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Thriving - A Journal


Vee

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On 12/16/2023 at 12:24 PM, FDRx7 said:

I may be echoing @Ikar here, but based on what you've said about app restriction, moderation, and then how you've ended your post, I think you need a clear definition of what you mean by "recommit to not playing". You said you do not feel free when it is restricted, so are you looking to be free to choose to play if you want? That would be more in line with moderation. Whether you quit entirely or moderate, you'll need to find some way to stop yourself from playing because willpower is limited. I've found I am always weakest at night, despite my best intentions. That's why blockers work for me. If they aren't working for you, that's fine but you'll need something or someone to keep you from gaming during the times you've committed not to. The restriction does feel like a loss of freedom at first, but I've discovered that over time, you will experience the new use of your time as freedom. There is an adjustment period where you need to wait for the addiction to slowly fade from the forefront of your attention.

Keep at it It sometimes takes experimentation. Glad you haven't given up!

 
 
 

To clarify, I don't think I can moderate (though I always wish I could...). It's more that if I'm putting visible restrictions on myself, e.g. using a blocker, then some part of me wants to rebel, moreso than if I merely uninstall Steam and do just try to use willpower. I'm not really sure how to describe it, to be honest. It isn't logical.

...Anyway, I've continued to game for the last month. I don't feel capable of quitting right now, because I feel too apathetic about everything. At the moment, gaming is the main thing that gets me out of bed, and while that's obviously rubbish, if I quit gaming I don't feel like I've got anything else to get up for. Sometimes even gaming hasn't been enough, and I've spent most of a day just lying in bed daydreaming. Most of my other attempts at hobbies and routines have fallen to the wayside. I've semi kept up with my journalling, I think that's the only thing.

I've done quite a bit of socialising over the last month, though. I hadn't seen or spoken to my sister in 13 years (we have never been on bad terms, but our family is complicated), and in December I initiated a reunion. It was good! I have so many worries about what she would be like, but it was perfectly pleasant, and we've exchanged a couple of texts since. I also saw my Nana last weekend (again, initiated by me) who I haven't spoken to in 5 years or so. It was awkward, but she seemed to really appreciate it. Done various other bits of socialising, and I haven't chosen to game over doing social stuff, so that's something.

I've also signed up for a data analyst course that begins in February. I'm not sure how useful it will be, but it will at least give me a bit of structure, and with any luck will lead to job opportunities.

Right now I guess I need to pull myself out of my apathy a bit so I can recommit to not gaming. I know gaming itself contributes to my apathy, but despite the occasional socialising, I've been in such a haze the last month that if it's a choice between lying in bed all day vs gaming all day, I think the latter is a better choice.

EDIT: I have three main games I've been addicted to recently. I've now logged out from the browser-based one (I don't remember my password, so there would be friction getting back into it) and deleted the non-Steam one. I've also uninstalled most of the Steam games I had installed over the last month, but I've kept the one I'm addicted to, for now. Will think about uninstalling Steam, but not committing to that today.

I'm recommitting to using TickTick daily (task and habit tracker). The silly reason I haven't really used it recently is because I haven't been using my second monitor (where I used to have it up 90% of the time), so I simply forget it exists. I'm also changing various bits in it that will help remind me of alternatives to gaming and encourage me to use it more.

Edited by Vee
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12 hours ago, Vee said:

...Anyway, I've continued to game for the last month. I don't feel capable of quitting right now, because I feel too apathetic about everything. At the moment, gaming is the main thing that gets me out of bed, and while that's obviously rubbish, if I quit gaming I don't feel like I've got anything else to get up for. Sometimes even gaming hasn't been enough, and I've spent most of a day just lying in bed daydreaming. Most of my other attempts at hobbies and routines have fallen to the wayside. I've semi kept up with my journalling, I think that's the only thing.

It's OK. Quitting for good sometimes takes years, as we oscillate between being addicted, quitting and being clean. The main reasons why I quit back then were to scavenge the relationship with my X girlfriend and the realization I wouldn't be able to make a living as a streamer. I had already toyed around with browser blocks and uninstalling games by that time, so I get where you are coming from. Don't give up on giving up.

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Still gaming, but making that post yesterday was clearly the kick up the arse I needed to get some stuff done. Since that post I:

  • Talked about indoor skydiving with my housemate, though I'm waiting on him to confirm what day works
  • Went for my second jog of the year, and the first proper length one (last week did a 3K jog, today was 6K). It went surprisingly well, considering I've barely exercised in the last month - I even got some personal bests on Strava segments!
  • Did a bunch of chores I've ignored (dishwasher, laundry, bank stuff)
  • Arranged to visit London on Friday with two friends for an event (I initiated it!)
  • Booked an appointment with the opticians for tomorrow (haven't been in five years)
  • Finally ordered an electric toothbrush, which I've been meaning to do for a while but inexplicably avoided.

