Balanced life = impossible?
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Thread: Balanced life = impossible?

  1. #1

    Default Balanced life = impossible?

    Hi to all. I was simply wondering how those of you who are married (to someone uninvolved in minis) and/or who have children can possibly manage to keep a balanced life. From peoples\' comments on here, I get the impression that many of you are even MORE obsessed with painting/collecting minis than I am. So tell me - how can any of you manage to spend quality time with your spouses and children?? How do you have an effective social life as well as a strong hobby life?

    To be honest, I\'m quite worried that I\'ll let this fantastic hobby of ours take over my life completely - and since I hope to be married and have kids of my own one day, I can already see the complications involved.

    How (if at all) do you maintain a semi-normal life??? Sorry for being so serious! :D

  2. #2


    Post this question again in 6 months or so and i\'ll be able to answer you... :)

    For the moment I still live with my parents, so I can spend huge amounts of time on painting :). But after the summer me and my girlfriend are going to look after a house and start living on our own. So, I\'m guessing my time spent on minis will be a bit less than I\'m used to these days...

    The first shock of decreased spare time was about two years ago, when I graduated and started working :D. I guess living together with my girlfriend would cause the same kind of shock :).

  3. #3


    Balanced lifestyle? I wish!

    When I start making more money as a painter then things should balance out a bit more, but as it is I work a seven day week. My girlfriend lives with her parents at the moment and so do I (with my family that is!) which means we don\'t see each other that often. She works nearly full-time and I work pretty much all the time. With a bit more money behind us we could get a place and life would become a little more \'normal\'.

    Who says money doesn\'t necessarily make you happy? Obviously they were never strapped for cash!

  4. #4


    Okay well so far only single folks have posted to this so I thought it time for an old married guy to post. I\'ve been married for 3 years and with my wife for 5. We have a 2 year old toddler. I\'m a computer engineer for a military contractor, my wife is a business owner. In other words we both work WAY over 50 hours a week (sucks being salary)

    So as you can see, just that alone takes balancing. Combine that with gym schedules, teaching martial arts three times a week, quality time with my wife and daughter, AND painting... FULL schedule.

    There are weeks I paint upto 12 hours a week (few and far between) and weeks I pick a brush up just to make sure my daughter hasn\'t hid them. :-)

    On average I get about 6 hours a week in. Luckily my wife enjoys seeing how pieces progress, and I\'m planning on introducing my daughter to the hobby. Get\'em hooked early, hehe.

    Good luck to all those future husbands and wives.

  5. #5


    A very fine line to say the least to balancing painting time and time with the wife. I\'m lucky in a sense as I work away during the week (armed forces) so I get my evenings to myself to paint when not in the gym or out for a drink occassionally. It all goes to pot at weekends and if I have any leave though as some times I don\'t even get to pick the brush up and paint :|~

    Other times she will watch the TV and leave me to it or I get to do some painting in between the house work (yes I\'m a slave) whilst she is at work.

  6. #6

    Default Balanced?

    I have been happily married for 14 years. I have two children, who are just getting to the age where they are involved in all kinds of extra activities.

    I work as a technician for a phone company, plus I am the \'newsletter editor\' and \'website coordinator\' of my labor union.

    We have a good social life, and I make it a point to spend alot of time with my kids (mainly just because its fun.)

    I always make it point to know that family, work, and responsibilies come first. Sure, sometimes I wish that I could find more time with my hobby, but it also makes the time I do get to spend on it that much more valuable.

  7. #7

    Default time

    There is never enough time in life to do everything you want to do. On the other hand, how often do you find yourself sitting around bored?

    I have been married for almost 6 years. I have a 3 year old daughter and a son on the way. I work 8 hour days + 2 hours commute time to pick up my daughter from day care. So 14 hours a day are free. Then I sleep about 6 hours a night. That leaves about 8 hours free. I fill them with cleaning, playing with my daughter, cleaning, playing guitar, cleaning, chasing the damn cats around the house to get a plastic figure back, cleaning, spending time with my wife, cleaning, working on models, cleaning and cleaning.

