Personal

More Azeroth Adventures

So I’ve spent the majority of my Friday evening and Saturday playing World of Warcraft. Maybe I got spurred on by the fact that I only have a few days remaining on my sub or maybe I just had this urge to play a comfort game. In any case I’ve been running around on my Rogue and my Paladin and have been making a ton of progress in the Battle for Azeroth story.
I’ve now finished up the War Campaign story for both factions including Tides of Vengeance. This means I got to unlock Kul Tiran humans on the Alliance side and I got a shiny mount for finishing the campaign on both Horde and Alliance side. I’m currently less than 250 reputation removed from unlocking Zandalari Trolls so that will be my main focus this weekend. After that I only have the Draenor Orcs left to unlock but I’m in no rush to do so simply because I know I will probably never play said race.

Having said this I’m probably not going to reach the goals for WoW that I initially plotted out at the start of the month. I may be able to get my Mage to level 120 but I won’t have the time to gear up/catch up to current content. The same goes for leveling the Hunter, she’s still sitting somewhere around level 55 so there is no way in hell I’ll be able to get her to 110 before my game time runs out. In theory I could purchase another month of game time, but with my move coming up in three weeks I doubt I’ll have much time to play. It’s simply not worth the money for me to maintain the sub if I can’t play for half of the time that it’s running. So I’m just going to let it run it’s course and get my time’s worth as my remaining sub time counts down to zero.

Going back to me finishing off the War Campaigns (so far) I’m still more enamoured by the whole Alliance part in Battle for Azeroth than I am with the Horde part. Clearly Blizzard is steering towards some sort of schism in the Horde or maybe we will see Sylvanas depart alltogether in the next patch. I don’t know. All I do know is that most of the quests I’m performing are making me rather unhappy to play Horde side story wise. Turning people into Forsaken isn’t the most fun there is and honestly I’m kind of happy that the Alliance seemed to have come out with the upper hand after the Battle of Dazar’Alor. It was interesting to first see the Alliance point of view, how they set up the trap for the Horde in Nazmir and left Blademaster Telaamon behind to lead the decoy army against the Horde while the Alliance attacked Zuldazar directly. I felt a pang of guilt as I killed said Telaamon on my Paladin because I had seen the Alliance side of the story. His sacrifice was not in vain.

Seeing the time that I have left in WoW I probably can’t see all the current content. I may be able to squeeze in the Battle raid on my Paladin because I’m a tank so my queue will probably be fast. I’m probably not going to be able to see the Alliance side of things so I guess I’m going to just put that on hold untill I get my PC set up in my new home. For now my goals in WoW are simple. Unlock Zandalari Trolls. Get my Mage to level 120 (only 3,5 level to go) and maybe take a peek inside the raid on my Paladin as time permits. We’ll see how far I’ve gotten after my sub runs out.

Next to making progress in WoW I’ve also made a ton of progress when it comes to my house. Most of the things have been arranged now so I will have running water, heat and electricity from the day I get my house keys. I’m insured and I’ve ordered all my furniture. If all goes well I should have the majority of my stuff in the week of April 8th. That’s when my furniture will arrive and when I will go shopping for a washer/dryer and a TV. I expect that that first week will mostly be filled with me cleaning the house from top to bottom and slowly moving my non-essential stuff over. So I can start with putting all my stuff in the kitchen, buying things like a mop, vacuum cleaner and other cleaning items. After my furniture gets assembled I can start moving over other non-essential items like my books, towels, winter clothes, games and consoles I don’t currently use. I hope that by that time the internet is working as well so I can test it out with my PS4 and Switch. All in all I hope to have completed my move around the Easter weekend. Obviously not everything is in my control when it comes to this. Seeing as it is a new apartment I will have an inspection on the day that I get my keys. Anything found that needs to be fixed or replaced will need to happen in the weeks after. I really hope that there aren’t any major flaws but you never know. It would really suck to have my careful plans ruined because my windows need to be replaced or some sort of other big fix that needs to happen.

I also can’t believe that I will be standing in my own house in a little less than three weeks. Time really has flown by because I feel like they only started building on site a month ago while it’s been over a year. A lot has happened in that time and I’m more than ready to leave my old living situation behind and embrace the new one. I hope it brings me a fresh start in life which I can use to turn some bad habits into good ones. I’ve taken some time off at the start of May to just enjoy living in my house but also to start working on new routines. I want to regularly visit the gym again and the plan is to start going every day when I’m off work and then tone it down to 3-4 times a week when I do work. It’s a bit of an extreme step but I hope I’m able to build up a good start in those two weeks that I’m off and work from there. My weight has been detrimental to my health for a while now so I need to start shedding it one way or another and working out is a surefire way to get that started. I also want to figure out a new morning routine where I show up at work a little better looking than I do now. I want to wear more make-up and do more stuff with my hair than just simply brushing it. I also need to fix my skincare and oral care routines because I’m noticing that what I’m doing now is not working. And what better time to do that when you’re starting fresh in a new home?

