2020. The mere sight of these numbers or hearing of “twenty twenty”, brings about thoughts of a very confusing, scary, and maddening year so far. So far, Coronavirus/COVID-19 and its global impact and fallout has been the hot topic, along with new buzzwords of “social distancing”, “masks”, “hand sanitizer”. We’ve seen the brutal murder of George Floyd and the riots afterward that devastated parts of Minneapolis and triggered racial tensions around the country, with other protests and riots in cities across this nation. We’ve also seen the attack on statues and history as well. No, don’t worry. I’m not using this as a platform to push my viewpoints on these or any other hot-button social or political issue. We each have our opinions of these and that’s great...but we’re going to leave them be. We come to this site for one reason only - knives! Some of us may not have a job now, due to COVID-19. Some of us may be furloughed from our jobs because of COVID-19. Some of us have had to deal with multiple issues at home and at work brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yes it’s been a strange year so far. But, look at it this way. As I write this it is late June 2020 and we are still here. We’re still breathing and hopefully - everyone that reads this still has their good health. Mentally, we’ve been taxed this year already. We’re just over 6 months into the year, 6 more months to go. Still, a lot of uncertainty ahead of the future. That in and of itself is worrisome for a lot of people.
Spartan Blades craftsman running Laser Engraver
It is my hope that the majority reading this, has so far survived the first half of this year well. I still have my job. I still have income coming in. This year marked the 21st year that I’ve been working at my day job in the medical education/research field. As many of you may be aware, I am one of BLADE Magazine’s Field Editors and still, the magazine keeps throwing plenty of work my way. And in May of this year, I was hired by the Spartan Blades folks to write these blogs, which I’m having a ton of fun with because I get to write about other topics related to knives that I normally do not get to address with the magazine. Work on all fronts has piled up for me. That’s a good thing. Anymore these days, it’s either you’re out of work or if you do have a job - you’re slam-covered up. I certainly am covered up. Yeah, it’s overwhelming to think at times at what all I have to do writing wise and day job wise. But I have to remember - there are people higher up than me who see that I am capable of performing my duties well and they wish to retain me as a result. I still have my family, I still have my vehicles, my house, and my other non-knife hobbies of riding BMX bikes and mowing. Yeah...I am a little eccentric but hey, at least things are fun and interesting! Having interests in many areas helps me to not be overwhelmed by what’s happening in the world and society. It doesn’t mean that I’m tuning everything else out completely, it means that I still keep up with current events but I don’t get absorbed in it to the point where it's affecting my thinking and my actions, like others that I know who unfortunately, have been too absorbed.
What I am saying to you is, if there is any year that you choose to focus on your hobbies and interests - there is not a better time than the present to do so. If you’ve been wanting to take up a new hobby, or learn to play a new sport, or learn to play a musical instrument….now is the time. Trust me, for I speak from experience. Having hobbies and a life outside of the day job is a great thing. It allows you to unwind physically and mentally. For me, it's proven to help lower my stress levels too. Contrary to popular belief, 2020 is NOT out to get you. More like, 2020 is a wake-up call for you to examine your life. Examine your priorities. Place emphasis on the things that interest you the most outside of your normal responsibilities of being a good employee/business owner, spouse, parent, friend, neighbor, and family member. Once you invest the time to focus on such, you will be refreshed in many ways. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not saying that we should shirk our day jobs. We just need to make a conscious effort into investing time and effort into the things that interest us. Like knives. No...don’t go on a buying spree and say to your wife “well, Dexter told me I should spend more money on knives”. HAHA! Neither am I saying “do not buy any more knives either”. Do not use any excuses either. You know….I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I have no time, stuff like that. The solution is simple - you will make time! Prioritize yourself and all that you have to do. After you do all your “husband/father duties”, take an hour each day for yourself. Immerse yourself in something that interests you.
In 2020 - there isn’t a better time than the present to invest in yourself. You’re worth it. You made it through to the halfway point of 2020! Do yourself a favor and invest in yourself. It’s perhaps the best investment you will ever make in your whole life. Turn your mind off for a bit each day, quit worrying about the current events and COVID-19. This time you invest in yourself is something that you can look forward to every day, and perhaps expand that time on the weekends to maybe a few hours. Or heck, maybe even an entire day! Like I said, all this is an investment in yourself. Everyone is worth investing in themselves. Just do it and you will never regret taking this initiative to do so.