What did you enjoy doing before age 10?

jasonleow  •  22 Jul 2021

“There’s magic in what you did before 10 years of age.” ~ Scott Adams.

@keni shared that beautiful quote and asked, “So - what did you do before the age of ten?”

My answer: reading, tinkering, being outdoorsy. None of which I do much of now, if any all.


I recall the shopping mall bookstore being an informal childcare centre for my parents. They would go run errands, and I’ll just read all sorts of books there. I’ll be lost in them for hours. But being not exactly well-off, we could never quite afford buying books on a regular basis. So being able to read them at the bookstore and library became all the more precious.

I still enjoy reading these days. Just short form, and on my curated social media feeds. Before COVID I used to read ebooks a lot. At least 1h of a book everyday, before starting work. I ripped through books like it was nothing then. But since the change of lifestyle due to COVID, I’d stopped books altogether. Could never quite get back into the mode at home. Commuting and working outside seem to facilitate that habit a lot more than at home.


I loved tinkering as a kid. I would take toys apart and play mad scientist. Maybe there was a maker streak in me back then. Sadly, I no longer do this. Does tinkering with code and making indie products count? Maybe. I still enjoy hacking things together, with code, services, business ideas. Maybe this is grown-up tinkering? Hah.

Being outdoorsy

I love the outdoors. I joined the scouts in primary school. I recalled the first time ever in my life I felt dejected because I wasn’t chosen to go for a scout camp. I enjoyed rock climbing and mountaineering in my 20s. Being out in nature always felt grounding and fun. I indulged in some of that instinct when I could still travel pre-COVID. But now, no more. I should probably do more nature, all the more now, during all these lockdowns. Better for mental health, better for physical health.