My life is made up of little patterns…things that I do that fit together in a way that makes me feel comfortable. I get up at a certain time, I read my email, I check my websites, I go to work…pretty much always the same sequence. It makes me feel comfortable and good.
One of my “patterns” for several years has been playing massively multiplayer games several times a week. First it was Ultima Online, then EverQuest, then Dark Age of Camelot, Anarchy Online, Asheron’s Call 2, Star Wars Galaxies (beta only), Final Fantasy XI Online, EverQuest 2…and most recently World of Warcraft. Throughout all of these games I’ve had a partner in crime: my Nephew, Shane.
I’ve cut down quite a bit on my MMOG playing time during the last year or so. Back in my EverQuest days, I was playing 20+ hours a week. At the end of 2004, I was down to maybe 8 or 10 hours a week playing EverQuest 2. That’s all been good: I still have had my “prime” play time on the weekends.
My Nephew recently started cutting back his MMOG play time as well. Now, between us, we are down to maybe one day a week, usually Saturdays. Sometimes I come home on Friday from work and I’m not really sure what to do with myself. There is a “gap” in my schedule that I haven’t quite figured out how to fill.
I sometimes miss the old patterns. But change is healthy. I usually go for years with the same patterns, then boom, change a bunch of things, often rather radically. For example, for years I was getting up as much as two hours before I had to leave for work, spending that extra time puttering around reading and such. Recently I’ve started sleeping in until half an hour before I have to leave, and flying through my morning ablutions without “wasting” any time. I’ve started to sort of like that extra sleep time. Likewise, I’ve started to find things to fill the time I used to spend playing MMOGs.
Who knows what I’ll be doing a month from now? But those comforting patterns that rule my life sometimes become a rut. Its good to check out other alternatives now and then