Feeling Detached

I’ve started writing this post multiple times, inside and outside of my mind multiple times. I find it difficult to talk about personal stuff on a gaming blog but it’s my blog and therefore also my choice. I guess talking about why I’m not gaming is also a gaming post right?
Anyway. I’ve been struggling at work a lot the past few months. Ever since we had a reorganization our department has been a mess. Now, about 4-5 months later, people are finally finding their way and calming down a bit but the damage has already been done. Due to the reorganization I suddenly saw my workload skyrocket. Not only did I became responsible for more categories I also suddenly got dragged into way more meetings and projects. Out of my five days of work per week, 2 or 3 were usually comprised of meeting after meeting making it so that my work suffered. I felt like I was constantly not getting done and pushing things off till the next day and I would go home stressed and completely exhausted. The only thing I was holding onto was the fact that I’m moving in April and had requested three weeks off to make that go smoothly and so that I could enjoy my new house in peace. Two weeks ago I got told my request had been denied and instead I would only get one week off… It was my breaking point. I was already exhausted that day, I’d been thinking of calling in sick to work every day that week and something inside me just snapped. I broke down in tears and just couldn’t stop crying. Fortunately for me I have the best colleagues who immediatly came to talk to me and calm me down and gave me time to explain what’s going on. Eventually we worked out that I was simply overworked and teetering on the edge of a burnout. I have since delegated my tasks to a few coworkers and focused on the stuff that really needed to be done. My meetings have been cut down and I feel like I can sort of breathe again even though I’m still seriously exhausted.

In extension of this I’ve felt extremely disconnected from my personal life. I didn’t (and still don’t really) have the energy to do anything as I got home after work. I would just lie on bed playing a silly colour by number app on my phone or reading other people’s blogs or just fall asleep outright. The same was true for the time period after dinner where I would be lying on bed feeling exhausted and sleep or watch an episode of a show on Netflix while battling sleep. All of this has caused me to feel completely detached from gaming in general. I’ve been logging into WoW here and there because it’s comfortable and familiar but otherwise I’ve not been interested in starting up a game at all. I’ve not really touched FFXIV at all except to do the Valentione event. I’ve barely even looked at my Switch and my Playstation. It’s all fallen into “meh, I can’t be arsed” category the last few weeks. Which sucks. Even on the weekend I find myself mostly wanting to sleep and not do anything. It’s really impacted my plans for this month gaming wise and I’m not sure when this state of mind will let up.
On moments like these I can be very jealous of Belghast and Syp who seem to enjoy their hobbies even when life looks a bit more stressful than normal. For me it feels like it’s the first thing I’m dropping when I feel bad and the last thing I can really get back into when I start feeling better again. It doesn’t really help that I need to arrange a ton of stuff for my move still and that’s occupying my mind aswell.

All in all I feel very detached from my normal routines. I log into games only to log out a few minutes later again. I reinstalled Steam, hoping that maybe playing a game on there would help me get back into the groove but I just stared at my library for a solid fifteen minutes and then realized there’s nothing there that I want to be playing. I just don’t really want to think about picking up a new game and learning to play right now yet I also feel like I need to do something to get out of this rut. My brain just feels overexhausted and I’m not sure where to go from here. If I can’t even enjoy my games… I’m not sure how much deeper I can sink away into this gaping maw that is exhaustion and burnout.

Why the move is important

So I’ve been dropping in posts that I’m finally moving out of 29 years of living under my dad’s roof. This move is important to me, more important than it would seem just looking at it normally. I mean, being 29 and living at home still was not what I had in mind for my future and the fact that I’m finally moving out is causing all sorts of thoughts and emotions in me that I’ve not had in years.
To really understand why finally moving out on my own is so important to me I guess I need to tell a bit of the story of my life so prepare for a deeply personal post on this one. There are some trigger warnings here including suicide, parental death and (verbal) abuse.

I am an only child. My mom was a stay at home mother and my father worked full time. My mom was everything to me. She was my primary caretaker and my pillar. My dad was the man I saw at dinner and in the weekends. He’d come to stuff like gym competitions and me getting swim diploma’s but he never really interjected himself in my day to day life. My dad always has had a short temper and would get angry about the most ridiculous stuff. Sometimes this anger was aimed at me for requests a normal innocent childs make that would somehow set him off. He has hit me as a child a few times when my mom couldn’t intervene on time. It’s safe to say the bond with my father was bad.

