I haven’t really been interested in railfanning for the past year or so. I’m not feeling it.
For someone who has been actively railfanning for over 20 years (yikes), it’s been more than a little unsettling to feel this way.
As I mentioned in my Let’s Talk post, I think I’m depressed. I am taking some medication, and I’ve been meeting with a counselor. She’s been great and has been helping me work through some stuff.
I brought this topic up with my counselor – not being interested in railfanning – and she came up with a term that really resonated with me.
After listening to my history of hobbies, from plastic models in my youth through being a ship geek, a plane geek and a space geek, through my SCA phase, and into my long railfanning hobby, she said that maybe I have seasons of interest, and that I’m moving on to a new season.
That phrase feels really right with me.
I’ve had various interests over my life – seasons of interest. Eventually my interest in a topic wanes, and I move on. This is natural.
I was really involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism – the SCA – from 1988 to about 1998. My interest waned around the same time my first wife and I separated; it was a thing that we both did together, and after the separation it wasn’t fun any more. I half-heartedly went to a few events after 1998, but I wasn’t “into it” any more.
I distinctly remember going to my last event in Nova Scotia in 2000, and really wanting it to finish so I could go take pictures of the train tracks at Autoport in Dartmouth. That’s when I really knew I was becoming a train geek.
These days, I have little to no interest in going out to take photos of trains. Weeks pass without train photos. In fact, I lent my camera to a friend for a couple of weeks because he didn’t have his camera with him. I didn’t miss it.
I think my time of regular railfanning may be done.
I’m still very interested in trains. I’ve been scanning my old negatives from the late 1990s and early 2000s and finding some real gems that I will be sharing.
I am still railfanning – occasionally. Expect to see a three part series soon featuring auroras and an orange locomotive.
I’ll close with a reminder to take care of your mental health. It’s just as important as your physical health, if not more. Seek out help if you can; help your friends and family if they’re struggling. Thank you.