I don’t know what it is, maybe the new baby has been more stressful that she seems, but depression and anxiety seem to teaming up pretty good on me the past couple of months. I’ve either had trouble motivating myself to do anything at all, or when I can motivate myself to do anything, I quickly get overwhelmed with thoughts of “too much to do” or “I’m not doing enough” that basically paralyze me into doing nothing.
So I’m taking a moment to step back and try to prioritize some things. First of all, I need to remind myself that everything I want to do is basically a hobby. While somethings like the writing have the potential to grow into more, I do currently have a good job and career that I can live with for the most part, so none of my side stuff is vital to put food on the table for my family. First I’ve broken down stuff down into three major categories: electronics and programming, writing, and pure hobby(mostly table top games).
For electronics and programming, I’ve got a couple of big projects I’d like to do. One being a home automation and security system based that would involve a lot of work with micro controllers and the other being a replacement for Plex/Emby. This was an easy decision to back burner. After spending all day at work writing code, coming home to write different code is just a recipe for burnout. On one hand, writing some of my own stuff to put on display might give me more career options, but on the other it’s just not worth it. Programming for fun probably won’t be something I do for a while and maybe not for as long as I’m doing a heavily computer related job. Maybe if I find myself in a management role several years down the line, I might feel the need to scratch that technical itch, but it’s not necessary now.
Writing is basically what I’m committing to for the most part, but I’m changing how I do it. Right now I’ve got random writings covering 4 different story lines across 3 different “universes”. None of it’s very coherent and none of it is anywhere close to be able to be published. A lot for starts and world building, but not enough to really feel accomplished. My first attempt to tackling this was to try to write self contained short stories in the worlds I’ve built just to have something to show for it, but I’d always end up going off on tangents and would wonder off the mark of a short story. So what I’m going to do is write the components of the bigger story, and basically release chapters(probably on this blog) and I write them. Even it nobody reads them, I think it’ll give me a bit of encouragement to have something out in the open and as opposed to the short stories, I won’t have to try to end them. Maybe I’ll eventually tell a whole story and one day be able to edit all the chapters into an actual novel. I’ve got one story line in one world that should lend itself to this kind of story telling very well, so I’m going to live only there for while. Only once I feel I’ve made some good progress and have some stuff on public display will I give myself permission to go back to the other stuff.
Finally, the just for fun hobby stuff. This is my ME time. When I’m not working or writing, I’m either going to spend time with my family or just something just for me. The family time is no issue. I’ve never really had a problem making time for my family, but I do have trouble trying to take time just for me without feeling like I’m wasting time. My favorite of broad hobby categories is table top gaming. This includes board games, RPGs and war games. The war gaming side includes miniature building and painting, but even when I do give myself permission to hobby around with miniature, I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. I’ve got Kings of War, Warmachine and Warhammer 40k stuff in the need to build column(luckily my X-Wing, Armada and Attack Wing stuff is ready to play), so I’m going to have to pick one at a tim(probably start with 40k, since it’ll be the easiest to actually find and opponent to play) and set aside an evening a week to work on models and then also have an evening a week or a weekend day where I don’t feel bad about going off to play games.
So there’s my plan. I’ve got a narrow writing goal and will try to write 2 or 3 evening a week and try to get something in the public record. I’ll have 1 or 2 days a week for gaming hobby either playing or modeling or both. Pretty much the rest of the time not at work will be my default mode of spending time with family or completely unwinding with a good TV show or a book. I know writing it all down like that it doesn’t sound like much, but that’s kind of the point. Get it all out of paper as it were so I can put my mind at ease a bit more.