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EndOfAnEra

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  1. Wow, so it has been a crazy 3 months or so. My second kid was born, I had a month off of paternity leave and am now back trying to catch up and get back into the mindset of the job. So the big question is, am I gaming? Yes. Yes I am. I am definitely not gaming as much as I used to (other than Picross on my phone). But I am still playing video games on my consoles. Heck, I even just got the SNES mini yesterday. I definitely want to keep my gaming in check and will continue to use the methods and discussion here to make sure my time playing games is reasonable. My biggest issue still isn't really playing games, but more so buying games and adding them to the "backlog" (i.e. shelf candy). A big thing to help with that would be staying off of gaming sections in forums and youtube since that gets you excited for an older game or new game coming out and then causes you to buy it even when you don't have time in the near future to actually play it. So my long term goal for now is to keep gaming, but keep it in check and if that doesn't work out then I can take more drastic measures. Spend less money and maybe even start to offload some games I know I will not play given the amount of games I do want to play and the amount of time I actually spend gaming. Also, when I stopped playing games, I went a little under a month (just a little over 3 weeks).
  2. Thanks for the reply. That is something that I am consciously thinking about. Is my desire to want to play in moderation, or play immediately as I did have some urges last night as I was winding down with work, something that I am convincing myself that it will be alright? Is it that voice telling an alcoholic "one beer won't hurt"? I don't know. I don't really consider gaming an addiction, more so just am habituated to gaming as a method of winding down at the end of the day and escape from stress, and the pre-occupation issues are a symptom of other stressors in my life (mostly work and stress from that). My time away from gaming is to free up what little free time I have for self improvement. Hopefully, working on things like diet/exercise/sleep can help with the brain fog and increase focus. Hoping things I get from self improvement books like organization, self control, and stress reducing techniques can help with my efficiency at work. I am just always stressed out right now, which makes me blow some tasks out of proportion, so then I lose focus and dread it instead of just doing it. Which then leads me to taking longer to actually do it, which means I work extra time just to keep up with my base workload, which takes from my free time at home, which causes more stress, and spirals from there. I start to resent things and my mind becomes pre-occupied with things I'd rather be doing, it just so happens to be gaming currently since I haven't concentrated on other hobbies since after my kid was born (guitar, cars, etc.). A section in The Slight Edge talks about having the weight of unfinished tasks occupying your mind and holding you down and causing stress. That is huge with me, simple stuff I could do in 5 minutes, ends up sitting on my mind for weeks and causes unnecessary stress. Thats why I am hesitant to go full abstinence from gaming forever, and am using the 90-day detox as a tool for self improvement hopefully to increase other areas of my life. Don't get me wrong, as I wrote previously, I do not want to have gaming as my main hobby or "gamer" as my self identity. So I do plan on cutting back drastically because I won't have enough time to game like I used to while incorporating exercise, reading, exploring possible other career paths, family etc. I am hoping as I get back to my normal "rock star" self when it comes to my job, my personal time will free up and I will have time to work out, read a chapter of a book, spend time with the family, and then get some appropriate amount of time playing a game when everything else is accomplished. But I am looking at my urges to game in the meantime and think: "do I really just want to play that game, or am I looking to avoid doing tasks I am putting off?" Or maybe I am addicted and this train of thought is the "manipulative self" working against me... haha. But I don't really see it that way. Oh well, doing the detox either way and will re-evaluate at the end. If I lose all interest in gaming, so be it, I'll sell off my collection and have money for something else. If I go back to gaming in moderation and still achieving my other goals first, then sounds like a win-win. If I try gaming and it spirals out of control, then I know I do have a problem beyond what I thought and I will have to say goodbye to gaming.
  3. You got this, keep it up. Just make smaller goals and get excited for those. Don't just look at the end goal, because that will be daunting. So break it up into 10lbs or 15lbs goals, give yourself some credit. You probably didn't gain the weight in just 300-600 days, so in the grand scheme, taking that long to lose it isn't all that bad. Just don't prematurely rest on your laurels and get off track, don't get complacent as you mentioned on the previous page.