When I was 12 years old my mother suddenly passed away. One day she was there and the next day I came home to find her dead body in my parents’ bedroom. She’d had a blood clot in her lungs and basically died within minutes of this happening. There was nothing anyone could have done but to teenage me this was non-information. My world was shattered. I had lost the most important person in my life and it still leaves deep scars untill this day. This meant I grew up as teenager with a father who I had no emotional connection to. He hadn’t been physically abusing towards me for years but on an emotional level we could not connect. He took time off after my mother died to grieve but I went back to school and got by on my own. I had very little support and a father who didn’t want to talk about what happened and who still had his temper. This often resulted into getting verbally abused over nothing and me developing deep rooted anxieties towards the man. I’ve been told so many times that he’d knock me into the hospital or throw me out into the streets that I just trained myself to zone out when he’d go on one of his rants. He also believed I was a difficult child (I wasn’t) and that all the issues I had were of my own making thus yelling at me almost every day was somehow justified.
When I was 16 I was diagnosed with PTSD and I attended single therapy aswell as family therapy to sort through the copious amount of issues that existed for me and within the relationship with my father. I wish I could say that this helped matters but unfortunately it didn’t. I learned to deal with the fact that I didn’t have a normal family home and tried to focus on getting my own life in order and focus on school and getting into university. Untill this day I still have issues with talking to my dad openly about things. I feel like if I tell him something he dislikes he will immediatly go into a rage so I rather keep things on the down low. I don’t think we will ever have a normal father/daughter relationship and at this point in life I’ve not tried pursuing such a thing for a long time.

When I was 18 my dad’s current partner came into the picture. I had my first real boyfriend at the time and he was spending more and more time with a woman we’ve known for a long time because she lived next to one of my uncles. Everything seemed okay at the start of their relationship. She was nice/normal towards me and I was happy my dad had found someone again because this meant that he’d focus less on me and leave me alone. I have to say that her coming into his life made my life suddenly much easier and I feel like I’ve had a bit of a restored relationship with my dad from that moment on but it’s still not how it should be.

As I’ve found out throughout my life though things never seem to stay on the up and up. My dad’s partner turned out to be a whole world of trouble on her own. She has some social issues which I’m not sure I can explain but it’s made my life miserable at times. Instead of confronting me about stuff she “disliked” me doing she’d badmouth me to my dad behind my back for years. This resulted in him being angry with me and berating me on how to act “normal” towards her on more than one occassion. This went on, and is still going on, for a long time untill I sat down with him and basically told him that I was done being a “good daughter” for her. She’s not my mother. She has not once showed any real interest in me. I’m tired of trying to be the one to build a “relationship” with her when there’s obviously no interest from her side. The badmouthing still happens but I’ve not been addressed by my dad in a long time. And the things that she would badmouth about are of the category “absurd”. She really does make problems bigger than they are and then becomes a dramaqueen about it for no apparent reason.
One of the best examples I can give of this is one that happened in the last year. I have my own equipment for storing food, they’re glass containers with plastic lids that can go into the fridge but also into the oven. I used one of them to make lasagna with. I’ve had these for a while and the stickers of the brand were still on the sides even though they’re half peeled off. I have no issues with this but to her it looked “stupid”. I shrugged and pointed out they were mine and I didn’t care. For some reason my dad chimed in and eventually I told him to just put the damn thing into hot water to help it peel off. Ten minutes later, I had gone up to my room to relax, my dad comes knocking on my door because he needed me to talk to her because she was upset. She was upset because “when I suggest something you never listen to me but you listen to your dad”. First off, she never suggests.. She bitches. Secondly I don’t have to listen to any of your suggestions when it comes to my stuff. Thirdly what the hell is your problem woman. I told her I had no idea why she was upset about this because it’s simply bullshit. My dad sat inbetween and just let it play out. This is the kind of petty drama filled shit that fills her head apparently and I can’t stand it.

I’ve had to deal with it for 10 years now and I’m just not putting any energy into communication on that part anymore. I let her bitch and I just stare off in another direction untill it’s done and then I talk to my dad. It’s so emotionally exhausting to live with these people. A father who rages at every little thing and a woman who thinks I’m somehow out to get her and makes mountains out of molehills. I try to avoid them as much as I can already while I was plotting my escape. Not getting a job untill I was 26 didn’t really help either but now that I’ve had a steady employment for the past three years and I could finally afford to move out I sprung on the chance to do it. It’s going to be such a relief to not have to deal with this stupid stuff every day anymore.

Not having had a stable home since I was 12. Living with a man who has no control on his temper and who lacks a sincere proficiency for empathy, and a woman who has the attitude of a teenager has had more of an impact on me than my mothers’ death could ever have. I’ve gone through PTSD and a secondary anxiety disorder that was diagnosed later in life. And yet nothing has taken it’s toll on my health more than living at home for as long as I have. I could write so many stories of shitty things that happened over the years. Of the verbal abuse, the bullying, the badmouthing to the point where I had an anxiety attack so bad that I fell and couldn’t get up and my dad was still raging at me. I’ve been made to feel less than human, to feel like I had no right to live, that I was a terrible human being and at some point I really believed the world would be better off without me so I tried to take my own life. Which only elicited more rage from my dad instead of the empathy he was supposed to feel towards his teenaged kid. Untill today I still struggle with suicidal thoughts. They may not be plans or actual ideas to take my own life, but if I were to die in my sleep I’d have no issues with it.

