A large portion of me has considered astronomy my primary life's interest, particularly for the past decade. Whether it was learning about cosmology by reading various books, to the journey of trying many different telescopes and designs, to simply enjoying the solace that the night sky brings me the odd time I get to go out and escape the every day hustle and bustle I am so used to. The hobby and knowledge base of astronomy has brought me order and structure to my life and even purpose. It helped bring me out of the darkest period of my life, and to focus on something. That new-found focus evolved into small life goals setting, and eventually life changes which has changed me for the better.
That being said, I am starting to feel astronomy burn-out. I recently bought a ton of astro books I definitely want to read, but cant be bothered to even pick them up right now- much to my guilt...
I have amazing telescopes which I will keep and love to use, when I get to use them. I rarely get to use them and I found myself daydreaming about astronomy more than anything. Ever-spending money on new ways to help me enjoy it more. I do not need to spend much more money at all, although the astro list still has some "nice to have or try" items on it: a small grab and go refractor for the backyard in winter, night vision, and to finish up an observatory of some kind. Although I don't want to spend a great deal of money on it as long as it functions as I need it to.
Recently I finally got into another hobby, Warhammer 40k. I used to play back in the day and thought I would dive in again. Yes, more money (unfortunately) but it can help keep me occupied regardless of the weather with painting models, or when I am finished that, playing war games against others. This has been my new vice that entertains a great majority of my thoughts these days.
I can't help but feel a bit ashamed to be no longer thinking about astronomy 24/7. I find myself only checking CN for moderation purposes now, which before about a month ago, I was a regular contributor here and just HAD to keep up to date on a multitude of forums because I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in it all thoroughly.
I have time at work to check CN, which wont change, but I do not check CN much at home in my spare time besides the odd classified search for some reason. Old habits they say....
I find myself always having very little amounts of free time anyways, especially with the limited amount of days off I have been having. I've worked more days than I have ever in my life this year with overtime, bought a house, a new vehicle, ect.
Anyways, my astro hobby interest is waning and I feel guilt over it. I think my lack of free time this year has had a part in this waning interest and not getting out as much as I'd like.
I think long term, a waning interest now is truly for the best for me and hobby, as it will give me a renewed interest in it. Invigorating me with a new zest for learning about astronomy, and providing much-needed ambition to complete the mountain of reading material I own (a source of guilt for me).
Of course any clear night I will use my telescopes, as this is like a mini-vacation for me when doing so. But no longer a clear day or night is this the ONLY thing I have to look forward to hobby-wise. It certainly makes it easier on me when the clear sky chart is wrong and my plans are foiled yet again. I get a bit upset when that happens.
I have read countless other threads here on CN of people saying the exact same thing I am saying above, and I told myself it would never happen to me. Now I can see why others recommend getting into another hobby, as astronomy as an only hobby is in itself- not sustainable or an exercise in frustration.
There is no point of this post but to share my thoughts. I am not quitting the hobby or even reducing my online CN time (more than it already has been reduced that is). I would never get rid of my eyepieces, or sell a telescope without an immediate plan to replace it. I get the majority of August off work and hope to get out under the stars a lot which could help my internal conflict.
Just looking to hear thoughts from others. Perhaps others who have felt the same waning interest, took a break, and came back in "bigger and better". Cheers