Around 2016 I made a lateral move within my company and started doing work directly related to astronomy (writing mount/ground station control software, building mount models). My recreational interest sagged, as I was devoting so much time (relating to astronomy) to the job. I'm looking to hear from people with similar experiences.
How do you maintain your interest recreationally?
How do you deal with co-workers that denigrate or minimize your amature experience?
Honestly, this was part of the reason my answer back in high school to the question of "are you going to major in music?" was always "No." I always said I wanted to keep it as something I liked doing, not something I had to do. Usually it was something like "I don't want to wake up every morning going, 'ugh, I have to do music today.'"
Now, there are people who have a job doing something they love, and they love going to work. In some cases, maybe they don't mind not doing their interest recreationally because they do it for work and it's practically the same thing; some think of it as getting paid to do a thing they love to do anyway. I envy them.
But for others (I would be one of them), doing the same thing day in and day out, all day every day, for decades, with no choice in the matter, is going to feel like drudgery and I don't want to turn one of my hobbies into drudgery (it sounds counterintuitive I guess to choose something I don't really care about to do all the time and turn into drudgery, but there you go; I guess it's the idea of "ruining" something I formerly enjoyed? If I'm going to dread going to work, I don't want to have to dread something I used to look forward to, I guess, and it might as well be something I hate anyway).
(And, of course, at work you likely have little choice of what you work on, so if you really want to be observing X and Y, or researching Z, but at work you have to observe A and research B and C, or if you want to be playing this music but have to play that music at work, then it'll be a drag to be too burned out when you get home to want to do any more of whatever-the-thing-is for your actual interest.)