But last night was a triumph, for my wife and I finished Deep Space Nine.
I'm no stranger to long, drawn-out projects. Look at any of my Mega Man videos for YouTube—this latest recording endeavor, a playthrough of Mega Man 7, had been on hold for over a year. But in the last two months, I went from having only the intro stage recorded to having everything but the final stage and end credits. Over the course of this past week, my wife and I marathoned the entire second half of DS9's seventh and final season. More than likely, tonight we'll be watching the Season 3 finale of Voyager or kicking off Enterprise with the double-length pilot episode. Things are picking up, and it's exciting.
There's something to be said for a leisurely pace—taking my time through The Original Series and The Next Generation was enjoyable, because I'd already seen many, if not most, of the episodes and savoring the continual presence of my favorite sci-fi franchise in my weekly routine. An episode here and there was fine by me.
Things were different by the time we got to Deep Space Nine—I'd watched most of the first two seasons (and a scant handful of episodes after that) when the show was first on the air, but lost interest when they didn't boldly go anywhere! Now, two decades later, I have a greater appreciation of the character interactions and darker themes explored by the show. Entranced by the compelling stories and recognizing the huge gap in my Star Trek education that demanded to be filled, I was eagerly watching two, three, even four episodes at a clip whenever we sat down to watch DS9. I was hooked.
As soon as I had my first special weapon for this playthrough of Mega Man 7, I started discovering and remembering all the ways I can show off and goof around in the game. I was having a blast—some of the most fun I've ever had recording videos for YouTube, in fact--and couldn't wait to (a) try my hand at the next stage, and (b) share my enthusiasm for this oft-derided game with the online community. I was hooked.
Having spent so much time with the same few projects in progress, it is supremely gratifying to reach a major milestone, an ending, or even a point where I can see a milestone or an ending. It's rejuvenating to actively feel the anticipation of starting the next phase of something. I've set aside my other side projects to concentrate on these two, but I think I've needed a break from all the short-term satisfactions of blog posts I write in an hour and chipping away at one of the random movies on our ponderous Netflix Instant Queue. It's become a fact of life that I always have two Star Trek series and a Mega Man game going at any given time...but turning the status quo into a temporary situation with a clear endpoint is what I needed—and what I suspect we all need, sometimes—to pull me out of a comfortable rut and place me on a fresh path that's even better.