On the gaming front, the only progress I've made is limiting myself to one game. I don't miss the other two I was playing, at least not yet. I haven't moderated my use of the one game, but by doing the above I've at least played it slightly less today.

Something I recently implemented in my private journal that I really like is automatically linking to the same day in previous years. Since I only started journalling at the end of 2022, I get at most one entry at the moment. Google technically does a similar thing with the maps timeline, but that only shows where I was, not what my mental or physical state was. This time last year I hadn't jogged in years, and I wrote about how much my hip had been hurting. Nowadays it takes over an hour of walking/running until my hip starts hurting, instead of ten minutes, or it simply hurting while lying in bed. It also reminds me of little conversations I've had with friends. I've really been enjoying how journalling (especially in Obsidian!) assists my memory and shows a) how I've changed and b) the positive experiences I've had. 

Tomorrow's plans: since I intend to walk to and from the opticians I don't plan on running, unless I don't walk. Maybe I'll also go to the supermarket. I've completely ignored writing for about a month and don't feel up to doing any, but a friend has sent me a short story to critique, so I might do that tomorrow. I have loads of books lying around in my room that were gifted or lent to me last year, so I really want to start reading them.

My rough plan going forward is to see if I can maintain this level of engagement with the world, and then uninstall Steam next week. I know it may seem silly ("The best time is now!" etc), but I feel like I need to slowly remind myself of alternatives so that I don't end up lying in bed all day. I've been reading a little yesterday and today about problem-solving vs creating, so I guess that's influenced this way of thinking.

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On 1/18/2024 at 6:18 AM, Vee said:

My rough plan going forward is to see if I can maintain this level of engagement with the world, and then uninstall Steam next week. I know it may seem silly ("The best time is now!" etc), but I feel like I need to slowly remind myself of alternatives so that I don't end up lying in bed all day. I've been reading a little yesterday and today about problem-solving vs creating, so I guess that's influenced this way of thinking.

Solid! During my last week of gaming, and of last year, I had gone free-to-play and let a lot of the momentum in it slow down, to the benefit. - Though I've probably still relaxed too much re-reading Harry Potter. 😅

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Still been gaming excessively, but got some stuff done around it, and I've focused only on one game, at least. As it's a semi-idle game, technically that leaves me with time to do other things, but I do often micromanage it instead.

Had a good call with writing friends on Thursday, although we didn't discuss writing (I haven't written in over a month!). Went to a great dance event with a friend on Friday and I'm pleased that I introduced her to something new - she's keen to go again some time. I also got some solid reading done on the train there, and I've done a tiny bit of reading at home since - only five minutes yesterday, but half an hour today, which is something. I've been a bit better with my sleeping/eating/hygiene/chores than I was earlier this month.

Maybe it would be good to bite the bullet and quit gaming again...

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  • 2 months later...

Still gaming excessively, especially in the last fortnight.

Was stressed this month about moving house, with various complications arising and decisions to be made, but my friend and I found a place, and yesterday got confirmation that we passed all the checks. So we're moving in two weeks! It's a great flat (my housemate has actually lived in the same flat before!) in an excellent location, although the rent is an eye-watering amount by my usual standards.

With that angst out of the way, I really want to set a good tone for the new flat and imbue it with positive habits. A good sleep schedule, minimal fizzy drinks (I feel like I've drunk more fizzy drinks in the last year than the rest of my life put together...), a jogging routine (still very variable), journalling daily (fell out of the habit), more reading, more writing, and of course... Less (or zero) gaming.

I think the only real way forward is zero gaming. I will always fail at moderation. If I at least try to quit games when I move house, then when I inevitably slip up, the environment will not feel like one where excessive gaming is super familiar.

Some areas of my life are going well. I've gotten back into jogging (and the new place has some gorgeous jogging routes nearby). My data course is solid. I've done a bit of socialising, some of it pro-active on my part. Although I've obviously been avoiding loads of things via gaming, I generally haven't felt miserable, which makes this one of the better winters in my life.

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On 9/19/2023 at 1:31 PM, Vee said:

I keep my own journal on Obsidian, so this thread will be more for a sense of accountability/venting than anything else.

