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wookieshark88

My Journal - Joe

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It's been a long while since I've posted, but things have slowed down a bit so it's time to revive my journal.  I've been spending much less time online because I'm much happier interacting with my wife and baby.

June 25th will be my one year anniversary of being game free, and my mind works so much differently these days.  I don't really think about games more than once or twice a day.  Sometimes I still have dreams of playing games, but I'm always so relieved once I wake up.

No matter how long I've been away from games, I'm aware that I can easily fall back into old patterns if I'm not careful.  It was a lesson that a fellow game quitter taught me, and I'm thankful for that.

I'm going to resume my journal with daily posts, even if only small ones.  It's much better to set a small goal and exceed it than to set a huge goal that becomes burdensome and intimidating.

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It's been a long while since I've posted, but things have slowed down a bit so it's time to revive my journal.  I've been spending much less time online because I'm much happier interacting with my wife and baby.

June 25th will be my one year anniversary of being game free, and my mind works so much differently these days.  I don't really think about games more than once or twice a day.  Sometimes I still have dreams of playing games, but I'm always so relieved once I wake up.

No matter how long I've been away from games, I'm aware that I can easily fall back into old patterns if I'm not careful.  It was a lesson that a fellow game quitter taught me, and I'm thankful for that.

I'm going to resume my journal with daily posts, even if only small ones.  It's much better to set a small goal and exceed it than to set a huge goal that becomes burdensome and intimidating.

This is such great news!

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So I guess that I missed a day, but that's going to happen.  Today was a good day.

I have a really important milestone coming up on Saturday.  It's definitely one of my top accomplishments ever.  It marks a complete year of being completely video game free!  It will be my first game free year since I was two or three years old!  I didn't own my own video game until I was seven, but I do remember playing them through friends and family before that.  I remember playing those games and freaking out about having to stop playing those games and begging my parents to buy me them.  I guess that even from those early days, I needed to hit a crisis point to break free from games.

Today was a very normal summer day for me.  I'm not taking any classes right now which is a big reason why I want to revive my journal.  I prioritized my family first, classwork second, and my job third during the last semester.  It worked well enough in that my family life is fun and healthy, I got an A in my class last semester, and I got a lot better at my job.  When the semester ended, I immediately shifted into catching up on long neglected issues.  I had leaky pipes in my home repaired, started getting treatment for some back pain that I ignored, worked on creating a will for my family, and a host of other things.  The reason why I did this is because I know that living in the present is a key to success and having lingering issues keeps the mind in the past.

Now that most (about 32 out of 35 things) of my list is taken care of, I need to revive my habits that have brought me success.  Journaling on here was my first habit I started when I quit games so it has become my first habit to reestablish.  I remember reading in The Slight Edge that I can ride the momentum of past efforts, but that will only last so long.  It's important to me return to the basics.  I learned from a member of this forum that relapse can happen even years after quitting games, and I don't want that to be me.  Life is too good these days.

I think that I should take inventory of my habits and their current status.

  • Journaling - This habit had died, and is now being revived.  It was the foundational habit that gave rise to the rest so I need to establish consistency with this first.
  • Meditation - This habit is mostly dead which is absurd because I loved it so much.  I do practice mindfulness throughout the day, but that's not a substitute for actual meditation.  I'll shift my focus to reestablishing this at a later point.
  • Reading - This habit had been going strong until a few weeks ago when I started reading a book that I lost interest in.  I'm not doing the long commute right now so I lost my audio book time.  I should listen to them at work.  Maybe I'll reread the books that helped me so much in the last year.  That actually sounds like an awesome idea now that I think about it!
  • Exercise - I've been improving on this recently since my wife got a new job.  She's home a bit earlier now, and we've been going for brisk walks while enjoying each other's company.  This is good for now.
  • Eating Well - This has definitely not been going very well.  Actually I eat lots of awesome things that my wife and I cook, but I also have been eating a lot of crap.  I'll work on this once I get some momentum from journaling.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Having a nice foundation to return to.

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Today was a good day in the end.

My job and school were driving me nuts all day, but I had lots of fun with the wife and baby once I got out.  Good thing I have a plan on dealing with both both work and school.

I started rereading the Slight Edge last night, and it really brings back memories.  It made such a huge impact on me, and really gave me some vital tools for quitting games.  The lessons in there are worthy of being revisited periodically.  I made a lot of progress in the last year, but I know that I can go so much further if I keep on working on it.  One thing that really inspires me is that I want my baby to have a role model in her life that can show her the way to live.  My parents are good and loving people, but they are terrible role models.  Maybe I can give my baby some advantages that I never had.  So far, she and I do really good together.  We laugh, play, sing songs, make jokes, and talk about how to get through her (for a baby) hardships.  There's compassion, encouragement, empathy, joy, and love between us.  I know for a fact that if I was playing games, it wouldn't be like this.  I still remember ignoring her cries while playing games.  If it weren't for that moment, I would not have come to a crossroads and chosen to improve.  It's better that I got to that point when she was three months old, and spared her years of sub par parenting.

