As I alluded to before, I’ve been struggling a bit with seasonal depression this year. Nothing super serious, just “feeling blah” more often than I normally do. And while stresses at work and the long winter have played into it, I started to suspect that part of it might be an imbalance in my life’s priorities. Sometimes I unduly lean on games and other geeky hobbies to provide the enthusiasm and passion for me to get through an otherwise drab day, which starts to elevate those hobbies into positions of increasing importance.
That’s not good when those hobbies are already a tempting alternative to other things that should be important, and so I’ve been taking an audit of my schedule lately and started to shake things up — and put certain activities in a more confined space. For example, it’s been so easy to come home from work and want to veg out in front of a computer game than spend time with my kids (all of whom are homeschooled). I’ve been very convicted lately that as much as I do spend time with them, I need to be investing more of myself in their lives. My wife and I have been working to carve out more time for each other instead of being frequent ships-crossing-in-the-night as well.
So I’m definitely cutting down on gaming time, pushing it firmly back into “only after everyone’s asleep” territory instead of how it’s been creeping into other hours. I’m looking for ways to be doing more with my kids, taking them along on chores, playing more card games, or going on walks with them. Just being more “present” than I’ve been is important to me, and I’m making that one of my big goals for 2023. Is it too late to set resolutions, in March? Oh well, I’m doing it anyway.
I think it’ll also help to introduce more variety in my week. For example, I’ve been reading a lot less in the past few months for no reason that I can identify. I need to get more “sun time” out of the house, weather permitting. And I’ve gotten back to my long-neglected novel, which needs another editing pass.
While I like gaming and can point to some positive outcomes of spending time in MMOs, it’s not the savior of my life or the purpose for my existence. I have to keep it in its place and focus a little more on the things that have an even greater impact on me and others.