I've been busy. Not necessarily any busier than usual, but my focus has been elsewhere. I recently moved, and now I'm close enough to friends that I might be busy any given weeknight. I started a new job, and there's a "no blogging" policy that's curtailed my lunchtime writing breaks. I've thrown myself into developing a small Mega Man fangame, which has consumed almost all my free time for the last several weeks. Most importantly, I've taken stock of all my activities and obligations, and I've started turning my attention away from the things that don't energize and fulfill me the way I used to. Blogging, much to my surprise, is one such thing.
To be clear, I still love to write. I still intend to update my Series Opinions when I have the time and inspiration, and I'm not abandoning blogging altogether. But I look at the last several months--heck, the last year or two--and I can't consider myself a "blogger" anymore. With rare exception, my only posts have been my monthly Retrospectives--a holdover from my days with Exfanding Your Horizons, when we relied on regularly scheduled filler posts (which, ostensibly, were also of some benefit to our less-regular readers) to meet our blogging quotas. Until recently, I didn't stop to consider whether I wanted to keep going with a recurring summary of my online deeds. It was simply something I did. I never thought much of it because of how little time it took, in the grand scheme of things. Not like the GameCola articles that took me weeks to assemble, or the YouTube videos that took months. But when I assessed everything I was doing with my life, I came to realize that even the small effort it took to keep up with a monthly Retrospective was still an intrusion on how I wanted to be spending my time anymore.
If you're following an obscure blog that never updates, then you're probably following me on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and maybe even The Backloggery, where you'll get updates on my online deeds in real time. Neither of us needs a Retrospective anymore. (Apologies to the one person who misses the Retrospectives.)
That's how I operate: I accumulate more and more obligations and join more and more activities until I'm completely overburdened, then I clean house and start over again. I never want to let people down, and I often feel guilty backing out of a commitment (no matter how good the excuse is), and I'm also a creature of habit. Once I start something, I'm disinclined to stop. This is why I've played through so many video games I haven't enjoyed. Even that has changed, though; you may recall my Backloggery Revolution earlier this year, and I haven't looked back. I've lost all patience for things that should be fun but aren't. I have so little time to myself anymore that I can't afford to waste a second on anything that doesn't build me up.
That's a little unhealthy for a perfectionist, mind you. I already want the things I do in my free time to go smoothly; now I'm pressuring myself to choose the best possible activities and make sure they go off without a hitch. I'm making myself unhappy by trying to be happy. How messed up is that? The solution, or at least part of the solution, is to free up more time for myself so I'm not so pressured to make every moment count. To awkwardly employ a metaphor, they say there's no use crying over spilled milk, but I'll still cry less if I spill the same amount from a fuller glass.
Regardless, no matter what I do, I will always question whether it's the best thing I can do. Suppose I volunteer to be a friendly visitor at a nursing home. Great, right? But then I'm not helping out at a homeless shelter, providing disaster relief in the wake of the latest hurricane, mentoring a troubled teenager, or doing any number of other important things. And let's be honest; the activities I'm choosing between are playing AM2R and watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain Goes Somewhere You'll Never Visit, At This Rate. Maybe that's not all bad, though. Giving of oneself is arguably the highest pursuit there is, but giving is hollow without someone to receive the gift. By being a consumer of entertainment, I'm validating the time and effort that countless people have spent on trying to make me happy, however indirectly. Maybe, with the right mindset, whatever I'm doing is the best thing I could be doing. At the very least, I can aim to make the most of any situation, however trivial and wasteful it may seem.
It feels good to write again. I missed this. I missed you, dear reader. Even if I'm only writing for myself, this feels worthwhile. Even if this wasn't the best thing I could have done with my time, this feels worthwhile. Maybe perfectionism is the fear of things being less than worthwhile. Well, then. Things are going perfectly.