20 March 2012

Life is a Hamster Wheel

  I've been intending to post more on my Battletech World musings for over a month.  I've been intending to do a lot of things...  Let me tell you, the last few months have degenerated into my feeling a lot like Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day."  8-week semesters in online college are actually kinda killer - it seems just as you're getting into a class, it's mid-terms, then finals.  Since everything I'm taking from here on out is a history class (save Astronomy, which I'm admittedly procrastinating on taking) it's reasearch, papers, and more research.  So school is whipping my butt-tocks.  I realized the depths of my morale loss when I managed to flub one week in my Revolutionary War class by simply blanking on the posting requirements and missing some things entirely.  I deservedly got a C and a 50 on two assignments, and that shook me hard since the lowest grade I'd gotten so far was a 97.  It made me take a hard look at WHY I got those grades.

  My give-a-dam busted.  It's the hamster wheel of life.  Get up, dress one or more children, get said child or children to daycare, go to work.  Work on some schoolwork, pick up kids, feed kids, get kids to bed - and by the time they're in bed, be too fatigued to do much else.  Completely fail to sleep through the night - even with meds - and wake up and do it all over again.  And again.  And again.  And on Sundays - marathon through the schoolwork I have left for the week.  This last week it was five hours straight of finishing up my lessons.

  Last week was supposedly Spring Break - so I got time off work.  Predictably for my current run of luck, my wife, myself, and both kids took turns having the 24-hour stomach explosion.  This, plus other commitments meant that my psychologist-perscribed concept of taking some time to relax completely by playing some AD&D turned into a total mess.  There were some bright spots, to be sure - we did get 4 hours of good gaming in, I got to see my little girl learn to hold her own bottle at last, and my little boy and I got some great playtime in.  I managed to hit the gym 9 days in a row, then take Sat and Sun off, and get back to it yesterday.  And that 30 minutes on the elliptical doesn't feel nearly as tough as it did a week ago.  Next week I'm adding 5 minutes, and 5 again each week until I hit an hour.  So there were bright spots...

  I will say that the brief AD&D we DID get in - after trying to get rolling twice before - kinda served to remind me of what I'm missing.  I found it kind of a tease, really.  I miss THAC0.  I miss Exceptional Strength for fighters.  I miss hit dice.  Basically, AD&D, like 80s music and episodes of Cheers, calms my mind and helps me focus on relaxation.  It reminds me of a simpler time when I didn't have bills to pay, research to do, and children to mind.  Now, don't get me wrong - parenthood has been an amazing journey so far, but as Dr. Lisa my therapist has told me (in addition to my Mom, my friends, etc.) I can't take care of my family if I don't take care of myself.  I'm not sleeping right, I'm not relaxing, and I'm pretty much tied into stress knots most of the time.  The one hobby game I have left, the amazing Royal Dragoon Guards, is feeling more and more like work and I'm having a harder and harder time giving it the work it's due.  My motivation for pretty much everything is just... gone.  I keep doing the things I absolutely have to do, and not much else.  My brain won't be quiet - I keep thinking about bills, whether or not our foster kids will still be with us a month from now, if I'm going to be able to graduate this fall...  if it can be worried about, I keep worrying about it.  Nothing has really helped.  Even the THIRD sleep med, this one also used for anti-anxiety, fails to really help.

  My perscription from my therapist is for relaxation.  The problem is finding time, and not feeling guilty about it.  When I'm trying to do something for me, that means I'm not doing something for my wife or my kids- and that bothers me so much I have a hard time enjoying whatever I'm doing.  I've gotta do something...  But I'm not sure what.  My mother says parents should give up pretty much everything in their lives until their kids are in their tweens or so.  I'm not wired that way - I can't relax without having some social interaction, preferably in the form of gaming.  It's my mental release, and has been since I've been a teenager.  And I miss it.

 Sorry for the downer.  Hope that I can blog more about the gaming part here soon.