I Couldn’t Be Happier…

Yeah, I’m aware I haven’t posted regularly on this blog for what seems like a phenomenonally long time by now.

Truth is, I feel like I’ve been struggling with routines over the past few months.

There are set things I do every day at specific timings. I do them, I get them done, I even enjoy doing some of them when I’m doing them.. and then after that, I’m left feeling a little… empty, with just a niggling worry in the back of my mind that I’ve left other things to fester because I don’t have sufficient hours in the day to prioritize doing them.

My whole life right now feels like one repeated routine after another.

I wake up. I engage in assorted morning rituals of toothbrushing and breakfasting and getting changed to go to work. I go to work.

I return home. I watch a TV show. I have dinner. I spend 30-90 minutes in GW2 depending on how much energy I feel I have, usually completing the daily cycle or attending Triple Trouble or visiting my home instance or crafting up time-limited materials or harvesting nodes in a set, regular pattern. I spend another 30 odd minutes in Trove filling up the daily star bar playing through one set of repeated dungeons or another.

Somewhen between this, I’ve been trying to squash in a regular habit of exercising for 15-30 minutes, preferably multi-tasking it in between game routines.

If I have any time or energy remaining, I squeeze in another hour or so of playing another game, usually something new on Steam or Minecraft. (Blogging, what’s that?)

I go to sleep. Repeat 6-8 hours later until the weekend.

This is undoubtedly a comfort to people who enjoy a highly structured existence, but personally, I feel like I’m a few degrees away from climbing the walls or gnawing off my arm.

Except that seems like too much trouble, so better to continue in my zombie-like cycle of drudgery and rinse and repeat… *brain melts*

I’m not exactly sure -why- either. I’m not 100% certain that it’s routines or lack of change to be blaming. It -could- simply be that there’s a lack of challenge or lack of anything new or novel that prompts learning or adapting that I’m craving subconsciously.

(Except that I -have- taken up a new exercise hobby, though I only have time to pay attention to it on the weekends, so it’s slow progress there. Too slow, sometimes, leading to impatience.)

It’s not that I haven’t been purposefully trying to incorporate something new or challenging in what I’ve been doing lately.

  • I spent 3-4 days playing Technobabylon, after nabbing it when it went on Steam sale. (Great game if you like sci-fi cyberpunk, by the way. Wadjet Eye makes very enjoyable adventure games with interesting characters and a solid enough story.)
  • I finished the “reach fractals level 50” challenge some time in the first week of October. (After which, all my motivation for doing further fractals evaporated like ice in a volcano and I stopped.)
  • I’ve broken routine now and then to have nights out and have a tasty dinner at a nice restaurant with others.
  • I even managed to rearrange my GW2 inventory to some degree, making space in my bank to accomodate the anticipated need to swap Ascended gear sets between characters, come the expansion.
  • I made a very simple pen and paper template for noting down trait builds, and a half-baked plan for accumulating more Ascended gear, after anticpating that I might have to swap characters between direct damage zerker, condi damage sinister, and maybe support/healing or tanky or control (been thinking about zealots or settler or nomad stats.)
  • I bought some RPG ebooks from Bundle of Holding, plus have a collection of nonfiction ebooks that are ready to be read whenever.
  • I picked up Tales from the Borderlands just the other day and was quite entertained playing through three-quarters of the first episode.

I’m slowly learning that I only like stuff from Telltale Games whose themes resonate with me. The comedic cynical corporate/cowboy cel-shaded theme is faithful to the Borderlands franchise and I’m enjoying it a great degree more than the hopeless quasi-realism nihilism of Walking Dead.

(Mysterious/supernatural/superpowered noir detective atmosphere of Fables? YES. MOAR PLS. No-win political/sexist brutality of Game of Thrones? Likely to be a no, unless on 75% off someday.)

Somehow, despite all this, I still feel vaguely… stuck and aimless.

Like I’m going in circles.

One cycle after another.

The scary thing is, when I ask myself, “Well, if you’re not happy, then what -do- you want? If you tell me, we can fix it and add it as a goal to strive toward.”

The answer comes back, “I dunno. I don’t really -want- anything right now. I’m happy, I guess? I’m content?”

Drives me nuts, I tell you.

Life is okay right now, but weirdly, I don’t seem to be (entirely) okay with that.

Nothing else to report for the moment. Maybe that’ll change when Heart of Thorns releases.

Or maybe I just can’t muster the energy to care about minor things like that when it’s just a game that I’m choosing to play, like any other.

(eg. It’s distinctly obvious that there’s going to be a move towards Ascended gear being the new baseline. Presumably there will be more opportunities to receive it as a reward in the coming days.

