Thursday, June 11, 2020

Hobby Envy

This is something I'm sure we've all felt at some point or another, whether we're aware of what it is or not. It's hard to avoid, especially with social media, and can eat away at you little by little if you're not careful, so what is it?

Hobby envy can take many forms, and in reality, is just a hobby version of FOMO at its most basic. FOMO is Fear of Missing Out. It's a term used in larger society and something fairly new, again, due to social media. It's the feeling of seeing someone doing something you want to do, but can't or haven't. Seeing your friend on vacation while you're stuck at work, or going out for a night out while you're stuck in. It can make you feel like you're missing out, hence the name. The problem is, most people just would not be able to fit in all the stuff they want to do. It's a vicious loop since there's no way you can do all the things, but seeing people do all of these things makes you feel like you're not doing enough. Over time this can definitely start to have a negative effect on you emotionally and mentally.

Thinking about how few games you've played

So how does this apply to our hobby? Maybe you see someone who gets a lot of models painted and you don't understand how they find the time, or they have a stockpile of models in shrink wrap that would make an independent retailer blush. For me, my hobby envy is playing games. I see so many people out there who play games regularly and I just don't know how they do it. Especially people who play games regularly, seem to have everything painted, AND go to a ton of events each year. I go to two to three events each year, not including the random local one dayer here or there. I just can't fathom how they manage to structure their days to fit all this in, especially with games of AoS or 40k taking at least three hours, and that's if you're not chatting. On weekdays that's about the total amount of time I have after I get home from work, which, you know, needs to fit in eating and other basic things.

The envy runs deep. I dearly wish I could game more, but I just don't feel like I have the time. If I get one gaming session in a month that's a good record for me. That is one reason why events are so precious to me. It's five games of Warhammer all crammed into two days. Lately I've been able to do a bit more gaming by focusing more on Underworlds since I can play it remotely and it takes considerably less time. My two main in-person gaming friends both live 30-40 minutes away from me, so if we're going to either of our houses, that's more time taken out, so add another hour on and some talking, setting up, etc, and suddenly a game of Warhammer is up in the five hours range.

Spend 8+ hours painting a single Underworlds model & wonder why I don't
have time to game...

Now here's where I talk about how to deal with it. The truth is, it can be hard to deal with. I think no matter what I do I'll always have a little but of hobby envy when it comes to that, even if I try and look at it logically, and that's okay, you just need to recognize it. For me, part of what helps, is also acknowledging my priorities. I enjoy gaming, but the aspect of this hobby that I enjoy the most is definitely painting. I prioritize painting over gaming. I paint a little almost every day at least. I make projects and dedicate time to them. If I really wanted to I could reshuffle my priorities and probably fit in more gaming, but that would come at the sake of painting. There's only so much time in the day. There's no way we can fit everything in we want. Some people just have more free time in their days for whatever reason, and that's also something we need to acknowledge.

There's no clear answer for how to deal with this. I think the best thing you can do is just be aware of what your form of hobby envy is and be cognizant of it when you start to feel that pang of jealousy. It won't make it go away, but it will help a little, and that's all we can really do.

What form does your hobby envy take?

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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