Has anyone NOT listened to their system for a long time?

As I went to the basement (i.e., listening room) the other day, I happened upon the Hem "Departure and Farewell" lp leaning up against the LSA Statement amp. I had been testing whether I could get rid of a slight distortion I was hearing through the VPI HW-19 Mk 4 turntable -- testing back in late August. 

I hadn't really made the time for any serious listening since then. Is this normal? I have two children - a 3- and a 5-year old, and a full time teaching job. So my evenings are filled and by 10 pm I'm ready for bed.

Has anyone else ever NOT listened to music via their system for a while? If so, why?
I think it can be normal, as most audiophiles do have lives that require attention.
I find that I don't listen nearly as often in the summer, as household chores, golfing, vacation, family gatherings, on top of a 50-60 hour work week can make listening time scarce.

My main system is in my living room downstairs and I have a secondary system (much less expensive) in my office upstairs.  I have gone months without turning on the main systyem where as I use the secondary system daily.  The reason is my wife is always watching TV in the living room and since I have the other system upstairs I figure, why bother her.  I take comfort in knowing that when I do turn the main system on, I will be flooded with good music.
Thanks for the replies to both of you. I sometimes wonder during these long stretches of not listening, whether I'm slowly fading away from the hobby. That's an arresting thought, too.
Going for long stretches without listening has certainly been normal for me over the years. As much as I love listening, life happens and listening gets set aside. Sometime I just lose interest, too. Then I'll get that spark back and become very engaged with my system and my records. I've found it works best for me to just go with my flow. Whenever I've been away from listening for weeks (or months), I always come back with renewed enjoyment.
@acresverde https://www.amazon.com/Departure-Farewell-Hem/dp/B00BDSRC7C

Beautiful composed, executed, and produced indie-folk a la Innocence Mission and others. Hem is a Brooklyn-based project that's been around for a decade or more.
Yes because of an unenviable place due to a mean spirited divorce.  She got the house I got garbage.  Lest you think I am kidding you- I asked my son to retrieve my preamp, he did so when I was led to believe that the audio was mine.  She is keeping the rest of the gear even though she doesn't even realize that she can't play it. It goes on and worse from there.
Barring actual uncontrollable events or conflicts (theft, extended travel, legal seizure, prison, etc.) the amount of time that one chooses to spend listening to MUSIC is a direct reflection of one’s priorities. The question of “Why I don’t spend more time listening to music?” is an important one that should be asked more often by “audiophiles”. I don’t like the over-broad umbrella of Audiophile because it includes both equipment-o-philes and music-o-philes. Two different camps with different motivations that derive their audio satisfaction levels differently yet are grouped together under one broad definition and whom I often see talking past each other and they often don't even realize it.
Yes, when it gets too cold in the basement and when I choose to listen to new music on the PC - YouTube (T-amp/13vPSU, Wharfedale Diamonds.) Or when I watch music DVDs of live gigs on my projector rig. (EICO HF35 tube monobloc amps, Spendor SP2/2 speakers.)
For the last year I guess I turned my system on nearly a dozen times - sad but true. The reason is I'm living in a small apartment and I have a one year old baby. The living room, where the audio system is, is the place where the baby (and everyone else) spends most of the time. There is no chance of listening to music on a proper way. Anyway, we have plans to move to a bigger house where I can have my own space - my man cave!
In the meanwhile, I've been upgrading the system and buying music as an investment for my near future. And I've been listening to new music a lot more through my headphones on my way to work (Radio Paradise is my companion along the rides).

I like the distinction "music-o-philes vs equipment-o-philes".  Yes, I have been caught listening due to an improvement in sound, but this also gets me interested in my music collection again, which can become somewhat stale over time---until a breakthrough in sound quality re-engages me in new depth and enjoyment.  There is no end to improving a good system with small changes.  

I often turn on the (tube) equipment to warm it up, then don't get around to listening.  Have to be in the mood.
There is nothing wrong in audio as a hobby  That means that I like gear and what it contributes to a sound I think I desire.  When enjoying my equipment I don't listen the pink noise or test tones. I started out with a portable "transistor"  AM radio. It wasn't long after till I got a LLoyds all in one receiver turntable,.  I wanted something better and louder almost immediately..  The rest is longer story.
I haven’t listened to my system in months, I don’t know how many? Maybe 6 months, and I have a brand new pair of Magico S5 Mk2 speakers! The reason is pretty simple; I’ve had a lot of crap to deal with at work which has left me drained and demotivated. That’s life sometimes. But audiophilia is like your favorite jumper...it might go out of fashion, but you’ll find a reason to throw it on again.

