Balance

May. 6th, 2013 04:45 am
goldkin: snoooooooww! (snoooooooww!)
One of the biggest constants on my mind is living up to my full potential. This is, by and large, why I journal: it keeps me honest, and it keeps my thoughts flowing instead of sitting cramped in the back of my skull.

Perhaps most importantly, this journaling brings me balance, by helping me make sense of my emotions. I am a very emotional creature, prone to moods and intuition based on emotional cues and priming. This often leads me to strong emotional biases, which I often spend hours alone trying to understand and unpack. Through writing, I am able to give those emotions better context with which to work, relieving negativity, emphasizing positivity, and sharing my thoughts to keep them grounded in reality.

I think I need a bit more than this, though, for that last bit. Especially in the professional sphere, I'm hoping to find a mentor: someone with whom I can share my thoughts, sound off when I don't feel entirely confident in my abilities, and receive the occasional suggestion, brief lecture, or assignment from when they're more competent with a desired skill than I am.

This is possibly asking too much. But, it's a relationship I hope to cobble together with time and practice, potentially out of interactions with multiple people, sources, and media (like this journal).

It seems strange to wish to cobble together one's own mentorship. And yet, I see this as a desired state for me. I feel that I am a student of this world, and that I have much that I can learn from others. I'm simply trying to find better ways to listen.

(Author's Note: this was written while sleepy on an iPhone. As such, this may contain clerical errors or inconsistent content. In those cases, you have my most bashful apologies.)
goldkin: paradice avatar (paradice avatar)
Today, I picked up my last star in Super Mario Galaxy 2, after a week of effort.

It left me with a profound sense of calm. The final challenge, which itself took 50 minutes to complete, left me feeling I'd achieved something nigh impossible.


This feeling persisted until I read my play time: 29:25:41. Only then did I realize, I'd just spent thirty hours on a single video game in one work week.

I'm not sure why games do this, but my hypothesis is simple: game euphoria is highly addictive to me. This is the same problem I've had in the past with MMOGs, and why I swore off World of Warcraft before release. I maximize on the sheer enjoyment of play, at the expense of sleep and just about everything else. Spoilers and speedruns don't fix this problem, either.

Now, I don't intend to stop gaming cold turkey. My addiction is equally responsible for my greatest successes - why I became a programmer, how I learned to code, why I've been Slashdotted for one of my projects with Second Life, and why my problem solving skills are terrific, despite not doing my research. I simply need to give them a rest.

My conclusion is that I should avoid buying new games for a while. I intend to take the next weeks to relax, fall into a more regular schedule, and hopefully catch up with my art and writing again.


But before I do that, I'm curious if anyone has thoughts on managing game addiction. Specifically:

What are your strategies for balancing enjoyment over time, instead of cramming it into single, long sessions?
How do you balance your library of new purchases with your (work, life, social) schedule?


And most importantly:

How do you balance the positive euphoria of achievement, without getting addicted?

--
Also, I'm way too good at Mario games.

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