Gotta love that smile
In one of the comments, a reader asked me how I find the time for my hobby, family, friends, and work (and presumably blogging). Sometimes I wonder how I do myself. I thought a bit more about it, and realized that it isn't really about "finding time", it's about "making time". I'm not talking about building a time machine (although that would be cool), but making the most of the time you have.
Prioritizing is, in my opinion, the way to go. Obviously family comes first, that goes without saying (although I've said it here for added emphasis). We have a nice little routine going. From the moment I wake up until I take my daughter to daycare, that's family time. From the moment my wife brings her home until I tuck her in bed, that's family time. Weekends while she's awake? Family time. Of course, sometimes my wife will take Emily shopping or to the movies, that's a bit of time for me, which I usually spend hobbying.
For me, work comes next. Without work there is no money to keep the food on the table or a roof over our head. Simple really. I'm also "lucky" that I really love my job. I say "lucky" in that I decided I wanted to work in the toy soldier biz, and my wife supports that decision.
A new Empire army and her favorite models on the table were my 5-year old Knights
After family and work comes friends and hobby. Those two are kind of on par. Fortunately most of my friends are hobbyists too, so hanging out with them generally means doing something hobby-related (gaming, painting, Games Day, Adepticon, etc etc). Also, the part of the hobby I love the most is the modeling and painting, something that's very easy to do by myself, at my desk, once my family has gone to bed.
Married...with Children. My wife and daughter made the trip to
Chicago with me for Games Day (and sightseeing obviously)
Apparently this Ogre Bellower was yelling "Peekaboo, I love you!"
But let's get back to the "making time" thing. The following ideas typically work best if you have an army project you are working on. You can more easily keep your models/materials in a tray (like the one on the table above) and keep that handy in the kitchen, dining room, office etc. Try:
• Clip your bitz from their sprues ahead of time into a small plastic tackle box. If you have a desk job you can clip during your lunch break.
• Once you have everything clipped, you can do the basic assembly at any time you have a few minutes (like when you're on hold with your phone/electricity/cable tv company). Gluing legs to bases is a fairly menial task that doesn't always require all your focus.
• Do your basing/base painting in the morning while the coffee is brewing. A simple task like gluing on flock doesn't take too long and you can get a squad done in the time it takes to brew a pot.
If you are feeling the crunch of family/work/friends on your hobby time, look for opportunities during your day/week to make time for your hobby. Oh, and things like watching TV and playing video games are a complete time sink. Cutting back on both, or cutting them out altogether, is another great way to "make time". Although I often have the TV on while painting, I rarely look at it. There are movies I've heard a hundred times, and I'm often surprised by things I've never seen ; )
So, that's how I "find time" for the four most important things in my life (family/work/friends/hobby), I "make time" wherever I can, without compromising the most important things. I'm sure that's how many of you do it too.
And just so we're clear on what I do for a living, I'm the US Editor for Wargames Illustrated. That means that 95% of the time I'm liasing with contributors, planning with our UK team, photographing cool games/models/tables, and laying out 40+ pages a month. I enjoy all of it. Sometimes, however, I also get a chance to work on a modeling or painting project for a particular article. The last one was the frozen French battalion (seen here). And this 18th Century Massachusetts farmhouse is the latest.
I converted up one of the Perry's plastic American Farmhouse kits to loosely match a few buildings that probably dotted the countryside during the turbulent times of 1775. Look for the full article in our January issue (WI291).
Of course, my daughter loves it when I bring my projects up to the dining room table. Above you can see her impression of the Big, Bad Wolf, huffing and puffing and trying to blow the farmhouse down. How cool is that? : )
PS. Oh, and in case I haven't mentioned it before, we have another daughter on the way. She's due in late November. I'm hoping she'll be just as intrigued and delighted by this toy malarkey as her big sister is!