Whether stamp collecting, chat rooms, trains, soft ball, scrapbooking, golf, reading, painting, tap dancing, yard work, crafts, auto mechanics, music, hunting down garage sales, sewing, fishing, cooking, boating, furniture refinishing, javelin tossing or a plethora of other activities or interests the key element is balance. You must find balance between your family life and your extracurricular activities.
Too much of a good thing turns bad. Everyone should have an outlet and a special interest that they enjoy doing for themselves. Self indulgence, to a point, is quite healthy. Escaping from day to day grinds to take some time to devote to your special hobby or concentration is therapeutic. Youve all heard, if Mamma aint happy, no ones happy. It doesnt matter if your role is father, mother, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, son, daughter, brother or sister, if youre just going to work or school and have no real outside activities, youre probably not always the most friendly person to be around.
Conversely, if you bury yourself and it seems to others that all you care about or all you ever want to do is bang on the drums all day, youre setting yourself up or prolonging discontent. People deal with depression in many ways. Some sleep all the time. Others want to do nothing but read, read, read. Still others will spend hours upon hours downstairs building a bigger, faster widget, just to avoid the real cause of their frustrations. Hobbies are supposed to be a healthy outlet, not a catalyst to ignore issues that need addressing.
Likewise, hobbies can get very expensive. Sure snow mobiles, motorcycles and ski equipment are obviously expensive. But sometimes those seemingly low cost activities can add up. You start out with trying to budget for the monthly karate lessons. Then you need (or want) the gi, the uniform. Dont forget about the protective sparring equipment. Perhaps you think you need to have a heavy bag or some shields to help you practice. Figure on $30-$50 per tournament that you enter. Of course theres the uninsured medical and orthodontia costs to be calculated in as well. Lets see, do we pay the mortgage this month, so get that new helmet that you just have to have?
If your hobby is doing more harm than good, if its dipping into the family budget and time allocation, more than you can or should be spending, its time to reevaluate. If youre not doing something outside your standard occupation that you enjoy, its time to find something, for your and your familys sake!