    I have actually found that I have a lot more time now that I am married. I\'m not wondering what my girlfriend is doing. I\'m not en route to pick her up or coming home from dropping her off. On top of that, the mundane life-ish stuff that we did separately we now do together. So it\'s not so big a deal when I say, \"I\'m gonna paint for an hour.\" Because my wife want\'s her personal time too. She has her own interests.

    I\'d say being married has not hurt my personal time at all. It\'s improved it. Being a daddy, however, has eaten up a significant portion of time. But it\'s not a bad thing. If I manage my time carefully and don\'t watch the blasted TV, I can get all or almost all of the things I want done in a day.:D

    Still, some days you have to drop the brush and go outside to play. When your daughter looks up at you and says, \"Can we play when you\'re done.\" Then suddenly you will realize that you are done, you just didn\'t know it.


  8. #8


    Originally posted by wyrmling_xTo be honest, I\'m quite worried that I\'ll let this fantastic hobby of ours take over my life completely - and since I hope to be married and have kids of my own one day, I can already see the complications involved.

    How (if at all) do you maintain a semi-normal life??? Sorry for being so serious! :D
    Married 5 years, go to school full time and work half time. At the moment that means I get to paint for at most 30-45 minutes per evening, and usually not that since I have homework.
    So the answer is you are less likely to have the hobby take over your life than to have it wander away. I\'ve been thinkin a lot about the balancing lately and realize that over the summer, when I expect to get much more painting in, the easiest time to trade off is to spend less time on CMON.
    The other thing is to get yourself a wife who likes sedentary hobbies. It doesn\'t have to be painting miniatures. My wife and I will sit together while I paint and she does sewing projects and we can talk then or turn on the TV if something we want to see is on.
    The other plus I have is she likes to sleep late on weekends and so often I will toss in an hour of painting saturday morn.

  9. #9


    Well, since this is supposed to be a hobby, it certainly should not replace any part of your life, but to complement it.

    By definition, a hobby is an activity that people engage to have a good time. Now, if you feel that you devote too much time to miniature painting, then maybe, just maybe, you are stressed, or otherwise unsatisfied with another aspect of your life.

    How much time is too much varies, of course, depending of the person, as someone who spends 80-120 hrs on a model may not feel it as too long, while others will begin to feel guilt about the time they spend on a mini just after 15 minutes from having started...

  10. #10
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    Default Balance? Ha I say.

    There is no balance. You either paint or mow the lawn, paint or pressure wash the patio, paint or go fishing, paint or sleep in late on Saturday, paint or tie flies so you can fish on Saturday, paint minis or get out airbrush and paint a helmate commission.

    Married 18 years - two teenaged daughters (that play D&D now also) - house that needs more work than I can give it - friends - family - etc, etc, etc.

    You make time for what you want to do, be it fishing, golf, radio controlled airplanes, D&D, painting minis, whatever. (Yes I have done them all, keep coming back to D&D & minis.)

    Painting time has been cut back this year as we are redoing all of the floors in the house. (adding tile, adding hardwood, getting rid of orange shag carpet) and a friend is remodeling his master bathroom (I also set tile on the weekends).

  11. #11


    I\'m not married but have being with my girlfriend for about 2 years. I also work as a software tester in a biometric company (and some long hours at that, but I love it). To top that off I play in three soccer leagues and a pool league. Painting is my favorite hobbie though so I try to make my personal time to pick up the brush. Mostly i get time on the weekends early in the morning or late at night when I should be sleeping, the sacrifices you make :D. I always wish I had more time during the day to get everything done.

  12. #12


    Ive been married 2 years, although we have no kids (yet). I work a normal 40 hour work week, although I spend about an hour and a quarter per day commuting to work. Weekends are free, as is most of every weeknight.

    It helps that my wife is a pharmacist and works some evening and weekend shifts. I get tons of time to paint. And if she\'s home at night when Im home, I might spend a couple hours painting and then watch a movie or tv with her etc after that.