The Past

The first time I think I had an issue with gaming was when I was 13 (in 2002) and used to skip lunch to play games in the IT room, which continued for about two years. Throughout my 20s and early 30s, it has been a crutch. Even when working full time I would rack up 30hrs+ a week gaming, and when I've not been employed 60-80hrs is often standard. The longest I've gone without it is about three weeks, back around 2015. It's been so ingrained in my life that it's hard to really know how much it has affected my basic functioning.

I've experienced depression for a long time, which is hard to untangle from gaming. Has depression made me inclined towards gaming, or has gaming made me more depressed? Is my low functioning due to gaming, or due to depression? The obvious answer to both is that it's mixed, but I haven't really had (or can't remember) a "before" stage to truly pin things down. The first time I self-harmed was when I was 8, and I also had a weird amount of anxiety at that age (I don't broadly consider myself an anxious person). I'm not sure I'd say I became depressed until I was 15, but still had other (mild) mental issues between 8-15. I was moderately depressed throughout my 20s. I've never developed any habits/routines that are considered normal, like brushing my teeth. My lowest point was in 2021, but things have gotten better since then.

The Present

I am currently NEET by choice (I'm living off a solid amount of savings from my previous job) and in a really good position in life. I'm living with brilliant friends in a decent town and have good energy levels. While I am trying to get into the habit of feeding myself, my housemates often cook food, so it's not the disaster it once was. This year, for the first time in my adult life, I've begun exercising (I used to walk a bit, but nothing more than that), although because there was a heatwave recently I've fallen out of the routine. I've also done a few things this year which are outside of my comfort zone, such as going to a four-day dance festival.

I feel...Not depressed? Maybe? Because I have a lifetime of below-average functioning, I am still externally not great. I really struggle with forming any kind of routine, but internally I feel positive. To give an example that sounds utterly ridiculous: I didn't know what magpies looked like until this time last year. I've never been one for leaving the house much, but even when I did go outside, it was like viewing everything in the world as box-like placeholders. Birds might as well have just been moving boxes in the sky, they couldn't possibly hold my interest. I guess the usual way of framing things is like saying the world was black and white and now it was in colour, but that doesn't really portray how hard it was to register what was happening around me.

I uninstalled Steam earlier this month, didn't play for three days, then reinstalled it to play a narrative game. I uninstalled Steam again two days ago. I was falling into a pit of playing three different incremental games at once, despite telling myself that I was only going to play that one narrative game. Browser-based games are also an issue for me, but there aren't any that I am currently fixated on.

The Future

I'll be honest, I don't like the idea of setting any too strict rules on what I'm doing or not doing. It hasn't worked out well in other areas. My current rough idea is: I will avoid PC games for one month (until October 18), review how I feel, and hopefully go for a longer stretch from there. Broadly I want to avoid mobile or console games, but it's not something I'm too concerned by, as I've so rarely been truly engrossed in anything not on PC. Odd as it sounds, I don't think my brain's mental map has strong pathways for using my phone or holding a controller, even though I could literally play the same games on those platforms.

While I can fall into watching too many random YouTube videos, watching too much TV, or reading pointless articles, I don't want to be overly ambitious in my goals. I would like to avoid those things, but I am not going to be strict about them in the same way I hope to be with PC games. I intend to note when I have done these things - I want to heighten my awareness of how I am actually spending my time.

I don't want to fall into some productivity trap where I'm constantly striving for something in the distance, never content with what I have. While I would like to do some career course (I am vaguely thinking of doing the AAT for accountancy), or, even better, be self-employed, I need to work on exploring possibilities and simply learning how to enjoy things. So my goals fall into two categories. The below are roughly in order.

Foundational:

  • Primary goal: Eat three meals a day (Breakfast is the only one I'm currently good at) and do at least a tiny bit of cooking
  • Exercise at least three times a week (Running, else walking if I'm really not up for it), and try to at least do a few pushups on off days
  • Sleep hygiene - ideally go to bed before midnight and wake before 9am. For me, this tends to be about having other things aligned in my life (e.g. not being engrossed in a game, or not going to bed hungry).
  • Hygiene - brush my teeth at least once a day, shower at least twice a week or after exercise (whichever is more)

Complex (for want of a better word):

  • Journal daily, or close to. Make weekly reflection notes in Obsidian, and generally just use Obsidian more. I love the program, but I don't utilise it to its full potential.
  • Write - ideally daily. I also want to start submitting some of my old short stories to magazines, and engage more in my writing group (which I've largely ignored for months)
  • Read - ideally daily
  • Explore other potential hobbies - juggling, ukelele, hiking, volunteering, kickboxing...

