Friday, September 11, 2020

Threatened By My Work Ethic

Posts here haven't exactly fallen off a cliff but there's certainly been a slowdown of late. Partly it's that I don't have a great deal to talk about right now, particularly where gaming's concerned. A lot happened in August but now September's here we seem to be moving into the usual period of post-summer consolidation before the inevitable next surge of activity in November and December. "More of the same", while very welcome for regular gameplay, doesn't offer up quite as many topic hooks.

Another factor, somewhat counter-intuitively, is the lockdown. Which, of course, we don't officially have any more. Except we kind of do, in a way. 

You'd imagine that an extended period of enforced home-stay would lead to more games being played rather than the other way around and for the first few months that was indeed the case, not least because there wasn't a whole lot else to do. By the middle of June, though, my workplace had technically re-opened and by the middle of August activity in and around the center of the city had returned, if not to normal, then at least to something that might be mistaken for it at a casual glance.

I, however, have remained at home, my services not yet required. This had a strange psychological effect on me. I began to feel I ought to be more productive, use the time better. 

It's true that I have always liked to be busy. I describe myself as very lazy, which is true if you define laziness the way I always have, namely only doing things you neither need nor have to do. Given the choice, I'll usually spend my time doing things that are entirely pleasurable rather than those that are entirely necessary.

There's a lot of crossover between the two, though. There are quite a few things that need doing that I find I quite enjoy, once I get started. It's the getting started that's always been the problem. I'm very good at doing things that really have to be done now. Not so good at getting to the things that also need to be done, just maybe not quite yet.

Last year was a bit of a dry run for 2020. I had a great deal of time off work then, too. Around six months altogether. The big difference was that, then, I was quite ill. Being ill means not being able to do all that much and not caring, either. Well, it does with me, anyway. 

So last year I really did play a lot of games and write a lot of posts. I played the heck out of World of Warcraft Classic, for a start. This year I've done a lot of gardening, decorating, renovating and general round-the-house stuff. Nothing on this scale but a lot for me. And I've played games and written posts.

I think, though, that at the moment I'm probably playing video games for fewer hours every day than I have for twenty years. As far as regular gaming goes, I'm down to doing not much more than dailies in Guild Wars 2 and Overseer quests or missions in the two EverQuest games. All of those together take me a total of maybe an hour to ninety minutes, scattered across the day.

It's very much not from a lack of interest, enthusiasm or enjoyment for the games. It's much more from the significant satisfaction I'm getting from doing other things. Before sitting down to write this post I was up a fir tree at the end of the garden, sawing the branches off. And then the trunk, or some of it. I've done quite a lot of that sort of thing these last couple of weeks.

All of this might be about to change because yesterday I finally got the call to come back in to work. I start again next week. 













I was very much in two minds about the prospect before it happened. I was half expecting to get to the end of the furlough scheme and then find I was being made redundant. Had that happened I would have been happy enough to treat it as enforced early retirement and gone with it.

I still suspect that may be the eventual outcome if we get a bad Christmas, which we very well might, but for the time being I'm quite surprised to find I have some limited enthusiasm for returning to the old routine. 

My favorable feelings, I have to admit, are significantly enhanced by the fact that I'm only needed two days a week so far. We'll see how it goes but I suspect that having two days at work and five at home will remove all of my (very) low-level discomfort with being paid to do absolutely nothing and replace it with a conviction that I've done my whack and the rest of my time's very justifiably my own.

Which could mean I play more games, not less. Certainly on the days I work. I won't be doing anything useful when I get back, that's for sure. I'll be surprised if I can stand up. Mindless grinding may well be about all I can manage.

It also means I won't be posting anything on those days, either. Probably. Unless something happens that can't wait.

The upshot should be a move to four or five posts a week rather than the almost daily schedule I've been keeping since March. Which days I post might be a bit less predictable. Not that it makes a lot of difference. Just thought I'd mention it.

And now I have, so that's that!

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