Where does the inspiration for a new hobby come from? For me, it could be anything really. I might see something cool on TV, or it might come up in the newspaper. Then again a store window or a magazine cover might catch my eye. I am also surrounded by people who purposefully, or maybe accidently talk about something they are interested in, and in doing so provoke me to become interested in their hobbies.
If my friends are reading this, and thinking that I am blaming them for my ever expanding collection of hobbies, they are right. Actually, they are only half right. When you come into contact with people who are really interested in something, there are only too possible responses. The first, and the one that leads to my downfall, or at least the investment of my cash and time, is COOL! The other, which I seem to use less than other people, is WHAT?!? or ARE YOU NUTS?!
When I do have the latter reaction, I can often overcome this by sheer force of will and rationalization. I may not find the hobby cool, but this person seems to be enjoying themselves. They don't seem to mind the money and time they've spent, so why should I. Add to the fact, they haven't hurt anyone, and soon all resistance fades.
Several years ago, while living in an apartment, I met a man in the elevator lamenting the fact that he needed to buy more Rubbermaid containers for a new shipment of beanie babies that he had purchased. He exclaimed they were a great investment. At first I was a bit confused, but I applied the above criteria, and it didn't seem so off putting. At least I was able to take my hand off the emergency stop button and finish the elevator ride.
I had one friend tell me that when I found the perfect hobby for myself, all the others would simply fade to insignificance and I would be satisfied. That sounds like sage advice, but I wish a timeline had been provided, or at least she could have given me tips on where to store the ever expanding pile of stuff until that day.
Currently I am not facing the "new hobby dilemma" but rather the "old hobby dilemma". I have been working on a train layout for a long time, but have never managed to make it work right. I have two solutions (though there might be a few more that I am ignorant of). The first is to take apart what doesn't work on this one, and rebuild it. This would mean saving materials, and therefore money. On the other hand, I could buy a kit which would teach me some of the skills I am lacking, and make the whole thing more visually pleasing in a shorter period of time. There are some downsides to this of course. The first is money. The kit is not exactly cheap, and doesn't even factor in the costs already acquired. The other, more emotionally expensive downside is admitting defeat. As a hobbyist, we tend to think we can complete what we start, and that the plans that we laboured over are good and feasible. Funny how things work out.