer the simple comforts of life and have therefore set a new life goal. I aspire to be a happy, healthy Hobbit.
Taking the Hobbit Challenge
In pursuit of this new dream, this November, I took on the challenge presented in Tea with Tolkien, 30 Days to a Hobbit at Heart. The entire month was dedicated to drinking tea, avoiding fast food and various other objectives designed to boost Hobbit habits. Although I failed to hit every point on the list, I still count November as a huge success. I picked up a few routines which I hope I can carry on for many months to come, including regularly preparing meals fit for a Hobbit’s table. Unfortunately, I failed to bake the magical elvish waybread, Lembas, but substituted chocolate chip cookies which were a huge hit at the office the next day. This journey to perfect Hobbitness even pushed me out of my social comfort zone and inspired me to host a couple casual dinner parties for some friends from work. I will definitely be doing this again, although maybe not twice in one month.
Channeling Bookish Bilbo
I also carved out time every day to read and to journal which has been especially useful in my creative writing endeavors. The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen was my book of choice for the month as I’ve been working my way through all of her books. Establishing these practices as part of my daily ritual helped me to limit my screen time. This lead to the baffling discovery that I have much more time to spare when I’m not spending it mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. With all this newly liberated free time, I managed to make practicing the flute and piano a regular occurrence throughout the week which was particularly rewarding as I can now play a variety of music that my mom is sure to enjoy when I visit her for Christmas.
A Hobbit at Heart
Although I was unable to accomplish every item in 30 Days to a Hobbit at Heart, it helped me to focus and get in touch with my inner Hobbit. I plan to continue to seek out new ways to make my life cozy, comfortable and content in my quest for perfect happiness and Hobbitness. As Thorin said to Bilbo, “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” How do you cultivate hobbit-like contentment in your life? Please share your habits with me in the comments below.