Doing all of that is obviously very ambitious for someone who currently eats 2 meals a day at best and (now that I've fallen out of the routine of running) doesn't leave the house every week. As long as I've not played games and I've eaten three meals, I will consider it a good day. Everything else is a bonus. I've had some success just trying to do things for five minutes at a time - juggling for five minutes, or tidying up the kitchen while I'm waiting on the microwave - so I will persist in trying that more.

Today

Today I will look into website blocking, and use Obsidian to ponder over what goals are realistic for me in the short-term. I hope to go for a run and then cook myself rice. It would be nice to plan out the next section of my novel after that, but I might just watch TV and not pressure myself with "should"s.

Good job. Keeping you away from gaming and eating 3 times a day is a good day and everything else is a bonus as you say. Keep it up!

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On 3/24/2024 at 9:44 AM, Vee said:

Still gaming excessively, especially in the last fortnight.

Was stressed this month about moving house, with various complications arising and decisions to be made, but my friend and I found a place, and yesterday got confirmation that we passed all the checks. So we're moving in two weeks! It's a great flat (my housemate has actually lived in the same flat before!) in an excellent location, although the rent is an eye-watering amount by my usual standards.

With that angst out of the way, I really want to set a good tone for the new flat and imbue it with positive habits. A good sleep schedule, minimal fizzy drinks (I feel like I've drunk more fizzy drinks in the last year than the rest of my life put together...), a jogging routine (still very variable), journalling daily (fell out of the habit), more reading, more writing, and of course... Less (or zero) gaming.

I think the only real way forward is zero gaming. I will always fail at moderation. If I at least try to quit games when I move house, then when I inevitably slip up, the environment will not feel like one where excessive gaming is super familiar.

Some areas of my life are going well. I've gotten back into jogging (and the new place has some gorgeous jogging routes nearby). My data course is solid. I've done a bit of socialising, some of it pro-active on my part. Although I've obviously been avoiding loads of things via gaming, I generally haven't felt miserable, which makes this one of the better winters in my life.

Hey Vee, welcome back! (though the right I have to say that is questionable, because of my you-know-what as well). 

I hope it's nice to have a new commitment that is as essential as making another home to complement your journey - gaming hasn't quite dislodged me from my current one, but I recognise the danger, to be honest!

It's probably unsurprising that there are a lot of things I feel like sharing, but I will save most of that for a post in my own journal. My question is of gaming philosophy!

--> A few members have even voiced concerns over gamification of learning, and my view on gaming in particular previously expanded to include social settings - like refusing to invest energy into any kind of real-world physical/psychological contests at all. --> How do you think we might set aside a definition for the type of gaming that we really know, for each of us personally, is destructive? I can only think of 'online, real-time' or something. 

Anyways, glad to see your post, as always. Here in the South, I am gradually leaving Summer weather behind (I feel I got the most out of it even with gaming) and am going to be facing Winter. I tried to tell my Dad last week that I liked myself without gaming even if he didn't, and got little reception. It would be nice to know that I could count on everyone here for some of the months ahead. If so, I will most likely be back 'in the fray', and I invite anyone sticking around to joke with or otherwise cope in a healthy way to send me a PM! (I think it could be nice to have multiple background conversations going, if we do it right).

Sorry if I've hi-jacked a bit; you too are definitely welcome as well, Vee.

~ Matt 

 

 

Edited by wheatbiscuit
Grammar and fixes
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Posted (edited)

I only gamed for maybe an hour yesterday, then pushed myself to see a couple of friends, rather than decided I was too tired and staying in. I've gamed maybe an hour today, but ended up being distracted by other stuff. I haven't yet uninstalled Steam for a very silly game-related reason... Basically, if I just play my main game for a couple more days, then I will get better offline gains for however long I'm away. Which I know is defeating the point (and ideally I won't go back to it anyway) but oh god, I can't resist.

17 hours ago, wheatbiscuit said:

--> A few members have even voiced concerns over gamification of learning, and my view on gaming in particular previously expanded to include social settings - like refusing to invest energy into any kind of real-world physical/psychological contests at all. --> How do you think we might set aside a definition for the type of gaming that we really know, for each of us personally, is destructive? I can only think of 'online, real-time' or something. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I don't know if I'm misunderstanding your question, but I think destructive/unhealthy hobbies (i.e. something that is done in your spare time, rather than work) are ones that can fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Bring out negative emotions in us at a far greater rate than positive ones, e.g. anger, frustration, misery.
  • Negatively impacts our health or level of functioning in basic areas (eating, sleeping, hygiene) frequently
  • Negatively impacts our relationships with others, e.g. means we see/interact with people far less frequently than we need (bearing in mind different people need different amounts of interaction), how lower quality interactions, or behave in a way that is cruel, dismissive, or otherwise repels people and disrupts/destroys our relationships
  • Negatively impacts our responsibilities - e.g. with work, school, or childcare.
  • Potentially also one which is an unbalancing force in our lives, i.e. 80% of our free time is spent doing that one activity. Although I'm undecided about that if it doesn't fall into other categories.

