A Day in the Life, Gamer Life, Geekiness

It’s all in the timing

So I’m in the middle of summer session for grad school.  A COMS class of all things.  It’s not bad but it’s not exactly riveting either.  I’ve learned a lot of this stuff in the course of 30+ years of life already, only now it’s being given names and backed up by research.  Fancy names that don’t really do much in the actually learning, for me at least.  But the timing of it is ironic given what I do for a living and that I’m almost in constant conflict management mode these days.

Timing.  I am a year out from graduating with my Master’s (barring unforeseen circumstances).  I will finish next summer session.  Just in time for Mini to turn 4, just in time for our planned Disney adventure, just in time to start trying for Mini #2.

Timing.  My step-dad passed on Father’s day.  A day that has never really been super important to me given my bio-dad walked out when I was about 3.  I celebrated it with my Opa since he was more of a father figure to me for most of my childhood.  But it was still mostly another day.  I make a bit more effort since we became parents, though even that is more in response to the fact that my husband makes such an effort for Mother’s day.  They are just 2 more days in the year to me.  I know, I’m weird.

Timing.  After my step-dad passed, I got back in touch with my step-sister.  I had never understood what happened between her and my step-dad.  But my step-dad had weird relationships with everyone it turns out.  I knew I was an aunt but it turns out that just a few days before my step-dad passed, he became a grandfather again.  So I have a niece and nephew that I’ve never met.  2 grandchildren that will never get to meet their grandfather.

Timing.  My father in law had surgery last week, has to go back for more surgery next week.  My husband’s grandfather’s dementia got worse this week.  My mother in law is struggling but she doesn’t say anything.  But you can tell when you talk to her.

Timing.  My husband is inches away from finishing his Master’s.  He’s only a few days of internship away from completing it.  Hopefully, the counseling job offer is still open when he finishes in a few weeks.  Supposedly, they’re holding it for him.  He needs it.  He needs to get away from his current job; the shift is starting to wear on him.  A 12 hour shift with a 1+ hour commute one way.  He has to go to bed by 9 pm and be up at 4:30 am.  Plus his department has no appreciation or consideration for their employees, the supervisors do basically whatever they want.  The new sergeant, after preaching about making changes, lets them go on doing like they’ve done for years.  The changes he’s made so far, have not been in consideration of the employees he’s overseeing; they’ve been done to make him look good.

Timing.  Summer is halfway over already.  Soon it will be fall again.  Soon Mini will turn 3.

Timing.  It’s been months since I applied with the new department.  I think if I don’t hear anything by the end of August, I’ll officially call it.  I can’t hang on forever.  Despite knowing that this kind of hiring process takes time, there should still be some consideration shown for those in the hiring process to not drag it out for more than 6 months.  We have lives.  We have goals and aspirations.  We have families to support, plans to make.  It also seems counter-intuitive that if you need to hire new employees, you wouldn’t make that a priority and get it done.  It’s a bit disrespectful to those who applied and those who are having to pick up the slack from a vacancy.  Trying to be patient though because it is summer and people may be on vacation with their families and such.  Still.  It’s tough.

Timing.  While taking this COMS class I got into a discussion with a co-worker of mine.  She’s a devout Christian (in contrast to my Agnostic-Deist-bordering-on-atheist self).  One of my textbooks this session is almost a generic retelling of the Bible, only retelling it as a conflict management strategy guide.  Taken by itself, no big deal.  Taken as a textbook, it’s superfluous.  The topics discussed are already covered in the THREE other textbooks.  My co-worker insists that this is God working on me.  I don’t see how redundant irritants are working on me, other than to work on my last nerve.  She insists.  I let it go, mostly because in 4 1/2 years I’ve learned to accept her ideas, even if I don’t believe in them myself.

Timing.  The plan of trying to pay off some of our debts soon.  Not a lot of progress there but given that we’re barely getting time for sleep these days.  Given that my husband is a compulsive stress-shopper.  Our budget takes some hits these days.  My own stress-shopping doesn’t help but I can at least control mine 90% of the time, plus my stress-shopping also tends to be necessities, like new clothes for Mini because she outgrows old clothes.  Shoes, because I’m slowly replacing the shoes I no longer fit into since my feet went up a half-size during pregnancy.  Some clothes because a lot of my clothes are also not fitting since pregnancy, and yes, I’m just getting around to replacing them.  A lot of household stuff though; food, laundry baskets, new sheets or curtains or towels.  Husband buys things like video games and toys.  We have collected all but one of the Skylander Imaginator Senseis at this point.  We also have many of the original Skylanders, some of the Swapforce, some of the Giants, and some of the Superchargers.  I’ve managed to keep him away from the Trap Force one with the lure of another new Skylanders coming soon.  We also have 1 copy of Destiny 2 pre-ordered.  Very likely we’ll have a second copy pre-ordered by the end of the month.

Timing.  With how busy we are, sometimes the only time we get to bond is at night after Mini is in bed and we hop on the XBox with some friends and play.  We were into Destiny a lot.  Husband is really into a lot of the CoD games.  I got into a few of those and sort of interested in Battlefield but not a lot.  But it’s our chance to unwind and talk with friends that we otherwise might not talk to.  We play Skylanders about once a week now.  I play ESO (or try to) once a week.

Timing.  My online roleplay group is not as active as it used to be.  Many of us have had other priorities come up.  One girl had another baby.  Another has health issues.  One has had job issues.  A few I think, personally, have moved on and just can’t say goodbye.  I set aside time at least once a week to be online and try to interact with other players.  I post one or two times a week, sometimes more if school is on break between sessions (when I don’t have overlap).

Really, life is all about the timing.