I'm thankful for:

  1. My bond with my baby.
  2. Having a plan to finish school and escape my mind numbing career.  I'd rather love my work and never retire than waste forty years of my life doing something that has no meaning to me.
  3. The neck pain I've had for months slowly improving.
Edited by wookieshark88
Three months not years.

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Today was a great day.

We went as a family to go yard sale hopping after a nice easy morning at home.  We only bought a few things, but we were able to walk, talk, and laugh.  This for dinner, my wife and I went out to a fancy and amazing restaurant.  It was so relaxing to just be a couple for a few hours without chasing a baby around.  Don't get me wrong, chasing a baby is a lot of fun these days, but it's important to have grown up time once in a while too.

One of my new hobbies has been gardening.  I've had some plants around for years, but they would always suffer during periods when I didn't have time to take care of them because of video games.  This summer, I've been really consistent in my care for them and it's been really relaxing and rewarding.  I have a tomato plant and a squash plant that look amazing!  My mother in law has been giving me tips on how to properly take care of them too.  My aloe plant is doing great and has multiplied into four plants now.  My African violet that I've had for almost 10 years looks great and is now two plants as well!  I want to trade one of my aloes with my coworker for one of her awesome plants.

The best thing is that I just finished my first year of being game free!  I did plenty of introspection in my recent posts so I'm not doing that again today.  I'll just say that as much as I loved my damn games, going without them for a whole year is so much better.

I'm thankful for:

  1. My developing green thumb.
  2. Laughing a whole lot today.
  3. Getting mentally far away from the work week.

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Today was another good day.

My wife and I hustled this morning to get all of our chores done then took the baby to a splash pad.  She had so much fun, and all those huge smiles are the greatest thing to see.  It was a great way to end the weekend.

I can't wait to get back to school full time.  I've been in my company through many years, locations, and positions.  That place just isn't for me.  The lingering heaviness of work on Sunday evening just isn't the way for me to spend my life.  I don't need to have rainbows and unicorns at work, but I would like to feel like I benefited humanity and fulfilled a bit of my potential once in a while.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Having a lot of fun today.
  2. Great summer weather.
  3. Having goals to reach for.

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I would like to feel like I benefited humanity and fulfilled a bit of my potential once in a while.

Your story (and journal) contribute to this! 

Thanks!  It really helps to know that I can help out!

Today was a good day.

My work day and dealing with school administration wasn't very pleasant at all, but everything else was great!

My back porch is really awesome these days.  I have my grill, some outdoor chairs and a table, my tomato and squash plants, and my bird feeder.  The table is really cool because I found it covering in bugs and really rusty.  I took the time to clean off the bugs, scrub the rust off, and give it a new coat of paint.  It looks like new.  It's a great place to hang out or simply see from inside!  I have a new planter in the middle of it with herbs.  The only problem is that I found aphids on my tomato plant.  I got some organic insecticide coming in the mail to take care of that.  When I was playing video games, my porch often had dead leaves all over it, no plants, and no bird feeder.  All of that stuff was just distractions from my available screen time.  Today, my wife and I sat out there, grilled, laughed, and enjoyed a beverage.  No video game is better than that.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Getting a couple of walks in today.  That's good for my exercise habit.
  2. Reading more Slight Edge last night before bed.
  3. People's old "junk" that I can make look as good as new.

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Today was a good day!

I made measurable progress at work today which feels great.  Work takes up 40 hours of my life every week, and it takes a toll on me when I can't see anything meaningful coming out of it.  I also feel fairly confident that I will be able to make similar progress tomorrow.  The last few mornings this week have been difficult for me because I was getting up and preparing to spend my day accomplishing nothing.  Tomorrow will be a lot better in that regard.

After work, I did my chiropractor thing which has drastically reduced neck pain that I was feeling every moment of every day for the last 6 months.  My baby and I played and acted goofy together before we went for a nice evening walk.  She has been falling asleep on this walk most days which makes it easy to get back home and put her right in her crib.  I then cleaned the living room and kitchen, fed the cats, watered and sprayed my plants, made some fresh pesto, and now I'm here!  Old me would have gotten the baby to bed ASAP, played video games, panicked when I knew my wife was going to be home soon, and scrambled to accomplish something so that she wouldn't suspect that I spent hours playing a game.