Also, I think it has to have a frequent or severe negative impact for it to qualify. An example: I know a person who attempts "The DW" most years, a continuous 125 miles of kayaking that takes 20+ hours. On that specific day, I imagine negative emotions can bubble up, and people sometimes experience exhaustion, heatstroke and other health issues. But the training for it broadly enriches their lives - they get to exercise, socialise with their club, and see nature, without sacrificing responsibilities or sleep, except on that one day. I imagine there is a great sense of achievement when you complete that event, and it's something that most people would understand and be impressed by (rather than "I'm in the top 200 for this specific game" etc). It's something you could bring up in a job interview as an interesting little fact about yourself. But even with kayaking, people could take it too far and it might tick a lot of the above boxes.

For me, the way I game impacts my level of functioning and how frequently I socialise, and it also makes it hard for me to do anything else, because I don't want to lose time that could be spent on gaming. But gamification of learning isn't destructive for me unless it lures me into actual gaming, or I get so focused on the gamification that I'm not truly learning anything (which is usually more of an issue with the app/platform).

I would also say that there is 1% of gaming which is fine for me, namely party games like Jackbox. It's impossible to play by yourself, and I would only play it with actual friends - usually when at least some of them are in person. It acts to facilitate social situations, rather than replace them, and can lead to interesting conversations.

...That was long-winded, and I'm not sure if it was what you were looking for! 😄

Edited by Vee
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2 hours ago, Vee said:

I only gamed for maybe an hour yesterday, then pushed myself to see a couple of friends, rather than decided I was too tired and staying in. I've gamed maybe an hour today, but ended up being distracted by other stuff. I haven't yet uninstalled Steam for a very silly game-related reason... Basically, if I just play my main game for a couple more days, then I will get better offline gains for however long I'm away. Which I know is defeating the point (and ideally I won't go back to it anyway) but oh god, I can't resist.

I don't know if I'm misunderstanding your question, but I think destructive/unhealthy hobbies (i.e. something that is done in your spare time, rather than work) are ones that can fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Bring out negative emotions in us at a far greater rate than positive ones, e.g. anger, frustration, misery.
  • Negatively impacts our health or level of functioning in basic areas (eating, sleeping, hygiene) frequently
  • Negatively impacts our relationships with others, e.g. means we see/interact with people far less frequently than we need (bearing in mind different people need different amounts of interaction), how lower quality interactions, or behave in a way that is cruel, dismissive, or otherwise repels people and disrupts/destroys our relationships
  • Negatively impacts our responsibilities - e.g. with work, school, or childcare.
  • Potentially also one which is an unbalancing force in our lives, i.e. 80% of our free time is spent doing that one activity. Although I'm undecided about that if it doesn't fall into other categories.

Also, I think it has to have a frequent or severe negative impact for it to qualify. An example: I know a person who attempts "The DW" most years, a continuous 125 miles of kayaking that takes 20+ hours. On that specific day, I imagine negative emotions can bubble up, and people sometimes experience exhaustion, heatstroke and other health issues. But the training for it broadly enriches their lives - they get to exercise, socialise with their club, and see nature, without sacrificing responsibilities or sleep, except on that one day. I imagine there is a great sense of achievement when you complete that event, and it's something that most people would understand and be impressed by (rather than "I'm in the top 200 for this specific game" etc). It's something you could bring up in a job interview as an interesting little fact about yourself. But even with kayaking, people could take it too far and it might tick a lot of the above boxes.

For me, the way I game impacts my level of functioning and how frequently I socialise, and it also makes it hard for me to do anything else, because I don't want to lose time that could be spent on gaming. But gamification of learning isn't destructive for me unless it lures me into actual gaming, or I get so focused on the gamification that I'm not truly learning anything (which is usually more of an issue with the app/platform).

I would also say that there is 1% of gaming which is fine for me, namely party games like Jackbox. It's impossible to play by yourself, and I would only play it with actual friends - usually when at least some of them are in person. It acts to facilitate social situations, rather than replace them, and can lead to interesting conversations.

...That was long-winded, and I'm not sure if it was what you were looking for! 😄

Well, yeah, last year it seemed like only 1% of my time could be taken up healthily by games, and those ones were with people I knew in person - but the other 99% of daily life, I felt like I had so little sway over what happened around me and it was really disempowering.

