The last year at the bench has been a real struggle for me. And if I’m being honest, it was a continuing, and worsening, of trends that have been creeping up on me for a while. But they really landed hard in 2017.
There was the constant rearguard action against flagging motivation. Against my own perfectionist streak getting in the way. Annoyances I would have usually looked past festered and poisoned my goodwill toward more than a few kits.
Throughout the entire year, I only managed to finish three builds. Two were dinky little Bandai Star Wars kits, and the third, Tamiya’s F-14, was largely done in 2016. Aside from that, many works in progress fell by the wayside…
And I was always chasing the cure for this malaise. If I could just find the right kit, or the right subject, or…
You know what? None of that shit worked. My old standby – just getting the fucker into the painting stages – didn’t work. I was at wit’s end. Hours at the bench with jack all to show for it except for frustration and fatigue.
There’s a term in classical Greek literature – anagnorisis – that marks the point where a character recognizes something essential, usually about their nature, and passes from ignorance to knowledge. A “scales from the eyes” moment.
That’s what I had right around the new year.
Modeling, and all the struggles I’d been having, weren’t the problem. They were a symptom.
So what was the problem then? In a word, me.
For the last year (at least), I’ve been coasting, for lack of a better word. Going along and getting along, but in a pretty disconnected way. From my family, from work, from life in general. It was, I guess, easier to just disengage than to face down various and sundry concerns, anxieties and challenges. And it’s been horrible for me. In terms of my physical, mental and emotional well-being. And, as a spinoff of all of that, in terms of my modeling, too.
For 2018, my goal is both simple and incredibly difficult. Work on myself. Re-engage with my family, with work, with life in general. Get back to the point where modeling is a hobby and a way of decompressing and processing the day, not the weird addiction that occupies a good deal of my waking thoughts.
It’s been that way before…and when I look back on it…my favorite builds all coincide with moments where I was most engaged in life. I want to get back to that.
But…that’s going to mean a few changes around here and on the Facebook page.
I’m intending to pull away, for the most part, from the stream of WIP updates and the social media dopamine hits involved with them. I’ll still be posting tips and kit news and the occasional rant, and of course performing admin duties over at the Scale Modelers’ Critique Group, but I’m planning on doing something different with how I share builds. Something that gets back to the original mission of this blog; giving back as I can and helping those who are maybe just coming back into the hobby, or looking to change things up.
I’m not sure yet what that will look like…so stay tuned.