Welcome to 2019! I had a wonderful extended holiday with my family. We moved our daughters back to campus this week, and I have returned to work. This was our second year celebrating the holidays with our daughters home from college. I cherish these moments as I realize these college years will go quickly, then my daughters move on to their post-college years. We also had friends in for the weekend before New Year’s for a weekend of fun, fellowship, and food that we call WHOA (Weekend Holiday of Adventure). I had so much fun running a mini-campaign of Dresden Files Accelerated RPG and playing in a Toon RPG set in a classic AD&D Module, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. Gaming is a great excuse for gathering far away friends together once every year or so to catch up. So lots of quality time with family and friends celebrating and relaxing.
With my daughters in their second year of college, I once again have had time this spring and fall with just my wife and I at home. We continued to focus on finding our rhythm in life. As I stated earlier, developing patience and simplifying my life have been focuses in 2018, whether intentional or not. What I hinted at in that post and in others this year, is why those were focuses. I have been struggling with a lot of frustration and anxiety the past few years with all the changes in my life and increased difficulties my wife has been experiencing with her health, thus increasing my caregiving. I can put up a good front that I am managing everything going on and keeping a good balance, when in truth I have been struggling mentally and emotionally. Most of those struggles were very self-inflicted as I tried too hard to “fix” everything myself and in a timetable that was unreasonable. When I did that, I often neglected my own health to the point I would feel guilty spending time focused on my own interests rather than time with my wife. I stumbled upon an old favorite quote again this fall and it has really been speaking to me.
Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time. – Lyndon B. Johnson
My resolution for 2019 is to seek greater PEACE in my life, one step forward at a time. I want to be at peace personally so I can be a better caregiver as well as find greater enjoyment of the people around me and the moments before me. I have been worrying too much about the next responsibility at work and home that I have missed truly experiencing the life happening around me. I have been blessed with amazing family, friends, and coworkers and have been provided wonderful opportunities and experiences. I need to enjoy those to the fullest and not always worry about how clean my house is, whether dishes/laundry are completed, if I have finished everything on my to-do list, should I attend every event, and other daily things before me. Instead, I need to focus on the priorities and less on the secondaries. Finding patience and simplifying my life are two of those simple steps I have taken toward the greater journey of peace and they have really been effective for me, providing some margin. The next two steps I will be taking in 2019 are accepting more assistance when offered and accepting that I need time to focus on my own health as well (which goes hand-in-hand with accepting assistance as well). I am very self reliant and stubborn, which means I push myself hard to complete things well and on my own, often to my own detriment. Don’t misunderstand me…I am capable of doing all this, but in recent years I have been pushing so hard to fulfill what I think should be done that at times I set aside all personal enjoyment and relaxation or feel guilty when I do take a break for myself. Simplifying and being more patient this past year has really helped me with my margins and overworking, but has not provided as much peace as I would desire and really need for my health. Next is accepting that when I am at peace and healthy, which require me to have more margin in my life, then I am a better leader, father, husband, and caregiver. When I am at peace, I can be peaceful around others. What this means currently, I am not completely sure. Angie and I are discussing how to proceed, both of us willing to try some things and see how they work. Working together, we will take this journey toward peace in both our lives.
Beyond resolutions, there are some exciting things I am looking forward to in 2019:
- Once again, I will be teaching Writing & Editing for Gaming at Taylor University. This is the second time we are offering the course, and we are updating it to a three credit hour course, which gives more time for in-class discussions, speakers, and final project work. If this goes well, we are hoping to submit the course to the University for approval as an official ongoing every-other-year course.
- Getting back into game mastering an ongoing weekly roleplaying campaign. I had hoped to do this last year, but so many other things took precedence over that. Because of my time constraints, I have decided not to delve into my custom reworked 5e Spelljammer at this time, saving that for later, when I have more time to devote to game prep. Instead, I am going to be running Curse of Strahd and really digging into the Gothic aspects of the campaign. Having a prewritten sandbox campaign takes up less prep time for me allowing me to focus on the storytelling and feel of the campaign.
- Continuing my involvement in The Tavern and InnRoads, including being an ongoing host on the Game Store Prophets. Looking forward to interacting with Jeff Romo and Daniel Fisher in our episode conversations.
- Really looking forward to attending Gen Con 2019. We plan to book the same accessible hotel room that we have the last few years. New this year, my family and I will be setting up/tearing down and working the Stronghold Games booth. At this time, my daughters will be able to join again this year. They are both looking into summer internships and other employment that might keep them away from Gen Con this year or in the future. So I am cherishing each one of these conventions I can share with my daughters. They are really enjoying college, and I am excited to see where life takes them.
- This year, my wife and I are celebrating our 25th Anniversary with a two week road trip to Prince Edward Island in the fall. We have our reservations all set and are currently scheduling times to meet friends along the journey. Angie will also be traveling with me to a business conference or two during the year. With our daughters in college, we are doing a lot more traveling together, which I am really enjoying.
What are your 2019 resolutions and things that have you excited coming in the new year?
Happy New Year!