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Summer-Days’ Disconnection and Disinterest

July 6, 2011

Almost every year around this time I go through a period where I feel absolutely disconnected and from my hobby.

The Stanley Cup Finals feel as if they wrapped up months ago and the start of next season feels equally as far away.

Even the Entry Draft and July 1 kick-off to free agency, each of which are see players drastically over-hyped by the Canadian media given that only a handful of players are actually noteworthy, don’t seem to get me excited about hockey.

As an extension of that lack of excitement about the sport, I usually find myself with a lack of excitement about collecting hockey cards and memorabilia.

I rarely stop in at the local card shop, head to retail stores, or spend any sort of significant time on eBay in search of new additions to my collection.

I find it more difficult to keep up with the hobby-related blogs that I usually enjoy reading and almost entirely cease visiting the websites of manufacturers.

I also find it much more challenging to maintain my motivation to complete the things that need to be accomplished to strongly in pursuit of my goal of a financially self-sufficient hobby.

While I know that I go through this summer swoon every year and have come to expect it at this point, this year I have noticed these feelings of disconnection from and disinterest in my hobby seem more prevalent than I remember them being in years past.

I think this is happening for a few different reasons.

First, for the first time in literally five years I actually have a significant amount of free time available to myself in the summer months.  Last year many of my non-working hours were dedicated to helping plan my wedding and the four summers previous to that my free time was almost non-existent as a result of the demands of working for the Toronto Blue Jays while commuting upwards of four hours a day to do so.

With the weather being as nice as it has been this summer I have had plenty of free hours to enjoy outside (doing exactly that while writing this article) and spend with friends and family, all of which means I find myself in front of a computer screen or stack of cards much less frequently than during other times of the year.  In other words, I am disconnected from my hobby as a result of doing other things that I enjoy.

Secondly, in something of an interesting dichotomy, I basically find myself fed up with the number of products I have had to keep up with over the course of a season (especially with Panini entering the fray this past season), while also being fed up with the fact that there are few, if any, new products hitting the market since it is the off-season for hockey.  Tough not to be disinterested when that combination happens.

Finally, the amount of time I have been committing to my “business” has also eaten in to time I might otherwise spend buying cards and memorabilia.

Something that is supposed be just a piece of my involvement in this hobby has gradually become the primary focus as opposed to the actual collecting side of things, which was never my intention and quite frankly has had me somewhat discouraged.

That feeling of discouragement is likely being both created and amplified significantly by some very recent events that have taken place.  As I wrote on Sunday, I received a rather painful e-mail from eBay over the long weekend that is only going to add to the work I need to do on my “business”.

After some quick planning, the amount of extra work it will add is going to be short-lived and the initial panic that I felt is subsiding already.  The plan I now have in place will mean that the work on my “business” will actually subside as the summer goes on, allowing me to spend time on some of those other things that I enjoy doing while putting in place a more solid plan that will include some contingencies should my current situation ever arise again.

Despite all of the things above currently being the case, I am all but certain that things will turn themselves again this fall as they have every previous year that I have found myself feeling felt this way.  Sometimes a little adversity is the best thing anyone can face and I am sure that I will come out of these summer doldrums better for having gone through them.

Until Sunday, all the best in your collecting pursuits.

Ryan

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