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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hiatus

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It has been a long time since I updated my blog. I went on an indefinite hiatus which lead to me almost removing myself from the hobby entirely. I was suffering from burn out for taking too much in, trying to do more than I could handle, and just over estimating the amount of pressure I can put on my shoulders.

As we all know, this hobby requires more than one skill. It requires a large skill set to be most successful or to be able to get the most out of it. This skill set revolves around the triangle of painting, converting, and photography. Considering the factors involve in each individual side, one can understand why a lot of us has fallen out with the hobby.

I am here now because I have caught my second wind. The main reason why this was made possible was this generic saying "Rome was not built in one day". This sayings kept and is keeping me in the hobby plus it has contributed to how I changed the way I live.

To be honest, I was very indecisive and had many hobbies because I could not focus on one for the long term. Things got boring really quickly and I found myself jumping back and forth from hobby to hobby. In the beginning, I put in 150% of my time and afford. I focused on only the hobby of interest in that given time while almost completely ignoring or phasing out everything else. This did not exclude my real life commitments and obligations. I remember just 2 years ago I got into League of Legends and it consumed my life. I found myself playing it whenever I had the chance. I used most of my free time playing it and even sneaked the game onto my work computer just to play during my lunch breaks as well as after work. Soon I found myself losing everything.

I moved to the States to give my relationship at the time a chance after three long years of long distance. Because I was overly consumed by the game, I became a ticking time bomb. I was almost always irritated or angry at the game, which I allowed to boil over into real life. I started lashing out as my temper grew and tolerance dropped. In the end, my relationship ended and I have just threw away everything for a game.

That is how intense I get once I am committed to a hobby. The same went for miniatures. I got back into the hobby after ten years out of it due to financial reasons. I was young, not working, and GW's products were expensive. Like always, I went all in and ignored the facts that I was unemployed, using my life savings, and just got kicked out by my ex. As the model count and time spent on the hobby rose, my commitment dropped. Like everyone, I enjoy seeing well painted miniatures, playing the game, and converting but, like everyone, I technically suck at painting, don't really have a local store in the US, and ran out of things to convert. My bank account going near red never helped and I got into a nasty accident which resulted in a nerve in my left arm being cut, not being able to move my arm for 2 months, and 3 months of physical therapy. I used the time my accident gave me to reflect on how my life has changed since I moved and what were the decisions and reasons that have lead it to that point. I realized my mindset needed to change. I had to learn the definition of dedication, commitment, and most importantly accomplishing goals.

The phrase "Rome was not built in a day" is a saying that everyone has heard at least once. There is a second part to it, which is "but it was destroyed in a day" however this has no relevance yet. Anyways, the way I understanding the phrase is almost literally. Rome was not build in one day or everything that I do will never be accomplished in a day. It will require a long term commitment, a large amount of time, planning, dedication, and a "never give up" attitude. This mindset can not be given up just because it looks like nothing has changed or no improvement is shown. 

The way I have applied to my life is exactly how I described it. Since the turn of year, I have set simple yet long term goals in many aspects of my life I wanted to changed. It is important to keep your goals achievable and realistic.

For example, I am overweight. So I set myself a goal to lose 30 pounds within this year by going on a relatively healthy diet, though I still eat junk food like McDonald's or Burger King a couple of times per month, and regular exercise. It has been 43 days and I have lost 10 pounds so far.

In relation to our hobby, I set a point limit. For example, for Warhammer 40k, I set a 2,000 Points limit to the army I have. If I have not painted all of those 2,000 points, I will not buy any additional miniatures for that game. This way I can focus on what I need to finish before overloading myself with more and more miniatures.

In relation to painting, I set a technique I want to master. For example, I am learning how to wet blend, making washes, and understand colors triads. The amount of research I do is almost equal to the amount of on hand training I do plus I do them on the miniatures I need to finish painting from my "hobby goals". The most important thing I learned from this is you just need to try it. You will get no where if you do not screw up paint jobs.

Now, what is most important is not setting goals. The most important thing I learned is "Balance is key". No matter what you do, you will always try to find balance. This is a topic I will elaborate in my next blog entry.
  



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