  4. Is it your particular job/company? Can you start looking for another job? Or do you need to sort working on a new career route? If you are tired of gaming and/or it is causing you trouble, then start the detox. But it sounds like you either need to find a new job, or to work on your stress management so your job won't bother you so much. It sounds like this is a newer job since you said you put in your two weeks notice at your old job back in January? Why not try another hand at the board game you were doing that kickstarter for? Also, I planned on going to MAGfest after just catching the last day the previous year, but I was moving that weekend and sold my ticket. Looked at the line up of speakers and wasn't too impressed anyway (sorry, just read your previous comments on this page to get some background and noticed that).
  5. Day 13: Watching E3 is not a good idea. Oh well. Still not planning on playing games for the 90 days, but have a list to play once it is over. Had a good weekend away with the family. Beach time and whatnot. Was planning on doing some work over the weekend, but just took the hit for last week and will just make it up this week. I really need to separate home from work and give myself time to relax. Maybe that will help my efficiency during my working hours to get even more done. Been keeping up with my diet pretty well. My pregnant wife really wanted pizza today, I only had 1 slice (usually would have had 4 right away and more over the next few hours). I am down 3lbs or so. Which is a good rate if I can keep that up. 2lbs/week is my goal. I definitely am having more urges to play and am rethinking some of the thoughts I had on video games and playing them: like feeling that it is an extension of extended adolescence. Not feeling so negative about playing games anymore, however, I still have negative feelings with putting it over time with family, exercise, reading/self improvement, or letting it pre-occupy the mind and affecting work and whatnot. So basically, after the detox, I will see if I can do it in moderation with little pre-occupation as a goal. Otherwise, I will have to quit for good.
  6. Day 6 - 7 recap: Work has been a struggle. But I still think I make it a bigger struggle in my head than it truly is. I need to relax a bit and just take things one step at a time and not worry if I am not perfect. I stayed up late working each night. Last night I was up until 1am working and when I came to bed my daughter woke up and my wife and I had to take turns sitting in her room with her until 5am, so we are both worn out. Day 8: Its 8pm, so I will go ahead and do a quick recap. Today has been ok, work mostly. I wanted to work out but done think I will get a chance. I just finished dinner 1/2 an hour ago and am doing intermittent fasting until tomorrow around noon. So I probably won't work out since I can't take in any more protein. I will probably be working late, at least until 11:30, maybe later. I have a lot of work to finish tonight/tomorrow as we are going out of town this weekend and will not get a chance to work over the weekend. I haven't really had the urge to play video games really. I did have a few urges to play solitaire or a crossword app on my phone. Instead, I have been reading on my quick breaks. I am feeling better about gaming, in the sense that I don't have the urges to fire up a console or PC game. However, I know that I need to show my control to myself, so I won't crack. I just am having some optimism about moderate gaming after the detox, though I won't make any decisions until that time.
  7. Welcome! All it takes is the first step.
  8. Keep it up! Ya, I am glad I quit soda a couple years ago now. Though I drink a lot of seltzer water instead, same carbonation but not corn syrup/sugar or caffeine. You got this.
  9. I have small urges here and there to play video games, but I don't have much free time anyway, so it hasn't been a big deal. The biggest urges to fight are the small time wasters like solitaire or crossword/sodoku on my phone (small in concept, but huge in wasting time). Day 5 recap: - My day at work as a disaster from the start. I had a very short turnaround assignment tossed on me that threw a wrench in my planned workload for the week. I need to work on not letting things weigh too heavy on me. I usually overstate things in my head and make a big deal out of it, and then end up procrastinating or losing focus rather than just taking it one step at a time. - I ate like crap. Had a lot more carbs than I planned - I didn't get a chance to workout - I read a bit during the day on breaks, but didn't read at night like I usually do because I stayed up late watching youtube videos on diet/exercise - didn't take care of any other small tasks like I hoped Day 6 goals: So my day started out better, I have concentrated on my diet so far and have kept my carbs low: thinking of following a ketogenic type diet, mostly just keep my carbs below 30g and my protein high enough, ~1g/lb of lean body mass. I did keto last year for a month or so and lost nearly 15lbs, 1/2 that probably being water weight from lower inflammation, but still. I also to in 25-30 minutes of exercise, about 22 minutes hitting the bag and another 5 or so doing some body weight and dumbell stuff. So I am feeling better overall than yesterday's lack of progress. For the rest of the day: - get done with this short term assignment at work and start on the next I planned to - keep up with my eating - read at least 1 chapter - go to sleep at a reasonable time I just have to keep remembering to do the easy things, because they are easy not to do and add up over time.
