I work weeks that tend to average 100+ hours, and when it comes close to gigs, it can be 120+ hours that week.
Tech support, phone support, computer builds, network designs and installs, computer repairs, video editing, photo editing, media transfers, document capture, slide scanning and consulting, concerts, festivals, special events, corporate gigs… it’s a rough life, as I live and die by the phone. I have to deal with what comes in when it comes in, regardless of time. It’s rough on family life as well, especially with contracts with 24X7 phone support terms and 4 hour response guarantees.
Not that I’m complaining as I love what I do. Yoyo is my convenient escape from that, which was why I chose to do this fun hobby. Get off the phone with someone who isn’t super knowledgeable about something, walk them step by step through it via the phone and getting them running again, whew. Gotta unwind a bit and throw a little. A wonderful way to take out some of the stress of life. However, while I sit on the phone on hold or being patient with someone, or are rendering out video, the forums are a great place to use some time productively. However, while I’m doing that, I can’t be throwing.
So, once a year, I get a few days off. My escape of choice? Disneyland. I can’t turn off the phone as it is our communication medium between my wife and myself, so we can arrange meet-ups if we split up and get ourselves and the 4 kids back into a “super group” again. 3 days of escape. This will be my first trip since taking up the yoyo, but I’m gonna take a few with me just for some additional unwind purposes. Even in the Magic Kingdom, the stresses of dealing with heavy crowds can be annoying. Other than that, since we go in the off-season, crowds generally aren’t too bad.
After a trip to Disneyland, I feel somewhat recharged and the creativity comes back a bit. It’s also a good contrast based on what I have to deal with before my trip: the Sacramento Horror Film Festival. The films don’t scare me, they just bore me, but I’m not here to knock the genre, because there’s still lots of creativity, it’s just not my thing. So, a gore fest, which pays me so I can take my family to a place of fantasy and imagination.
Of course, living and dieing by the phone has its drawbacks. My clients seem to want to call in even greater numbers when I am on vacation. Nothing better than a client calling every 5 minutes while I’m trying to enjoy Disney attractions, and each time they complain about “what’s that noise in the background” when I explained 5 minutes ago I was in line for Teacups, so go figure I’m on it now.
Note: DO NOT LOOK ANYWHERE BUT DOWN on Teacups, phone call or not. I was talking data encryption algorithms with a guy(who got fired a month later BTW) while spinning on the Mad Tea Party ride. Tech talk and twirling are NOT a good combination when the ride requires a rapid exit. Ride fun… dizzy exit(more than normal), way not fun!
While YYE says “make the simple amazing”, sometimes it’s best to “keep the amazing simple”: Focus, yet relax. Keep it simple: you and the yoyo.
In my line of work, especially live sound, it’s “keep the amazing simple”, which then is turned back to “make the simple amazing”. One feeds the other. With audio and computers, it’s all about signal flow. it’s the same discipline. With yoyo, it’s all about FLOW.
Yoyo: my little break from my reality. Pocket sized and portable. I can take my vacation anywhere I go.
The yoyo can be everything you need it to be and want it to be if you let it. My advise: let it. Forget the stigma of it being a kid’s toy. If you are enjoying it, that’s all that matters. Relax, enjoy, throw, escape. It’s good for your health.