Personal

Sandy’s Sunday: Work Sucks

As I’m sipping on a coke I figured I should sit down and write something.
Basically the past week has once again been super busy and chaotic when it comes to my job. My team is gradually growing smaller and as such we need everyone to be able to do everything. So my colleagues have been busy learning new tasks and I’ve been keeping an eye out for everything else that needed to be done. Couple that with a week with a ton of meetings and I was happy when it was finally time for the weekend so I could recharge a bit.
On Thursday I went out to dinner with a colleague/friend, which was really necessary to lift my spirits a bit. We had an awesome evening just chatting about everything and unwinding. Being in a warm and cozy restaurant enjoying a three course meal while outside it’s pouring has it’s charm. Luckily by the time we were ready to leave the weather had cleared up so I didn’t get home completely drenched.

Due to me getting home tired a lot I didn’t get much gaming time in. After I’ve finished leveling Ninja to level 80 and using Bard to level up my Trusts a bit I’ve been having a bit of a burn-out on FFXIV. I just didn’t feel like starting up the game at all so my Bard is still sitting at level 73 and otherwise I’ve not been making any progress. However I’m feeling the itch to log on again so I may do a few Trust dungeons today so I can finally leave Holminster Switch behind me and focus on the next dungeon in the bracket.
The game I did start up a few times over the week has been Pokémon Sword. I’ve been diligently working away at filling up my Pokédex and am currently sitting at 177 Pokémon registered. Only 23 more to get to my goal of registering 200 for this month! It’s actually gone surprisingly smooth. I’ve been focusing a lot on just evolving all the Pokémon I already caught and then I moved on to catching, and evolving, new Pokémon. I’ve also been participating in a lot of Max-Raids to try and obtain Pokémon that have Gigantamax forms, instead of just regular Dynamax ones. So far I’ve managed to catch a Gigantamax Snorlax, Butterfree and Coalossal. I’m still on the hunt for more!
In other Pokémon news, I haven’t actually watched the Pokémon direct but was nonetheless hyped when they announced an expansion to the Pokémon Sword and Shield games. Even though I wish that Game Freak wouldn’t be a sell out and just release a complete game from the start I can’t deny that I’m pretty happy to be getting more content to the game. As I’ve mentioned before I think the overall story of Pokémon has been a bit short this time around. Getting two new areas, with a lot more Pokémon introduced to the Pokédex, plus more story content, is exactly what I and others have been hoping for. As such I actually pre-ordered the expansion straight away so it will ready for me to play once June and November hit.

Finally instead of gaming I’ve been spending my time watching Netflix, specifically two documentaries: Don’t Fuck With Cats and Cheer.
The former has just been disturbing on all counts and I’m not sure if I would’ve watched it if I had known exactly what it would be about. It just goes to show that some people are deeply disturbed and should be locked away from society forever.
Cheer however has been a fun documentary to watch. I was a gymnast on a decent level from the age of 6-12. I never made national championships or anything but I was once in the top of my district for my age group aswell as making it to province (state for the US folks I guess?) championship. Where I was quickly desillusioned with my actual skills because my and our club actually performed pretty bad compared to the rest. Oh well. Anyway, Cheer is a documentary following the Navarro College cheerleading squad who have won a lot of titles. They pick out a few of the cheerleaders to follow more personally and basically show the preparation for the big National Championship that is held every year in Daytona Beach, FL. Cheerleading on that level is basically brutal. It’s gymnastics, tumbling, acrobatics and dancing all in one. Serious injuries happen, as shown on the documentary, and getting on the team that actually will perform the act on the championship is a struggle. Due to the stunts and acrobatics trust in your teammates is required. You need to be able to know that you will be caught if you fall. If someone fails to catch you the entire team gets punished. This sounds a bit harsh but is also understandable. You win as team but you also fail as team.
Watching that made me think of my own gymnastic days and give me a sense of missing out in a way. I think if I grew up in the US being a cheerleader would be totally up my alley, even with all the injuries. I think I would’ve absolutely loved it. Now however I can only look at these girls and hope they haven’t destroyed their bodies too much while doing what they love.

All in all it’s been a week of trying to get back into the work rhythm and giving myself plenty of time to rest up and relax after making long days in the office. Next week should be a bit more relaxed and with that I hope that I can get a bit more game time in when I come home!