It seems that during most places I'm at/things I do, something saddens or disappoints me, and I strongly suspect that almost no one will tolerate any voiced problem I have with those things, which is often why I've preferred checking out the little pixellated avatars and hi-scored representations of real people for so long. Usually, no one can tell that I'm checking them out any more than anyone else does.

Gaming is definitely an unbalancing force at times, but the fact that I've stayed on the same platform for over half of my life only bothers me when people are quietly but evidently surprised that I haven't got expertise across several other consoles. If it weren't gaming, it would be gardening or something, and I would probably get tired of explaining the benefits of weeding, watering and soiling to others - unlike strenuous exercise/sport.

_______________

As for any commitments to gaming, I sort of only have a 30-minutes-per-day kind of April goal (in the middle of which is my birthday, where I hope to bring up to my family why I'm still spending time on it without disparaging the efforts that they actually have managed to make - the NPD runs deep, but it's like Hannibal; discussing the symptoms and signs will probably not help matters unless with more professional guidance, and even then..). I want to be and say that I am not special, merely lagging behind socially, so that my family and others might be able to follow that lead and we may be functional once more.

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I feel like I've built up some momentum today. I uninstalled all but one game, and I probably played that one game for about an hour in total. I walked to the supermarket (possibly for the first time this year? I've been relying on my housemates getting food), read a tiny bit, attended my course, did a tiny bit of work on my portfolio, and did a couple of hours of online work that will help alleviate my angst about the higher rent of the next place. Oh, and I brushed my teeth! I also napped for a couple of hours, which is a bit annoying as I don't think my body needed it, but since I got other things done I'm not concerned.

I also ate better today than previous days. I don't count calories, but I'd guess that in the last couple of weeks there have been days where I've eaten about 500 calories, and many days where I've eaten less than 1000. Considering I've been jogging more, that's extra bad. My plan is to buy a rice cooker once I've moved, and push myself into making rice and beans. So simple for everyone else, but I have such a weird block when it comes to making food! I've told my housemate I intend to cook for her once a week. Maybe we will fix a specific day each week.

My plan tomorrow: do a couple of hours of online work, go for a jog, and start to organise my room for moving. Hopefully sort out the remaining admin for the move, though that somewhat depends on my housemate. It would be nice to return to writing, but I won't push myself on it. Just putting it here as a reminder that it is a possibility.

 

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This week has plodded along. I've played about an hour a day, although I think yesterday it was more like two hours. I don't even have my previous excuse for not uninstalling That One Game.

I went out for my longest ever jog on Wednesday (14K), although it ended up being maybe 50% walking. Still, even for walking, that's an impressive distance for me. Had a mini jog today as well.

Otherwise...I've mostly watched TV or napped. I've struggled to engage with anything else. I read for a few minutes the other day, and I also looked over my old writing notes, but I couldn't manage either for even half an hour. I haven't done much in the way of preparing for moving either, though I'm not too concerned about that. Today I Googled an interesting class I can take when I move (aerial hoop/silks), although I'll have to wait until I finish my data course. My friend also mentioned a board game club her friend goes to in the town I'm moving to.

I guess I feel in limbo as I can't start various things until I move. There is obviously still an incredible amount of things I could do to pass the time, but I'm just not interested in anything It probably hasn't helped that I've been bad with taking my supplements, so I'm probably a little malnourished. 

I'd really like to build up my ability to concentrate on reading again. Occasionally I can read long articles, but it's been a long time since I've been engrossed in a novel. I guess it's just a matter of trying to read a little each day.

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13 minutes ago, Vee said:

This week has plodded along. I've played about an hour a day, although I think yesterday it was more like two hours. I don't even have my previous excuse for not uninstalling That One Game.

I went out for my longest ever jog on Wednesday (14K), although it ended up being maybe 50% walking. Still, even for walking, that's an impressive distance for me. Had a mini jog today as well.

Otherwise...I've mostly watched TV or napped. I've struggled to engage with anything else. I read for a few minutes the other day, and I also looked over my old writing notes, but I couldn't manage either for even half an hour. I haven't done much in the way of preparing for moving either, though I'm not too concerned about that. Today I Googled an interesting class I can take when I move (aerial hoop/silks), although I'll have to wait until I finish my data course. My friend also mentioned a board game club her friend goes to in the town I'm moving to.

I guess I feel in limbo as I can't start various things until I move. There is obviously still an incredible amount of things I could do to pass the time, but I'm just not interested in anything It probably hasn't helped that I've been bad with taking my supplements, so I'm probably a little malnourished. 

