Tag Archives: games

Fleeting Freedom Flashes [RDP]

Much of my stress/anxiety has always come from the struggle to carve more freedom for myself. This is a bit ironic, since I like structure and routine, don’t mind rules as much as some people, and have desires that require funds, which necessitates an income/job. Having a job, no matter how good it may be, takes a big bite from the freedom pie. Mmmpie!

Yet I’m reminded of The Matrix, where at first people were given everything they desired ~ this supposedly bored them to the point where their brains quit producing enough energy. I realize this is fiction, but even so. A little stress and conflict may be good for us? Personally, I prefer the stress of a particularly difficult logic puzzle rather than an argument with another person, but YMMV. I guess I like the kind of anxiety I can control myself ~ I set my own pace in a pencil puzzle, but other people are too hard to predict.

Back to freedom. I like anticipating a long weekend and a nice chunk of time to spend on myself or visiting my daughters, but if every weekend was “long” or there were no weekends because I wasn’t working, then what would I have to look forward to? Just nothing piled on top of nothingness. 😛

It’s fun though to fantasize about more freedom, flashes of what it might be like to have gobs of time to write and do anything I pleased. I’d like to believe I’d fill at least some of those hours doing good works, however defined, and not only focusing on myself. But of course that’s a slippery slope too, since I would naturally feel good about myself for doing good things, unlike now when I have neither time nor energy…

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Group Noodles

Community conjures up the feels. I’m an only child, and my parents weren’t involved in religion, sports, or even extended family get-togetherness (much), so I grew up in a community of three. We also moved house frequently, so I didn’t have long-term friendships until high school. Those were individualized more than with groups, so again… not much experience with community.

This all led me to the mindset that I was alone in the world and could do for myself with no help from anyone, which is true regarding some things but not so much others. Forex, I’m happy with a lot of alone time while others need to be more social; but I am not exactly Miz Fix-It. When something goes wrong, I usually need a person to help me. That is unfortunate, but it is what it is. Luckily, there are a lot of people who know things.

I had an identity as wife for a couple decades, along with mom, so I was part of a family group. When I joined a temple, along with some informal social groups, I was a member of those communities, but my interest in them dissolved as time went by.

I felt part of the diverse Huntington Beach community when I owned real estate there, but after I sold it, not so much. Now I rent in Costa Mesa and don’t feel much of a connection. If someone said Costa Mesa sucks, forex, I’d shrug and not feel any need to defend.

Sometimes I’m happy I grew up free from group identities, but otoh it makes it harder for me to relate to others, especially now in this increasingly polarized political climate. Politics is the one thing I find myself getting groupish about at times, and I dislike that. I want to feel I can blend in and be friends with anyone, or no one, if I choose.

I’ve noticed that most people like to tie themselves to groups ~ I think it’s human nature. Safety in numbers and all that. Occasionally I feel a twinge of identity, like woohoo I’m in the blogging community ~ I’m a blogger… hear me rawr! ~ but that doesn’t really mean anything. It’s not important like, say, being a Raiders fan, or whatever. Those people take their identity and community seriously.

Song Lyrics Sunday: Drink

There are so many drinking songs this could be the topic every week for a year and we wouldn’t run out of tunes to poast! Yikes, that reminds me of the board game Encore, also about lyrics, which never ends because people know way too many songs and no one wants to use the timer, soooo annoying. Anyway, I’m going with one of my favorite lyricists, Leonard Cohen, and his heartbreaking song “Darkness.”

I caught the darkness, it was drinking from your cup
I caught the darkness drinking from your cup
I said is this contagious?
You said just drink it up.

I got no future,
I know my days are few
The present’s not that pleasant
Just a lot of things to do.
I thought the past would last me
But the darkness got that too.

I shoulda seen it coming
It was right behind your eyes
You were young and it was summer
I just had to take a dive
When I knew was easy, the darkness was the price.

I don’t smoke no cigarette, I don’t drink no alcohol
I ain’t had much loving yet
But that’s always been your call
Hey I don’t miss it baby
I got no taste for anything at all.

I used to love the rainbow
And I used to love the view
Another early morning, I’d pretend that it was you
But I caught the darkness baby
And I got it worse than you.

I caught the darkness, it was drinking from your cup
I caught the darkness, drinking from your cup
I said is this contagious?
You said just drink it up.

