– Ben Martens


Having a child has made me realize that I have way too many hobbies. Or rather, I have too many hobbies to sustain. When we transfer to new groups at work, the tradition is to send out mail introducing yourself and talking about your hobbies and interests. I included skiing, hiking, motorcycling, target shooting, phone and Win8 development, wood-working and RC airplanes. Even then I felt like I left some out! If there are 52 weekends in the year and a big chunk of them are taken up with family plans, there’s not nearly enough time left to devote to all of those.

I’ve been re-evaluating the time I spend with hobbies. Things like skiing or motorcycle riding are hard to justify because they pull me away from my family for a big chunk of the day. In addition to normal hobbies, my TV and movie watching has dropped to probably about 10-20% of what it used to be. I’ve barely touched video games since Elijah was born, but that had already started to taper off when I got married.

This is one reason that I decided to get into RC airplanes. In theory, we can all go to a park, spend time together, and I can fly a plane for a few minutes while we’re there. I’ve also heard that it’s an excellent parent-child hobby so if I’m still doing it when Elijah is old enough, it’s something he might really enjoy too. That would be a great launching point for learning about engineering, physics, technology etc.

It’s kind of a relief to admit that it’s ok if I don’t go skiing 10 times a year, go on a big multi-day motorcycle ride, or watch every episode of a TV show. And while I believe it’s still important to be involved in a hobby or two, I’m happy to have more time to spend with Tyla and Elijah!