Friday, June 23, 2017

Finding the Hobby Balance


Hey Everyone!  Another week has come and gone and I bet you're sitting at home, or perhaps sneaking a quick read in at work, or possibly commuting home and passing the boredom with today's post.  However, if you are reading this I bet you are similar to me with your passion for our Hobby and the ever present thoughts of painting, building, and playing games are within you.  Sadly, not all of us are can count our Hobby as our profession, and sometimes it might be best to keep it separate.  How do we strike that balance between our Hobby Life, Home Life, Social Life, and Work Life?  I hope to share with you today my thoughts and how I attempt to obtain Hobby Balance.

Picture of me doing my best to not think about Painting a model 
(Shortly after I went and painted a model)

As I write this I think about the hectic time I am having this evening.  I drove home from work after a nine hour day followed by household chores and cleaning my gutters before tomorrow's rainstorm.  I won't lie and say this post has been crafted over a few weeks as I am writing it the night before it goes up.  After all the chores are completed I plan to cap the night off with dinner and build some Blades of Khorne while relaxing with my wife.

I am no pillar of hobby balance as you can see.  I do my best to keep it all portioned appropriately and despite tonight's imbalance, I will be back on track shortly working toward balance.  I do not believe a true balance will ever be reached as it's an ongoing process that we as hobbyists must be aware of as we paint those armies and squeeze in those games.  Just as I will never be satisfied with my latest paint job I will never feel as if I have given enough time to each aspect of my life, including Hobby.

It's great to catch up with friends on life even during games

Work is a necessary task, the hours of toiling can be broken up with Hobby.  List building in your head is a fun past time of mine.  I do take a peek on Twitter as the day goes on and chat with the fellow hobbyists to give myself short mental breaks.  Even on lunch I head to the gym and put on the recent podcasts or an Audio Book to ensure I keep up to date with what's going on in the Lore or Community.  Likewise, your commute home is an excellent time to catch up on Audio Books and Podcasts.

At home, the hobby time may seem close at hand, but we have families to spend time with and responsibilities to clear off our plates.  I am blessed to have a wonderful wife who acknowledges and encourages my enthusiasm (obsession) for this hobby and I can spend the night relaxing with her while building or painting.   While I keep true to one hour a night for my hobby there are times when I put the hobby away to give her my full attention. In turn, she lets me take nights, especially before and event, to hide in my hobby area and let myself get lost in all the madness.

Building a fence and visitng the Warhammer Store are both parts of Hobby Balance

My friends and family know about my hobby and understand that my blank stares while we are at a local coffee shop or dinner usually means I am thinking about the Hobby.  They laugh and ask how my latest project is going and from time to time join me in painting on group hobby days!  It wouldn't be fair to expect my friends to always let my hobbies take precedence so when they suggest a night of fun or an event to attend I use it as a break from the hobby.  While constant immersion in Warhammer is a great way to live it is necessary, I believe, to set it aside completely in order to keep it fresh and prevent burnout.  Besides your friends and family are the ones who will keep you grounded while building you up in areas beyond the hobby as well as in the hobby.  Even with your friends who partake in this hobby, I find it important to spend time with them specifically not doing anything hobby related.

After event hangout where Hobby talk mixed with Non Hobby Talk

Despite our best efforts times will arise where we might have to put a part of our Hobby aside in order to focus on the other parts of life that demand our attention.  We have seen it within the community when hobbyists are getting married, having children, or taking on more responsibilities at work.  It is a hard decision to step away from part of or all of you Hobby, but sometimes it is necessary.  We saw it recently with Dan Heelan and Wayne Kemp taking a break from Podcasting.  I have a lot of respect for those two for making that call as they could try to push on and keep putting their podcasts, but over time the demands elsewhere would see them put out a show that is not up to the quality they expect of themselves.  The flip side is they might continue putting out a great product, but other aspects would begin to suffer.

My friends, family all know I build, paint, and play with Toy Soldiers and love to immerse myself in the stories.  They encourage it and in turn, I must do the same for them and their hobbies and interests.  While work may be a grind from time to time it is okay to take a moment to chat on twitter or think about your next project in order to keep enthusiastic about our hobby.  Give time to your Hobby and squeeze every spare moment of the day, but keep in mind this world is more than painting and building models.  Spend time enjoying the world outside the hobby, but it never hurts to keep an eye out for the next project inspiration while you do so.  Keep you Hobby with you, but don't let life pass you by.

Some Potential Sylvaneth inspiration from a rcent trip

I hope some insight can be squeezed out of this post, but I would be happy to continue this topic either on Twitter or in future posts if you all think it would be worth exploring.  Please let me know and until next week, Happy Hobbying!





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