With the end of the year coming up fast I’ve spent some time reviewing the station log for 2021. Yikes. It was another “off” year, the second in a row. I knew my radio activity had fallen off considerably, but the stats show it was more like a fall from a cliff. While this causes me some concern, I think I understand why my interest and subsequent time on the air has been dropping.
It’s the pandemic.
I have been locked down and working from home for nearly two years. My home office doubles as the ham shack and after spending eight or more hours a day working in there the last thing I want is spend a few more hours in there, even if it’s just goofing around on the radio.
This probably explains why a much higher than average percentage of my radio activity during most of 2020 and all of 2021 has taken place outside (usually from the backyard) where I don’t mind spending time away from the daily “work” environment.
I’m not complaining, working from home has benefited me in many ways. I’ve been kept safe from the coughs of co-workers, I fill the gas tank once a month now instead of twice a week, and my automobile’s life has been extended by several years thanks to the lack of a commute. I still get up at the usual time, but showering and shaving are optional now and more than a few days over the last two years have passed without me putting on shoes.
Still, seeing the results in black and white is disappointing because I’ve always taken some satisfaction in proclaiming that I’ve been LICENSED and CONTINUALLY ACTIVE since 1977.
The more typical ham radio story is of someone who got their license at a young age then dropped out for 45 years before returning to the fold. Not me, I got in the hobby and have remained active these last 45 years.
In fact, in the decade leading up to the pandemic my log was filling faster than usual. Not that the number of contacts has a direct correlation on my enjoyment of the radio art, but it’s a decent indicator of how much time I spend in that pursuit.
This theory will soon be tested. My retirement date is set in stone (43 days from today) and I’m literally counting down the days. I expect 2022 will see a considerable uptick in my ham radio activity even as the virus continues to do its thing.
Otherwise, I’ll have to look elsewhere for the root of my malaise.