Sandy’s Sunday: Checking In

Hello everyone! It’s me! Just wanted to do a quick post as a sort of checking in on my blog.
I’ve not really felt the need to write anything for the past two weeks. Mostly because holidays and work getting in the way and also because I honestly didn’t know what to write about without spoiling too much for my December in review post that I will put up on New Year’s Eve.

It’s been a weird few weeks with a lot of days off and people not being around. A colleague unexpectedly found a new job, effectively leaving my team with one person short. We’ve also been dealing with all the people having time off around the holidays and as such I’ve had a lot of time where I was the only person who would be around. It was great for a while since it gave me the opportunity to finally get around to cleaning up my overflowing mailbox, I went from 100+ emails down to 8, and checking up on aswell as preparing various projects for the new year. Work is still busy as ever but now that I’ve sort of “caught up” I’m confident that things will work out better in January.
I took January 2nd and 3rd off myself so I effectively have 5 days off starting Tuesday afternoon. Usually we go home earlier on New Year’s Eve so that’s nice. To keep myself entertained for this extended weekend I decided to pick up a hobby I haven’t touched in a long time: puzzling. I bought myself a brand new nice looking 1000 piece puzzle yesterday and I will take full advantage of my five days off to get it finished. I actually started yesterday evening with sorting all of the pieces and putting down the edges. It gives me something to do besides gaming and I’ve noticed that once I get into the zone of things I find the relaxation I’ve been looking for.

All things considered I’ve been relatively doing okay. I’m still very much exhausted although having days off around the holidays have helped me to kind of catch up on much needed sleep and relaxation. I’m still going strong when it comes to leveling stuff up in FFXIV, which I will tell more about in my December in review post, and I’m trying to find a set time every weekend to dedicate to single player games. I’m almost finished with my Pokémon Sword playthrough and it has helped tremendously to just pick a timeframe to start up the game and make progress in it. My best friend already beat the game so I can’t lag behind for too long and after that I may turn my attention to a new game or keep the slot for Pokémon for a while so I can work on completing the Pokédex. A feat which I’ve never accomplished in all the years I’ve been playing Pokémon. I think the closest I’ve gotten is in Pokémon Blue where I caught 146 out of 150 of them and maybe in my Pokémon Moon playthrough where I was on 2/3 of the Pokédex completed. Right now I’m around 80/400 Pokémon caught in Sword so I still have a way to go but it’s not the 1000+ Pokémon I would have to be staring down if they implemented a National Dex.

So yeah. I’m still alive. I’m still gaming. And a true gaming update post is coming up!

Good Days And Bad Days

Fair warning! Personal and pretty depressive post. Be aware that I’m not in a very good state of mind right now, but I’m not causing myself any harm.

As of right now it’s 23.45 and I should be getting ready to go to bed. Even on a Saturday I’ve made it a habit to not go to bed too late, seeing as how it majorly disrupts my sleeping patterns and I pay the price for it later in the week. Yet even as my body tells me that it’s time to go to sleep my brain is still in overactive mode. I thought I would have a good day today. I caught up on some much needed sleep and made my way into town to get some new clothes. One of my jeans suddenly had a massive hole in a place where there shouldn’t be one and I have been discovering holes in some t-shirts aswell. Wearing holey clothes isn’t something that you should do in general so it was time I went shopping for replacements.
And that actually went smoothly! I got back home with five t-shirts and a blouse, a new pair of jeans and two sweaters only two hours after leaving my house. After that I made sure I got groceries before it started to rain and then I settled in to a session on the Dancer in Final Fantasy XIV. And that was kind of that.
I played untill 19.00 and skipped dinner. I put up some shows on Netflix and let those play as I scrolled on my phone and was slowly sinking away into all kinds of wrong things to think about, slowly turning a good day into a bad day. Instead of getting my apartment cleaned up a bit and doing laundry and other mindless yet soothing things I let myself think about all the regrets I have and all the things that are not going well right now. It doesn’t help that work has been a major source of stress the past few months and that I can’t seem to flip the switch on working on my health. For some reason I’m so anxious to go to the gym that I just freeze up and block and do other things instead that are pretty detrimental to my health, both physically and mentally. Looking at my gym membership and seeing that it’s been well over 2.5 years since I last went hasn’t really helped either.