  10. Ah, I consider that more of a puzzle than something to fidget with while you do other tasks. Fidget toys are something almost mindless that just occupies one of the threads in our CPU... err..brain.
  11. The 90 day detox sounds like a good idea. As you saw from your 2 week breaks, you slide back into old habits pretty easily. That is you just being human, gaming has just been wired into your brain in that way just like any other hobby/habit would have. Nothing to get down on yourself about. It does sound like gaming has become a habit and not as enjoyable anymore. So maybe it is time to move on from gaming all together. Or maybe doing the detox (or longer) and taking some self improvement steps will get you to a point where you could game in very controlled moderation and enjoy it again. As long as it could remain in very controlled moderation, otherwise quitting all together may be in order. If something isn't enjoyable or is harmful to your life goals and/or relationships, then why do it? As far as lunch breaks, why do you have to do anything? You could just eat your lunch and stare off. There is meditation. Or bring a book with you. Or you could set up some reward systems, where you only do something like check your social media or watch something on your phone on your lunch break, especially if you had a productive morning. There is also Respawn and you could do some training with that on your break. I am most of the way done with The Slight Edge, which is a book that I have seen recommended here. It isn't rocket science or anything that you haven't heard before, but it reinforces the point of taking the first step and repeatedly taking the next step, no matter how mundane, until you reach your goals. It hammers the point into you. It also reinforces that failing isn't a bad thing as long as you learn from it and course correct to get back on the path. So if you do fail and play a game on your detox, while it is not good and shouldn't merely be shrugged off, it shouldn't be dwelled upon and you get back on path and move forward to your goal. So I would recommend reading that if you are looking for a book to read on your break. Welcome and good luck!
  12. I'm sorry to hear that it makes you feel that way. Either way, think of it as a tool, it is here when you need it. However, don't let it make you feel stuck or bad about yourself. You aren't a loser, you chose a goal and are working your way to it, nothing loser about that. Whether you quit here or not, keep up the good work and just focus on what you want in life and work your way to that, not matter how hard or mundane it may seem. Having that accomplishment at the end, especially if it is somewhere you want to be, makes it all worth it. People in real life may take some time to adjust to your new direction, especially if they are gamers like the friend you mentioned in the previous post that got you to play COD. That's ok though, Rome wasn't built in a day. Just keep working your way to your goal one step at a time. Some people may never be a positive in your life, so you will learn to either cut them out of your life, or at least compartmentalize them in a way that you don't expect much mutual value from them in respect to your goals (especially true with family members sometimes, people you don't easily cut out of your life). If you have been gaming with people for years but haven't expressed your interest to quit or concentrate on other pursuits, it may seem out of left field for them. They may push back at first, especially if it makes them self conscious about their own gaming habits. Give it time and if they don't come around or aren't interested in doing other things with you, then you know what is up. I was reading in The Slight Edge yesterday about course correction, and how small failures or steps off the path will happen. Don't let it get you down, just do what you need to correct your course and get back on the path. So don't feel bad about playing the COD, just recognize that fleeting feeling experience you got from it and use that as motivation to not game the next time it comes up. You're doing good, keep it up. If you need to quit here, just know that you can always check back in to get a boost of morale or write out your own thoughts out to help process them. This shouldn't be a burden to you, but a tool to help you on your path to meeting your goals.
