Make at least 10 blog posts during January. Play and write about two games for #PuzzleGameMonth.
- Get at least two more characters to level 70 in World of Warcraft.
- Get the Loremaster of the Dragon Isles on at least one of my alts in World of Warcraft.
Participate in the group Humble Choice review. Play and write about at least one game I bought during December.
- Make a post about co-op game night.
Read at least four books. Watch at least one new-to-me movie. Watch at least one new-to-me season, series or mini-series. Finish reorganizing my crafting area. Do at least 2500 stitches on any current project or combination of current projects.
I feel like I did pretty good this month for how un-focused I was feeling. When it came to playing games and blogging, I mostly just did whatever felt right at the time, and I made a more determined push towards my other goals. Mostly, I’m happy with how it all shook out – I managed to keep myself from feeling overwhelmed while also avoiding decision-paralysis problems.
I expect that I’m probably pretty close to being done with Against the Storm, at least for awhile, but it dominated my January game time, with over 100 hours played. I’ve put well over 150 hours into this one since I started playing it late December, and although I’ve already turned the difficulty up once (something I rarely do in games), I don’t feel a particular need to make it even harder, so I think I’ve just about gotten what I can from it.
I expect my World of Warcraft time would have seen a dip this month, even if I hadn’t been enamored with another game, but the dip likely would have been a bit less, and I might have even met one or both of my WoW-related goals this month. I’m not upset about it by any means – I feel like I’m still playing enough to make the subscription cost worthwhile, but I’m hoping to find a better sense of pacing than how I’m currently playing.
Starbound was a one-and-done, we tried it out on co-op night, and neither of us much cared for the experience. Instead, we started up The Survivalists, which definitely has more than its share of flaws, but is still a pretty enjoyable co-op experience.
Everything else I played in January for any significant amount of time was either for the group Humble Choice review, or for #PuzzleGameMonth.
Gaming Related Spending
I mostly threw my money at other hobbies this month, which was a nice change. I did buy the Wadjet Eye bundle on Humble, and picked up a couple of games during Steam’s recent Base Builder Sale. I also grabbed a couple of companion pets for WoW at the beginning of the month that I didn’t have and that were leaving the store. When you add my Humble Choice and World of Warcraft subscriptions, my total gaming related spending for January was $78.
After a slow start, I ended up finishing five books this month, although I was lukewarm on most of them. The exception was In My Dreams I Hold a Knife, which I found myself reading a chapter or two of every chance I got until I finished it. Two of these books I picked up because of their associated TV adaptations, but I still find myself mostly picking books by whatever sounds good in the moment.
Although I didn’t manage to get myself away from re-watching things this month, I still managed to catch a few things that were new to me.
Firstly, despite owning the entire series on DVD, I had never actually watched the entire final season of Sanctuary, which I have now remedied, and I appreciate the fact that the show didn’t go out on a huge cliffhanger. Then, on a whim, I binged the entirety of Panic on Amazon. It’s only a ten episode series, and it definitely lends itself well to a marathon watch. Amazon decided against making another season, which honestly, is probably best. It was a complete story, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing a limited series that doesn’t drag on into ridiculousness.
I managed to make a bit of time to squeeze in a movie, and I decided to go with Escape Room. I walked away with very mixed feelings. The puzzle design in the game was pretty impressive, but man, everything else about it felt mediocre. The acting was hit-or-miss, the plot was threadbare, and if you’re the type to struggle with a suspension of disbelief, it’s better to just skip the whole thing. There was almost nothing in the entire movie that felt even slightly plausible.
Logically, I realize that I’m just struggling a lot with this particular pattern, and I haven’t lost interest in the hobby itself, but this project is dragging on forever. I’m unwilling to abandon it, however, so I’ve been telling myself to just do 100 stitches every day. Some days, that’s all I can handle. Others, I end up working on it for twice that or more, and then there have been a few days where even that felt like too much, so I didn’t force it.
Sometime over the course of the month, I managed to eke past the midpoint, and although I expect this will take at least another couple months to finish up, I’m not longer questioning if I’ll be able to finish it.
However, I’ve been working on other types of projects that take far less concentration. I’d gotten away from yarn work because although I enjoy the process, and have no shortage of supplies to work with, I’d gotten tired of finished projects just piling up. I’m in a weird place with most types of crafts in that they are strictly hobbies, and I doubt that I’m proficient enough anyway to sell my work for anywhere near what I should based on material costs & time spent. I’ve also been doing it long enough that I’ve gifted many projects to family and friends, and I just don’t know what to do with any of it anymore.
The scarf I’m currently working on, though, that one I’m keeping for myself. It’s a fairly basic stitch, but a really lovely yarn.
I’ve also started playing with diamond paintings again, which are typically not very impressive when finished, but super meditative to do, and I’m okay with them being solely about the doing, and less about the having at the end.
Diversifying in this way means that no matter what kind of day I’m having, there’s something enjoyable I can work on, and I think that’s helped me get past some of my winter doldrums & frustrations.
I know we’re only a month in, but so far 2023 seems to be about figuring out how much space I need to make for myself for the things I enjoy, and what level of rigidity works best for me. It’s a process, but this feels like a pretty solid start.