The Hobby Balance

Article - January 10, 2014

It’s probably obvious to most of you that I eat, sleep, and drink woodworking. I’m guessing you’re pretty much the same, though you may hold down a day job in a different field. A craft like woodworking can quickly become an obsession as we contemplate new designs, new materials, new tools, and shop improvements.

As much as I enjoying getting lost in piles of wood chips, I also realize how important it is to occasionally step away. To not only take a break, but to take some time to geek out about other things. Now I’m not talking about family time here since that’s something I build into every day of my life. I’m talking about other hobbies. Do you golf? Do you like to barbecue? Do you like to keep tropical fish? Do you play video games? These are all things that can suck you in just as quickly as woodworking can and to tell you the truth, these secondary hobbies make me a better woodworker. If for no other reason, they give me time to re-charge my virtual 18-V batteries. By the time I’m done focusing on my other hobbies, I’m ready to dive back into woodworking head first with a full tank of creative fuel.

Since woodworking is my career, this sort of thing may be a little trickier for someone like me to pull off than it is for you, but I still think it’s a necessary element to anyone’s success. Perhaps woodworking IS that secondary hobby that makes you better at your day job. Just keep in mind that hobbyists can burn out too!

primo-xlAnd just in case you’re wondering, I have many hobbies outside of woodworking. One of my favorite pastimes is grilling and barbecuing. Pictured left is my choice in smoking gear: a Primo XL komado style cooker. The things that captured my attention while I took a nice holiday break from woodworking were setting up our home entertainment system for cord-cutting and playing video games. I’ve been documenting my cord-cutting experience on my personal blog in case you care to read about it. Anyway, have a great weekend everyone!