IXI FalcoN1,045,499 (626,320)USA

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IXI FalcoN

IXI FalcoN's Blog (24 followers)

PermalinkMy name is Falcon and I used to play video games.
No this is not some sappy "I'm quitting" blog. In fact I would love nothing more than to do the opposite. This is a long overdue rant about why I'm barely around anymore.

Here's a typical day in my life.

Wake up at 7:30AM to help my fiance tend to the zoo. You see we have a LOT of animals: 3 large dogs (2 Akitas and a Border Collie/Lab mix), 12 birds, 2 adult rabbits (with babies on the way), 6 snakes, 3 leopard geckos, a 36 gallon fresh water aquarium, and a box turtle that she found in the woods that now lives on our porch. This takes the 2 of us at least an hour in the morning to feed/water and spot clean any messes in their habitats. Longer on reptile feeding day.

By 8:30 I shower and get dressed for work and leave by 8:50. I thankfully only live 5 mins from work or I'd be waking up even earlier.

Work M-F 9:00 to 4:30. I used to have more down time in earlier years to hang around on TA, Neogaf, and elsewhere but I've taken on more and more responsibilities so now it's relegated to lunch time and maybe the last 15 mins of the day.

I drive home at 4:30 and let the dogs out for potty. Top off their food and water afterward and spend a little time with them. Then I spend the next half hour doing small chores.

By 5:30 I'm cooking dinner for us, she gets home from work around 6, but her hours fluctuate so sometimes I get a little time to relax. We eat, I clean up, pack away leftovers, and start spending time with her. Sometimes we go out for dinner, depends on our mood. We don't have any kids and money isn't tight so why the hell not.

So after dinner by 7ish, we do what my fiance likes to do. We play what she wants (Skyrim as of late, with mods, so no achievements for me), watch what we wants, or go where she wants. She works as a full time vet tech (that's the vet version of a nurse) for anywhere between 8 to 12 hours depending on the day. Her job is way more stressful than mine; she's on her feet all day, has to deal with asshole animal owners, asshole dogs and cats that sometimes bite, scratch, and bruise her, help with surgeries, and deal with high strung coworkers and doctors. And on a bad day she may have to euthanize someone's best friend (or 2).

So she earns her down time at night. I don't mind doing the bulk of the house work for her, but damn if it doesn't cut into my free time. She typically goes to bed at 10 (sometimes earlier if she had a rough day). And if I'm not exhausted myself, I'll game then for a couple hours. About half the time I just go to bed with her and repeat the next day. That's my M-F life.

She works every Saturday too, usually 7 to 1:30. That's my sanctuary and where the bulk of my free time in the week is. After she gets home we usually take the dogs to the park and hang out with friends that night. Sunday is "our" day, where we try to do as little as possible around the house and just spend time together. Sometimes I squeeze in some extra gaming time this day, but it's not often.

And that's my week in a nutshell, rinse and repeat.

Pretty stark contrast to how I lived 5 years ago. Alone in a small apartment, going to classes, and hanging out with friends or gaming for 8 hours straight like a bum. I was lonely, broke, and didn't have much to my name. But I had a LOT of free time. Too much; I tended to wallow in my thoughts far too often for my own good. Now I sleep with a hot woman every night, make decent money, have a house with a lot of stuff, and barely any time to enjoy it all. Thank God we're not having kids. I tip my hat to you parents out there that keep it together, I would lose my damn mind.

I like my life. It's a good life and things could be far worse. Recent hurricanes for example have stripped people of everything but the shirts on their backs. I just wish I could have some more....balance. I struggle to motivate myself to wake up to the rat race each morning knowing it's a coin flip if I will have more than 10 mins to myself that day.

Any of you guys relate? And how do you deal with it?
Posted by IXI FalcoN on 13 September 17 at 15:47
SpeleoFool Ha! Can I ever. :-)

So, in real life I play "engineer," and a couple of times in my career I've landed on projects that have been just stupid about schedules. One, for example, was so hopelessly mismanaged that it was going to take down my whole department; I managed to rescue it, but that meant nonstop 80+ hour workweeks (even broke 100 once, just so I could say I did it--real life achievement, lol). My life was literally nothing but programming and naps.

More to the point, life has to be about balance. You can, will (maybe even should) be out of balance from time to time, but if you stay like that it will wear on you. And the more that happens, the more it brings down you and everyone else around you.

My time on that "Project from Hell" was by choice. Ironically, it was gaming experience (GRAW) that gave me the confidence to know I could rescue that sinking ship. And I chose to accept all the consequences of that slog for the sake of rescuing my coworkers and gaining the experience from trying. And then I left that job, took a year off and walked back into way more $$, lol, but that's another story.

I learned a couple important things from that experience. First is that you always have choices. Maybe not good choices, but you always have the nuclear options. I could have quit. I can walk away from just about any terrible situation and start fresh from a new angle. The fallout might be severe, but if the alternative starts to feel like slow suicide, is that really any better?

The second thing I learned was perspective. I suppose it's really a consequence of the first. But in a nutshell, take care of yourself. I'm constantly self-monitoring for how I'm feeling. Tired? Get more sleep. Anxious? Stop doing whatever feeds the anxiety. Unfocused? Stop working! Take a break and come back refreshed, so I can be productive.

I like to think age is a part of it, and certainly that project from hell opened some doors for me, but I'm no longer concerned about saying no to people, or telling them what I need. "Sorry, didn't get very good sleep last night. I'm going to cut today short and put in extra hours either tomorrow or the next day when I get my rest back on track."

Same thing plays into my gaming habits, family time, etc. It's how I decide whether I'm going to focus on quick completions, long and fun games or chip away at my backlog. It's how I decide if my evening needs to be personal recharge (i.e., gaming) or time with the wife.

So, after so many words, if you're feeling out of balance just communicate that to your hot woman and let her know what you think you need to do about it, then take a little time for yourself for the good of both of you. It's how you can bring your best to a relationship.
Posted by SpeleoFool on 13 Sep 17 at 18:43
OLOT So I was driving in to work today and the entire time I was thinking about your blog. What to say, should I chat, should I post, etc, etc. When I arrived at work I read what SpeleoFool wrote and all I can come up with now is that I'm not following that.

Well said Sir!
Posted by OLOT on 13 Sep 17 at 19:36
IXI FalcoN I've tried this whole time on and off to form a long coherent response and, big surprise, can't find the time to finish and now my thoughts are scattered and all over the place.

So short version, I'm starting to communicate my needs better at home and at work. So far good results, feeling a little happier about things. It's a start.

Thanks for chiming in guys, much appreciated toast
Posted by IXI FalcoN on 27 Sep 17 at 14:31
planting42 Well, I can't relate to having a 'life' with regards to family or a significant other kicking around... but between my 12-8 job, volunteering for a living history group, volunteering on TA, running GTASC and being housebitch - I have little free time for gaming. Something has to change pretty soon here or I'm going to go insane.
Posted by planting42 on 24 Oct 17 at 00:31