A few months ago my wife decided to undergo a major surgical procedure; meaning she would have to give up work for around a month and I would have to play the role of Mum & Dad for that time.
Since I currently spend 4-5 nights a week painting and every second Saturday gaming I knew my hobby was about to become very hard to maintain.
After a 5 second tantrum (only kidding) I resigned myself to the fact. However something dawned on me as well – look at this as a Hobby Holiday!
So a little background before I ramble on – as I mentioned I paint around 4-5 nights a week (5 for sure if it is ratings season on the television and wife is occupied) for 2 to 2 ½ hours a night. Figure in I’ve been doing this for around 18 years and you get the broad picture. My nightly painting sessions had become a way of life and a pleasant wind down to end my day – but what it has also become is a factory; I seem to be more interested in completing models than making sure I have done my best. Yes, I have even had a painting schedule, which I didn’t stick to anyway.
I guess I got this way because there was always that new, shiny army that just came out and begged to be mine. There has always been more unpainted models sitting on the shelf than painted ones – damn those Kickstarters! For a point of reference, it was the year 2000 since I last ran out of models to paint.
Getting back to my original reason for writing this – I’m now on a Hobby Holiday and just like any other holiday I intended to do the following:
I guess with everything else going on relaxing won’t be high on this list but I can relax my tired painting eye and fingers. Do the math people – 18 years x 50 weeks (rough estimate) = 900 weeks and painting 4-5 days each of those weeks at 2 hours each day makes it sound very tiring. I feel exhausted just writing about it. So after this time I’m hoping to return to refreshed and ready to go.
For a few years now it has been one army after another (my need for competiveness not allowing me to work on different things), just moving from this completed force to the next. With this break I will be able to refocus and ask myself “do you really need to do an aerial unit for the Chinese Federation?” or “you’ve already got 2 armies for Planetfall – do you really need another?”
Anyone reading this not had a holiday in 18 years? Sometimes it did feel like my hobby had become a chore – another part of my life rather than a happy add on. Heading up to this time I was, truth to be told, looking forward to the time off – a good indication a holiday was required.
To be sure the dark side does not tempt me, I am actually packing away my painting set up. This action will ensure that I won’t giving in to any late night cravings. Out of Sight, Out of Mind – the best way to stop is to not have the tools ready in the first place. This will probably be the hardest part.
No, this is not reconnecting with my hobby but reconnecting with my family. I am very lucky to have a wife that understands and supports my hobby. What better way to repay her than return that support; and while my sons are fans of the hobby as well – maybe spending 30 minutes getting my ass kicked by them in Halo on the X-Box is better time spent than with a paintbrush in my hand.
They say a change is as good as a holiday – hopefully this change will be just that. Don’t think this is the beginning of the end, oh no I am looking very forward to destroying my eldest son’s Aquans in Planetfall and, probably, getting my ass handed to me by my youngest in Halo Fleet Wars.
If you feel like I do, and have a hobby timetable like mine I recommend taking a Hobby Holiday. Except for unpainted miniatures and un-played games – what have you got to lose? (and remember, you can’t lose if you don’t play J)