Recently a friend shared his “amateur radio bucket list” and I was surprised they had set a timeframe with an “end date” for their participation in our hobby.
Wonder if that works?
I am thinking I seldom “cap-off” parts of my life – it isn’t like we have a set “best if used before” date stamped on our foreheads. and among the things I am interested in I certainly can’t predict what will be short term interests vs long term passions this early in the game.
Has been my experience that to really “control” a trajectory you can’t reach very far or for very long. The goals often have to be fairly tepid as well.
I just don’t think that I am wired to make a list of say a dozen things I want to “check off” in a finite period of time before my station is shut down.
I’ve found external influences mold my interest list as much as I do. Some examples:
Returning to flying is dependent on a flight medical, which won’t happen anytime soon. True long distance motorcycle riding requires enough time away from both work & home, that with an XYL who doesn’t want to ride along, the time needs requires sacrificing our “together time.” Island activation is much easier with a small group, so I’ve not worked at this on the solo basis my operations seem to be.
I also do not have enough time to carve out dedicated spots, unless it would be at the expense of another activity. Some examples:
If I up and book a bunch of cruises (which we did, only to have the CCP-19 Virus cancel the trips) my interest in operating HF DX Phone suffers. If my hunting buddies can’t make our group hunt, I don’t get to go. Do I spend a Saturday running DX SSB on 20m, or take the time to visit elderly family members in care homes?
What if each year I decide to spend a couple month in Europe or at our Washington Island place, how does that impact plans?
No, the way I am wound I can make mental lists of what I’d like to “check-out” but not of what I am specifically going to do, much less at what time I would do them.
Thinking I like that semi-freeform approach – a general idea where I am heading, but far from every step planned out.
(NB – More on this topic to follow over the next few months – I’ll try to tag them all “Amateur Radio Legacy”)
Next year will mark my 60th continuously licensed year, and something like my 45th mucking around with both professional and hobby space operations. I guess I must have a short attention span, but I am coming to the end of my active interest in the hobby. There are many things to do, with more each year, but the magic is gone. So my bucket list basically consists of deciding what if anything to keep, and how to dispose of the rest to people who can use it.
At age 83 what time is left to me takes on real meaning. I’m in pretty good shape, for the shape I’m in as my old dad used to say. But still…
Reading biographies, memoires, and ancient travels is of greater interest now. Having a late morning small-beer while watching birds cavort around the back yard feeder gives me greater pleasure. Stroking my dog Sparky and listening to Debussy piano works calms me.
Amateur radio has been a part of my life since 1980. During the early years, it was a major activity of my non-working day. It now shares my day with other interests. Like reading, bird-watching, dog walking, and music. Oh, an occasional light beer.
Radio-wise, I am 100 percent cw and QRP… and lower. My gear is QRP and is elderly like me. I see no major purchases in the future. Not needed … no point.
I sit down at the operating position facing one of my old Ten-Tec* QRP rigs for an hour or so most days, but not every day. If I make a peanut-power contact, that is great, if it is RBN also fine. DX of no importance. More cosmic matters to consider
I am setting aside material to gift. Not for sale. When the time comes.
Until then, a balanced life and pursuits.
* TT Argonaut 509, TT Power Mite
72/73 Dick F8WBD