The balance that a few strange days brings

These are strange days (and a post not really much about wow, but all about gaming life). My gaming took a dive on the week end when we went away briefly for a break over the weekend. Its by-the-by that is was family focused and also very much fun. I loved the fact we got away for a bit, saw some family, and was also looking forward to the Sunday and Monday night gaming. New level 90s have so much to do in Warcraft. Sunday came around and I played till late and crawled into bed just in time to rest before the working week. We had a slight hiccup on Saturday with the newborn’s health, but didn’t think much of it by Sunday night. It was great.

Monday started as normal and then my 5 month old was hospitalised and everything melted away to stress. You get a new perspective when your kid is in a hospital resuscitation room with a few doctors and nurses around, they all looked concerned, and the outcome was not clear. I’m not used to being powerless to help and the most useless person in the room, and when the doctors start saying those long sentences which mean “I don’t know yet”, you get stressed. I get it now; the stress about late reports, staff issues at work, or even playing an addictive video game is meaningless to the stress of a sick baby. It was a new experience for me as a new parent. Frankly I was telling the world to **** off until I knew more.

Now that she is home again my stress is far lower, and all the things I missed seem largely still irrelevant. A late report? Big deal. Missed a few meetings? Get over it. Nobody bloody died. I saw families in that hospital who have real issues to grapple and the trials which hit the average office worker are just silly by comparison.

What I hope is that I can maintain the apathy for how important these things actually are, as I noticed that I was communicating clearly and sharply when I was really stressed, and that communication got results. Being outside the detail granted a perspective and authority that I liked, and all that changed was me in my reaction to the stress of the events. I’ve always advocated a healthy work and life balance, and extended that to gaming too. Nobody should ever feel pressure to play when they have serious stress to deal with (duh). I did in fact play online on Monday for a short period, but all I thought about was family and it was to get to somewhere which was an escape. My brain needed to be distracted from what was going on.

I tonight is another game night where a week ago I was planning to play a lot. Now I’ll play it by ear, see how sick, stressed, etc the family is, and then perhaps login. What is odd is that before the weekend I would have also worked all night to complete a set of reports for my job, and now it really does seem immaterial. In terms of work, life, and game balance I think I’ve changed views a little. There will be weekends soon where I get to work overtime and give a lot of effort for my job, but for now relaxation is the order of the day.

Happy gaming, and good health.