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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Work taking away from work

Remember how I started a Demo board and said I'd be done in a week?  Remember how I started building some of my old RT-era models and waxed about the start of my Adepticon army?  Remember how I promised to have my Ultramarines finished by the time the world ends in two weeks?

Yeah, I seem to have been very wrong on all of that.  I've made progress on everything (except the blue-boys) for sure, but I've been killed in the arena of TIME.  Let me explain...

I got a job at the beginning of November.  This job came with the typical 9-5 hours during the week.  What did I do?  I was an operator for a Healthcare company that deals with Medicare (as well as other private plans, to be fair).  Why does this matter?  It was the last couple of weeks of our 'Annual Enrollment Period', where millions of American seniors had to get signed up for their healthcare benefits.  How did this affect me?  Remember that whole 9-5 routine?  That turned into 9-10.  That's 9am until 10PM.  Suddenly, I lost all the free time I had to take care of stuff outside of work.  Make no mistake, I was good at that job (which is why they asked me to work all those extra hours), but it definitely killed any chance I had of accomplishing much.  That's okay, I was released the final Friday and I would have Saturday to start fresh on my projects.

BUT WAIT!!!  On Saturdays, I work at the comic shop and run the game club there!  That requires me to teach assembly, painting, and even gaming.  I have very little time to enjoy my personal hobby and even less time to crack open a comic book.  Add to that how poorly I felt after working 40 hours in the previous three days (and far more hours that week besides) and suddenly I'm unable to even fulfill that part of the job.  I had to go home early.  I fell asleep as soon as I got home and slept until noon on Sunday.  And that's okay, because Sunday I could finally step up and work on some stuff...

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!  On Sundays every week, I become a sports-writer.  At the very least, I have to watch as many American Football games as I can and copy down every play, player, yard, penalty, and change of score.  I usually have multiple games on every three hours, which is alot to follow.  Add to that my three 'Fantasy Football' leagues (one of which I run and another which I'm the first-place guy) and suddenly I'm overwhelmed from 11-11 all day that day.  Forget the fact that I still have kids that need to get showers done and dinner made and lunches prepped...

And then there's the week again.  I am lucky this week insofar as I don't have a job until Thursday, when I start working for a Travel company.  But I was so exhausted (and running a fever, mind you) that I didn't even have the motivation to get out of bed.  Until today, that is.  And what did I realize?  I realize that I start work all over again tomorrow and won't have any days off again until maybe Christmas.  Maybe.  My new job usually works on holidays, so we'll see how that goes.  And I realize that I've been making promises to all you guys about all the things I'm doing and plan to get done.  Sadly, as I make those promises I get completely swamped and can't complete anything.  And for that, I'm sorry.

What's the moral of the story here?  Well, the moral is that the quickest way to ruin a hobby is to treat it like a job.  Funny enough, I actually DID have this hobby as a job for a loooooong time and I got very little done that wasn't directly attached to schedules and plans.  I have been out of work for almost two years (not counting the few months of work before my car decided to teach me a lesson) and I accomplished quite a bit.  Now I'm trying to accomplish my hobby projects while working and during the season where I create even more work for myself.  My hobby has become a chore.  This cannot continue.

Here's my cunning plan:  A little here and a little there.  I have primed the buildings I need for my demo board and even primed the new models for my Adepticon army.  I want to paint them so bad right now, but I don't want to stress while doing it.  I need to get this stuff done right away but I don't want to feel obliged to accomplish something I'm supposed to enjoy.  So let me take a little bit of time this week for myself.  Let me just admire the progress I have made in the last two weeks and just relax.  Let me bask in the glory of the HOBBY, not the job.  And in this process, I'm going to set up some games next week so I can remember what it's like to roll dice.  That should give me the motivation I'm looking for.  

Whatever you do, don't let your hobby turn into work.  It's a lesson I learned years ago, and yet I have to be reminded of.  Well played, real life.  Thanks for reminding me...