  13. Thanks Cam, being present is definitely the best way to put it. While I know my wife never had any complaints about my gaming (except maybe my lack of sleep and bright screen at night whenever she woke up), I knew that with my mental pre-occupation thinking about when I will be gaming later, I wasn't 100% what I wanted to be. An internal shame. Days 2, 3 and 4 recap: On day 2 I worked and then we went to have dinner at our friends' house. One of my other college roommate's was there, who I rarely get to see, so that was nice. He is someone I always talk with about setting times up once or twice a month to do some online game for an hour, but it just never happens. After college we would all get together and play through a campaign in Left4Dead or L4D2, however that hasn't really happened in a couple of years. He did get a Switch when I did, but was going through some career training these past 3 months and he never got a chance to fire it up, he intentionally avoided it so he could concentrate on work. Now that he has time to play it, I am going on a 3 month hiatus, ha. Funny how that works, oh well. On day 3, we dropped my wife off at a friend's house because she was going away overnight for a girl's weekend with a group of her friends. So my daughter and I spent a little over a day with just the 2 of us. We had fun, and she had a good day since I ended up taking her to a train fair, then buying some toys, and ended up buying her a tricycle we have been meaning to. It was a good day, and it was nice having some time with just the two of us for longer than usual. I think it is good for a child's development to have more 1on1 time with different people in their life, especially between the parents and probably including grandparents too. It allows them to test different boundaries and get different perspectives that they may not when both parents are there (I mean in that moment, not advocating for 2 different households). Having time with each parent separately for shorter spurts and then together most of the time is probably the healthiest balance as they learn and grow. On day 4, we woke up, watched a movie, and went out for food. Then it was time to pick up my wife. It was kinda of funny, one of my wife's friend's husband got upset with my wife's friend because they took a little longer and went out for food, and through miscommunication he was expecting her home earlier. Apparently when she got home, after they talked it over, he ended up playing a video game. While I know him and he isn't really a "gamer", just someone who has an xbox and plays periodically... there was just some irony there that I, the gamer, was totally chill on the one weekend in a blue moon that her and her friends wanted to get some time away. We then came home and I ended up mowing my lawn, which took me 3 hours. After 2 hours I was hungry and wanted to quit, more out of boredom than being tired. However, I looked at the weather forecast this week and it called for rain every day. So I thought back to The Slight Edge since I am currently reading that, and figured I would just trudge on and get it done, one step at a time, literally since I use a push mower (though it has the self propel feature, which helps). After I showered, we ate dinner, and then it was bed time for my daughter. That is usually when I would go back down and play video games and get some "me time". However, I went straight to my bed and read 2.5 chapters of The Slight Edge. I am now at 70% according to the Kindle, so will be done with it tonight or tomorrow I'd assume. Then it is on to the next book, I am thinking Jocko Willink's Extreme Ownership. Day 5 goals: - have productive day at work: I can't rely on working this coming weekend since we will be out of town, so need to be working at 110% efficiency - workout: I am thinking 20 minutes of hitting the heavy bag - read: hopefully get another 10-15% of The Slight Edge finished - help pick up somewhere around the house, even if just 5 minutes, keeping up with my kid is a job unto itself - take care of some bills, etc.
  14. A big part of me likes being a "gamer", even for the aspects outside of gaming. Like the culture. However, I don't want to be stuck as a gamer because it is just what I always did or that I don't have the focus or control to do anything else. And part of me does see being a gamer into my 30's as an extension of adolescence, which is a bit shameful. I can't see a man my age in the 1930's caring about video game characters... like Mario or Link or Yoshi. They moved on from their childhood penny novel heroes. I know worrying about stigma is kind of stupid, but if it is a stigma I feel myself but forget to just apply it to myself, then it is something to consider. Another part of me, sees how my focus and clear head has all but disappeared in recent years. The constant inability to focus on what I need to do instead of what I want to do makes things hard. So cutting back on the dopamine rush and trying things out like meditation and mindfulness are needed. Another, even bigger even, part of me doesn't want to be overweight so I stay healthy and am as around as long as possible for my wife and kids. And that means even more to me than games. The other night, my daughter woke up and was scared (her imagination has increased greatly in recent weeks, so i can only assume she may be at the age of having nightmares). So I was in her room comforting her and telling her that I am here and not to worry, and that made me think "I need to get in shape, every hour of video games takes away from an hour of working out, or meal prep, or sleep" because I need to keep that promise and make sure that I am "here" for my family.
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