I’ve been wanting to write a post here for a while – well, a few posts, actually – but it just hasn’t happened for various reasons and so now you all get a pointlessly long ramble as I attempt to mind dump all the various things that have been going around and around in my tiny, little mind.
If there were a theme to this ramble, I suppose it would be balance. How I don’t have it some areas and am trying to get it worked out in others and how, even when I think I have something balanced, I tend not to.
Balance in Gaming
This is a gaming blog first and foremost so let’s start there. I’ve never been the sort of person who plays a lot of different games all at the same time, so having two MMO’s to keep track of has been a challenge. Despite the fact that I’m not even trying to evenly split my time between WoW and SWTOR, I still am finding it difficult to pay attention to WoW as much as I would like to. I can’t tell if this feeling stems more from the fact that I’m not meeting my few in-game goals (more on this in just a moment) or because I was so used to giving WoW all of my gaming time that it just feels wrong to only be setting aside a night here and a few hours during the week there.
Thursday is my WoW night since At is typically out fencing and I find it easier, somehow, to play when he’s not around. I can’t shake the feeling that he’s looking down on me for playing WoW still, though in my rational moments, I know it’s not the case. One of my goals is to finally get a rogue to level cap, so I have been trying to put in some time on that, questing through EPL by very slow stages.
Thursday, I was just finishing up a dungeon when my GM sent me a tell, saying they were going to be running through Heroic Firelands again and that I was welcome to tag along if I wished. So I hastily switched over and checked out my gear on [former Alas]. I had utterly failed to re-gem following the handful of upgrades I had gotten in the last run, so I hit the AH and bought some gems and then promptly accepted the summon to the instance like a moron, without having gotten them out of the mail.
And we were immediately off and pulling again, so I shrugged and tried to not suck too much. I think I actually did marginally better than I did the previous time, though I still brought more than my fair share of derp to the table.
As we approached Ragnaros, I found myself checking the roster because surely, surely someone else was around and would take my place. There wasn’t. Texts were sent to try to rope in some other players, but there was no response and they decided to just try it.
I died the first time. And the second time. And pretty much every time. But I also got a better grasp on the bit that killed me the first few times and died to something completely different the third time, so at least I was making personal progress.
He stepped on me a lot.
Not very many pulls into it, I watched in quiet awe as Ragnaros went down and I got a thoroughly undeserved title and also some gloves.
"Welp. I feel like I really earned that."
(Also, please ignore my UI as I’ve been in need of some serious addon updating and it doesn’t normally look that crappy.)
There was some chatter after the fact about how it looked as though they might end up in there again here and there in the coming weeks and an aside about how many more weeks it might take to finish getting Seething Cinders for what I think would be the third and fourth legendary weapons in the guild. It made me glad that I never could bring myself to toss my 600 or so cinders, even though I was certain my shot at the legendary was over. Now I’m sitting at a bit over 800, feeling more than a little staggered.
And wishing I could do something to repay even a little bit of what this guild has done for me even though they have no reason to. Getting a dwarf rogue to 85 and contributing to the Stay Classy achievement doesn’t seem all that worthwhile in the light of getting to see content I thought I would never see.
I guess I just feel out of balance when it comes to gaming. Here I am getting carried by a lot of really cool people through some really amazing kills and feeling as though I have no way in which I can contribute back to them. Because in SWTOR, I am needed for raiding and I have been busting my hump to get consumables crafted for most of the guild for those raids and my commitment is there. Turns out being a peon can be tough if you want to not be a worthless peon.
Balance in Writing
Here’s where I depart from gaming talk for the rest of the wall of text, so if my more personal life bores you, here’s your exit.
I recently pulled myself together out of a spiral of:
I hate that people at work seem to look down on me because my job is menial. Having a menial job doesn’t mean I’m stupid and it frustrates me that people seem to assume it does. (I was told the other day someone wanted Two. Diet. Cokes. She held up two fingers and spoke slowly as though I am so dimwitted that I can’t count as high as two or might otherwise misunderstand her and bring her a bag of pretzels and an orange peel from the garbage. I sort of wanted to stab her, Internet. I really did.)
But I’m not proud of my job however much I enjoy having free time. It’s not my goal in life to make coffee for a bunch of animals masquerading as working professionals.
Oh. But I’m also not chasing my dreams because it’s damn hard to get a book published if you never actually buckle down and write it.
And the next thing you know, I’m feeling lousy about myself because I’m working a menial job where people think I am stupid and I have nothing to point to and say “making coffee might be what I do to make money but this, over here, this is what I do for me.”
So I kicked myself in the ass, took a page out of Cynwise’s playbook and started a writing blog (URL maybe available upon request, but I intend to not over-publicize it). The rules are that I have to write 5000 words a week (this doesn’t happen when I am sick, though) and I’m not allowed to edit anything. It’s scary as all hell to be posting fiction that I haven’t obsessively tweaked and checked, but the two people who may or may not actually be reading it haven’t cackled at me and said I suck forever, so I’m still plugging away at it.
Adding that to the writing mix has had an impact on my regular blah blah blogging. I’m having to learn to be okay with the fact that I can’t churn out content for three blogs every day or even every week. At least I am chasing my dreams. At least I am moving forward. And at least At claims to enjoy the fiction.
And at least I can tell myself I am being paid to write because, you know, I do all my writing at work.
Balance in Life
Lastly, I’ve also kicked myself in the ass (with some help from Elfi and inspiration from Psynister and Fynralyl) with regards to my weight. I have started Weight Watchers and it’s been sort of eye-opening to see where I’ve been making choices that aren’t as healthy as I had thought they were. Although I started a week ago, today, I set my weigh-in for Fridays because I figured I would need some positive reinforcement just before hitting the weekend, when I typically throw all structure out the window.
I started off strong, losing nearly 5 pounds, which is a really fantastic feeling. The weekend was difficult, as I thought it would be, but the most challenging part has been trying to deal with other people constantly attempting to undermine my efforts.
Why do they do this? At encourages me to have another glass of wine and just “use your weekly points.” We had dinner and movie night with some friends and they wanted me to do shots and have another helping of dessert because “today it’s negative points!”
The thing is, I already want to do those things and it’s sort of taking a lot out of me to be strong and to say no. So I’m frustrated with the people around me who aren’t helping (I lectured At quite strongly and he has been better but still wants me to be more flexible with things than I do) and trying to cling to the immediate progress I saw while also looking down the road and realizing it’s a long one and I am going to have to say no to a whole lot of temptations along the way.
Trying to find a balance in still being able to eat things I enjoy and drink in moderation without abandoning my commitment to myself to lose this weight has been tough and it’s only the beginning of week two.
I especially need to find the balance between cutting loose and sticking with a plan on the weekends. It’s somehow easier to remember to eat breakfast and drink water all day when those things are structured around work. At home, I completely failed when it should have been easier.
If you’ve made it through the wall of text, thanks for reading. Tell me how and where in your life you’re looking for balance and any tricks you employ to meet goals. I need all the help I can get.