Yes. I’ve had enough. I can’t do it anymore. I’m giving up…
…sugar and video games.
The title was so vague and worrisome, I had to go along with it. Sorry.
So, yeah, I’m giving up two things which have been with me for as long as I can remember. I will miss them both, but they have to go.
Why, you ask? Why give up things that I claim to enjoy so? What am I, some kind of ascetic? Do I even know what that means? Why am I asking so many questions? If I’m not going to order anything, can you ask me to step out of line, sir?
Shoot, sorry. Got into a loop there. Also, I’ll have a small fry, thanks.
So where do I begin? Eh, let’s start with games.
I’ve played games since the Atari, my friends. A joystick with one button, that’s right. That’s all we needed, you spoiled little punks, with your wireless gamepads and more buttons than you have chest hairs. Once holodecks are invented, I’ll be shouting “Back in my day, you had to stare at a screen to play with yourself.”
Wait, that sounds wrong. Pretend you didn’t read that.
This is my game story. Atari made way for Nintendo. Nintendo stayed, but took on Game Boy as a sidekick. Nintendo retired, leaving me in the capable hands of Super Nintendo. I bid adieu to Nintendo during my rebellious phase, hanging out with Playstation and Playstation 2 and getting into all sorts of shenanigans. I had a brief fling with Gamecube, then Wii. Throughout all this, I had a thing on the side with PC gaming. So yes, I’ve been doing this for some time.
I’m a video game addict.
Not even kidding right there. No hyperbole, no joke. I have a psychological addiction to video games. This is something I’ve come to realize in the last few years. In this time, I’ve weaned myself off of consoles entirely (dumping all your games and consoles at Gamestop is good for that). True, I bought the Nintendo DS in the interim, and also developed a stronger PC gaming habit to fill the void, but at least I was away from the consoles!
Do you know how I realized I have an addiction? When I was playing games and not having fun, yet kept playing anyway because that’s what I always did.
Let me be clear: while I do believe I have a real addiction, I also know it is not as strong as it could be. I don’t go without eating or grooming. I don’t call into work sick just to play games. I go to bed at a respectable hour and sleep for a decent amount of time (when work permits). The worst effect my addiction has is making me neglectful of social interaction. My wife has been very patient with me in this regard. I know she’s suffered. Sorry, my princess.
So knowing I have an addiction, and knowing how it affects my life, is a big reason for choosing to give it all up. Saving money is part of it, too. Reclaiming time is another huge benefit, especially with me rekindling my creativity like I have.
Now, sugar. Sugar is harder. Giving up gaming seems easier, but probably because I’ve given in and fed the addiction from time to time. Since I vowed to give up sugar, though, I’ve only indulged once, and that was a special weekend breakfast treat in the form of a cinnamon bun. Besides that, not even fruit has passed my lips on a quest into my tummy. I’ve declared yogurt my one exception because it is an important source of protein, and I always get the kind with the least sugar.
And trust me, I’ve been tempted. There have been no less than two cakes at work since the sugar fast began (a goodbye, then two weddings celebrated at the same time). I’ve seen boxes of donuts come and go, and I have to shut the boxes just so I can’t smell them. Candy. Cookies. FRUIT PIZZA, YOU GUYS. This is stuff I would have gorged upon not that long ago, and it seems like it comes at me in never-ending waves.
But give it up I must because my teeth are rotten little assholes.
Well, okay, obviously I can’t blame the teeth. They’re just sitting in my mouth, doing their job, grinding up food for further nutrient extraction. It’s not their fault I constantly supplied them with harmful materials and didn’t give them hazmat suits. I’m a terrible boss, I guess.
Pretty much every tooth is going bad. I’ve already had thousands of dollars in dental work, and I only foresee thousands more before I’m done. If I’m ever done. It feels Sisyphean.
So the big reason I’m giving up sugar is because I’d rather not give up my teeth. They’re useful little buggers. Saving myself from more expensive dental procedures is also something I hope for.
Damn, if you stuck with me through that long post, I congratulate you on your perseverance. Your reward is a cat with a hat.
*flops bonelessly onto the bed, preferring sleep to writing a post, but damn it, he has an obligation to his legions*
I have a very full week at my job. My hours can be pretty funky, too, so this doesn’t leave me a lot of free time, at least not evenly distributed across the week. Two hours here, ten hours there, and obviously not all of that is used for writing. Not seeing anything close to a good stretch of time until Thursday afternoon.
And no, I’m not writing this post to complain about my schedule. I’m being thoughtful here, you cretins. *sips his tea and adjusts his monocle*
Time is one of my obsessions. I covet it. Some might say I am stingy about sharing it, and they would be right. Now that I am being creative again, I monitor my time spent even more closely (though I’m slipping a bit by playing more games than I should).
I go to Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and I wonder how other authors and creative types seem to have so much time to devote to them. If I dutifully read every tweet, status, and post, and also tried to interact with them in some meaningful way with comments and whatnot, I’d have no time for anything else. I want to have as much time as they do! And I’ll do anything to get it. I mean, within reason.
*hides his laser revolver and his notebook, which is labeled “Time Robbing Plans”, under the bed before any of you notice*
Then it occurred to me: wait a minute, self, these people can be creative and social because it is their full-time jobs to do so! They don’t get up before the sun (what a lazy piece of crap, getting up to shine only when it feels like it) and work a full day, sometimes before most people even think about whether to have the wrap or the burger for lunch and decide instead on the tuna salad pizza. So don’t be so hard on yourself, self, if your social networking efforts seem paltry by comparison. You’re still an okay guy! Just very busy.
Maybe if I can make a living on my writing, I can be a better networker. If I become a better networker, maybe I can make a living on my writing. *follows some footprints, not yet realizing they are going in a circle*
Anyway, that’s it. Not the most interesting post, maybe, but I don’t have the time or energy for more this time. Maybe next time I’ll come up with something ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute.
This is the metaphor for my writing today.
What? No, not the pancakes! The syrup. Sticky, slow. Not quite as sweet. Maybe a little browner?
It’s tough, is what I’m trying to say.
*wonders if he should have made the metaphor about chewing a piece of leather*
So, I am taking a small break. Fixing up the ol’ blog here. Cleaning things up, adding some new stuff like the Twitter feed and the link to my Pinterest off to the right there. I’m also hungry, and that’s no state to write in, I say. Lunch soon, and that means Netflix time with my sweetie. We’re indulging in our love of Korean drama by watching 49 Days. It’s getting good, too. I try to limit myself to only one or two episodes a day so I don’t lose too much creative time, but it can be damn hard. I’ve always loved watching movies and TV, even if I’m more selective in my less-young age.
I think I’ve procrastinated long enough. New “Awkward Hawk” post coming tomorrow afternoon. Hope to see you here!