I'd really like to build up my ability to concentrate on reading again. Occasionally I can read long articles, but it's been a long time since I've been engrossed in a novel. I guess it's just a matter of trying to read a little each day.

Fourteen kilometres definitely stretches out! That's the longest I've ever bothered to jog! I think It's probably better to see each of your courses to their ends instead of having started multiple to juggle. I sort of know that deal from a few attempts at goal-setting. But books, maybe some deeper browsing to find one that gets you shamelessly hooked! The last one I re-read with that commitment was Stephen King's 'The Stand'. It made me feel right in there next to the characters and the scenery. Good luck + Happy Easter Vee!

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I uninstalled Steam today.

I've spent the last few days pretty much just gaming and watching TV, as an obvious way of avoiding having to think about moving. I have finished all the moving-related admin, though I've barely started packing. I like to think of myself as someone who embraces change, but when it actually comes to big things like moving house or starting a new job etc, my avoidance is obvious. My problem is that I can't pinpoint any specific anxiety. Everything about moving is fine. I'll be with my best friend, walking distance from another friend, in a good flat, in a lovely town with better transport links. I have minimal furniture, so moving isn't much of a hassle, and I've moved plenty of times before, so its not an unfamiliar experience.

I guess I just feel more in limbo than usual. I'm not working, but I'm doing a course that will hopefully help me start a new career. I've done some online work, but I don't know if it will be a reliable way to make money. I keep thinking about installing dating apps again, but I haven't done so yet. I want to get back into writing, but I don't know what avenue to take. There are various half-baked trips I have later in the year with friends, but none of the details have been fixed.

I spent a while today reflecting on the last quarter. It's great that, due to my journaling, I can see I've made progress in the last three months. If I didn't have a record of it, I'd feel like I've just sat on my arse for three months. I saw my Nana for the first time in years, I tried indoor skydiving, I tried a dance session in London, I did various other social stuff, I engaged with my course, and I did a decent amount of jogging. I've done important boring things too - sorted out investments, went to the opticians, organised house stuff.

My three goals for the next quarter (they don't fit the SMART system, but I don't care):

1. Form a routine.

At minimum, I want to wake up at a similar time each day and have a basic morning routine, as well as go to bed at a sensible time and have a basic evening routine. A minimum morning would just be journal, eat breakfast, brush teeth, and take multivitamins. Evening would just be brush teeth and read.

Ideally, I want to structure the rest of my day so I have work-related things in the morning (online work, working on my portfolio, or sending out job applications), a regular exercise time and lunch time, spend the afternoon on hobbies/curiosities, then the evening on socialising or relaxing. I essentially want to have time slots for areas of my life, but be somewhat flexible on what happens in each of those time slots.

The main way of sticking to these is by using TickTick and journaling. Possibly I will try to wake up at the same time as my housemate so we can have a morning routine together (even if they look slightly different). This hasn't been possible before because her commute (and work obsession) means she gets up too early, but now she'll have a five-minute commute. As we'll be living near a friend who mostly works from home, I might also have more of a routine in terms of going over to his for lunch regularly.

2. Eat three meals a day

Strongly related to having a routine, but still worth thinking about as a separate goal. I don't have to cook anything extravagant, I don't even need to be super healthy, I just need to make sure I eat enough, especially after I've been exercising.

Ideally, I would also like to eat healthier, cook new meals, and cook food for others. I will probably have to experiment a bit with this, as eating four smaller meals a day might suit me better.

I hope to stick to this by making sure I have all the essentials for meals I feel comfortable making. I could bulk buy anything that isn't perishable. Once I've moved, I'm going to buy a rice cooker and steamer. I might try to agree on a specific day each week when I cook for my housemate. 

3. Leave the house daily

At minimum, I want to have a five-minute walk around the block each day, just to get used to leaving the house.

Ideally, I want to jog 5+ times a week, with a longer exploratory jog once a week. I'd also like to start trying park runs.  There are a couple of social things I'm also interested in - aerial hoop classes nearby, and dance sessions in London. I want to at least try those, even if I don't go regularly. There's also a board game group I'd like to join.

I hope to stick to this by having an exercise hour be part of my routine. Maybe a five-minute walk could be part of my morning routine. I can also walk over to my friend's house to do work-related stuff or hobby-related stuff even if we aren't socialising. Perhaps I could experiment with bringing a pencil and notepad to a cafe, although getting a drink regularly would affect my finances. For the social things, I hope to lure one of my friends to a session or two, until I feel more confident going by myself.

