The 9 O’Clock Hour

9:00 p.m. is a special time of the day for me.  It’s by then that my entire family has trundled off to bed, leaving me in silence and with complete freedom for the next three hours (or less, or more, depending on how tired I am).

Don’t get me wrong — I love my family.  I adore spending time with them.  When they’re awake and home, you’re much more likely to find me on the floor playing with my kids or sitting with my wife and talking about the day.  But I still need my alone time, even though it’s gone from seven or so hours when I was a bachelor to three now.

Typically, this is when I game, although not always.  I used to be a lot more rigid with my schedule in forcing myself to play MMOs even when I wasn’t in the mood — just to get my money’s worth, to continue to progress, to not fall behind my friends.  Now, I play until it’s not fun, and then I set it aside.

Sometimes it’s a very social gaming period, sometimes I’m off by myself doing my own thing.  Occasionally I’ll try a new MMO or single-player game (like Civ V as of late).

But the cool thing is that I don’t feel beholden to gaming and nothing but during these hours.  A lot of time all I do is write and catch up on my blog reading.  Sometimes I’ll head to bed early and unwind with a book, a TV show or a game on my iPhone.  It changes from day to day, but the overriding rule is that I do whatever feels least stressful and most enjoyable during the last waking moments of my day.

It really does help.

5 thoughts on “The 9 O’Clock Hour

  1. Wilhelm2451 November 11, 2010 / 7:23 pm

    Right there with you. By 9pm the kid is asleep, the wife has something on the TV, and I can play or write or surf in peace for a couple of hours. It is almost better than sleep some nights.

  2. Syl November 11, 2010 / 7:51 pm

    I’m a nightowl myself and the late hours of the evening are my preferred time to unwind in fron of the PC, maybe play a little WoW but also surf webforums, check emails and of course get to blogs and blogging myself. there’s something soothing about the nightly silence that engulfs you 🙂

  3. Malcolm November 12, 2010 / 4:09 am

    Usually I’m right with you on that..

    But tonight was Trion’s Gamer Day for Rift. Too much fun, drinks, gaming, cheers, discussion.

    And yes, the game is great 🙂

  4. PeterD November 14, 2010 / 12:45 pm

    Wow, 3 hours? I consider myself lucky to get an hour or two these days 🙂

  5. CrazyKinux November 27, 2010 / 2:00 pm

    Well it appears I need to find some sort of medication for my 4 year old, cause on some evenings she is still signing and popping her head out of her bedroom by 10PM. Unless, we both play EVE? Maybe she could be my Alt Gopher? Will need to think this through….

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