I’ve heard about – and even read about some hams that leave the hobby once they earn whatever goal they had originally set out on. I can understand this if you are at some point in your life where you really just don’t have time for the hobby – especially when you start a career or a family – or make a big career change, go back to school or move to another state or country – but otherwise, for me, ham radio is my “TV”. If I didn’t have a full on station – I’d have an SDRPlay Duo or something like that – with even just a long wire thrown out to a tree. Heck, maybe I’d play on some remotes, but I do like having the gear near me and building stations and antenna farms – just trying new gear is a lot of fun.
I cut the TV cable 10 years ago and don’t miss it one bit. The worst day listening to people chat on ham radio – or listening to a pileup is better than the best day sitting in front of a TV.
I do understand the feeling that some may have – there is a really big disappointment when you finally reach your goal – because the journey is more of an award than the award. I found a real sadness hit me after earning Honor Roll and after VK0EK won DXpedition of the Year. It did feel like there was nothing left to do. In fact, you can even get this weird, hard to explain feeling of “disgust” or “contempt”. You might ask yourself “So, what’s the big deal, anyway”. You can get very cynical.
Step away – take a break – the hobby will welcome you back no matter what. Burn out comes in many forms, and yes, too much of a good thing can lead to burn out.
But in time that fades, and you realize that there is so much new that you can try in this hobby. That has happened to me – and I’m really glad I didn’t panic and just quit – instead, like Madonna, I “reinvented myself”. My “role” in this hobby changed and entered a new phase after making Honor Roll, and then again right after VK0EK – but its a new path, and one I really don’t expect to end.
Speaking of that – I’m putting up my KH1 “Field Day” style antenna this weekend, and then after that – I really, really need to get back into some Maker – Ham fun. I’ll have a new guy helping me at work – and so I can probably not be working on weekends (which has been mostly reading up on new technology and learning stuff like React.js).
Time to play with wires again!