    Just have to keep it all in balance. Don\'t give all your time to your spouse - that\'s not healthy. Don\'t give all your time to work - nobody ever says \'I wish I had worked more\' on their deathbed. Set limits, prioritize your time and there is room to have hobbies like this.

    Obviously, don\'t neglect everything else in your life FOR the hobby - that would be bad ;)

  13. #13


    Married 6 years, 2 year old, one more on the
    way for me... I barely find any time for
    painting or wargaming anymore. My wife
    and I have made a point and have worked really
    hard to get an RPG gaming group up and
    running. We\'ve been consistantly meeting
    on the weekends for the past month. This
    has been fantastic.

    I can\'t wait till I can get my little ones
    into it (fingers crossed.) A few weeks back
    we sat in with a group in another part of the
    state. I was the first time they let their
    8-year old in on a session. She did fantastic.
    It was a very interesting \'multigenerational\'
    gaming moment that I personally never thought
    I\'d see.

    The other interesting element in all of this
    is that our current gaming group, as well as
    the one we \'visited\', were both more than 50%
    female. Lots of us were couples with a few
    single friends here and there. That itself
    lends an interesting dynamic to the games.

    In the end, I\'ve had to sacrifice some
    painting time (personal) and trade it for
    more gaming time (social) as to include my
    spouse. If you are a gamer/painter, I
    *highly* recommend marrying a gamer/painter
    or some combination thereof :)

  14. #14

    Default \'Tis true, \'tis

    Originally posted by Sturmhalo Who says money doesn\'t necessarily make you happy? Obviously they were never strapped for cash!
    Never a truer word spoken Mr Halo! Sat in their Ivory Towers, throwing bread at us and telling us that money isn\'t the source of all happiness! Why, if I could get my hands on them........:flame:

    But wait! Hang on! I\'ve got my health, my dashing good looks (ehh? Bollocks! -Rev\'s wife), a roof over my head, a cupboard full of food and a lovely wife (more like it - Rev\'s wife). What more could I possibly ask for?

    I am, by the way, very balanced. I really am.

    Rev :innocent:

  15. #15


    A very interesting thread this one.

    I suffer from the too many hobbies syndrome - I want to play the boardgames I collect, play the CCGs I\'m into (specifically L5R at present), watch interesting films, paint minis, play more RPGs, play computer games. But there\'s only so much time in the day after work and so on as others here have already identified.

    As for the wife/girlfriend/partner thing, well I lived with my ex for about 10 years and, though she was a gamer to some extent, the hobby time was significantly reduced. But hey, we did other things together which was great. Since separating about a year ago, I moved right close to where I work freeing up another 2 hours of former commuting time - which is cool. Still want more time to play though! Incidentally, the relationship with my ex has settled nicely into a full friendship - after 10 years together you\'ve got to remain friends I reckon.

    Really, the best advice I could come up with on the subject is just to come to terms with the fact that free time is a finite and limited resource. Just use it wisely.

  16. #16

    Default Balanced Life possible????

    I think its possible to have some sorta balanced life.......

    ya jus gotta be very very determined and allocate specific times for specific things..... ie... a schedule... one hour for this and another hour for that and so even if you dont follow it strictly, you at least know how many hours you are consuming on something and can moderate accordingly....

  17. #17

    Default TV, Movie, Sleep, Work, Wife/GF, ...

    Frankly speaking, what\'s there to a normal life?
    Everyone has a 24 hours a day life. Works as much as possible ( I spent nearly 10 - 12 hours at work), spent time with gf 3 times a week (hogging me to get married), spent time on photography, spent time twice a week on soccer (wednesday and Sunday), spent enough time sleeping, spent time eating, reading (I love fantasy novels), spent time with family, taking care of my nieces, watch movies and TV (esp soccer) and spent time at the shop warring with my fellow gamers. Once or twice every year, I trek at different countries. How do you manage? Well, simple.