I have made leaps and bounds to improve my life. Finishing my Master’s degree, getting a steady job. I have an uncle who I was able to confide in about all the things that happened in our house and his heart broke for me. I’m no longer a broken person although I’m not where I want to be just yet. But moving out of this toxic household and finally starting a life of my own means more to me than anything else in the world. It feels like I can finally release myself from the shackles this house has put on me and be free of it all.
And maybe, just maybe, I can finally start living a normal life.

Homes, hacks, patches and funerals

As you can deduce from the post title I’ve had a very exhausting week. A lot of things happened that are gaming and IRL related and I need to get it all off my chest.

So let’s start with the good!
I had a look at my new apartment on Wednesday. It’s coming really close to being done at this point. My bathroom is as good as ready, all ceilings are ready, and it’s basically putting in the floor heating, floor, kitchen and painting the walls that needs to be done now. They suspect we can move in sometime during April, which is 5 months earlier than the initial date. I’m stoked! I am finally moving out into a neat little apartment and be a complete adult with my own life. Yay me.
I took lots of pictures and got to know some of the neighbours and it was all around good fun. I can’t wait to move there in a few months and I’m already picking out my furniture and making lists of everything I need to buy. I’ll probably do the same thing my coworker did and just take 3 weeks off to move and get settled in.
One of the things I had on my list I can scratch off because to day I picked up my Playstation Pro and traded in my old one. 4k games here I come!

In mentioning the Playstation I come onto my second subject of the post: hacking. More specifically people piggybacking on an existing Playstation Network account. They basically make use of your PSplus subscription and download the games you’ve bought. Apparently this has happened to me sometime during 2016 seeing as in my 5 year PS4 review FIFA 17 suddenly showed up as one of my top 3 most played games… While I don’t own it. After some digging I figured I’d been the victim of the specific type of hack I just described. There’s never been any purchases on my account that weren’t made by me but now with me getting a new Playstation I’ve taken a ton of measurements to make sure my account is freshly protected. I have had 2-step verification for a while but I specifically went into my Sony account and deactivated all devices, changed my PW and set up a new security question. I also took all payment details off the account. If someone tries anything funny now I’ll notice and hopefully this should keep my account safe for the future. It was kind of a scare to realize my account has been used by someone else but luckily nothing malicious every happened so there’s that.

In the realm of gaming I’ve not been able to put that much time into games this week. My warrior is level 68 in FFXIV and slooowly going towards level 70. I’ve been meaning to pick up the second game of Spyro but really couldn’t be arsed to sit down and play. I’m also aware that patch 8.1 is out in World of Warcraft and honestly I’ve not even been interested in logging on and seeing what Blizzard has added for the patch. I will probably poke my head in somewhere around Christmas because I have a week off then and enough time on my hands to play a few more games than just FFXIV and Spyro. Square Enix released the 4.5 patch site for FFXIV so I guess that’s a thing aswell.

Finally some sad news. I’ve been having a few ill family members, some more serious than others. One of them was one of my aunts who has been fighting a lung disease for most of her life. Unfortunately during Friday night she passed away while being surrounded with loved ones. The funeral should be either coming Friday or Saturday. If it’s Friday I probably won’t be able to make it due to work, Dutch time off around funerals is surprisingly strict and will completely depend on your manager when it comes to funerals of non-immediate family. I hope I can make it so I can say goodbye but I’ll guess I will see once the date for the funeral is set.

Warriors and Spyro

Character shot lvl 60 WAR quest

Progress, progress, progress! Hello again!
I’ve been quiet over the past week, I know, so I figured since it’s now Sunday, and I actually have time to sit down and post, I’d give you all an update about what I’ve been busy with throughout the week.

The above screenshot was taking during the cutscene of the level 60 Warrior quest. I will admit I have been less active on FFXIV the past week and the reason will be given below in a few minutes. However I have been slowly chipping away at my Warrior levels and have landed in the 60-70 territory which means I can pick up Beast Tribe dailies again and Hunts. It also means I have been enriched with a ton of new cool abilities, including Deliverance Stance, and that I can finally wear the set of Shire gear which I’ve purchased specifically for the leveling process.
I’ve been enjoying the tanking on Warrior even though I’m not that good at switching stances yet. I know the whole gimmick of Warrior is to get aggro in Defiance stance and then switch to Deliverance and start dishing out a ton of damage yourself in 4 man dungeons. The damage Warrior actually does is quite surreal for a tank and I’m probably going into full Offtank mode when I get level 60 Alliance roulettes or level 60+ trials. It’s just fun, and satisfying, to see those high numbers while swinging an oversized axe around. Luckily for me I’ve not had to do this leveling process alone, I have a few friends who are slowly coming back to FFXIV and I’m bantering with them on Discord as we run our roulettes. All in all I’m quite happy with the progress I’ve been making thus far and I hope to have my Warrior at level 70 by next weekend.