Being A Grown Up

I’m Not Okay (Why a break-up is still a break-up even between friends)

We’ve all gone through a break-up.  Some are “Meh.”  Some are “Holy sh*t, buckle up!”  Some end in a whimper while others leave us whimpering in heartbreak under the covers in our bed, sobbing like a big ol’ baby and convinced that we are horrible human beings, no one will ever love us, etc.  Then we get angry.  How dare they!  They’ll regret this!  Then we get lonely.  I miss them.  What are they doing right now?  Are they thinking of me?  Then sad again.  Then angry.  Then lonely.  Sad.  Angry again…you get my drift (and feel the pangs of loss all over again, sorry.)

The Break-Up is an inevitable rite of passage growing up.  Everyone who has ever dated has gone through it at least once.  It sucks.  We all have different ways of coping and no two break-ups are the same, even for the same person.  And I think we can all agree that no one enjoys going through a break-up.

So how do you cope with the break-up when it’s with your best friend?

Now some people are nodding, clearly they’ve been through the friend break-up.
Other people are looking confused.  They are the lucky ones who haven’t experienced the friend break-up.  Lucky bastards.

For those in confusion, I’m pretty sure I can guess at least part of your thought process.  It’s just a friendship.  Friends don’t break-up.  They grow apart, they grow up, they fade.  It happens.  Not denying any of that.  It’s true.  A vast majority of friendships end almostly amicably (if regrettably).  Friends grow apart.  People are constantly changing in little ways.  We discover new foods, new places, new people.  Or we go through big upheavals.  We grow up, graduate, start careers, get married, have pets, have kids.  And everyone reacts to these discoveries differently.  Some people go gaga over their pet-children!  To the point where they become that weird friend whose sanity/priorities we worry about.  Others go full-steam-ahead into a career and never seem to have time for their buddies.  Some people discover that they have a nearly obsessive love for Asian culture.  Yes.  This all happens and is perfectly normal and accepted.  Most of us don’t really think about it until time has passed and we are going through old memories, be it photos or cleaning out the spare bedroom, and we come across a memento that makes us smile and think ” I wonder what happened to so-and-so.”  These friendships kind of fizzle out over time and with little attention drawn to them.

But then there are the break-ups.  These are the friendships that end in a bang and not in a good way.  They break your heart just as badly as a romantic break-up.  Heck, sometimes even worse!

Because in a way, they are worse.  This wasn’t someone you dated, someone you were trying to woo and win.  This wasn’t dinner and flowers just because it’s Friday.  This wasn’t time you were investing expecting a pay-off (for lack of better explanation but let’s face it, it is a relationship where we expect a result).

This was movies and ice cream because some boy (or girl) broke your heart.  This was Starbucks at work because you have to work the midnight shift leading up to Christmas.  This was quiet conversations at 3am because you can’t sleep.  This was discovering you share the same obsession for Coach handbags you can’t afford.  This was lending your favorite book.  This was going shopping on payday.  This was the soft and slow progression from total strangers to intimate friends.  This is someone who knows you sometimes better than you know yourself.  This is a relationship you built with no expectations, no end goal in mind.

But it is still a relationship and often an important one.  How many women have girlfriends/gal-pals long before and long after they’ve gotten married?  How many men have bros/fellas to watch the big game with while their SO is out shopping?  We usually don’t even notice how important our friends are to us and frankly, neither do most of the people around us.  They are assumed and taken for granted.

So is it any wonder that when you fight with your best friend it gets bad, fast!  Blow-ups between friends can often become far worse than between romantic partners because they escalate unexpectedly.  There is an expectation for romantic relationships that you will fight and you are supposed to work it out.  We expect to get into a huge fight with our significant other over something “trivial.”  It’s ingrained in our way of thinking (at least with western culture). We all grew up with the joke about the husband forgetting his wife’s birthday or their anniversary and they get into a fight and then make up.  We have no such expectation when it comes to our friendships.  We have a foolish and child-like naiveté that our friends will never fight with us like that.

Then comes that fight and we are left blinking in astonishment.  What just happened?  Because that seems to be the consensus among those of us that have been on the receiving end of the friend break-up. We are left standing their blindsided with a K.O. punch from the last person we were expecting to hit us. The fight could be over one thing or several things; over something that you thought was silly and unimportant; over something you didn’t even know was going on. The fight could be over other friends, significant others, families, a comment that was made, or memento lost.

One common thing with these break-ups is that there was no ‘try to make it work’ philosophy. Oh, the phrase “I tried” will get bandied about like nobody’s business but if you look at the effort made…well, you’re often left asking “How did you try, exactly?” Did they call? Did they write? Did they telegram? Send flowers? All no’s. Did they sit down and discuss it the way a traditional romantic couple works out their problems? Oh, certainly not!

So the breakee of the friendship is left going through the same grief cycle that they would over a romantic break-up only now they are doing it sans best friend. The person they would have called for support and understanding and love is the one that just broke their heart. It is only after this break-up that they start wondering about the amount of effort put into maintaining the friendship and noticing that there is decided lack of equality between platonic and romantic relationships. Certainly it seems like one puts more effort into maintaining a romantic relationship and ‘fixing’ it than they do their platonic relationships.

So for those who at the beginning were shaking your head in confusion, I am glad you have not experienced the friend break-up. But I hope I have shown that a break-up is still a break-up, even between friends. And perhaps you’ll assign a little more value to your friendships now. Maybe now you’ll realize you were taking them for granted. I hope you look at them and instead of just saying “I tried” that you will actually try. Give your friendships as much effort and value as you would a romantic relationship. This is still another human being and they can be around for the rest of your life too, if you work at your friendship the way you do your romantic relationship.