    Reduce that time before the TV box. IMO, its a waste of time. Who cares if Kent Clark (Smallville) gets thrashed by bad guys? He gets to win in the end. Watch what you need and discreetly. Don\'t be a couch potato. I only spent 2-4 hours a week before that TV box and that\'s cos of soccer telecast.

    Reduce your time sleeping. Grab enough sleep or else life will pass you by. Our Prime Minister spent 4-5 hours a day sleeping and he is 80 years old. If you spent 6-7 hours a day, you still have 17-18 hours left.

    SPent quality time with GF or wife. Don\'t waste a whole day doing nothing. Or else, meet together to achieve something. Sometimes, we meet up, go to somewhere quiet, she can do her reading and stitching and I can catch up on my reading or do my photography (see, two hobbies can easily be fulfilled).

    If your lunch break is sufficiently long, PAINT!! I always a subset of my paint in office. I bring along one or two minis and taking my lunch in office, I paint! That gives me (say half hour a day for 5 days) 2.5 hours painting! Sometimes, while working late (my boss not around), I paint too. As a short diversion to the monotonous work that I had to perform (oh, I am a software computer engineer), I paint.

    Upon reaching home, after cleaning up, I paint before sleeping. That\'s about 1-2 hours of solid painting.

    9 hours of work (ave)
    1 hour lunch painting
    7 hours of sleep
    1 hour commuting
    2 hour miscellanous
    1 hour talking to family or gf
    3 hours of hobby time!!!!

    Seriously, it depends on what is important to you. How you want to make the full use of your time.

  18. #18


    Originally posted by mouse
    Reduce that time before the TV box.
    >(or paint while watching, that\'s what I do)

    Reduce your time sleeping. Grab enough sleep or else life will pass you by. Our Prime Minister spent 4-5 hours a day sleeping and he is 80 years old. If you spent 6-7 hours a day, you still have 17-18 hours left.
    I strongly disagree. At least in theory. If you are in good physical condition (i.e. enough time in the gym) you will require less sleep. For most males 8 hours is just enough for good health. Most women require slightly more. As you get older your body loses the ability to sleep (thus your prime-minister) but that doesn\'t mean you \"need\" less sleep. Elderly people suffer the adverse side-effects of sleep deprivation even more than the young. Basically don\'t do anything to sacrifice your health for painting.

  19. #19


    Reduce that time before the TV box. IMO, its a waste of time. Who cares if Kent Clark (Smallville) gets thrashed by bad guys? He gets to win in the end. Watch what you need and discreetly. Don\'t be a couch potato. I only spent 2-4 hours a week before that TV box and that\'s cos of soccer telecast.

    I was about to write something similar to this. Thinak about what you can cut out. Then when it\'s down to the minimum, figure out which ones to watch and which ones to listen to. Paint durring the listening programs and \"prep\" (fileing, cleaning, stripping ect.) durring the ones you watch.

    ANother thing is to make sure that you have your own painting area. DOing this prevents you from wasting time setting up and cleaning up.

    Figureing out a way to preserve custom mixed paintswill also help because you won\'t have to finish touchups immediatelly.

    As far as ballancing between relationships and hobby time. I dodn\'t have much personal experience but I have seen two things. #1 Find someone with similar hobbies (difficult but possible) #2 Find someone tollerant of the hobby. One freind of mine can game and stuff and his wife doesn\'t get annoyed because he\'s available if his wife or kids need him.

    Pehaps setting up a hobby night where you paint and your significant other crosstiches or reads or whatever will work. As long a syou both respect each other\'s hobbies.

  20. #20


    Wow, this thread has certainly been an interesting conversation piece. It\'s good to see so many people respond! :D

    Priorities, priorities, priorities! That\'s truly what needs to be established, and one thing I certainly need to improve upon (but I\'m just a young\'un - I\'ve got time to learn ;)).

    I guess I was just worried about becoming too engrossed in the \"things\" I enjoy and being pulled further from the people who mean the most to me. It\'s so easy to just let things slide, but I know that\'s simply not the way relationships, jobs, etc. can be maintained...the quickest, easiest path is often not the best in the end, as they say.

    Thanks again for the responses!

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