Thursday, December 10, 2015

TBT: On Point #2

Dear James,

I have been in the SCA since the dawn of time. I was on the committee that decided to call that brown stuff ‘dirt’. I have every award that the Society can give. My AoA is older than you are. My students have peerages. My student’s students have peerages. I have nothing left to do, and I am bored. HELP!

Tired in Trimaris



I’m actually really lucky in this regard. Because I am relatively new, though I’ve been accused of being a boomerang on more than one occasion, I have the blessed ability of finding everything to be brand new.

There’s something special in the human brain about how we treat things that are new, because… well, the grass usually IS greener on the other side, at least for a little while.

So – what to do when nothing is new anymore? When you’ve done everything, and you’ve been in for so long that you’re really just not feeling it any longer. It’s become a habit, or the way in which you see your friends, or any one of a selection of reasons why you’re still coming, even though you’re not feeling enthusiastic.

The simple solution is to think outside the box you’ve put yourself in – again, I’m lucky in that everything is new to me, so I can leapfrog from thing to thing like some kind of demented ferret going “oooo, shiney!”

Don’t believe me? Ask me sometimes about the 200+ dollars in leatherworking supplies I bought after a ‘how to make a belt’ class. I make me some mean belts, and that’s about it at the moment…

Ok, so to get back to the point. Some ideas for folks who have been in for so long that they feel like
they’ve lost what brought them in:

Idea One: Mentor a Newcomer
There is nothing quite like ‘new relationship’ energy; that thing that makes new boyfriends and
girlfriends obsess over each other and post sappy social media updates. That same ‘newness’ energy can come by proxy – by mentoring a newcomer, you’re able to sort of feed of their excitement as they learn all these new things; see the SCA through their eyes as a new person.

Idea Two: Go learn something new 
If you are a Laurel, Grand High Poobah of Underwater Basket Weaving, and know everything there is to know about it… go learn something about Leatherworking, or C&I. The SCA is the hobby that
spawns other hobbies. If you’re bored with what you’ve got and feel you mastered it… go be a student again. (Frankly, if I could afford to, I’d be a student at my University forever and have ten different degrees) If you’re one of those people that have run events since Time Began and or Fought with Gods and Demons, then likewise – go learn something new. Dabble in the arts, or explore a fighter practice.
Break out of your box that you’ve put yourself into and I think you’ll find that ‘new’ passion again.

Idea Three: Go Back to your Roots 
Finally, go back to what brought you into the Society to begin with – if you are a fighter who
hasn’t fought in years, go get back into armor. Go back to your art and craft – go do what you initially loved to do, even if you haven’t done so in a while.

All in all, it’s a matter of attitude. If you go into any of these suggestions thinking that it won’t work – you are absolutely correct.

Approach everything with the eyes of a newcomer. Let yourself feel wonder. At the risk of the pun, it’s wonderful.

Yours in Service to the Dream,


Lord James Highgate of Darkwater is protégé to Baroness Ilene Johnnestoune and Cadet to Don William of Aschem. He holds the awards for Poet Laureate and the Bard of Darkwater for his written and performed poetic works. He can be reached for comments, questions, or article suggestions at

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