Spyro in Gnasty's loot room

Now onto the real reason I’ve not been playing FFXIV that much.
Last weekend I bought the Spyro Reignited trilogy on a whim. I never had a Playstation myself when I was a kid, my parents bought me a Sega Megadrive (Genesis in the US) that I to this day still adore. However my best friend and her little brother got a modified Playstation as combined birthday gift. I say modified because it had been chipped to be able to play copied game discs meaning that their parents wouldn’t have to pay full price for the games they wanted to play. A lot of my good memories of rainy days come from either playing with her on our attic on the Sega or us playing Playstation games in her brother’s room. This is where I got introduced to Spyro, Crash Bandicoot and Tekken among other games. And although the memories of the original Spyro are kind of vague I knew I wanted to play the HD remakes to see if I could capture that nostalgia and to see if the remakes were any good.

Well I can confidently say that the purchase hasn’t been a waste since I’ve managed to completely finish the first game in the trilogy within a week. According to my save file I’m around 10 hours played after finishing everything there was to do in the game. I’ve beaten the game 120%, the extra 20% being the Gnasty’s Loot Cove level where I took the above picture. I’ve obtained every single Playstation Trophy that was attached to this game, leading to my very first Platinum trophy. Finally I managed to knock out obtaining all the Skill Points and thus unlocking an extra art gallery with a ton of pictures of concept art for the various dragons and other creatures you come across in the first game.

All in all I’ve had a ton of fun playing Spyro. The first game doesn’t have learned skills like the later games do and also have a lot less in the way of guidance the later games do but that makes it even more enjoyable to play. Apparently you can toggle a minimap while playing which, as you can see, I never had on. I wanted to explore all the levels on my own and when push came to shove I’d look up the final thing(s) I missed on Youtube. It was a heavy 90’s nostalgia blast and I’m happy I picked up the games even if it goes against my self-imposed rule of not buying any new games untill I’ve atleast finished some of my existing backlog.

I’ve already started the second game in the trilogy after finishing the first and I hope that I’ll enjoy that one just as much as I did this one but I’ll see once I’m a bit further into the game. So far I’m enjoying myself there aswell, even though the game is a bit more hand-holding than the first one. I already hate having to buy skills with gems though, then again it gives the gems a purpose besides just “collecting”.

As positive as my gaming week has been I’m unfortunately not this happy in real life. Work is being an absolute disaster. I’m in a team of three although it’s basically two and a half because one of the three only works for three days a week due to being a new mom and cutting down her hours, which is totally understandable. However my other colleague has taken three weeks off to move house and basically on Thursdays and Fridays I’m the only one around from my team. Which means everything ends up in my inbox/on my plate. It’s been a struggle to handle this and it’s basically made me come home completely broken on those two days. Add to that the fact that I’m having some issues with dinner and stomach pains and it’s not been a very fun week. Unfortunately for me this situation will last for two more weeks so I’ll just have to grit my teeth and get through. If this means less time for games and other hobbies and more time for sleeping and making sure I feel well then so be it. It will also probably mean my next post won’t be untill the weekend again because frankly I’m just too tired to sit down and write during the evenings.

Common Cold

Zurvan

Seems like I captured the Zurvan fight at just the right time. I always like the intermezzos that Square Enix builds into their trial fights and Zurvan is on the more epic side of said trials. I opted to not main tank this fight though since I’m not really familiar with it plus the other tank had like 10k HP more than I have (Warriors are filthy cheaters I tell you).
The progress on leveling Paladin has been slow but steady. I hit 68 tonight which means I should be 70 on Friday night and tick it off as another class done! In the meantime I’m enjoying tanking on Paladin a lot again, post 50 the job has gotten much more interesting with many more buttons to press than previously.

Being knocked down by a cold this week I didn’t really feel like doing much of anything. However yesterday during the afternoon I attended my very first live orchestra performance in the Concert building in Amsterdam. It was an orchestra plus choir from Eastern Europe and they performed music from various movies with the final hour being dedicated to music from Star Wars alone. It was a magnificent thing to attend and while I don’t necessarily enjoy classical music in general hearing an orchestra perform songs I know was something I felt I needed to experience. Even though when I came home I had a fever flaring up I’m happy I went. This did result in me calling in sick to work today after barely sleeping last night and dealing with all the discomforts that the common cold brings. I’ve thus recovered enough to try to attend work again tomorrow, even if it’s only for a part of the day.

Other than my cold and the concert I don’t really have much to tell right now. Being unwell kind of makes your days boring and mostly spent in bed. I’ve been in too much of a funk to really game a lot so apart from the progress on my Paladin I’ve not really touched anything else. I am planning to play a bit more Pokémon LetsGO as I start feeling better, and to change from playing FFXIV only to also playing a single player game on the side.

My Own Plan

Looking out over Tiragarde Sound

It’s been a bit of an odd week for me. I found myself slipping back into casual raiding on my Paladin. At the same time I’ve been trying to take a bit more distance from WoW and immerse myself a bit more into FFXIV, single player games and making sure that I have a healthy sleep schedule. I’m aiming to be in bed by 23.00 every night except Saturday because obviously I have a bit more time to sleep in over the weekend and as far as things go I notice that It’s having a good effect on my general mood.

