2010 is starting to shape up as the year I quit doing stuff – and I’m not sure how I feel about that at all.
More than that, I don’t know how much of the quitting is subconsciously influenced by Sunday’s looming birthday. I thought it was funny that I was a little bit stressed about the big four-oh — until I nearly started crying in the supermarket last weekend, and did when I got home. There have been a few other bad moments over the last few weeks – turns out, it’s a much bigger deal than I’d realised. I suspect I’m going to have a fairly hairy weekend and next week might be a bit tough too. However much I tell myself that it’s more than a little silly to be this upset – after all, I’ve had thirty nine and a bit years to prepare for it – I’m finding it hard to embrace a new decade with any sort of dignity or enthusiasm. What’s really tough is that I have, for years, considered myself to be a generally happy person – and I haven’t been for the last week or so. And I kind of despise myself a little bit for being so upset.
Anyway, that’s incidental to the post, which is about quitting things. I’ve been scaling back some of my hobby/volunteer activities, to try to carve out some time for myself and family stuff, but it hasn’t really worked yet. Of course the remodelling (best word I can come up with) at home isn’t helping – there’s always a bajillion things to do – but it’s progress towards a greater goal.
I had hoped that the big trip last year would give me a break from all my commitments, but I found I spent a lot of time feeling guilty for spending time relaxing when I had promised to do something for someone. And when I was asked to do more, my automatic reaction was to say oh yes, of course – instead of um no, on holiday now. My fault entirely, but it did mean that the “holiday” was, if anything, extra stressful for me, once I had to manage everything for the family and co-ordinate our travel and sightseeing as well as all the usual stuff.
Stuff I have scaled back
- Brettspielwelt – on-line boardgaming site. I was the “Mayor” of a town there, and have tried to play regularly, managing that better some times than others. As of the end of February, I will step down and just be a regular citizen. I hope to still find time to play, as I have invested quite a few years in setting up and managing that town and I don’t want to walk away from that.
- Boardgames Australia – I have been on the best children’s game jury but have stepped away from that so I can concentrate more on the events that we want to run in Melbourne. So not really scaling back but rather redefining and refocussing my effort instead of splitting it.
- French class – doing an hour and a half a week this term, instead of three.
Stuff I haven’t (yet) scaled back
- Boardgames Australia – still co-chair, still involved in general activities
- Boardgamegeek – still an admin without portfolio / general go-to person
- School – still doing an hour of games with year 5-6 each week. This term, 23 kids (19 boys) signed up for my group (that’s 20% of the whole year level!) – but I spoke to the teacher and we are going to split them so I have 12 this term and 11 next. Fortunately, I already have a curriculum. And bits (and a very basic game design) to take in for the session on making games – 3 groups to present back on what game idea they have come up with. Components are a piece of paper (card), 7 Meeples in rainbow colours, and a blank cube. My idea later.
- Work – still notionally working 4 days a week, with less than 3 full working days in the office. 8 hours I need to make up each week.
Stuff I have taken on
- Organising a major game purchase for school – setting up a game library. At this stage, I’m writing recommendations – then, I’ll do demos to teachers at each year level and later teach the games to staff (and kids?)
- Running for school council – I ran last year and was unsuccessful. Will try again this year but if not successful then that’s it.
- Remodelling thingo. Builders coming Friday or Monday to finish off the corridor and screw in the shelving. We put out our DVDs today and they don’t all fit on the 6 BENNO shelves. I can see room for 3-4 more in the living room but am trying to restrain myself. I already have plans for Phase III and suspect that won’t be too far away – for one thing, I suspect we’ll need the storage!
My big fear is that I will give up all my interests and still have no time to do stuff. Fraser gets annoyed with every new thing that I take on, but I can’t imagine not doing those things. Meanwhile, the kids complain that I never play games with them, but they never do the things that need to be done at home in order to be able to sit back and enjoy games – and when they do suggest a game, it’s usually already half past bedtime and a bit. Being the responsible one kind of sucks sometimes. I’m hoping the new bedrooms will help there – no more “but it’s not my mess, it’s HERS!” might start to reduce the amount of stuff I (don’t always) do around here.
Meh. There’s my big bucket of gloom for the day. life sucks and then you turn 40 which sucks even more. So have a double helping of misery with that whine.
On the upside?
- I learned how to say bungee jumping in French class tonight.
- My kids are both asleep in their own rooms, and looking gorgeous.
- And the filled DVD racks look pretty awesome.
my idea for what to do with the components (pretty dull but it only took 5 minutes) – draw a track on the paper, maybe 10 spaces long. The object of this co-operative game is to move each piece into rainbow order – so red on space 4, then orange, yellow, … all the way up to indigo & violet. Colour opposite faces of the die blue, red and yellow. To move, players roll the die and then choose which piece to move **in either direction** based on the colour rolled. If you roll yellow, for example, you can move yellow up to 2 spaces or green/orange (mixed with yellow) up to 1 space. If you land on a space that is occupied, you jump ahead to the next occupied space. If that would take you off the end of the track, everyone else moves back to make room. (Weirdly, I also know just how to brand this game to make it a massive seller for girls 4-8 yrs old & maybe even a little older. MASSIVE. Hasbro & Mattel, you should call me. International licensing opportunities abound.)