Well, hello there blogger friends! It’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve sat down to write my thoughts, what I’m up to and what I’m about. I apologize for my extended absence. I started, purely by happenstance, to check out a game my boys were constantly asking me if they could play on my Xoom.
It didn’t matter that the Xoom has been broken since almost as soon as I got it back in June of 2011 (my son dropped it, huge crack on screen – still works great but has a crack). It didn’t matter that there was only one Xoom and they would have to share. It didn’t even matter that playing it on the Xoom was not nearly as fun as playing it on a computer. The only thought in their heads was the constant request to play it on my Xoom.
A little over two weeks ago – pro’lly closer to three – I got on their computer (it is actually the computer from my old store but they think it is theirs) and downloaded the game to the computer for them to play. They seemed to enjoy it and would, on occasion, ask me to help them with this, that or the other thing. At one point, I was asked to help clean up a flood my baby had caused in the town they were playing in. I sat down, started cleaning up the flood – with no clue how to play the game – and got it all set to rights again.
In the process of doing this, I realized how fun the game was. The object is to build stuff and kill weird bad guys that only come out at night. You destroy them with swords and bow-n-arrows. The building part of things was awesome! I started playing with the boys whining behind me about how it was “their hour to play on the computer, not mine.”
Eventually, I set about installing Minecraft on my laptop. I really wanted to build things and play!
Within a very short few days, I decided I needed to install the server version so I could play with my children. When you play the game without a server, you play alone. No one can help you build or kill the bad guys. The server version allows many people to play in one world and have fun together.
I have a server in my home. I used it for my store and I use it constantly for storage and other items. I’ve offered it up for other people to use, as well. Why not put it on the server that doesn’t do a lot and has a lot of room and ability to do so much? A few hours later, I had it installed on the server and was testing it out. I got a hold of Jen’s brother and told him I had a server he could play on – come join us!
He ended up spending a weekend with us and we played the entire weekend. I told the boys that they had to do good in school, not get in trouble, not pee their bed at night if they wanted to play with us. It works great as an incentive!
It has been just about 3 weeks since this all started. We are now in the middle of our third weekend Minecraft party. The goal? Get all of our stuff done during the week so we can play Minecraft all weekend with no worries. Goals: Keep our sheets dry at night (Brendan) and not get in trouble for popping in and out of our chair and talking too much in school (Caiden). My goals? Get the work done for my clients. I’ve failed a little on that but I’m doing alright.
We get the house cleaned and we play all weekend. We might take breaks and go to Shari’s for hot chocolate or pie. We might hop in the car to run to the store or perhaps head off to the playground with Jen to get some energy out.
My house did look like a train hit it with the laptops and computers we had set up to play our game. We finally settled on getting a table set up downstairs to put our stuff on and play down there. We don’t do much down there, so it is a great place to keep it out of the way and still have it all set up.
It was so easy to fall back into the routine of playing on the computer all the time. I did it before, when life was kicking me in the britches and I was not terribly happy. I played EverQuest for nearly 5 years – before my children were born – and it was an excellent way of distracting me from my back problems and the fact that I didn’t spend the 20 years in the Navy that I had wanted to do.
It was a depressing time, finding out that my career goals were brought to a screeching halt and I was sent home, in 1998. My entire life had been spent trying to get into the service and then I was sent home, a failure. At least, a failure in my eyes.
When people thank me for my service, I always cringe inside. They don’t realize that I didn’t finish! I didn’t go the full 20! I didn’t do what I set out to do! Mind you, I understand that physically I was broken and couldn’t finish – it wasn’t my fault. It just still hurts to think about not finishing a goal I had nearly all my life.
That’s where EverQuest came in. I didn’t have to think about my failures and shortcomings for nearly 5 years of my life! And, honestly, I had no life when I played EverQuest. I had nothing except the game. It got so bad, at one point, that when I did finally eat, my body would reject the food because it didn’t know what to do with it. I had to break that addiction and get a life again and I did. It was hard, because it was so easy to “check out of life” by playing the game.
But, I have children now. I can’t afford to “check out” and back into a computer game. I’d fail them miserably if I do. Even if I am getting kicked around with the stupid lawsuit. Finances are a toss-up right now because there is a turn-over in who is managing them and it’s always rough with someone new figuring things out.
So, I am starting to pave the way for them to not play so much. Yes, it was fun playing for nearly 3 weeks – without a care in the world! But, we have life to do and spring is coming. We’ll be going outside more and traveling to various places to take pictures. True, the weather has kept us housebound a lot this winter. Finances kicking us in the britches and forcing us to stay home even more.
Spring is coming, though and with it, we have so many opportunities to get outside! I’m actually looking forward to it and planned a road trip for today. We were going to go after we woke up – after staying up very late playing Minecraft as a family (Jen’s brother included). We were going to go for a drive through Montana so we could replace the pictures I lost when the hard drive crashed.
Except we woke to a small blizzard passing over our town. We stayed home. Played Minecraft.
Mark helped make breakfast of sausage patties and eggs. Jen and I made quiche and upside-down pizza for lunch and we have bread on the counter for snacks. I promised I would sit down and write a blog post after taking a nap and here I am. I may write another one and pass on some pictures of the last three weeks. They’ve been sitting on my camera card for too long.
So, there’s where I’ve been. Look for more as I try to get updated and back on track with things. Thank you for being patient with me while I drifted a bit to the far left.