Games · Life

Something Light and Fluffy

With all the stuff going on in the world, I’m going to talk about happy things today. And for me that usually entails books and video games, so, games it is.

So let’s chat about how much my husband and I have been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, shall we? He’s never played an Animal Crossing game before, so it’s all great fun to introduce him to the franchise. I’m an exclusively single-player gamer – never had friends to play with (they either weren’t gamers, also loners, or played different genres from me), did the bare minimum of social interactions in MMOs, drawn to builders and story-focused rpgs, etc. I do like couch co-op with my husband and we had played a few games on the Switch so far, but they are all platformers and, uh, I’m alright with them but he sucks at it haha. So it’s usually a fun but frustrating experience. But Animal Crossing, man, has such a seamless and relaxing two-player mode that we both got obsessed with it on the spot. It got released last Friday and we were basically playing nonstop over the weekend. The non-time-travel way, too, although I did set the clock to 3 hours earlier than my actual timezone, because we both like to play at night and this gives us some leeway when it comes to store closing and daytime bugs and such.

It’s such a delight amidst all the chaos to just plant trees, catch bugs, dig up fossils, and collect/build/decorate furniture to our hearts content. To top that off, my husband is a social gamer and has co-workers/friends to play with, so I’m actually playing with people I know in real life online. We visited each others’ islands and gave each other things that a single game didn’t have (kind of like Pokemon, there are fruits and other items that require multiple islands’ resources if you’re a completionist.) They also time travel, so I picked up some out-of-season bugs and such. Not gonna lie, I desperately needed this in my life. So happy and relaxing. It’s also, ironically, making me do more work too, when I’m not obsessively playing.

So if you’re stressed and have a Switch I highly recommend picking up this title. Even if you’ve never paid attention to Animal Crossing before. (No, this is not sponsored by Nintendo I swear.) It might help with all the worldwide anxiety right now. Take care of yourself, everyone. I will be on a virtual tropical vacation for a while.

Work · Writing

How Would You Know If You Don’t Try?

I am having some serious issues concentrating on work these past few days. I don’t know if it’s fatigue or anxiety or what have you, but I’ve got no motivation to do work. I mean, so what else is new, but instead of pure panic I just feel demotivated and drained. I’m not fearful of my work, at least I don’t think, but regardless I’m still not working due to… depression? Boredom? Fatigue? I really don’t know.

It doesn’t help that I’m submitting some chapters for my writer’s group’s upcoming April meeting. (Don’t worry, it’ll be via digital means; we’re not going to someone’s house like we usually do.) I was hoping to submit 2-3 chapters but at the rate I’m writing them now it might not even be one. I’ve half a heart to cancel my submission already because I’m afraid I won’t have enough time to make it “good enough.” But you know, I still have two solid weeks to drum out a single chapter, at the most, and since I haven’t even started, how do I know I won’t have enough time? My fear of that deadline is creeping on me. Maybe that’s why I’m dragging my feet? Kind of like giving up before I fail rather than trying to win and then fall short. Ugh, yeah, I think that’s it. Well, the only solution is to stop scaring myself silly or give in to depression, but instead pick up my busted ass and try.

Didn’t mean to turn this into a semi random peptalk. On another unrelated, much lighter note, Amazon delayed my Animal Crossing: New Horizon copy by a week, so I just canceled it and opted for digital instead. It’s all ready and pre-loaded for release day (midnight tonight), which makes me happy, although I’m not going to actually start playing until tomorrow. Why? Because it’s in real time, so all the stores and other things are closed at night. (Yes, they have an overnight box but it’s not quite the same feel). I rather just play it 10 hours later when I wake up and am refreshed, and it’s beautiful daylight in the game, too.

Life · Work

It’s Super Effective!

Yeah so I now have concrete evidence that not going on r/coronavirus, or reddit in general because the front page is coronavirus related anyway, helps me with productivity. A lot.

On Saturday I deliberately forced myself to put down the iPad and not look at any outbreak related news. I was a lot more productive and worked longer hours. On Sunday I didn’t, and well, kind of whiled the afternoon away, so I subsequently freaked out and obsessively clicked on links. Yesterday I only allowed a little bit of perusing in the morning and not so much later, and guess what? I got no work done in the morning, and in the afternoon the minute I (again, forced myself to) put down the iPad, I started working almost right away. It’s crazy. Well, not exactly ‘right away’ as there’s an hour of ‘lag,’ per se, between me reading anything and starting working, but that just means my brain needed the time to switch gears. But as soon as I cut off the obsession the gear did switch, and that’s the important takeaway here, I think.

So today, and probably for the foreseeable future, I will at most allow myself some minor perusing just to keep up on the events. The minute I realize I’m getting sucked in I will stop. It works, but needs self discipline. I am in an entirely self-driven career anyway, so I guess this is a good way to practice as any.