The lack of clear focus in my MMO’s has me reconsidering what I want to do in them for the rest of the year. In FFXIV I’m quite certain that it boils down to leveling as many classes as I can. I’m slowly bumping up my Black Mage, while also catching up on gear with my White Mage. Unlocking Heaven on High, the Stormblood version of Palace of the Dead, will help me a lot with my leveling ambitions and will provide me with decent weapons for all my jobs. Being able to tick of level 70 on my remaining jobs will be very satisfying and I’m not really looking into doing anything else there right now.
Well that’s not completely true. I’m also busy unlocking any content that I may have missed from this patch and the last while supporting Doma with the rebuilding of the Enclave. Seeing that city grow and getting all the cutscenes has been very fun and satisfying. Plus it’s a gil income that I can definitely use.

In WoW my focus is slowly shifting away from traditional progress (raids and dungeons) and more to personal progress. I’m working on getting the BfA reputations Exalted on my Rogue while also completing the Battle for Azeroth achievements that are easy to obtain. This means I’m wandering around the world a lot looking for items, treasure chests and creatures to kill. I’m also slowly picking up the transmog farm again and have been running the T11 and Wrath of the Lich King raids to complete or start working on transmog sets. This has led me to discover that the Legacy Loot rules are atrocious and I’d much rather Blizzard reimplement the old way of running outdated content with group loot and a need/greed system for when you buddy up. Nonetheless I’ve been able to obtain a complete T11 set on my Paladin and one of the pets from the Raiding with Leashes IV achievement. I’ve stated earlier that I want to make an effort to level up one of the Allied races but for now that’s a weekend only project. I want to narrow my scope to my Paladin and Rogue mostly so that I don’t get overwhelmed with content and to make sure that I don’t spend too much time playing this game when I could be doing something else. This also means putting my Mythic+ ambitions on the backburner, but honestly with how the game plays right now I’m alright with that. Trying to get a weapon upgrade for my Protection spec has been atrocious and I’m not really content with the whole way Azerite Gear works either. So I don’t want to put too much energy into it where I can use it on things that are more important.

In real life I’ve gotten some very good news from my job. Up untill now I’ve been working as a “temp”. The rules are a bit confusing here in the Netherlands but it boils down to whether the company you work for wants to hire you on their own or via a temp agency. A lot of companies work with the latter because it’s easier to fire people that way and because it’s limited. You can only work a maximum of five years for a company via a temp agency after which you’re usually dismissed and have to look for a new job. I’m in my third year right now and didn’t have that much hopes on obtaining a normal contract but my boss surprised me last Friday with the announcement that they are working on it. This means a much better contract for me with a lot more vacation days that I have now (45 vs 20), a bonus that’s decided on how much profit the company makes, an extra month of salary and better sick leave arrangements. Seeing as my current temp contract runs until April 1st next year I’m hoping they’ll transfer me then which would be perfect because it lines up with me moving to my new apartment around that time aswell.

All of this has inspired me to pick up the slack in other areas of my life. I’m eating more healthy (no more candies and crisps) and trying to be more active when it comes to exercising. I’m picking up the courses that I started ages ago again and I’m generally in a more stable and happy mood than I’ve been in a very long time. I’m also trying to be less chaotic at work with how I do my job and be a bit more organized in my private life aswell. I’m going out more and planning a lot of fun things for the coming few months. I’m not quite where I want to be yet, I’m still full focus on losing weight, but my life finally seems to come together slowly. I can’t wait for 2019 and all the amazing things it will bring. I just need to make my own plans and stick to them and I’m positive that things will then work out in my favour.

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I suddenly realized that it’s been 9 days since my last blog post. This has mostly been due to me focusing on other things, mostly games, and also because I didn’t really know what I wanted to write about. Well I do now!

First off, my two weeks of freedom. Unfortunately I’ve not been able to get myself motivated enough to join the gym again. I’m just way too insecure right now and I’m scared that if I go people will laugh at me. Instead I’m opting to cancel my gym membership for the time being and start/continue working out at home. We have a crosstrainer in the attic, I have weights to use for my arms and there’s a mat which I can use to do my exercises in general on. With the weather turning sour aswell this means I won’t have to brave the wind and rain to get to a gym but instead move up a staircase and do my routine there. I’ve printed out some stuff I can do by myself at home and I’m hoping some results will be showing in the coming weeks.
The other thing I wanted to do was eat more healthy and that has been a major success. I don’t have any junkfood in the house anymore and have been eating way more healthy things. I’ve started taking my own lunch to work again and now I’m just scouring a proper container so I can bring some yoghurt with me aswell. Dinner has been veggie filled almost every evening, even the nacho dish I made last night, and I honestly have started feeling much better physically now that I’ve banned all the high fat and sugar foods out of my life.