I've noticed that I've been comparing my video game life to my game free life in my entries lately.  It helps me to remember why I don't ever want to go back to games.  The old me would not have enjoyed the things I did this evening because I would have just been anticipating game time.  Now that I've gotten my mind out of that cycle, all of those things are fun or satisfying to me.

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Today was another good day.

I was productive at work again today, and I'm feeling much better about going there tomorrow.  Chances are that I'm going to head into the weekend on a high note.

Hanging out with my baby this evening was a challenge, but still fun overall.  She didn't have a nap today which always makes things tough towards the end of the day.

I made a nice fried rice for dinner which is always delicious.  It's not at all like the stuff you get from a Chinese takeout place.  It was light and fluffy without a greasy feeling and had triple the amount of veggies that you would get in takeout rice.  I love being able to cook for my wife especially because she made an awesome dinner last night.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Being able to improve my work situation.
  2. All the dead aphids that are falling off my tomato plant.
  3. The wonderful collection of people that contribute to these forums.

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Today was a good day again.

Work went by really fast because I was getting a ton of work done.  It's such a turn around from just a few days ago.  I have plenty to do and a plan to get it all done.

My family and I went out for dinner together, and it was fun.  The food wasn't the best, but there were lots of laughs shared between us.

I'm super sleepy so that's it for the night.

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Hey nice to hear that your work is going better lately. I bet this improves your general mood by a lot!

It really does!  I can't stand to waste 40 hours a week by accomplishing nothing.  Since I quit games, I'm just not okay with that kind of thing.

Today was a good day!

I just found my story while I was browsing reddit.  I never really thought that would happen to me.  Typically, I don't like to draw too much attention to myself, but maybe somebody will benefit from it.

My wife and I got 90% of our chores done today, the first day of the long weekend.  We're going to be able to be pretty carefree for the next few days!  We still had a fair amount of fun today too.

I'm thankful for:

  1. My tomato plant.  It has six little tomatoes now!
  2. My wife for being understanding of me.
  3. Reduced neck pain.
  4. Relaxing after a day of running around.

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I just found my story while I was browsing reddit.  I never really thought that would happen to me.  Typically, I don't like to draw too much attention to myself, but maybe somebody will benefit from it.

Lots of people will! :) 

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Today was a fine day.

We took it pretty easy this morning, finished the rest of our chores, and went to a 4th of July family party.  I made a delicious pesto pasta salad to bring, and people gave me pretty good feedback for it.  My baby was wild about it so I definitely need to make it again.

I've been really happy with the way my family life has been going.  We're a tight knit bunch that love to laugh and spend time together.  I'm never annoyed with them because I'm just trying to get back to my games.  There's no guilt or secrets to hide.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Fun family time.
  2. Making a popular dish.
  3. Rereading books that made such a big impact on me.

 

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Hi Joe, it's wonderful to hear how you've been doing recently, I didn't know if we'd hear from you again!

You've been a strong foundation of this community, and I hope many newcomers can learn from your journal.

I haven't been posting as much as I'd have liked in the past month or so, but it has been irreplacable for my self-development, and not just because it keeps me accountable. It is awesome to see how it's helping you get on top of your personal development! Also feel free to give me a kick if I don't post for a few days :P

I hope things are going well and all the best for getting back up to speed with your daily habits! :D

Edited by AlexTheGrape

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Today was a good end to the long weekend.  We all slept in and hung out around the house for a while.  Eventually, we went out for a hike and then to the swimming pool.  It was really relaxing.

While we were hiking, my wife and I spent a lot of time talking about our future plans.  It was really good to make sure we're on the same page.  Walking and talking is something I have always enjoyed.  Being out in nature just makes it so relaxing and easy to think clearly.

I'm ready to get back to work and make more progress on my task.  Knowing that I will be able to have success makes work so much more palatable.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Getting a squirrel feeder.  I didn't know that they existed until today.  Hopefully it helps keep that obese squirrel off the bird feeder.
  2. Seeing my baby have fun around a small group of people.  Sometimes she gets very shy and doesn't want to do anything.
  3. Really getting a chance to unwind and reset.

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Hi @wookieshark88

I haven't read your whole story yet, but so far, there is so much I can relate too. I also have children, and the following quotes is something I couldn't have wrote better:

Old me would have gotten the baby to bed ASAP, played video games, panicked when I knew my wife was going to be home soon, and scrambled to accomplish something so that she wouldn't suspect that I spent hours playing a game. 

That's how my mindset is. Kids to bed ASAP and then game! Maybe put up a lie to my wife about how long time it took to accomplish the daily chores etc. It's a kind of a relief to read, that I'm not the only one who is having those thoughts.. 

