I’ve been though a few decades of this (42 + years), had a son who became a ham and is no longer one, have a grandson who has won book prizes for youth day participations but no interest, actually I think it’s the influence of ouma!!!
Actually ouma hates the hobby for what it maybe does to me, I become very mission driven. You see I use QRP 99% of the time with simple wire antennas. I spend hours perfecting the right combinations.
Recently very involved with building CW transceivers which I believe every ham should be capable of doing.
There should be a purpose to it all. I spend hours in preparation like on Saturday, various configurations and propagation opening it’s own roads, just for one brief contact and the XYL see’s that “driven” attitude … a will to succeed. The battle is not always won … but sometimes it is …. it gives me strength to fight the next.
Yet, my young grandson can sit for hours browsing the Net, watching You Tube …. complaining if there’s a “mother-buffer” while using Kodi and video streaming.
If you want to be a ham and stay a ham you must be prepared for the worst, a battle …. the greater the battle the greater the satisfaction when won but few stay to see the end …
That’s why I promote RaDAR, it’s the purpose thing that drives me and with each outing I come back having learnt something new.
Totally without further energy, like being through an adrenaline rush – yet few understand why …. yet they know I’ll be back in a day or two.
It’s not about the contacts, the ragchews (for me anyway) it’s those brief moments of success attempting the near impossible yet it is possible if the mixture is right.
I don’t have all the answers but certainly forums and discussion groups help. It’s a very touch and go lifestyle now, ham radio for me is touch and go too, make the contact, pass the necessary info and move on …. success.