It’s at times like these where I feel the most fragile and just decide to air all of this in public into the ether. It helps because I get rid of the feelings and I feel like I’m talking to someone, even though that someone is anonymous. And I know that this isn’t the content that people necessarily are interested in but it’s just extremely soothing to get it off my chest. Like anyone else I’m insecure and have doubts. I have good days and I have bad days and sometimes days that start out good turn into a lot of bad. I am overwhelmed at work and one of many people that’s balancing on the edge of a burn-out. I’m overweight and having numerous health issues because of it. I want to get breast reduction surgery but to get that I need to lose weight. I love living on my own but it gets extremely lonely at times. I get jealous of my best friend who has her hubby and two kids and, even though she has her own struggles, has the life I kind of want aswell. The worst thing is the overwhelming and paralyzing anxiety. Being scared of doing the wrong thing. Being scared of how other people view me. Being scared of ending up alone and with no one to notice when things are bad. These are all things that come to the surface every now and then and pull me under. I let my house get a mess. I let myself get a mess. I stop caring about anything and everything and go through life in a daze, wondering where all my precious time has gone.

I know change starts at myself. And it starts with one step at a time. One step, like not skipping brushing my teeth during the evenings because it feels like more of an effort than it actually is. Starting with getting my ass to that gym so I can start working on getting in a better shape so I can actually elevate some of the problems I’m having. Even if that gym visit is only for half an hour. It’s still half an hour more than I’m doing right now.
Start by having my kitchen counter tidied and cleaned with no dishes left before I go to bed at night. Expand that to a clean dining and salon table so I don’t pile up the mess as I get home from work. Start to fold laundry as it’s dry instead of leaving it on the rack for a week. Establish the good things. Create order in the chaos that is my house and my head.

It all seems so simple and yet it feels like it’s the hardest thing ever right now. I’m being pulled under and I don’t know when I can break the surface again. It sucks. I look at myself in the mirror and I’m disgusted with what I see. I wish things were different. I wish I was different. But I mostly wish that things weren’t as hard as I’m making them for myself. I am my biggest demon. And today the demon has won.

Pad Thai and Samurai Shenanigans

Last monday my Samurai hit level 80. It was actually pretty fast as far as leveling up went, faster than I expected. I’m quite happy that it’s over because overal I’m not a huge fan of Samurai as a class. I kind of miss the logic in the class. The self buffs you put up don’t really time out like the Monk and Dragoon stuff does so you’re not really forced into a steady pattern of attacks, besides activating the right stuff so you can use Midare Setsugekka. I also find that Samurai has a lot of skills outside of the global cooldown and they’re kind of hard to manage. It just doesn’t make sense to me and I doubt I would enjoy this class playing it fulltime at 80. I had the same thing with Black Mage and like Black Mage I will probably put Samurai in a corner and won’t pull it out again unless I’m extremely bored or untill the next expansion drops, either one.
This sentiment may change over time though and I might just do some shenanigans on it but for now it’s another notch on the level 80 belt and I’m moving on to my next class, which is Dancer. I’m kind of enjoying the class, although the scope of it is limited since I’m only level 62. I hope I can level it up decently fast so I unlock more skills and steam to 80 before the month is over. I also decided to grab some nice gear for my Dragoon and take that through atleast the Pixie dailies every day to start slowly leveling that up to 80 aswell. Since I’m max rank with the Pixies that’s actually a nice amount of experience every day.

In real life work has not really let up that much. I’ve worked overtime most days again but I managed to connect with an old friend I met through World of Warcraft this Thursday. He had to be in the area for work and messaged me if I wanted to go out to dinner and catch up. I accepted and we wound up at a local Thai place where I ordered the Pad Thai and was kind of blown away by the true mountain of food I had on my plate.
For reference, Dutch portions are quite small usually. I can order an entree and a main course and be full from that most of the time, with very rarely having room for dessert. These are decent plates of food, nothing to extravagant but enough to fill you up properly. This Pad Thai though was of another level. I ate about half of it and took the other half with me to eat at home today and it was still a full plate of food. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten such a big portion anywhere and it was the first time I actually took food back home. Meeting up with my friend was nice though and we dredged up memories of the good old days of raiding in WoW and the guild we were in. It made me realise that my life looked very different 8-10 years ago and that I’ve grown as a person a lot in that time. Sometimes I miss those days where I had a tight knit community of online friends that I would play with almost every night but life does its thing and you end up getting out of touch with many people over the years. I don’t think I could do the 4-5 days a week raiding schedule anymore now that I have a fulltime job and other obligations and I salute anyone who can. I’m firmly in “casual” gamer mode these days and in some ways that’s probably the best thing that has happened to me.
For now though I’m looking forward to a nice relaxed weekend filled with gametime again and taking my car for a spin, if the weather allows it.