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On 4/4/2024 at 1:38 AM, Vee said:

I keep thinking about installing dating apps again, but I haven't done so yet.

I'll just react to this bit. Take the following for what it is: my experience. I was on/off on dating apps between ages 19-22. I even managed to start a relationship over them. Though sometimes, I easily spent more time on them than a hobby or two. Overall, I don't think it's a useful tool for people who have (or try to have) a balanced life.

On 4/4/2024 at 1:38 AM, Vee said:

Ideally, I want to jog 5+ times a week, with a longer exploratory jog once a week. I'd also like to start trying park runs.  There are a couple of social things I'm also interested in - aerial hoop classes nearby, and dance sessions in London. I want to at least try those, even if I don't go regularly. There's also a board game group I'd like to join.

I think these social outlets give you better chances to meet (and date) someone organically and with less effort.

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3 hours ago, Ikar said:

I'll just react to this bit. Take the following for what it is: my experience. I was on/off on dating apps between ages 19-22. I even managed to start a relationship over them. Though sometimes, I easily spent more time on them than a hobby or two. Overall, I don't think it's a useful tool for people who have (or try to have) a balanced life.

I think these social outlets give you better chances to meet (and date) someone organically and with less effort.

 

I would prefer to meet people at social things, but as a lesbian it's harder (though not impossible) to meet other gay/bi women organically. Once I've moved, I'll be closer to a town that has more LGBTQ events and groups, so I'll look into those.

Day 1 of no gaming

I didn't game yesterday, hoorah! I also didn't follow my goals listed above, nor did I try. My focus was on packing, and now I feel secure that I'm ready for moving tomorrow. I'm quite stressed at how little packing my housemate has done, so I'll probably help her tonight.

I will leave the house today to pick up the keys, and I should manage to eat breakfast and dinner at least. I won't put much effort into forming a routine for the next few days, but come this time next week I want to align myself with that goal.

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Day 2-4 of no gaming

Moved house! Everything went smoothly, and I'm incredibly grateful for all the help we had. I felt quite emotional at the kindness shown by loads of people, and then had an odd bout of negative feelings, which I spent a while journalling about. It's frustrating that even though I'm broadly more balanced and functional than I was in my twenties, I feel like I have more hangups from childhood than I used to.

Had a busy weekend, even excluding the move, as we also had friends from the other side of the country coming over to our new town (although staying with someone else), so we met up on all three days. My energy levels were surprisingly ok, although I couldn't quite keep up with others.

I have been craving games a little in the morning and at night, but it's not an overwhelming desire. My housemate told me about an LGBTQ bookclub in the new town, and a nearby town, so I'll look into those later in the week and hopefully meet some new local people there.

Self management

Routine - Simply hasn't been possible this weekend, BUT I woke up before 8am today alongside my housemate, and I journaled while she did yoga. I hope to keep it up, and once the flat is more sorted I'll try to form a fuller waking routine.

Eating - Neither great nor terrible. I think I've missed a couple of meals over the weekend, and not eaten enough when I have had a meal, but because it's been the moving weekend, it's just been a bit too awkward to eat sometimes, and we don't have much food stocked yet.

Leaving the house - It would be hard to move house without leaving the house 😄 So far I've left the house every day since I stopped gaming, but that's more been by necessity rather than choice. I was pleased I went for a little wander today to buy a couple of tools and look at furniture, when I could have just put it off until another day.

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Day 5-9 of no gaming

Felt on edge until we got the internet on Thursday, but I feel more relaxed now, although still a little adrift. We don't have a sofa or microwave or various other furniture stuff yet, as we want to get as much as possible second-hand.

I haven't looked into various activity groups yet, I'll do that next week. I've been relatively busy this week, so I haven't even thought of games much!

Self management

Routine - Until Friday I did at least one thing towards my ideal routine, then yesterday I stuck to my ideal morning routine, and I read before going to bed as well. I've also journaled every day this week. Having my TickTick up on one screen permanently definitely helps.

Eating - I have put no effort into this... When I have eaten, it's mostly been because other people have prompted me or made food for me. From tomorrow I'm going to start using the Too Good to Go app, which will both help me get out of the house and also try a variety of food relatively cheaply. I'll also buy a rice cooker tomorrow or Monday. 

Leaving the house - Today has been the first day since I moved that I haven't been out! It would be nice if I had gone for a little walk, and I still might. I jogged on Friday. I also pushed myself on Wednesday to go to London to see someone I hadn't seen in years, even though I was a little sluggish. I've wandered out for other bits and pieces too. The new location is so convenient, I've never lived so centrally in a town.

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