This post is probably going to feel unusual compared to what I normally write, but bare with me.

I don't usually consider myself one for goals, but lately I've been feeling...stretched thin, with a dash of being a little lost. Part of that is obviously the crippling weight of capitalism and a pandemic that shows no signs of stopping, of course. But for me, fighting against that entropic horror means getting my life together.

So let's talk about being stretched thin. I have never been this busy in my entire life, quite literally. I feel like I have 8 million things that need to get done every day. Most of it is adult responsibilities, which are easily solvable (in the sense that they are not solvable but rather a never-ending thing). But the rest of it is definitely how I spend my personal time.

Lately, I feel no real enjoyment playing games. I'll play something for an hour and wonder why I spent my time doing it. Why am I doing level roulettes in FFXIV for content I'll never run? Why do I keep spending an hour hot-dropping in Apex over and over again when I'm just going to land and get wiped?

I have about two hours to play games in a day right now. Maybe more on weekends, but most of that time has been taken up by Grad School. If those two hours are unsatisfactory, why wouldn't I use that time doing something else?

So, this year, I'm committing to playing games less. I'm only going to play games as a means of socializing, or that genuinely excite me, that aren't so long that I know I'll be able complete them with my schedule, and that respect my time. I've been trending towards this thought-process forever now, but I'm really putting my foot down on it this year.

That doesn't include streaming, by the way. For me, streaming is a creative exercise, as well as a way to hang out with my friends and play some games I've always been passionate about. So it doesn't count in my "resolution" of sorts.

Another big goal I have is to force myself to stop spending so much time trying to entertain everyone else. This sounds like a weird one I'm sure, but to elaborate:

I have always been a weirdo that wants everyone to be enjoying themselves all the time, which is why I'll create online communities like I have. The Sailers, Tabletop, so on. But with my limited amount of time, I sometimes can't make fun stuff happen.

And it truly upsets me in a way that's definitely not healthy. I always feel like I let people down when I can't follow through, regardless of how forgiving they are. And oh, how many ways I can't follow through. Being creatively and physically drained, stacked with responsibilities, doing side-gigs on top of my current job to help round out bills...I'm doing it all right now.  So I'm taking steps to prevent those walkbacks. I've already begun to take a backseat in being that event-making person (thanks Ghost!), but I'd like to be even more hands-off going into this year. Let someone else be DM for a change, to put it succinctly. (If you're one of my players reading this, don't worry, those campaigns are still going, I'm not being literal, haha).

This approach is going to be applied to my creative endeavors as well. Doing the above will definitely help me do the creative things I want to do, but I also want to be more pragmatic about what I choose to spend my creative energy on. Specifically, I spend a lot of time feeling like I could be using my free time making something completely new: learning how to draw, learning blender, making some random website no one is ever going to look at, etc. It's exhausting. Instead I want to focus on three things:

  1. Music
  2. Streaming
  3. Blogging

If I have extra time, I'll give other things a shot. But I wanna narrow my focus on the things I'm comfortable with and feel like I can grow in throughout the year.

All of that said: this has always been mostly a gaming blog, but I haven't posted as often as I like. I know now that the reason is because there aren't really any games I want to talk about lately. I can think of one off the top of my head, but that's about it. That doesn't mean I'm shutting the blog down or anything. But I do want to free myself of the Café being a place for mostly "gaming thoughts." So going forward I'll hopefully be blogging about lots of different stuff. It's this blog's equivalent of Daft Punk's Random Access Memory phase (but hopefully without the retirement at the end, PFFT).

I know most people probably don't care about this, and I don't mean that negatively. I say that because I always feel the need to explain myself regardless. It's why I'm a writer. That being said, I hope to do lots of interesting things this year, and I hope you find them interesting as well. I don't have a "fanbase" or anything, but I do have some great friends who I feel like I can express myself towards. I look forward to another year of that in 2022.

That's all for now. What are you doing differently in 2022? Let me know @mintmakesthings.

Thanks and happy New Year. :)