Mental Health Day?

I called in sick to work today. Not because I was actually sick but because I desperately needed a day off to retain my sanity. I’ve come home every day of the week with stress induced headaches and it looks like it won’t let up for a while yet. So I texted my boss that I wasn’t coming in today and that I would be back on Monday and went promptly back to sleep. I slept in untill around noon and then got out and sat down to play some games and think about why I picked today especially to have a small mental breakdown. In truth I’ve had a bit of a mental breakdown earlier but powered through it, going to work and just acting normal while trying not to fall apart. Today I couldn’t so I decided to stay home.
It has mostly resulted in a day where I was able to relax and create some headspace with cleaning up the house. I’ve gone through a lot of my clothes and prepared two big bags to be donated to goodwill. I rounded up all the paper and trash and took those out. I vacuumed and did laundry. As I was organizing the house I slowly felt the rest return to my mind aswell. I’m not done yet, there’s still some stuff I want to sort through and throw out and I still need to do some additional cleaning, I feel like it has helped me get back into a more stable mood. Plus having a three day weekend is extremely nice aswell in the middle of all the chaos that is going on at work.

Next to cleaning I also took the time to sit down and enjoy my gaming sessions today, instead of mechanically doing 2 hours of dailies. I did some leveling on my Warrior in WoW and ran around doing job quests in FFXIV aswell as taking the time to do Mainstory roulette among other things. Level 80 on the Monk is starting to get very close and I’m happy to have another job to max level, especially a DPS job that normally has to deal with very long queues for roulettes. The Moogle tome event seems to have made things slightly better though, my average wait time for a Mainstory roulette has gone from 30 minutes down to about 15 now. I have been wondering though, once I have all my battle classes at level 80 and all my crafters and gatherers at level 70 and above what I’m going to do in the game. I don’t actively raid. I don’t really feel like pugging Savage content although I’m fine with Extreme primals. Right now I have a reason to log on every day while leveling, but I’m a bit scared that once that goes away I won’t feel the pull to log on as much anymore. Of course there is a ton of content to do besides leveling, I just have a hard time imagining what I would like to do when I don’t have a steady “schedule” to adhere to anymore. I know these are worries that are premature, I’m still smack dab in the middle of levelling all the things, yet I can’t seem to keep this off my mind.

All in all taking the day “off” has really calmed me. I got some stuff done in real life aswell as in my games and I’m feeling extremely relaxed as I’m writing this blog post. Maybe this will be the trigger for me to recognize the signals of overwhelming stress earlier and some days off ahead of time instead of calling in sick last minute.

End of Year goals

Mechaspider mount

The weather has turned here in the Netherlands and Summer is officially over. Where last weekend we still had 24-25C degree weather we’ve had a week full of rain wind and cold last week and it seems it will be like this for the forseeable future. We are slowly moving towards the “dark days before Christmas” as we say in Dutch and this has gotten me thinking about what I want to achieve before the year is over. I know we are still three months out but time moves very fast so it’s Christmas and then New Years before you know it. As such this is really my last “chance” to set some more long term goals.

It’s been an odd year for me so far. I’ve moved out into my own home at the end of April, although I began moving at the start of that month, and I’m still trying to find my routines for many things. Adjusting to living alone has gone more smooth than I hoped although sometimes I do miss living with my dad and just the general company of having other people around. At the same time I got a steady contract and, a few weeks ago, a promotion to a more demanding position at the company. This has left me with less energy the past few weeks but I’m slowly getting settled again and I’m not as exhausted anymore as I have been.
Due to this I’ve not really played as many games as I would have liked to this month. When I do my goal post for October you’ll notice that I’ve barely met any goals I set for myself in September, but as the French say “c’est la vie”. With this post though I want to outline my future gaming (and real life) plans untill the end of the year to provide myself with a roadmap for the coming time and something to look to when I’m in an indecisive mood.
So without further ado, let’s set up my End of Year Goals!

