Friday, December 2, 2011

Real World Priorities and Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

As I write this, I realize that I haven't posted an article in almost a week.  I find that my free time is spent on one of a few things: working my real job, taking care of my family, working my plethora of secondary jobs (commission painting, tutoring, etc.), and well, sleeping.  With the inclusion of "the boy" 6 months ago, my family responsibilities have greatly increased.  Along with that, our need for real world funds has increased (babies aren't cheap).  Thus, I am working more on commissions and other alternative sources of income.  That means that my time for actual hobby related activities has dwindled to next to nothing.  As a matter of fact, my jump chaplain was the first model of my own collection that I have painted in about 4-5 months.  Last night, because I had a wicked fun time playing my Blood Angel Beatstick list, I decided to remodel some of my assault terminators with more dynamic poses.  More on them later.  That said, I have done two hobby related things for me in about 5 months. 

What a woeful tale, right? So, why am I sharing this with people? 

I have written before about keeping the main things in life, the main things in life.  I have talked about how this hobby is just that, a hobby.  It isn't my life.  I don't derive personal definition solely through this hobby.  Thus, when push comes to shove, I find myself shoving Warhams to the background to make way for other things like spending quality time with my family and friends and putting food on the table.  My wife is thankful that I don't become a whiny, petulant child because I don't get my hobby fix regularly.  As a result, she is much more inclined to watch "they boy" so that I can go out and play the odd game when I get the chance.

Here's the rub.  I miss playing games, visiting with my gaming buddies, and painting my own stuff.  Like a lot.  But I have found that my real life priorities really are priorities so I feel guilty for wanting to take time away from them.  Bleck.  What a predicament, right?  So as this new chapter in my life unfolds, I realize that I will have to make harder decisions about how I spend my time.  I may even need to take a hard break from tabletop related activities, meaning none at all.  I don't think I will ever get rid of my stuff, though.

As my readers, I guess I just want to share with you that this kind of thing does happen.  We lament it when our friends get out of the hobby for reason x or y, but really, that's just the way it is.  I love gaming.  It has been perhaps the longest running hobby I have had besides the variety of musical instruments I semi-play.  But we realize tha eventually, the real world comes a knocking and we have to adapt to how each new step down the road will look.  Perhaps it will take a backseat. Perhaps someday I will have kids in college, tons of unallocated extra income, and the desire to jump back in full-bore.  However, for now, I am in that hobby downturn called full life.  It happens.  It makes me a sad panda, but in the end, I am happy that I can cut the connection easily enough. I am happy that after being so immersed in this hobby for so long, I can still derive joy out of the simple things like holding my boy and going on a date with my wife, even though a 3-game tournaments is happening at the same time at my LGS. 

That is where the hobby should ultimately find itself prioritized. 

Thanks for listening to this bit of mental vomit.  I hope it isn't too depressing.  I plan on continuing to blog and continuing to hobby, just not with the increased frequency that I have had in the past.  But, that's okay with me.

Other useful articles:
Staving Off Hobby Burnout

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Von said...

You gotta do what you gotta do...

I find that more and more of my Hobby is done for other people or at other people's behest. Still find the time to play a couple of times a month and paint the odd Lizard now and then, but it's a far cry from being down the local GW every couple of nights and having seven armies for four systems on the go...

Ehrenfried said...

Good for you Dave! As I don't harass my wife (too much) about my gaming she is very understanding about letting me get in a few games, and Cons. My son is now six, is talking about what army he wants to play and can tell a meltagun from a plasma gun. Have to admit I enjoyed the eye roll from my life when he started figuring out his "deployment" in her Christmas Village. The hobby isn't going anywhere and will be here when you have time for it.

Good luck, and enjoy your family. We'll see you soon enough.

Dave said...

Thanks for the support fellows. I appreciate it. It is good to know that one is not the only person is the community to face such stages in life. I fully intend on staying with it. It's just taking a backseat for a bit. I also hope to put together more tutorials, articles, battle reports, and the like.

Ehrenfried said...

If you ever have any Space Wolves stuff you just need out of the way, you can always ship it here. :)

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