I’ve Got Too Much..

When Do I Have Too Many Hobbies?

Noah Ingram
3 min readOct 15, 2020
Photo by BP Miller on Unsplash

In the earlier part of this year, in the halcyon days of summer which seemed so innocent and long ago, I built my first gaming PC. I’ve been a video gamer for a while now, since the release of the Xbox 360, and have come back to the PC from a mostly console lifestyle. This is not one of those articles about the glories of PC over console. I don’t really traffic in that argument. It is an examination of hobbies.

I started with the PC because it has, sad to admit, faltered in its use as my gaming rig. Given its obscene processing power it’s an amazing work computer for which it has received long hours of use. I gamed on it much but lately that has been minimal. It will no doubt pick up in November when two major titles of the genre I most enjoy, RPGs, come rolling out. Cyberpunk and Assassins Creed cannot get here soon enough. Video gaming is or can be an expensive hobby. my PC came in at about 2800 dollars without having a graphics card at the apex of the market. It has an AMD rx5700xt, which is doing a damn fine job of making things look good and run smooth. I am pleased and it will do the job for a while until new generation graphics card hoopla winds down next year.

But, I also like tabletop roleplaying. For the uninitiated that means pen, paper, and dice. Dungeons & Dragons. And so many other titles played and desired over the years. I have downloaded, bought, or otherwise acquired far more tabletop gaming content than I will ever run in one lifetime but the richness of the imagination of these worlds fascinates me. It is also my happy place hobby. Dwarves, gnomes, lasers, swords, oh my. Another expensive hobby that is another time vortex.

Let’s keep moving into the heavy burdens of the table. Board games. I love them. I don’t mean Parcheesi or Monopoly. I mean Clank Legacy, Godtear, Zombicide, the list goes on. I own about 15 but have bought and sold dozens. If I had a limitless budget, I would have hundreds of them. I am fond of the big boxes full of plastic miniatures and dense stories with hours of playing and endless grids of rules. Call me in heaven. But the cheap games are 30 to 40 dollars, with the prices climbing to 140 for a truly epic game like Gloomhaven or Twilight Imperium.

Cooking. Writing. Learning tech. Deciphering the mysteries of Office 365. Gardening.

I could make a list of a hundred things I consider legitimate hobbies I want to invest time and resources in. But where does the time come from? I don’t know. I wish I had Hermione’s time device, so I could play multiple games at once. What a life two boardgame nights and two roleplaying game nights a week would be.

Reality comes in harshly on the hobbyist’ world. There is never enough time. Taking the kid to her stuff and things, spending the time with your spouse, enjoying the slowness of a weekend coffee after the endless stress of teaching, or whatever your poison is.

I don’t know if this means I should take a good hard look at my hobbies and leave aside all the things I know aren’t viable or keep on trucking and damn the time sucking torpedoes. It’s a tough call.

For right now, I assume I’ll have the time to get to that one thing I was planning to do eventually.



Noah Ingram

Husband of one, father of one, special education teacher, student of history, sometime author, all day dreamer.