Friday, December 7, 2018

Explain and Share Your Hobby

I am a blessed individual in the fact that my wife loves and supports my hobbies be it Fitness or Warhammer.  However, more often than not I see comments online or directly from friends about hoping their significant other doesn't find their recent purchase or having to earn brownie points so they can attend an upcoming event.  While I am not advocating one should simply do as they please as a relationship is a two-way street, but I feel more often than not we haven't truly explained to our partners the love and passion we have for our hobby.  This seems to lead to an unhealthy idea that it is better to hide purchases or attempt to trick our partners into letting us go off to have a weekend with our friends rolling dice.  Playing Warhammer is the same as any other pursuit be it sports, cooking, fitness, etc. and no one seems to hide those from one another so why should Warhammer be the same?  As with any advice you need to really examine if it is right for you.  This is my personal experience and my situation was right for the advice I layout, but as with anything, it might not be the best for everyone.

As I said in the intro I am very blessed to have a supportive wife.  While she enjoys the lore of Age of Sigmar she does not play or paint at all, but over time she has come to understand why I love playing the game and heading out to enjoy some fun at events.  It wasn't always the case, but I do admit it was never some of the horror stories I have all heard about online.

Long ago when I was first beginning the Warhammer Hobby it was not much more than an occasional distraction.  Over time I became more involved with my local club and found myself playing a few times a month regularly with a few nights a month spent painting at my little hobby table set up in the room where my wife and I regularly played World of Warcraft.  Slowly, however, the hobby began taking time away from other hobbies like video gaming which my wife and I often did together.  It wasn't much at first, but eventually, I found myself spending more time painting that playing video games as I found myself enjoying it much more.

My wife would mention how I was painting more than gaming here and there, but in no way was she complaining.  She was more curious as to why my interest switched, but at the time I had no real answer to the question and life continued.  I really found myself hooked during The End Times and the launch of Age of Sigmar.  My local group vanished and I began rebuilding the scene in my local area.  I also began getting involved in the wider community via Twitter and shortly after that beginning this blog.  I found a lot of joy and sense of accomplishment and I began devoting more and more time to this hobby and community overall.

My wife took notice as Warhammer took over more and more of my time.  She became a bit jealous as I ran off to events, jumped on hobby calls, and created a permanent and sizable hobby area in the unused portion of our basement.  She became worried as from her perspective I was hiding in the basement and running off with friends instead of being with her and tossing money away without a thought.  I felt I was doing a good balancing everything, but looking back at it there is always room for improvement and looking at it from her perspective she saw her husband, for the first time, devote all his spare time to one hobby and pursuit.

I made a mental note to make sure I was giving our time together was my highest priority while also introducing her to why I was devoting myself so much to the hobby and connecting with the community.  She has always let me display painted models around the house, but I began showing her my work in progress and letting her know what projects I was working on be it an army, a one-off model, or a community project.  I would let her know as far in advance as I could about club days and events I would be attending.  We would discuss if events were possible or if we needed to hold off due to finances.  My wife often accompanies me to my FLGS as I pick up some models before we head off to pick up a video game or some clothes she has been wanting and grabbing a coffee.

Most importantly we had conversations where she would let me know her fears from her view and I would open up and let her see my passion and what was driving me to do more and be more.  Everything really solidified for her when she came with me to a few Warhammer events.  She saw me thrive in my element and she took joy in the happiness I felt rolling dice and playing the game with a great community.

Recently, as you all know, she and I took a trip over to England with plans to see the sites, visit Warhammer World, and playing in the Realms at War event.  My wife was worried that the whole point of the trip was about Warhammer and she expressed as much to me.  While Warhammer was going to be part of the trip it was not the focus.  To me, Warhammer was a catalyst for sure, but the focus was her and I going on a long and wonderful holiday.  I explained this as best I could and due to the conversation she understood.  We might not have looked at England as our first destination, but I have many dear friends over there and deciding to go to an event was the spark that gave me the drive to figure out our budget and logistics so we could go see the country.

My wife got to meet a lot of my friends over in England during the event and she saw how welcoming they were to us and her especially.  She hung around the venue trying to stay out of the way, but everyone kept engaging her and she appreciated it greatly.  We were on the train back to London when she said she wouldn't mind coming back to London again to visit if I wanted to play in any more events over there.

Being open and honest is a good piece of advice for everything in life, but especially for a hobby that can be expensive and big on time commitment.  While my wife will likely never play Warhammer with me she enjoys hearing about my projects and being with my Wargaming friends.  We plan our time to ensure we spend as much time together, but allow ourselves to have time for our hobbies we both hold dear and when she talks about her hobbies I give her the same support she gives me.  I am very happy that she is planning to come to NOVA Open this year with me and while I will be busy during the GT and Teams she will be there to support me and share in my hobby in her own way.

Explain your hobby and express your passion for it to the ones you love.  That alone can go a long way to letting your hobby be a part of you and your life without feeling the need to hide it away.  Happy Hobbying.

Chuck Moore