Songwriters: Leonard Cohen
Darkness lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

The Possibility Paradox

When you haven’t done anything yet, or made any mistakes, it’s easy to be full of optimism. Life is like a board game, full of possibility. But once you start making choices, other paths necessarily close off. That’s just the way it is. Sometimes you can rectify a mistake, or catch up on something you neglected, but generally if you pass up a chance early in the game, it doesn’t come around again. Yet, you can’t simply do nothing. It’s your turn and you have to make a move. And if you realize you’re playing the wrong game halfway through? Tough. Soldier on, buddy.

Share Your World 1

I lied. I said I wasn’t going to participate in these Facebook type listicles, but this one looks fun and I’m bored. Bored? Didn’t I just download ninety-one new romance novels for free from Amazon? Yep, that is correct.

1. In regards to puzzles what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search, mazes, logic or numeric puzzles, something else, or nothing?

-Puzzles! Love jigsaws, grew up with ’em, but alas there’s no room for one in my little apartment, plus my kitty would attack the pieces. Crosswords are great ~ used to try to do the Sunday NYT with my dad. I have one game on my phone and it’s a modified word search (WordBrain). Fun! But not addicting like Words with Friends. I used to love logic puzzles back in the day when I bought puzzle magazines. Not a huge fan of the sudoku, kinda boring. Meh on mazes.

2. List at least five favorite treats and it doesn’t necessarily have to be food.

-whenever “Hotel California” comes on the radio. I know I can listen to it whenever I want to, but when it plays unexpectedly that is a real treat.

-whenever someone agrees to play a full pie of Chinese Checkers with me (three triangles each), knowing it will take forever, and turn into a giant clusterf*ck, but it is so fun.

-when I can hang out with both my daughters (and now my granddaughter too) at the same time.

-catching a gorgeous sunset.

-frozen lemonade and roasted corn at the Orange County Fair.

3. What is your favorite type of dog?

4. What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

-Seeing Mamma Mia 2 with a good friend!

Thank you for the great questions, Cee.

Song Lyrics Sunday: Game

As some of you know, I have an entire playlist built around this word! I’m going with Sheryl Crow’s version of “Solitaire” (there are many excellent takes on it), originally written by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody

There was a man
A lonely man
Who lost his love
Through his indifference

A heart that cared
That went unshared
Until it died
Within his silence

And solitare’s the only game in town
And every road that takes him
Takes him down
And by himself it’s easy to pretend
He’ll never love again…

~*~

Song Lyrics Sunday: Game

My Trophy Life

For a long time, I thought I was doing online dating incorrectly and that’s why I was always so unhappy about it. Whenever I’d poast about it here, that feeling would be reinforced by all the (well-meaning) advice I received. I’ve deleted most of those poasts because they and their comments annoyed me in retrospect. After five and a half years of online dating (including some breaks), I gave it up for good around a year ago. As it turns out, I wasn’t doing it wrong ~ it’s just wrong for me and many others like me. Millions of people. Not talking about the creepy process of selecting our dates by specs like we buy a TV off Amazon, though that’s horrible enough. Not even talking about the brutal way we reject people because they have a scratch and we think we deserve a flawless model no matter how imperfect we are ourselves, nope. Talking about this:

Last year, Match.com released a volunteer-based study on recent dating trends. Although the survey wasn’t scientific, the results were revealing. Almost one in six singles (15%) reported feeling addicted to the online process of looking for a date. Millennials were 125% more likely to say they feel addicted to dating. Men were 97% more likely to feel addicted to dating than women, but 54% of women felt more burned out by the process. [Source]

It’s addicting for people who get addicted to things, and that’s a lot of people, myself included. Hell, I just became briefly addicted to Spider Solitaire after Windows 10 updated itself and installed it on my machine. OOH WHAT’S THIS? Must play game. I played 135 games. In less than a week. They sent me a notice that I’d flipped over 10,000 cards and I got very excited. It was a gold trophy. SHINY! Got a few more goodies. Then I thought wtf am I doing? I’m supposed to be writing a novel, hello. So, I deleted the entire app from my laptop.