Life · Work

Detox

I’ve decided that I should stop visiting reddit about the coronavirus. It’s not good for my mental health. I would be working and wanted a brief break and so go on the subreddit, and whop, there goes an hour of clicking on headlines and reading comments and silently freaking out. And then when I try to get back to work my headspace is nowhere near where it needs to be to concentrate. And so I open more tabs, because I don’t want to work, and so rinse and repeat. It’s why work that should only take 2 hours takes like 7 hours, which is ridiculous. And then I have bad dreams on top of that. My sleep pattern has seen some crazy wild swings like the stock market. All in all, I need to stop visiting that website.

If anything super major does happen (like we finally start actually testing and discover there’s 100,000 cases in California or something), I’m sure the front page of reddit will let me know. Or the actual news. Or anything, really. I have to concentrate on my novel now – I refuse to let it go past the full five year mark. I had a brief existential crisis before I went to bed last night, about how I’ll never finish writing anything, good or bad. Again, not good for my mental health, but I’m pretty sure that’s just anxiety talking (brought on by all the stuff that’s going on in the world). So I’m going to limit my exposure to fix my anxiety, and that starts with not going to r/coronavirus for a while.

Gosh, Animal Crossing: New Horizons can’t come soon enough.

Life

Ah That Virus Yeah?

Unless you’re in the camp of ‘it’s just a flu no biggie I’m not going to bother with any precautions,’ you probably are a little bit nervous about the worldwide coronavirus spread. I live in a very populous city with no doubt thousands of cases of coronavirus around – untested and under-reported, of course, considering this is the good old US of A and all. My homebody nature is kind of saving me here; I don’t go outside if I don’t have to, and being a writer recluse my routine now doesn’t significantly deviate from the non-pandemic times routine. But my husband has a regular job at an office, and yes, it’s one of those open-floor tech companies where you cram dozens of people per giant room, with a cafeteria where everyone goes to eat. I’ve been telling him to try to start work-from-home, because the company does have the capability just like Amazon and Microsoft, and he said his company is considering it. Nobody I know so far has gotten the virus, thank goodness. I really don’t want my family to be the first in our circle, you know?

But yes, I’m pretty nervous about it. So I’m glad that I confirmed with my doctor and so postponed my IVF treatments both for my body’s recovery and because of the emergent crisis in the States. They said things’ll probably peak around May. Well, I kind of wanted to get things going then, but depends on the global climate may have to delay it further. I’m not happy about that, but hey, I’m not happy about the stock prices and the crazy hoarding going on either (couldn’t buy toilet paper, paper towels, had to order my sanitary napkins online; it’s nuts), so might as well chalk it up to the Heavens (which this sort of is? All things considering?) and wait. And hope the US pick up on testing and stop being so incompetent and actually care about people’s lives rather than economic numbers as much, but that would be asking too much.

Life · Work

A Break?

My husband said something to me this morning that made me think. Yesterday my doctor called me and told me that she’s very happy with the current results of the IVF process, and then delineated the next steps in the journey. Well, there seems to be a whole other half involving even more, bigger needles, more hormones, a possible additional surgery because there might be more polyps growing (guess I just have a propensity to grow the stuff. Biology.), not to count the actual implantation itself. So it’s far from near the finish and I’m going to rack up more uninsured medical costs, along with more body trauma. I’m still recovering from the surgery right now – coupled with the signs of the beginning of a long-overdue period – and so let’s just say bed rest and Advil are still my friends. So, my husband said, after I told him all this, ‘dear, why don’t you call the doctors and see if you can take a break to completely recover before we continue?’ Everything’s on ice as far as I know, and that means it can potentially wait a month or two. I thought, well, he’s right. I could use some downtime from all this, especially with the emergent coronavirus and the tanking of the economy. Money’s going to be tight and hospitals are a dreaded place to be in the near future, so maybe not going outside for a month or two and stay relatively restful would do me a lot of good.

Plus, I can finally get some semblance or normalcy back – physically, mentally, hormonally – and so can continue to work. There has been some serious disruptions in my daily routine, and as a writer struggling to write it’s not really helping matters. I’ll give a call to my doctor today. Really, could use a good break so I can actually work.

Life

And More Surgery! – But Success!

Wow, so, I wanted to detail the process since the last time I posted – the medical processes that I went through, that is, but it’s just so draining both emotionally and physically that I couldn’t get myself to sit down and type anything of substance. I mean sitting down is already a luxury these days – I couldn’t really remain in a chair without getting tired this whole week until yesterday. Remnant of the surgery I had last Tuesday. Add on top of that writing an entry and go over the whole process again mentally? Nah, not until I feel ready.

I’m happy to say that I’m pretty good now! I went through a long, expensive course of various hormones that I had to subcutaneously self-inject. Made me sore everywhere, and wow do I feel bad for people with Type I diabetes or any kind of disorder that needed to inject medicine daily to keep functioning. It’s a good thing I started before the coronavirus scare hit, because otherwise I’d run out of alcohol swabs and other kind of things that people are panic-buying. Anyways, a whole ten days of all that, a whole lot of money later, and I had a successful egg extraction last Tuesday! They got 26 eggs – granted not all of them are going to be good and viable, and there’s more tests being done with the embryos and such – but hey! Twenty six is a good number! Now I just wait for the next result, which I’m not exactly sure what it’s supposed to be. I emailed my doctor, though, so I guess we’ll find out some time soon.