Thursday, July 1, 2010

Model Railroad Lessons Learned #5: Don't Wait Until Tomorrow

When's the best time to start a layout? Ten years ago, or now.

When a model railroad friend retired a few years ago, I commented that he now must be getting lots done on his layout—now that he had so much time.

“Actually, I’m getting less done now than when I was working,” he said.

He went on to explain that, when he was younger and still working, each moment on the layout was precious. When he got a few minutes, an hour or longer, he quickly got to work on a task—you never know how long it would be before another bit of free time might come along.

But now that he was retired, there was no sense of urgency; if he didn’t work on a project today, he could always do it tomorrow—or the day after, or the day after that. The result? Things never got done.

A number of people I know plan to build a layout when they retire. Then, they say, they’ll finally have time. But my friend’s experience suggests that might not be the best plan.

Plus, who’s to say that any of us will live long enough to retire? And if good grace and good genes allows us to live until retirement age, there’s still no guarantee we’ll continue to have good health or ample resources.

Bottom line? If you are able, the right time to start building a layout is now. You never know what tomorrow may bring.

They say that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago or today. The same could be said about model railroads.

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