Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Poker is not a job

Hobbies, in the hands of Type-A personalities like myself, can become obsessions.
I have to be constantly viligant about the time I spend with my family over the timeI spend with myself. Unfortunately, there are many, many things I love to do, and most of them involve spending time away from my family.
I love video games. I love playing online poker. I love reading. I love watching independent films that my wife thinks are weird (and I suppose they are). I love running and, when the season calls for it, climbing mountains.
I also love eating dinner with my wife, playing with my son and cuddling with my dogs, so they can't take my hobbies personally. And yet, sometimes, they do.
I always try to wait before Kate puts down Jayden and then goes to bed herself before I go down to the cave, the basement where all my fun, like the computer, the books and the X-Box, are located.
But even then, occasionally, I'll hear murmurings of, oh, are you going to play poker again? When I smirk, occasionally I get the rolling eyes.
It's a tough balance. We don't have as much free time anymore, especially now that Jayden is around, and so the minutes are precious before I have to go to bed and recover for tommorow. And yet relationships also seem to need daily maintenance, and I enjoy oiling them up before we rest.
Poker, especially, can be tough, because you usually have to play a while, unless you get lucky right away and pull off a hit and run, and even if you do get lucky early, bonus clearing can take a while too. And you have to study poker, so you have to read and read and read. And you have to watch it on TV and talk about it with friends and...
Oops. See what I mean?
Wouldn't it be great if we could stretch time beyond the 24 hours? Until then, I have to constantly find that balance, or else I might as well be living by myself in a cave.


TripJax said...

You are not alone. A few tips.

-When you have a good night/week/month (whatever) at the tables, occasionally by the wifey something and be sure to casually mention that it came from poker profits. Even if it is something small, it goes a long way. I've even done a dinner for the family off of poker profits. But the best thing for me is my yearly poker is primarily to pay for our family vacation every year. That is a powerful tool that I use when she knows that me winning poker means bigger and better vacation (we go whether I have a good poker year or not, but it is cool to use poker winnings to pay for vacations...have done so the last 2 years).

-One of the nights when wifey is headed toward bed and you are leaning towards hitting the cave...if you start to get the rolling of the eyes or a hard time, then give her the "let's get busy" look and see where it goes. If she gives the "not tonight pervert" look then you've done your best and you shouldn't feel bad when everyone is asleep or headed that way.

-Finally, create a schedule and stick to it for the most part. If you know you normally do "blank" with the family on Tuesday, but not so much Wednesday, then make Wednesdays at 11pm be start time for poker. Then, by that same rationale, pick certain nights where you don't even touch the computer or other hobbies. Just hang with the wife at all costs...

I've been trying to get better at keeping value in the family stuff while maintaining the hobby stuff. Luckily, I have a very cool wife and not that many hobbies so it works well. Sorry this was so long. It makes me want to write a post about it...thanks for the idea!

TripJax said...

Haha...your comment had me rollin'. Thanks...