Unfortunately most of my free time has still been dedicated to playing games although I did make a tiny bit of progress reading my book. I’ve also been cleaning out my room vigorously getting rid of everything I no longer need and just making sure it’s very clean so that my allergies don’t bother me as much as they normally do. I still plan to take up my cross stitching again, maybe this week when I don’t feel like logging into my games.

On the gaming front I’ve actually been making good time on my September Gaming Goals. I’ve ticked off all the World of Warcraft ones except getting my reputations to Exalted and maxing out my Professions. In FFXIV I’ve finished leveling my Machinist and started to level my Black Mage while also doing dailies to get my Weaver up.
The solo game is still a thing I need to work on but I have maybe figured out a way to start tackling my massive backlog. What I’ve been doing is making a top three game list for all my consoles that I really want to finish and then pick one of those three to start working on. Once I’ve gone through the top three I can pick a new top three and just keep on going through my backlog like that.
My top threes currently look like this.
PS4
1. Crash Bandicoot “NSane” Trilogy
2. Horizon Zero Dawn
3. Final Fantasy XV

Switch
1. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (excluding the Torna DLC).
2. Kirby: Star Allies
3. Octopath Traveler, alteast one chapter 4.

3DS
1. Professor Layton and the Mask of Wonders
2. Dragon Quest VIII
3. Epic Mickey

PC
1. Mickey’s Castle of Illusion
2. Tomb Raider
3. Rayman Origins

As you can see I’ve been trying to mix up RPGs with other genres. Doing RPGs back to back will definitely exhaust me as gamer so I’m trying to break them up as much as possible. As it stands now I’m playing the Professor Layton game on my 3DS during my commute to and from work. This gives me about 30 mins of play time per day, which is actually surprisingly enough time to make some serious strides in a game like this. At home I’m switching back and forth between Xenoblade and Crash Bandicoot, kind of depending what I feel like playing. Even though I’ve only obtained Crash recently it’s one of my top games to finish purely because of the nostalgia hit it provides. As far as the PC games go. I should be able to finish Mickey’s Castle of Illusion pretty fast. It’s a short game so an afternoon and an evening of playing may actually have me finishing this game. Tomb Raider isn’t that long either compared to some of the other RPGs I have on my list, especially Dragon Quest and Xenoblade.

All in all it comes down to me managing my game time better. I block hours to do certain things at work, I may need to start blocking hours for games aswell to get done what I want done. I’ll see. September is slowly crawling to an end and I have about 7 days to work on some of my goals still. See you next post!

Two weeks of freedom?

As I sit down to write this blogpost I’ve had a really long tiresome day. Having barely slept last night I could only think of my bed when I was at work but now that I’m home, and it’s actually time to sleep, my head is a bit too filled with random thoughts to really settle down and snooze. So instead I’m just going to write down what’s going on inside this messy brain of mine today and see if that will help me clear it.

We have a midyear evaluation at work and I had mine today. I tend to get the same comments every evaluation: you’re not professional enough and you lack some communication skills. So far I’ve taken the criticisms as they come but there has never really been a follow up to them. I tend to get told that I’m a bit blunt which may come across as me being bitchy at times but I don’t really see it that way myself. It may come with the fact that the moment I step foot into the office people start asking me questions within two minutes of me sitting down. I get a bit annoyed by that sometimes because I really would like the first ten to fifteen minutes of my work day for myself to make a planning, look at what kind of mails I have and just settle down before the questions are fired. I’m already not a morning person by any means so stuff like this just tends to get me irritable, which I then show in my answers to people. It’s not something that is completely concious but it happens nonetheless.
My manager has offered me to work with me on my professionalism and my communication skills and I’ll gladly take any chance to grow as a person at work. I’m just seriously curious what exactly I should do to make strides and grow, but I guess I’ll see in a few weeks when we have our first “session”.

In other news my dad and his girlfriend departed for Spain this afternoon to enjoy a two week holiday over there, leaving me alone in the house untill the 28th. I have to say that I’m kind of happy to have this time to myself because I was getting irritated a lot by them lately and I just really needed some space. I do hope that I can use the coming two weeks to start getting into the habit of going to the gym again. My weight has been bothering me for a very long time now and now that I’m able, for two weeks atleast, to spend my time the way I want to I kind of want to use to start setting up a gym routine again. Working out is healthy and even though the first few weeks tend to be tough I also know that it gives me energy and stamina, which translates into a better mood overall for myself. I may use the topic of gyms and workouts for my blogposts the coming weeks but that is yet to be seen.
For now though I want to reserve some time on the weekends, probably in the morning, and weekdays after work to go to the gym for 30 mins – one hour. I realise that I have to start from scratch again but that’s okay. I’m not setting the bar extremely high for myself. I just want to make sure that I’m going again and build a steady rythm of getting myself to go before actually pushing hard for weight loss goals.

