Monday, November 28, 2016

Where does the time go?

As I left work last Wednesday I was filled with enthusiasm. A four-day weekend was directly in front of me with the promise of copious free time to spend in the workshop. True, there was Thanksgiving, but unlike prior years, this year I was cooking only for my fiancée. I anticipated making great progress on my Thunderbirds F-16, applying a final coat of white paint, painting the exhaust and the black areas around the cockpit, and laying down a coat of Future for the decals. I also planned to start a new piece of armor so that I could continue trying all these newfangled weathering media and refine the techniques used to apply them. How exciting!

Alas, it was not meant to be.

Here I am, the day after this promising weekend, and I think I spent not more than five or six hours at the workbench. I didn’t touch the F-16, so it’s at least three or four days behind schedule. I did pull an old Tamiya Stug III from the stash and begin assembling it, and truth be told, made decent progress due in large part to my not detailing the model. But all those road wheels sucked at least 60-90 minutes of my time to clean up.

This feeling of frustration, this inability to make the time to build, is not unique to holiday weekends. It happens all too often. I could argue that it shouldn't be a big deal, that I should spend time at the bench only when I’m truly motivated, but when I look at my stash of unbuilt models the reality hits me that I’m unlikely to build them all, and that leaves me feeling dejected.

As I get older I’m exploring ways to re-frame my enjoyment of the hobby. Last year I offered five ideas to increase your modeling output and suggested that you paint cockpits black. But even with changes like that, I suspect we’re all left with the harsh reality that there’s simply not enough time to do everything we want. I think my challenge — and maybe yours, too — is to find satisfaction in whatever it is we are able to build and finish. There’s happiness in building five models as much as there is in building 10, or 50, or 100.

I just have to convince myself of that.

P.S. I have to admit that the weekend wasn’t a complete waste. I spent quality time with my fiancée, cooked four great meals (such as the butternut squash and kale risotto pictured below), enjoyed a number of good wines, watched a good horror movie and a few episodes of Shameless, and spent time with family. And those are good things.

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