Every time I joined a dating site I told myself I’d just be chill and let things unfold. But that isn’t my way. It’s just not. I had to check out the profile of every man in my area who fit my criteria. I had to try to figure out why someone rejected me if they viewed me and didn’t say hello. I’d make up my own stories about each one. I overanalyzed every chat. If a man criticized me in some way or was drive-by mean, I took it personally. It was hard to shrug that off. On and on. And these were the guys I never even met!

But people with OCD are particularly susceptible to spending too much time fussing over stuff in general (obviously), and for whatever reason technology tends to exacerbate that tendency. Online dating is like a game, isn’t it? Or a job hunt. We are driven to “win” or to achieve a goal, whatever that means to the individual, and we keep playing, clicking, swiping, liking, checking, turning over cards, whatever, until we get that shiny trophy. And then what? Well. There’s a question for another day.

In the meantime, here’s a study from 2016 that links addiction to mobile devices with depression and anxiety. Again, it’s more relevant for people who already have issues with OCD in the first place. An online dating site is that perfectly irresistible magic mix of toxic elements coming together for someone prone to anxiety. Definitely not a safe place for someone like me, which I always suspected. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, except for joining to begin with! Those sites fed my existing problems and that’s why I became miserable while dealing with them.

It wasn’t me; it was them. This last year has been so much better since I gave up online dating, and even better still in the last two months since I left Facebook and Instagram. Onward to more shiny goodness!

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A Glimmer Is Not Enough

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I’ve been doing more deleting, my peeps. Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram were the big ones, but that was just the beginning of my webhousecleaning.

Actually, that’s not true. I began this back when I dumped all the dating sites for good in 2017. And I’ll tell you something: I do not miss them one bit, nor do I miss dating. It’s the most stressful thing in the world, not fun at all, and I’m sleeping so much better since I quit. Turns out, I do not have insomnia! I had dating-related anxiety. I sleep through the night just fine almost every night now just like back in the old days before I began any of it. Anyway, last month was FB & Co.’s turn to get the heave-ho. But what about the other sites?

I had a Meetup account since 2011 and over the years joined various groups ~ Scrabble, writing, walking, board games, etc.  But my favorite writing group never meets at a time that’s convenient for me now. New groups that sound interesting are always too far away or some other annoying thing. The rest of the groups are too sportsy or too young or too costly or too dating-related or whatever. Every week or so I look in with the glimmer of hope there will be something fun and nopety nope nope. Waste of time. Isn’t my new motto to quit wasting time on things that aren’t productive, healthy, or fun? Yes, I believe it is. A glimmer is not enough to justify time wastery. Meetup account DELETED.

Deleted some Yahoo groups for the same reason and quit getting email notifs from a few otter ones. Why spend time reading things that are of no value? That’s time wastery. For some of that stuff, there isn’t even a glimmer of a chance anything interesting is going to come of it. It’s barely one step above actual SPAM. People I don’t know jabbering about things I don’t care about. WTF am I reading this? Habit, a bad one.

And then I figured that it’s just Not Good to have random idle accounts sitting around “out there” due to nasty hackers, evil Russians, alien pods, and whatnot. So I went on a spree, whacking accounts like DISQUS, Quora, Ello, and various otter sillinesses that I don’t even use or waste time on but don’t need to have my name associated with either. Paranoia, it’s what’s for dinner. You guys forgot about Ello, dincha? 🙂

I’m debating Goodreads. On the one hand, it hardly takes up any time, so it doesn’t count as a waste of same. On the otter hand, I find it vaguely irritating. First it doesn’t let me delete my own books. I have unpublished a few (couple short stories I decided I don’t want as stand-alones, wish to edit them, and then have them as part of my book of longer, connected short stories I hope to have out by the end of this year). So, if you click on the links, they don’t exist. Of course this drives me bonkers. Why can’t I delete them from my bio there? That’s one thing. Second, GR makes me feel compelled to finish a book even when it’s bad so I can have that book added to my book count. Okay, that’s not Goodreads’ fault; that’s my OCD again. Regardless, that’s how it is and being on the site creates this issue. But perhaps this isn’t a bad thing? At least once recently I ended up enjoying a book I wouldn’t have finished otterwise. So, hmm.

Guess I’ll leave GR for meow, but they’re on the watchlist. I’m sure they’re terrified.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Glimmer

Second Place Song

My team squeaked into second place at Pub Quiz last Friday because I remembered which one-hit-wonder did a song from 1979. This is the kind of stuff that sticks in my brain through the decades.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Song