Updated: Oct 29
Recently, I found myself heading toward burnout. I wasn't all the way there, but I found myself on the road to this dreaded dead sea that sometimes we can find ourselves in. Or is it just me?
The tell-tale sign? Certain things started to bother me that typically do not. Being a hobbyist for as long as I have, I can identify specific triggers. So, sooner rather than later, I started to ask myself why. Why am I feeling uninterested in the hobby all of a sudden?
The Pursuit of Hobby Happiness: How to Find and Enjoy Hobbies That Lead to a Fulfilling Life
Could it be because I average six hours of sleep a night? Or the ten-hour work days, five days a week? But that's never bothered me before, I told myself.
Perhaps it's the constant shipping, listing, and shipping of my eBay store because, as they say, "you have to feed the algorithm continuously!"
It could be the filtering and organizing of multiple collections previously purchased. (low key; this is fun to do but time-consuming).
So far, I can't put my finger on any one thing yet.
It may be the deadline of April 2024 that I've given myself for the release of a book I'm writing. Or the content creation that I've committed myself to, such as bi-weekly podcasts, weekly YouTube videos, monthly articles for Hobby News Daily, co-hosting with Hobby Hotline, guest appearances with other content creators, and let's not forget the advancement and constant window shopping for my collection on a wide variety of platforms.
But the things I just listed are the fuel that keeps me excited for the hobby. I told myself.
Being a hobbyist for almost 35 years, I can share with you that I'm still learning. I am learning how to balance my hobby and my responsibilities.
Oddly enough, I know better! I am well aware of the proper balance between my hobby and my responsibilities. But the bug of busyness still bites.
The "pursuit of hobby happiness" is an endless cycle. It is never satisfied. Here lies the problem. Within my hobby ambitions, I lost sight of my priorities. So, I had to remind myself again what is truly important.
1. My faith - ambitions lead to busyness. Things like faith are the first to take a backseat in this trap. My faith must remain number one for me.
2. My wife - thankfully, I have a very supportive wife, and she has her own hobbies. But we've realized that we have to re-commit to our relationship with each other.
3. My children - I've raised five children, and they are grown adults. But I now have grandchildren! What I've learned, too, is that you're never really finished being a father. My adult children still seek the advice of their parents.
4. My job - I remain positive at work. If not, work can be dreadful. My trick is to remain grateful for my job. It's provided a fantastic wage and has allowed me to prosper in every aspect of life.
5. My sports card hobby - notice the position of this one. If I'm not careful, this will move up to the number one spot with a quickness! It will consume the number 2 and 3 spot as well.
I've heard it said that too much of anything is unhealthy (author unknown). So, I've committed to keeping a healthy balance of my priorities. Although these are good priorities for me, too much of one thing can cause me to neglect other important things.
What Helped Me
This epiphany happened simply by going on vacation! I didn't know how badly I needed it. It's been two years since my wife and I took some time off.
This time, we spent three days in Miami, Florida. We had a great time eating at this restaurant called "Mofongos - Fine Puerto Rican Cuisine." The food was so good we went two nights in a row.
Then we jumped on a Royal Caribbean Cruise to Coco Cay, where we spent the entire day on the beach, and then the Bahamas, where we were fascinated by the views and culture. We were entertained on the ship with multiple shows, and we soon realized this was precisely what the doctor ordered.
I decided to step away from the hobby for two weeks and reflect. Some reprioritizing of what's truly important: Live! Love! Laugh!
I stepped away from all forms of content creation. I put my eBay store in vacation mode. I warned my community on YouTube and got some much-needed rest.
You know what I realized? It's okay. It's not the end of the world to unplug from "the algorithm." I am not that important that I can't break away for just that, a break!
The result? I’m back and ready to go!
Until next month,