Final Fantasy XIV
I’ve actually not spend as much time in FFXIV as I hoped this month. I’ve barely leveled anything except maybe Culinarian and a bit of Monk. Last year I had a massive race against the clock to get as many classes to level 70 before the New Year. This year I’m actually not setting the bar as high. These are my plans for FFXIV untill the end of year.

  • Level Monk, Samurai, Dragoon and Ninja to 80 and complete associated Job quests
  • Level Blacksmith, Leatherworker and Armorsmith to level 70 via Beast Tribe quests.
  • Level Fisher to 80
  • Complete the White Mage Animus step for the ARR relic
  • Clear Innocence Ex and maybe farm for mount from both that and Titania Ex
  • Clear out remaining quests from my log

I think all of this should be doable in three months time. All the battle classes I’m describing are level 70. I’ve chosen to just level up the Melee group next because I already started Monk and I would be doing Samurai next any way. I might aswell get Dragoon and Ninja out of the way then aswell and close that part of leveling. After that I only have the ranged jobs and tanks left. I’m currently nudging Blacksmith through the Ixali dailies while my Culinarian is about to enter Namazu territory. If I just keep doing Ixali dailies on the regular I don’t see how I wouldn’t be able to get my three remaining crafters through this part and into the easier zones that are Moogle and Namazu dailies. As far as Fisher goes.. It’s sitting at level 48 and is the only gathering class not at max level. I just have to sit down and get to it.
The rest of the goals aren’t that big. I’m already doing Animus books on my White Mage. I don’t think I will have much issues clearing Innocence Ex when I just sit down and find a group to do so. I have a few outstanding quests that I want to tackle, and a ton of sidequests still left in Shadowbringers. Ideally I want to just get them all out of the way so my maps don’t have any quests left on them.

World of Warcraft (Classic and Retail)
With Classic launching a few weeks ago and me going back into Retail a while back WoW is fully on my radar again. I foresee myself spending time in Classic mostly during the weekends when I feel like it and more time in Retail because there is specific stuff I actually want to get done there. Here are my end of year goals for the World of Warcraft!

  • Get a character to atleast level 40 in Classic
  • Do all the raids/dungeons I’ve not yet done in Retail, this being the Battle of Dazar’Alor, Mechagon, The Eternal Palace and Crucible of Storms
  • Level my Warrior to 120 in Retail
  • Level my Void Elf Hunter to 120 in Retail
  • Finish all the Rare killing and Treasure achievements in BfA
  • Get Exalted with Mechagon and the Nazjatar faction

In Retail my main focus will be catching up with content. Even though I’ve done the War Campaign I’ve actually not touched a single raid after clearing Uldir. I really want to do the raids just so I can see the fights and cutscenes I’ve missed. I will also be able to clear those quests from my questlog (yay) and feel like I’ve truly caught up. I’m also still needing to do Mechagon as a dungeon so I can finish off that questchain.
After that I want to turn my attention to leveling some characters. My poor Warrior has been glossed over for this expansion and she needs some love. I also want to unlock the Void Elf heritage gear so that means I should pick up my Hunter again and level her up. Other than that I want to chase some achievements and work on reputations.
On the Classic side of the coin I want to get atleast one of my characters to level 40. This is basically the mount level and it would be awesome to get there. Why not push for level 60? Maybe I will but for now I’m just not feeling Classic that much and I can only take it in small amounts or whenever the mood to play it strikes me.

Other Games

Of course I don’t want to spend all my time in just FFXIV and WoW. There’s other game to play that deserve playtime aswell. I’m still determined to get through my backlog aswell so I want to focus on single player games next to my standard two MMO’s.

  • The big goal here is that I want to have finished 3 games before the end of year. These don’t have to be epic big games like Persona 5 but I would like to be able to scratch stuff off my backlog. If I’m able to tackle more than that fine but the minimum is three. This tallies down to one game per month. Right now the first game on that list is Link’s Awakening which I’m currently invested in. Another game will be Pokémon Sword since I’ve already have that on preorder and it’s a game that I’ve been actually excited for. The third game is undecided as of now but I’m looking at something to play on my WiiU since that has been my most neglected console and it deserves some love.
  • Guild Wars 2. I’ve logged it occasionally the past few weeks, mostly to get a ton of anniversary gifts on my older characters. Some have been around for 6 years already and if I didn’t go on a delete spree a long time ago I would’ve had an original old character aswell. Oh well. I’ve been logging my Ranger again since it’s the class that I enjoy playing the most. She’s somewhere inbetween level 25 and 30 and my biggest goal is to just start getting through zones and getting some levels. Maybe do a dungeon. But atleast make some sort of progress.

