Hey guys, It's been well over a year since I have signed in, made a post, looked at the forums here, or even thought about magic. But in recent weeks I have been reflecting about magic and hobbies in general and I thought it would be beneficial to share my thoughts with the community here. Ever since the beginning, magic has provided me with a creative outlet and given me insight into how I look at daily problems. I respect magic as a whole and I love where it can take an audience. So it came as a surprise when I found myself growing increasingly apathetic towards the art. I can see now what happened. When I first discovered magic, it was a fresh and exciting opportunity to be creative. Enter Theory11, a community filled with valuable information ...and not so valuable information. While also being fun, coming to the forums not only kept me up to date but provided me with an incredible resource for learning the in's and out's of magic from the real working professionals that occasionally post here. But, like others, I was young and immature. I can pinpoint one word I wish I understood in more depth at the time: Moderation. Moderation! Ah yes. Restraint. Temperance. I had no concept of this. I would spend hours at the computer on the forums reading post after post. Sure I was "learning", but most often I was simply wasting my time. I would practice for hours a day, glued to my prized deck of cards like it was a pack of cigarettes. Sure I was "improving", but it was getting extreme. I was like a Toyota driver - I didn't know how to slow down (just had to sneak that in there). As with any hobby, moderation is key. Stepping away from magic and the forums has allowed me to focus on music and explore new interests. As cliché as that sounds, it's true. I found out first hand. If there's anything you can learn from my charade it's this: -Don't overexposed yourself to everything there is to magic all at once. -Slow down. It is possible to be dedicated without hurting yourself. -Take in new information slowly. Listen to the real workers on here. -Read a book. (It will force you to slow down!) -Take a break. Give your other hobbies some attention. We live in a fast paced, digital world. And it's not going to get slower anytime soon. Let's do our best to stay focused and passionate about magic and our other hobbies without blowing the infatuation out of proportion. Hope this is of value to a few of you guys out there. Casey C.