This weekend is ARRL Field Day, and for the first time since picking up the amateur radio hobby, I’m just not feeling it. I don’t think I’ll be charging up any batteries and raising temporary antennas at my home just so I can struggle to get on the air and be heard. Not this year.
I was OK with last year’s solo Field Day only because it gave me something to fucking do during quarantine lockdown. True, yes. But on reflection, I found it was too difficult, so unrewarding, and completely heartbreaking. I remember being crestfallen at the difficulty I had trying to make the few contacts I actually logged. Who can fucking be heard when contest superstations are running 500W amplifiers on great antennas? It’s in my nature to clam up if nobody gives me space to talk, and radio is no exception. Field Day is a crowded room.
The radio club is back at the Red Cross this year, like in the Before Times, but the RC-imposed restrictions are heavy and require contact tracing and time slots. It’s just not worth the effort.
That’s what I feel in 2021.
One’s enjoyment of a hobby is directly linked to the community one keeps, that’s true. But I’ve been drifting away for so very long. I just have a hard time actually wanting to hang out with other hams. It’s not through any fault of their own; we’re just not the same people. Most hams are either 20 years my junior…or 20 years my senior, and the few of my age are busy with making a life. So it’s tough to scratch out a tenuous friendship, especially over a tenuous hobby.
But I have a difficult time anyway being with the people that I actually want to be with. It’s exhausting.
Anyway, y’all have fun. 73 and all that. Whatever. Maybe next year.