Offline Goals

Next to gaming stuff there’s a few offline goals I want to work on aswell. These mostly pertain to my physical health but I also want to get out of the house more. I need to be around people more than I am now and I just want to experience new things in general. So these are things I want to work on or get a start in before the end of the year.

  • Visit my cousins in their new homes. We’ve been semi close growing up but ever since we’ve gotten to adulthood we’ve drifted apart. I want to visit all three of them and just have a nice day to look back on.
  • Go to a city I’ve not visited before. Dutch infrastructure is great and it’s easy to get everywhere by train. I want to visit a city in the Netherlands where I’ve never been before and walk around and take pictures and have a nice day.
  • Set up a healthy sleep schedule. It’s still all over the place. I know that I will feel much better when I just get enough sleep so that’s quite high on my priority list.
  • Set up and maintain a gym schedule. I’ve recently bought new sports bra’s and sports clothes in general. Now it’s just to get my ass to the gym itself. I’m a candidate for breast reduction surgery that gets fully or mostly covered by my insurance but one of the stipulations is that I lose some weight since I’m currently on a BMI of 32 which is 2 points above what I need to be to qualify for surgery. In reality this means that I need to lose around 7kg atleast to get to that point. That will be my starting goal weight and I will see from there.
  • Finish decorating my house. There’s a few things that still need to be done and most of it is hanging up shelves and a coat rack. I want to get this done sooner rather than later.

So there you have it. My end of year goals. I will try my best to actually get most of them, if not all of them, done. It’s a nice roadmap for me to look at when I’m a bit lost and it helps me move forward. For now though it’s time for some Timewalking.

Establishing routines

The above screenshot has nothing to do with the topic of my post. But I thought it was pretty so I put it as top image. This post will not be very much gaming related but more personal and real life rooted.

I realise that I kind of skipped over the whole “getting to know you” week in Blaugust. I’ve seen some posts here and there telling people’s “life stories” and gaming history. I don’t really feel the need to regale about my life on here dating all the way back to my childhood. Mostly because my childhood was pretty rough and I don’t really enjoy talking about it so yeah. Instead I want to focus on the me of the present and a few big crossroads that are coming up in my life right now.
So where do I begin…

I think the biggest part is that I’m trying to teach myself new habits. Over the last 6-7 years my physical health has been slowly declining. Back in 2012 I was pretty active at University and I was in a dedicated relationship and happy. I had a sidejob that consisted of me being a mail(wo)man which expanded during the summer as I picked up the areas for people that were going on vacation. During that time I was very healthy and very happy with who I was. I wasn’t overweight and I was happy with how I looked as a whole. Fast forward to now and I’m around 30kg overweight (about 66lbs for my US based readers) and it’s weight that I need to shed. It’s bothering me because I can’t wear the clothes that I like, it’s causing me all sorts of minor aches and most importantly I just don’t feel like my normal self. So I’ve been trying to break some old unhealthy habits and replacing them with newer healthier ones. For instance I make sure to go on a brisk 30-40min walk every day after dinner. This helps me digest better and makes sure I don’t become a couch potato for the entire evening after I’ve already had a day of sitting down at work. As added bonus I’m slowly building up stamina in preparation for my Japan trip next year and I can feel the burn in especially my legs when I come home. Next to this I’ve banned sweets and savory snacks from my home during the week aswell as soda pops. I have a weakness for Diet Coke and Coke Zero and even though they are without sugar they’re still bad for you. Because I’m only human after all I indulge myself with a liter of Coke of choice and a snack that I can drink/eat during the weekend. Anything that is left over will go under lock and key untill the next weekend and I have to say it’s surprisingly easy to just not touch anything food related after I eat dinner.
Another thing that I’ve picked up is doing around 10 minutes of yoga in the morning to wake up and stretch all my muscles. It’s just a quick way of getting centered and prepped for the day and I notice that I arrive at work much more awake than normally. Both of these things mean that I’ve had to adjust my morning and after work routines which now look something like this:
Morning: Get up > yoga > breakfast > wash up > dress > do hair and make-up > leave the house
Evening: Come home > cook & eat > walk > do dishes > shower > blog > game/hobby till 22.45 > go to bed
I’ve only started this routine last week but I hope to be able to keep this up for as long as possible. It’s still nice weather out for evening walks and in the weekends I tend to go during the day on Saturday and Sunday is my “lazy rest day” where I skip both the walk and yoga.

