2019-05-01 23:15:34 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: April 2019

[any identifying names and locations will be changed for protection and privacy.]


I am taking a break from this, deliberately. I go to my doctor tomorrow for a checkup, and will seek out a referral for a therapist to begin talk therapy. I've written in some depth in previous entries about how I've suffered anxiety and low feelings, particularly in reference to my most recent dating experience. If I expect anything to change, I think at this point some guidance will be useful. To sum it up: I don't want to feel the way I did as the relationship matured, and I feel like I treated the woman poorly - which no one deserves.

In the interim, I've taken up pen-palling, so I can still work on my social skills, stave off loneliness, and interact in deeper, worthwhile conversations with people. Recently, I've connected consistently with a woman (who reached out to me) just a bit younger than me, and we've been corresponding maybe once or twice a week. It's a healthy diversion and I can see myself doing this for a while.

Beyond that, I am researching local karaoke nights and writing events, just so I can still go out every once in a while and be somewhat social outside the day job.

In early April, there was a game/fantasy/sci-fi convention not too far away from here, and I exhibited some of my video games along with two friends of mine. That was quite enjoyable. The organizers are a bunchof friendly, nerdy people, and they mean well. The event takes place on the campus of a community college, and our section is maintained by a former student who is working his way into the computer games industry. He seems to really like our angle.

Our exhibit is unique in that none of the three of us are pursuing game-making as a vocation, future or otherwise, so the pressure's off of us to prove anything. Our goal is to ensure that people understand that, so long as you have the tools and the time, no matter who you are, you can make a game. I even composed a "mini-zine" that explains some free software tools for download, so that visitors can take it with them and try out the tools for themselves. I also collected some suggestions on game ideas that visitors and volunteers would like to see, with the hopes I'll be able to put something together in time for the event next year. That shouldn't be a big problem. I have an idea for a "soccer-meets-spiders" game, so we'll see how that turns out.

In terms of tabletop game design, I took a lot of time off from this. I still don't feel so nested where I live that I can relax and be productively creative. I did spend more time playing games with my nephews and mother when I visited them, and taught them a couple more casual games. I also paid for an annual subscription to an online game service so I can play multiplayer tabletop games in a "virtual game room." That's been a positive development, as I've learned a few new games and tried out some mechanics and strategies that were new to me.

Later in May, I attend a game designer's retreat. I intend to show some revised versions of my own prototypes for feedback. If I meet my ambitions, I'll have four games that can hit the table and receive critique from fellow designers. I also hope to collect some video footage of at least one of my games being played so I can edit a video of the game for a game design contest. We'll see how that works out.

The day job seems to be going very well, and I've been collecting positive feedback from my immediate supervisor. In addition, I had a brief chat with our Executive Director, and she mentioned that for the next fiscal year, salaries are likely to increase. Maybe she decided to mention this when she saw me, since later that afternoon there was an announcement that another staff member had resigned to accept a job elsewhere.

Just yesterday (the last day of April, so it still "counts" for this update), I watched a webinar that focused on "gig work" and flexible hours/freelancing. There are a number of different platforms I could investigate to help me pursue some work as a remote coach, which I think would be interesting. I could teach kids how to make video games, which could be a lot of fun. Of course there are other things I could try, of course (for example: while living in the South for two years, a few years ago, I flirted with the idea of teaching kids how to ride bicycles as a side gig), but I think it's worth taking it slow.

I've been upgrading my wardrobe lately, and not just with clothing found at second-hand and thrift stores. I want to upgrade my professional appearance, and new clothes will help.

I've had discussions with the attorney regarding a settlement from when a car hit me back in late 2017, so I anticipate a significant (in my terms) one-time cash infusion in the near future. Maybe by the end of May?

My sister had a wedding in April, and I officiated it. It was my first-ever officiant gig, and I couldn't have asked for a better outcome. She and her new husband were very appreciative of the short, meaningful ceremony we held in their backyard. I received several compliments on my "performance," from close friends of the newlyweds, so I suppose it went all right. My mother requested that I help she and my stepdad renew their vows on their 20th wedding anniversary, so I'll take that as a shining compliment. :)

I had read everything from a little book in which I wrote everything I was to say, so I wouldn't screw anything up. After the ceremony I gave the book to my sister so she and her man could keep it as a memento of the occasion.

Beyond that, I skipped Easter with the family again this year. Too many children running about. Plus this was the day after my sister's wedding and I was full-up with social interaction. That day I took myself to the movies instead, and then came home to relax.

I'm working myself back into an exercise bike regimen, even to the point that on days I really don't feel like it I still ride maybe 200 calories-worth. I sense I've been "stress eating" and that's a poor habit that's been adding up. I want to quit that, so I need to come up with some counter-habits to wean myself off of that.

I'm also flirting with additional exercises beyond just the exercise bike, including crunches and other ab work (where I see the most weight gain). I'll be starting each day with some crunches. The place I live now has carpeted floors and enough room for me to really stretch out, so now is a great opportunity for that.

Although not wanting to pursue a relationship is a tremendous bummer, personally things are looking up in other areas of my life. I'm grateful for that.

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