Last week, I was feeling pretty stuck for something to write.
I mean, I had a few ideas based on Final Fantasy XIV, but I’ve been getting into this self-conscious funk where I feel like all I ever talk about is that game. I wanted something fresh, but we haven’t been able to afford any new games, and voilà, consternation.
So I sat and I twiddled my thumbs, telling myself I’d come up with something. I didn’t.
Then, Wednesday night, as I was home coughing up a lung or two from the flu I’d gotten the day before, my mom called. She wanted to know if Shane and I were still planning to come visit them at a cottage in northern Ontario they’d rented for a week.
I had completely forgotten about it, and was immediately excited.
Sure, I’d have to leave my newborn FC alone for a weekend, and I’d have to hope my jute plants didn’t die. But it would be worth it to spend a weekend outside, and I’d been feeling in need of a break.
I spent the rest of the week frantically trying to get over the flu (which, for the record, is really not something you can do frantically because it just makes it worse), and after a couple of sick days and a lot of being gross at work, it was Saturday.
Right before we left, I logged into FFXIV to tend my garden, and make sure everything was ready for us to leave. As I was running around, one of my FC members asked if I could go in voice chat. That’s something I do tend to avoid, because well, it just makes me anxious. The only person I’ve ever been able to talk to on the phone is Shane.
Naturally, I explained that I wasn’t going to be around long because we were going away for the weekend. Here’s how that went:
Me: being excited because I don’t get out much
Person: “I always knew you’d abandon us someday!”
Me: “Now now, there’s no need to be dramatic about it, we’re gonna be back tomorrow :)”
Person: gets annoyed with me and logs out
That got under my skin a little, and told me I was doing the right thing.
What I learned about unplugging myself
I tend to get too caught up in projects, and I’ll often lose sight of what really matters in life. When that happens, I need a hard reset to bring me back down to earth.
That’s exactly what happened this weekend.
Since starting our FC, life has been a little hectic for both of us. Every day, I have stories for Shane about what so-and-so said to me today; one day someone threatened to leave because all they wanted is to be promoted, and another day, someone went off the handle at me about four different things and I still don’t know what the actual problem was. It’s gotten far too easy for me to worry about what’s happening in the game, and forget to worry about what’s happening out of it.
When we got up to the woods after four hours of driving, all of that immediately left my brain.
I was just happy to be where I was.
I spent a day and a half doing real-life things—swimming, kayaking, being far too terrified of touching the fish in the lake, turning into a lobster because I didn’t remember sunscreen, and most importantly, not touching my phone.
That was good for me; by the time we headed home, I had shaken the last vestiges of my flu, I had had a lovely time making memories with Shane, and I was ready to go back and deal with people, whatever they wanted to throw at me. And that’s saying a lot for an introvert like me.
The next mission? Try to find a way to hit that hard reset button without needing to drive nine hours in two days to a cottage on the lake.
Now it’s your turn. How do you unplug?