Another thing that I need to start thinking about and start making decisions on is where I want to head career wise. I’ve applied for a senior function within my department a few weeks back and I will hear back about it next week. I’m fully taking into consideration that I won’t get the job and then I really need to do some soul searching on what I do want to do then. I’ve been a bit stuck in my department on a job that is becoming less fulfilling over time for a while now. I have my Psychology degree but I don’t really want to pursue a career in that field. Alternatively I can just sit out my time here since I have a steady contract with the company and maybe do some courses or evening school for things that I enjoy. The big question is what is it that I enjoy. As with games I tend to get bored fast of jobs in real life. Once I learn how to do something and am at peak efficiency for said task I get bored and need a new challenge. I’m noticing that I’m just not really having fun showing up at work anymore… And that’s not really a state anyone should be in.

Finally after I lose some weight in the coming months I may want to dive headfirst back into the dating game. Being alone isn’t everything and although I don’t really seek anything serious or long-time right now it would be nice to have someone to share certain things with. I’ve been putting this off since I’m just so unhappy with how I feel right now that I don’t want to burden anyone else with it.

The coming few weeks/months will be crucial for my physical and mental wellbeing and I can only hope everything turns out for the best. If not, it won’t be because I didn’t give it my all!

Living by checklist

You’ve undoubtedly already seen it from my August gaming goals posts but I am a checklist type of girl. I live by checklists on my job, for games and at home. It’s a habit I’ve picked up early on in life when I started to play Rollercoaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon back when I was still a kid. You see I would do the park challenges and they all came with “checkboxes” that needed to be marked to complete said challenge and open up more difficult park challenges. I would write down what I needed to do and cross it off the list when I was done with it. I took this habit with me to my MMO’s, especially World of Warcraft, for when I needed to craft a particularly annoying item. I’d write down what I would need, in which quantities and where to get it so I wouldn’t have to toggle between screens constantly.

Nowadays in my adult life I tend to make checklists based on my emails at work. I take inventory of everything that comes through my email and the standard tasks that need to be done and then make a priority checklist with the most urgent and important stuff up at the top and the stuff that can be done later at the bottom. Along with carving out blocks of time in my planner this is what has caused me to not go completely insane for the past year or so. Seeing as how I deal with a lot of departments and people in my current job it’s important to stay organized and level headed. It also helps that when I cross things off my checklist I have a bit of a “look what I did today” list for my boss to keep her happy aswell. It gives a bit of insight of what everyone does on a given day and that in turn tends to lead to a better distribution of tasks among colleagues.

In my personal life I tend to use task lists on chore days (like today) and when it comes to what I want to do gaming wise. This helps me achieve what I want during the day and helps me focus my time and energy better on what I want to do. I’ll make a list of all the chores that I want doing and stripe them off one by one as I finishe them up. I do the same for gaming related things. Today for instance I wrote down all the roulettes I wanted to run in FFXIV and the dailies that I wanted to do. It helps me have a sense of what I’ve done and how much I still need to do. Of course I can’t always do everything on the list. So I prioritize there aswell. What laundry do I need to do first? Do I really have to vacuum/dust today or can I go another day? Do I have any other interfering plans that means I have to move over some chores to another day in the week.
The same goes for the gaming stuff on my checklist. How much time do I have? What will take me longer, what won’t take me that long? What is the payoff for doing X over Y? In the end though I try to make my lists in such a way that I’m able to check everything off during the course of a day. Unlike work though I don’t really set aside times for what I do when. I tend to do my chores earlier in the day usually but today I spent my morning doing roulettes and dailies on FFXIV instead, giving me the rest of the day to clean my house and do groceries.

I know it sounds boring to “live” like this but in all honestly it helps me in getting stuff done. When you’re away from home for work from 8-6 five days a week and also want to maintain an inkling of a social life besides spending time on your hobbies it’s pivotal that you have some sort of planning system in place. For me it’s checklists and it’s worked so far. I’m slowly trying to combine it with setting aside special “time blocks” for certain things like I do at work. And that works for my evenings when I have even less time to use. However I believe in having the weekend be the weekend and as such I don’t want to plan certain timeframes. For then a checklist for the entire day, or half the day, will be enough.