Life crowds in sometimes, and storm clouds gather. But your hifi system is like a best friend...it will be there when the sun shines again..
I used to listen every night but the newborn has taken all my time so it's tough.  I hope to finish my secondary system in our family room so that even if I don't listen in my dedicated room, I still get good sounds.

my secondary system is based on the Sonus faber olympica 3.  The main is based on the BW 802D3.
Everybody’s different. That’s all I know. I love my music, but life also happens. If music is on all the time, are we actually listening or just hearing it.  I prefer for my listening sessions to be a choice rather than a habit.
I have considered myself an audiophile for about 60 years, seven years ago I moved to an apartment, my system has been in storage for five years until I bought my new house two years ago, the new sound Room I have is about one third the size of what I am used to, because of that I have been losing interest , I listen about 1 to 2 hours a month so it’s time for something simple. So now every couple of months I put some equipment on Audiogon. It is time to build a nice train layout.

@thefile ha-ha. Half the basement/ listening room is also taken up by an extensive Thomas Train table the boys love. 
I think these situations were the major contributor to the success of Bluetooth speakers and sound bars.

Pretty sure I have everyone here beat by a country mile. Haven’t listened to my main system in.....4 years. In 2012 I moved in with my ailing mother to take care of her as she had numerous health problems. I brought a modest audio system with me that was mounted on the dresser in my bedroom but I rarely listened to it.

Sadly Mom passed away in April but she is finally at peace and no longer suffering. After settling the estate with my sisters I’ve decided to relocate from the east coast to the great American West. Sunday night I hit a deer 10 miles east of Limon, CO on I70 and it did extensive damage to my Pathfinder. By the time it gets fixed old man Winter will have rolled in and it will probably be too late (i.e. snow & ice) to look for work and find a place to live.

I have a Lavardin IT and a vintage Linn LP12 with numerous upgrades (Cirkus, Majik, Lingo2) in storage that I’ve never listened to. So it could easily be 5+ years until I get settled and am able to hear my music again.

I guess I should count my blessings though. 200 people a year are killed by deer collisions. I got lucky. The music can wait.
I'm young and have no externalities which influence my listening habits, I take breaks too. Not from music but from listening to it on the main system. I have it in mind that I have to actively take interest in listening to an album for it to be worth playing through the stereo. The funny thing is my stereo hasn't seen much use for the music I actually own in over a year, its been on music discovery duty this entire time which says all that needs to be said really.

I am in the process of building my reference system;

it has been 10 years since my last owned system. Luckily, the past 5 years has been a labor of love traveling for work and enjoying visiting dealers/retailers to obtain ideas for putting together said reference system. This kind of break is therapeutic and allows one to gain more focus into the music, IMO.

Happy Listening!

Breaks are good. In fact, I think they can save your enjoyment. Around 2000, I found myself getting frustrated that I couldn't get time to listen to what I wanted, when I wanted, as loud or soft as I wanted. I had to make concessions on equipment placement due to WAF... or really, not WAF but BSF (Baby Safety Factor). I finally realized:  I'm getting frustrated because my life situation (which, mind you was part of 'the plan' and I was/am SO blessed to have it) was precluding my audio habit. In normal english? I got married, a job, a gigging musician, one kid, then two, then three - I'm living my dream! but wait - audio was actually FRUSTRATING me because it, like everything, requires time and mental dedication. So?? I sold all my equipment, put up LP's that I wanted to keep, and got something which would be 'lifestyle oriented' - a set of decent 'cans and an iPod (durable, small, discrete). You see - I want to participate in things 100%; so I put it on hold/hiatus/quit with no excuses, and it wasn't competing for time with something that doesn't need competition. 15 years later, I jumped back "in the hobby" and this time - my equipment is better, I'm enjoying it, and my oldest (15yo) has watched me put the system together, enjoys 'highjacking' my listening time (LOL - if he comes in to the listening room with something to play, I NEVER say no, but I do make him listen to something of mine :) he usually digs it). I hope this helps some of the readers who probably are as "100%" in life as I am.
My wife and I took the "trip of a lifetime", three weeks in East Africa, including an incredible safari!  Three weeks away from my "man cave" is probably a record amount of time!
I have to admit that I too have turned on a tubed amp to warm up and ultimately never played anything when it was ready to play.
I too now have an apartment, I am using headphones which has made me more comfortable in terms of decency towards the neighbors.   However I  don't like using headphones very much, despite having  pretty good tube dedicated amp and cans.  I guess I could buy $3,000+ headphones and a $4,000 amp but really don't think that's the problem. (nor am I that flush.)
Finally and most sadly is my hesitation to develop a system that can use internet derived material, where a lot of good music is.  The Headphone community uses a combination DAC/Amp in many case and costs can be quite reasonable. Since I have an amp all I need is the DAC.
Please excuse the lengthy crying in your beer!
I an not one who has to have music playing all the time. Background music is not necessary. For me listening to music is a unique experience, as is taking a hike, reading a book, seeing a movie. It is that experience which has drawn me into this hobby. 