I Am looking forward reading your whole journal !

 

I'm thankful for:

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  

I love your "I'm thankful for" statements. I will start doing that too. How does it impact on you? When you write down what you are thankful for?

Edited by Viking

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Hi @wookieshark88

I haven't read your whole story yet, but so far, there is so much I can relate too. I also have children, and the following quotes is something I couldn't have wrote better:

Old me would have gotten the baby to bed ASAP, played video games, panicked when I knew my wife was going to be home soon, and scrambled to accomplish something so that she wouldn't suspect that I spent hours playing a game. 

That's how my mindset is. Kids to bed ASAP and then game! Maybe put up a lie to my wife about how long time it took to accomplish the daily chores etc. It's a kind of a relief to read, that I'm not the only one who is having those thoughts.. 

I Am looking forward reading your whole journal !

 

I'm thankful for:

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  

I love your "I'm thankful for" statements. I will start doing that too. How does it impact on you? When you write down what you are thankful for?

It sounds we certainly have a lot in common!  Hopefully you can find success with all of us here.  I also find it relieving that you know exactly what that kind of lifestyle I lived.  Regarding the thankfulness statements, they're a great way to dwell on and build upon the small victories in our lives.  I try to really think about my day and find the unique positives to write down.  It's been good for me because it trains my mind to see things in a positive light.  I sometimes tend to get cynical and making the effort to be positive keeps me on track.  It also helps that my wife always points out the silver lining in most situations.  The impact is actually pretty significant.  It's a lot more than I would have ever imagined before I did it.  Anyways, thanks for taking the time to comment in my journal!

Today was a good day again.

I was busy making steady progress at work for a full eight hours which made the day fly by.  One of my cubicle mates moved out and I miss having her around.  We were able to have some interesting conversations sitting in the same area.

After work, I got my allergy shots and went home.  My baby was in a fantastic mood.  We played princesses for a good long while, talked to my parents on the phone, and joked around.  We all went for a brisk walk when my wife home which has been a good habit for us all.

Like I've mentioned in earlier posts, I've got lots of plants and a nice bird feeder out on my porch.  The thing is that this really fat and aggressive squirrel has been spending hours a day tearing up the bird feeder, eating all the food, and scaring away the nicer creatures.  I got him his own squirrel feeder today and put it up.  Hopefully he can chill out a bit and let peace return to the porch.  If he doesn't, I'm going to catch him with a trap, drive him across the river, and drop him off in a park.  I'd rather he just be a little nicer so I don't have to do all that.  Squirrel drama is fun, haha.

I'm thankful for:

  1. The delicious salmon that my wife brought home from the fish market.  We grilled it up and had it with French fries.
  2. Viking taking the time to write me.  I love finding more people to relate to.
  3. Eating pretty good today.  I want to get more consistent with that.
  4. Doing my morning meditation.  It wasn't very effective, but I want to rebuild that habit.

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Hi @wookieshark88

I haven't read your whole story yet, but so far, there is so much I can relate too. I also have children, and the following quotes is something I couldn't have wrote better:

Old me would have gotten the baby to bed ASAP, played video games, panicked when I knew my wife was going to be home soon, and scrambled to accomplish something so that she wouldn't suspect that I spent hours playing a game. 

That's how my mindset is. Kids to bed ASAP and then game! Maybe put up a lie to my wife about how long time it took to accomplish the daily chores etc. It's a kind of a relief to read, that I'm not the only one who is having those thoughts.. 

I Am looking forward reading your whole journal !

 

I'm thankful for:

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  

I love your "I'm thankful for" statements. I will start doing that too. How does it impact on you? When you write down what you are thankful for?

It sounds we certainly have a lot in common!  Hopefully you can find success with all of us here.  I also find it relieving that you know exactly what that kind of lifestyle I lived.  Regarding the thankfulness statements, they're a great way to dwell on and build upon the small victories in our lives.  I try to really think about my day and find the unique positives to write down.  It's been good for me because it trains my mind to see things in a positive light.  I sometimes tend to get cynical and making the effort to be positive keeps me on track.  It also helps that my wife always points out the silver lining in most situations.  The impact is actually pretty significant.  It's a lot more than I would have ever imagined before I did it.  Anyways, thanks for taking the time to comment in my journal!

This evening at the dinner, I told my wife about gamequitters.com, and that I started the 90 day detox. I could see, that she was really happy about it, and that I'm going to get her full support. I told her about your story, and that you were in the same boat. It actually felt really nice to have someone to refer to, who has the same challenges. Guess that it is one of the strong forces of this community. Thanks for your theory behind the thankfulness statements! I will implement that in my daily life too ! Have a nice day Joe :)

Edited by Viking

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