I can’t quite summon up any passion to either complain or comment, I just feel more like shrugging and shutting up and making my Ascended gear and continuing with playing the game until I one day get tired of it.)

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8 thoughts on “I Couldn’t Be Happier…

  1. Izlain says:

    I think everyone can relate to this. Sometimes you just need something new to excite you, but then it surely becomes just another part of the routine or gets wiped from your attention entirely.

    I don’t know that there’s a fix for this. Life seems to be a series of hype cycles.

  2. bhagpuss says:

    Everything is just a distraction from the inevitability of death, isn’t it? The better you’re able to distract yourself, the “happier” you are. Sometimes the old distractions lose a bit of their power and new ones are required. Not sure HoT is going to qualify on that front. Not. At. All.

    I hope you’re wrong about Ascended. I am not moving up from Exotic unless either the cost of crafting it (both gold and time) is slashed by at least 75% or it becomes as easy to get through other means as Exotics always have been. If we end up in a game where Ascended gear is required to do normal content then I am out. Lots and lots of other great MMOs to play. Also Mrs Bhagpuss is finally making noises about having had enough of the way GW2 is going – her continuing dedication to the game accounts for more than half of my own ongoing interest – maybe a lot more than half – so if she stops, I’ll stop. And be happy to.

  3. Helena Khan says:

    Do you have a long term goal? Running the hamster wheel is a lot more tolerable if there is a specific end in mind. FYI – if you think it’s bad now, wait till there are children involved… free time? Whats that…?

  4. Syl says:

    You could try something new that’s also incredibly easy and comes for free!!! …..joining twitter! 😀

    (I actually mean that, joining twitter was one of the best things I ever did in terms of different media inspiration and discovering more fun stuff. Ive taken up some books again recently thanks to twitter!)

    As for the rest, it sounds like you’re too content to be happy. That might sound strange but contentment and happiness are two different things in my book, or well call it fulfillment. I can relate to that personally, I get very unhappy when life/work becomes routine. I have every reason for contentment but happiness still needs to be pursued. Happiness is not a state of being despite people saying that they ‘are’ happy. That’s my personal experience.

    ……

    There is actually an established theory in work motivation psychology called Herzberg’s two-factor theory: basically Herzberg postulated that attaining satisfaction is not a linear, one-dimensional process that goes from dissatisfaction —-> satisfaction. Instead, he established both “not dissatisfied” and “not satisfied” as two extra states between the two polars (so there are now 4 stages). The two dimensions he named “hygiene” (created by things like salary, job security, good infrastructure etc. = extrinsic) versus “motivation” (created by things like challenging work, responsibility, recognition etc. = intrinsic).

    Now, this means you can be content with a job because of hygiene factors but still be demotivated because of lack of motivation factors. A majority of people probably work that way and never get access to a motivational position that offers deeper fulfillment. You could say they are content with their work but it doesn’t make them happy.
    Likewise, you can be in a challenging position with motivation factors present, yet not be satisfied because of low pay or sucky colleagues (low hygiene).

    The theory is an improvement of Mazlow’s pyramid of human needs which is too linear to capture these complexities. Needless to say, Herzberg can be applied for life in general, not just work.

    ….sorry, are you still there? 🙂 hehe.
    If that sort of thing interests you look it up sometime, I found it quite helpful for myself and my own work.

    • So strange, but I find myself backing up Syl here. Hated Twitter (or so I thought), finally caved in last Monday and find myself weirdly attracted to it. Not sure how to describe why. It’s like FB (which I barely use), but then people actually post *interesting* stuff. And so many people have accounts for their main in-game character and are so enthusiastic about gaming, it’s kind of contagious! It’s quite unique that you can connect to those players (and potential readers!) so directly.

      For the rest, I envy you! As a young person with a chronic illness, there’s never enough productive time in which I can do what I want. I’m constantly lagging behind on everything and don’t know how long I can keep it up. Carpe diem!

  5. wolfyseyes says:

    You couldn’t be happier..but only because you’re not sure there’s another new level, right? I get it, yo.

    For what it’s worth, comfort and contentment can be nice but also the death of desire. I’ll parrot others in saying that even a tiny adjustment to the routine once in a great, random while can make that comfort more appreciated. It’s easier to count your lucky stars when you’re not always surrounded by them.

    Hope you’re feeling alright overall, though. Digi-hugs.

    • Jeromai says:

      Thanks for the hugs! Things have been boosted greatly with the launch of Heart of Thorns, in that I no longer feel like I’m treading water waiting in an endless fashion, though we’ll have to see what happens once I haveta get back into the ol’ cyclic work routine again.

  6. […] never covered this game as much as I liked it. It got a little throwaway paragraph in 2015 where I noted I consumed it in one stretch of 3-4 […]

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