I listened to my primary system in my dedicated audio room probably 3-4 times over the summer.  More so in winter. I have a secondary system which I setup and play on my deck outside over the spring, summer, and fall months. However, when I wish to have a focused music experience, off to the 'man cave' I go. 
@mechans This is exactly how I feel (minus the neighbor influence)! I, too, am hesitant to add on to a system with a music streamer. Why, I don't know. Am I a reluctant old fart? Probably. My DAC has a USB input that I've used maybe once or twice from my laptop. Problem is, I simply don't have enough stored files - except on my phone and those are mp3's.

If I'm going to go into digital streaming, then I want a hi-res sound.
I guess I'm like everyone else. I have no child obligations, but I work, and sometimes I'll listen every night for 2 weeks in a row, and then skip a nigh or two because I fell asleep in front of the TV, or simply wasn't interested that night. Then there are 1 week lay-offs occasionally. Like another poster said, I don't let it worry me, I just go with the flow.
I dio notice that I have a spike in interest when I add a tweek or other upgrade to the system.
Wow all this talk about young kids and lack of being able to listen make me think of getting a vasectomy!!!!

These are the things that have competed with my listening lately.

Listening or watching to MSNBC’s entire evening of shows- lots of drama to catch up on.

A new Girlfriend - we listen to My system but it’s often background music when eating or engaging in other activities! (See my first comment)

I often like listening late at night but got a complaint after a particularly late and loud session so that has damped a bit of enthusiasm. (I recently rented out my next door unit to some young guys who’s system I hear - annoying EDM bass- but I don’t have the heart to tell them to turn it down since it only for an hour or two per day)

Recently I have gotten into pinball and bought an Addams Family pinball machine to play (and Do repairs on)

All that being said the system has never sounded better, so I really need to get back into it!
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I am currently on my second self-imposed long-term break from my system and I HATE it! First time was for several months when we put our home up for sale. Boxed it all up and put in storage so as not to offend any potential buyers' delicate sensibilities. This time I've been away on business for two months, and likely two more, at least. Tearing out my hair as this time I don't even have access to my music, let alone my gear. UGH! 
Seriously, in a case where we have a music lover with a great sounding system and it does not get used, time to perhaps embrace modern technology rather than scorn it and consider all the options available these days for great sounding music anywhere anytime. Taking the plunge on digital streaming of music is the first step. The world is your oyster from there.
I do like to hear my music, but from time to time I am working abroad for a few months and even up to a year. For that I have used secundary systems with speakers like the legendary LS3/5a or now the Harbeth P3ESR, but restrictions on air travel luggage make taking these rather harder/more expensive. So recently I have used a Tivoli Radio Two, fed from my laptop (with a little Behringer UCA 202 DAC). It made me perfectly happy even if I was well aware of the sonic limitations.
Prior to retirement listening was restricted to weekends. Now it' unrestricted and my system plays 12 hours a day most days when I'm home. Critical, make me smile, listening occurs about 3 hours daily in the evening with a glass of spirit of choice for the day. I think that' what they meant when they wished me a happy retirement.
I’ve gone in and out of period of audio fever. It was highest when I got heavily into high end audio in the 90’s into the early 2000s. But then I did a long side detour into flat screens and then home theater. With bursts of listening to high end, with some purchases, in between.

For the last 6 years or so, it’s been routine for me to view at least part of a movie in my home theater almost every night.  But a couple years ago I got bit again hard by the audio bug, bought some Thiel 3.7 speakers, and then some others, and I’ve been listening to music constantly on the system. My movie watching has had to take a back seat as I can only accommodate one obsession at a time :-)

Getting back into vinyl has also kept me interested in listening to the system. Not sure how long this current fling will last, but I’m enjoying it.

Yea, just went 4 days and cranking tunes now, sounds awesome. 4 days is a long time for me, just can't get this monkey off my back.
I've been down since the beginning of December. A blown transformer on my new to me Wright wpp200c phono pre. It's been a good break, reading again playing with my kid, helping my wife more with the little things. I think I and my family are better for it. Looking forward to getting the rig fired up again but with a balance now. I have been a little concerned that the fire is abating but with the purchase of a few little inexpensive isolation tweaks in the meantime that I'd been meaning to get around to I'm excited again to get it all going. 

This is the truth. I usually listen anywhere from one to four hours of *different* live recorded music every day. If I miss any particular day for whatever reason I have withdrawal symptoms. In my mind, missing even one day is a long time.
Last night, I turned on my stereo for the first time in weeks due to some unforeseen circumstances. It sounded marvelous !!!!!