Of family barbecues

I just got home and technically it’s already August 4th here but I’m just gonna roll with it and pull the “it’s August 3rd in the US still!” card and just make this post count as my third of August post. I had hoped we would be home a bit earlier but I should know better by now, my Dad and his partner like to stay late at any family gathering so this one was no exception. Don’t expect a long post since I’m still slightly intoxicated, I just wanted to throw something out there.

I was supposed to write this blog post before I headed off to the barbecue but real life managed to get in the way of that and thus I’m sitting down and mostly just whacking one out so I won’t stray off my schedule. I haven’t really done much in the way of meaningful gaming over the last two days anyway so might aswell sit down and talk a bit about our family barbecue and how I absolutely love going to these types of things since it gives me the opportunity to unwind and relax with my cousins who I don’t see that often anymore.

You see, my mom was born into an exceptionally large family, she had seven brothers and three sisters totalling the number of children to eleven. All of the aunts and uncles had kids and I’m somewhere in the middle age wise. This meant that we always had tons of fun playing together as cousins on whatever birthday or gathering that was happening. Unfortunately due to age and other things you grow apart and start seeing eachother less and less. Most of us are somewhere in our twenties to fourties now and we see eachother only a few times per year, if even that. We do however make a point of getting together once per year for a big family barbecue and it allows us all to catch up, have good food and a good time in general.
Today it also involved copious amounts of alcohol. There may or may not be a movie going around of a table full of wacko’s singing along to a Dutch song because at some point we were all to inebriated to care, except for the designated drivers of course. I may or may not have been singing really loudly along aswell and this may or may not have been caught on film. I love my family all the more for it.

All in all I’ve had a really good time and we really should do it more often. Family is important, especially the ones that accept you for who you are. For now though everyone is going their own way again untill the next time we meet up. Which will probably involve more alcohol but maybe less singing.

Go with the flow

Random cat pic from the Googles

This week has been my first week back at work after having my two week staycation and man I’m absolutely wrecked. I’ve not been sleeping well all week and having to get up early every day doesn’t really help with that. I keep waking up at random intervals and I have a very hard time falling asleep to begin with. I’m not really sure why since it’s not melting temperatures outside anymore and I’ve actually had to close my windows due to it being too cold otherwise.
I think one part of this is because I have applied for a new position and I won’t hear anything about it for the next three weeks. I’m trying to let it go but it’s hard because I know I will be severely disappointed when I don’t get it. On the other hand I had to deal with the usual “crap” that comes with being away for longer than a weekend. Working headoffices for a large retail company means you only have two types of workdays: busy and extremely busy. There is never a dull moment but this also means that I tend to get home feeling completely worn out, especially when having to “catch up” with stuff that happens over a two week absence. As direct result of this I’ve been falling asleep after dinner almost every evening, either on my couch or on my bed. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle really. I come home from work, fall asleep after dinner, wake up around two hours later wondering what year I live in, be awake for a bit and then go to bed where I can’t fall asleep. When I do fall asleep I wake up multiple times per night and then the alarm goes off and I’m tired before I’ve even gotten out of bed.
I hope it’s just a getting back into the groove of things week and that things will feel more normal next week but for now I’m happy it’s the weekend and that I get to sleep in and not care about waking up in the middle of the night when there’s an alarm set to go off.

Due to me falling asleep a lot I’ve not really been able to do what I want during the evenings. My chores have all been postponed and I’ve put in way less time into gaming and being active than I hoped I would. It’s not like I’ve not done anything at all besides sleep in the evenings but I’ve not taken any of the walks that I wanted to and I’ve maybe put in 30 mins of game time if that per night.
Today isn’t much better with it being a League of Legends evening.. I’m spending most of it knackered out on my couch watching TV. I guess things will turn around a bit tomorrow and Sunday when I’m hopefully more well rested and in a bit better state of mind to get stuff done. I also have a big family BBQ to go to so there’s that.

So sorry for this being a bit of a lackluster post but I’m just honestly overwhelmingly tired and I can’t wait till I get to roll into my bed and drift away into dreamland.