Tied into the whole gym thing I also want to cook healthy for myself these two weeks. I have one pizza in the freezer for emergencies but as far as I’m concerned I want to cook myself healthy meals every day if I can. This probably means a lot of rice and veggies since that is what I enjoy. I’m also stocking up on stuff like yoghurt and fruit so I can take that as a snack during the evening/weekends instead of candy or crisps and I want to make sure I’m taking fruit with me to work every day. I have a new backpack incoming and an insulated lunch bag which means I could cut myself some fruit in the evening and put it in a plastic container in the fridge so that it can go into the insulated bag in the morning, keeping it more cool and fresh than it would be otherwise. I could also try to do something with the yoghurt that way but for now I’m a bit hesitant because it’s dairy and already kind of sour so I don’t really want to take it with me where it’s not properly cooled, because I probably can’t taste if it’s gone “sour” that way.

As far as games are concerned I  want to cut back on time on those and spend that time on my gym stuff and some other hobbies instead. I am probably going to tackle Trine 2 with a friend and I will still be playing WoW probably on a daily basis but that will probably be it. During the weekends I will have a bit more time to do some more and branch out to other games like FFXIV or a single player game of my choosing but for the week nights it’ll be WoW exclusive.
I want to get back to reading my book and tackling an embroidery kit that I’ve started a few years ago but never finished. I also really want to build one of the Toy-Cons from the Nintendo Labo kit I scored for cheap a while back, probably the motorcycle one since I can use that with Mario Kart for fun and giggles. I will make pictures during my building process to post for my blog so definitely stay tuned for that!

At the end of the day though my plans for the coming two weeks are hopefully a foundation for a change that is more lasting. I want to step away from constantly gaming and work on my health. I also want to pick up some of my old hobbies and make myself less reliant on my PC/PS4/Switch for enjoyment or relaxation. The biggest thing is that I want to start having a more structured life where I am more calm and capable of getting things done. As for right now I feel like I’ve gotten off my chest what has been going on in my head, which means I can close down the house and get ready for a good night’s sleep.

Birthdays, books and bringing down the chaos

As I sit down to write this post another weekend has gone way too fast. Granted it’s “only 19.30” as I’m writing this and I still have a few hours of evening to fill. However it feels like the two days respite you get inbetween the five days of hard labour seem to last shorter every week. Somehow the more stressful work is the faster the weekend goes. Normally I could attribute my short weekends due to sleeping in late but not this time. I woke up around 9.00 both yesterday and today and I didn’t really stay in bed for long after waking up either. This has caused my mornings to be filled with World of Warcraft and consequently freeing up my afternoons for other things.

Yesterday the weather was nice and I really needed to get my eyebrows back in shape so I decided to go into town to walk around a bit, poke my head into the “Used Products” shop we have and get my eyebrows done. I probably should have picked a different Saturday to do this because this weekend was the last holiday weekend for the country before schools and normalcy starts up again. Our city center was absolutely crawling with people and there were lines for everything. Success was had though! I bought a used copy of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” for the Nintendo DS for only €10. I remember owning that game for my computer back in the day and even though I may still own the disc, I doubt I can get it to work on my current PC. The DS however is still going strong so I figured I would pick this up and enjoy it 13 years after release date. I also managed to get my eyebrows plucked and cut, after an hour wait, but decided against getting my hair done due to the fact that it was already late and I had to be home on time for the big event of the evening: My uncle’s 50th birthday!
I’m not sure how big of a deal this milestone is in other countries but here in the Netherlands we celebrate it in a big way when a man or woman turns 50 with set traditions and usually a very big party. So that’s where I spent my Saturday evening, dancing with my family and generally having a good time. A lot of my coming weekends will look like this since September seems to be the birthday month. It drastically cuts down on my time but it’s nice to see my family and friends and celebrate life.

As for today I decided to slowly start getting rid of stuff I don’t use or wear anymore. I wanted to start small so the thing I’ve tackled today was my jewellry box and my rack of earrings. There was a period of time where I owned over a 100 pairs of earrings. After getting rid of everything that wasn’t real silver, I’m slightly allergic to “fake” silver earrings, I’m now down to a total of 20 pairs of earrings/earbuds and I’m happy where I am. I’ve also gotten rid of a lot of cheap, bulky bracelets which in turn opened up some space to store my watches. All in all it was a very satisfying task and it will save me the headache of having to do it when I move out next year.

Finally I managed to get started in a book again for the first time in a few months. Last April I discovered Robin Hobb as writer and the amazing books she has written. I’ve bought the entire Farseer Trilogy and am currently a little over halfway done in the second book. I’m really hoping to finish it off in September and start reading the final book in the trilogy after. It atleast gives me something to do that doesn’t involve a screen and reading also improves my writing so it’s a win/win situation overall.

As for the rest of my Sunday though. I still have one or two chores to do and I really want to get atleast the Beast Tribe dailies done in FFXIV so my Machinist will gain a bit more experience. Otherwise I predict some more time in WoW to get the emissary quests done on my Paladin and an early night so I can be fresh for work tomorrow.