[Sober Living] Real Life Grinding

What’s my motivation for playing Pokémon LeafGreen when I know the final step is putting it away? I’m not interested in mastering the game. During this session, I realized that I was seeking unambiguous solutions to the infinitely complex problems of life. When my Geodude fights against Geodudes he can use Magnitude and versus Zubats he can use Rock Throw or Tackle. When I encounter multitudinous situations in life, there isn’t as clear a path…

Why does life have to be so complex?

I think it’s our own fault we make life so complicated. Some of us do it intentionally, as a matter of obstructing, abstracting, or obfuscating what we’re doing. But I mean more of the unintentional aspects like how we bury ourselves in attempts not to be bored. I’ve learned over the past year, especially through all my recent health problems, to appreciate the stillness of a moment where I’m feeling normal. If nothing hurts, then I can focus on whatever I want, no matter if I’m supposed to feel bored or not.

How can I learn to cope with the vagueness of our reality?

Juxtaposed against LeafGreen, it would seem that videogames are infinitely easier. While I played my way through Mt. Moon, I realized that my team was having a difficult time. Some were doing well against some Pokémon, but others were doing terribly. Since I was playing while relaxing my back and listening to more complex music than normal, I wasn’t paying full attention to the game. After leveling up everyone to around the same level, I made a chart tracking what skills to use against certain Pokémon.

Also, this chart uses character names from the extended cast of “The Story:”

Hank versus…
Geodude: Magnitude
Zubat: Rock Throw, Tackle
Paras: Tackle

Sammohini versus…
Geodude: Switch to Trishna

Fairydust versus
Geodude: Switch to Trishna

I may make similar charts to this when I go through other longer areas.

As I was solidifying my strategy on the first level of Mt. Moon, I thought about how nice it is when we can plan in advance for things. We might be shy when we meet new people because we’re worried about how we’ll act or react. We might want to hide away from everything because of these infinitely complex problems in life. I know I frequently want to do this. It’s difficult justifying the time playing videogames when there are so many more important things I should be doing.

But then I ask myself, who are they important to, and why?

I have a private spreadsheet tracking how I’m using my time off over the next two weeks, partially to remind myself now that I’m not in a situation that could cause me to break sobriety due to its overwhelming stress, and partially to see where my hobbies truly are in life. I, for example, have no interest in the hobby of casually selling things. Current events juxtapose those feelings even sharper than they were months ago when I was selling computer stuff. Now, I just want to clear out the clutter.

I’ll be clearing out the clutter as I feel able to move around again.

Until then, I’ve been taking some time to enjoy more of the things I’ve wanted to enjoy but haven’t, and have explored more of the long-term fancies that I might have ignored before. When I’m working, I only have a few hours each day to do much of anything, and most of that time is spent writing. I’m at a place in my life where time is more valuable than money, so that means what I should do is meditate on how I spend my time. If I’m squandering hours a day on meaningless clutter, clear that out, too!

When I go back to work, I’ll try balancing vocational, avocational, and recreational time better.

Why can’t work be as repetitive as videogame grinding? Growing up, my favorite thing in most RPGs was running out in monster-infested fields in clockwise or counter-clockwise circles, or speed-walking back in forth. I love the idea of battling one more enemy to level up a character before going back to town to recover. I can have more fun over one hour doing that than many other things in life? Why not prioritize more time on videogames like that at the expense of other less interesting avocational or recreational time?

If I’m being somewhat productive while playing videogames, it should be fine…

Part of it is becoming self-aware toward the actions I’m doing and why I’m doing them. Why was LeafGreen so interesting to me? Why did that chart inspire me so much? My life is currently full of uncomfortably overwhelming ambiguity. I don’t like how things are going in some aspects so I’ve felt the need to make significant changes. I did this because I’ve been in increasingly significant pain over the past three weeks, and continuing to let that increase was going to lead to a point where I couldn’t tolerate it anymore.

I don’t think the pain was vocational ennui.

Antonyms don’t quite describe the sensation. The word that I would say seems to fit closest here is overstimulation. I feel overstimulated by the disparate varieties of things that my job will throw my way. I want a boring job where I can let my mind rest. I don’t need to juggle infinitely complex concepts for any employer to the point of burning myself as I have many times over my career, and even now, where even with a two-week leave, I can’t enjoy much of the time because it’s actually medically necessary.

Still, I try to ask myself: What would I do with two free weeks?

I am working on making my infrastructure more predictable, so when life’s many unpredictable curveballs are thrown my way, I can react to them easier. A better solution might be learning to adapt quicker.

Writing essays is the only way I know how to learn to adapt quicker.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: Thinking about life and why we do what we do.
Related: Other Sober Living essays. I suppose Media Meandry and Applied Self-Confidence as well.
Screenshot: Edited to look like “Easy Mode Living,” so I guess I’ll write an essay after each play session, as long as I actually think of something worth writing about.
Written On: 2020 April 27 [3:33pm to 4:19pm.]
Last Edited: 2020 April 27 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.