[I write all of these a week ahead of time and rarely have I felt so at-a-loss for how to shift this one to reflect the time between when I wrote this and when I edited it before it went up. For this post, I edited it on Friday and added a bunch of notes to reflect my mind frame a week later. All of those notes are in brackets like this one.]
In the first draft of this post, I wrote about feeling capable and like I’ll be able to manage everything I want to do this week without having to borrow from days later down the line or by sacrificing my well-being in the moment. I went on about it for a couple paragraphs before I realized that what I felt was “rested” and that what I was describing was just my first time in months starting the week without already being exhausted because a single weekend wasn’t enough recovery time from the stress of weeks past. As it turns out, this past weekend was exactly the recovery time I needed to finish resting up from the pair of stressful months I had (two months of days, not two months by the calendar) and now I finally feel ready for the week ahead. While it is possible that something stressful and exhausting could happen this week [which it totally did, since I write these a week ahead of time] since most of the stress and exhaustion of my past few months has been the unexpected nature of what has happened, I think I’ve finally gotten to a point where I have enough stored up resilience to bounce back from one bad thing [haha, NOPE].
I mean, I’d prefer to avoid any bad things happening this week [so much for that], but I recognize that I’m not in control of when bad things happen. I’m in control of how I respond to them of course [the urge to protest injustice is a great response so long as it is followed by action], but I can’t exactly stop them from happening. Few people are lucky, privileged, or wealthy enough to have that power, and “bad things” is objective enough that I suspect even the lucky, privileged, and wealthy people would describe themselves as not having that power.
I try not to take this feeling for granted. It is rare enough these days that I don’t think I’m at risk of this, but it can be easy to get wrapped up in how infrequently I feel rested at the start of a week and lose focus on how I can work throughout the week to make sure I can stay rested or start the next week feeling rested. A lot of what makes me feel rested is managing the fine line between doing too much or too little. Too much and I just wind up exhausted and already sleepy going into my week. Too little and it can disrupt my sleep at night or just leave me feeling like I need to make up for lost time, which then frequently leads to doing too much and just burning out only a couple days into the week.
It definitely helped that I’ve had a lot of good D&D recently, with the follow-up to a fun, tense moment in my Friday game (my character spilled the beans on a lot of his secrets and the party is working to be able to fully engage with each other in a trusting and supportive manner, which is great) that toed the line between full-blown paranoia and making the choice to trust someone. Then in my most recent Sunday game, I ran a fun session of D&D in which I got to play around with some mechanics in the Domain of Dread I built for said game, even though it resulted in the party losing half a day and winding up in an unexpected boss battle (again) due to a confluence of mechanics that I may need to tweak in the future. Still, it seemed like the players were having fun and we all lost track of time so much that we ran about an hour past our usual ending time (we also got into things about an hour late since one of the three available players was late, so it all evened out in the end).
Tonight, I’ve got what will probably be the final session of the “last-stand” style campaign I’m playing in and then tomorrow is the first session with my group of people from my workplace since I had to remove a player due to a violation of my inclusivity policies and the incredibly exhausting conversations I had with said player after that. I expect it to be draining, since this is the group’s first meeting since all of this happened and the first time we’ve played in almost a month, but I don’t think anyone is going to have a problem with my decision. If they do, then I’ve already done the work of deciding how I feel about a violation like this and have a course of action already laid-out. It would suck to remove another player for this same reason, but I’d rather know if the people I’m surrounding myself with buy into bullshit anti-LGBTQIA+ conspiracy theories and pro-hate speech advocacy before I continue running a D&D game for any of them. Better to rip the bandaid off than allow the anxiety of wondering to continue.
Then I’ve got more potential D&D on Friday and Sunday [not anymore I don’t], but a fun weekend plan in case none of that pans-out[protesting counts as a fun weekend plan, right?]. And a new short-term game in a different system that is starting in some form on Sunday [which got delayed for unrelated reasons] before my usual D&D time. Which is great! I can’t wait to play something other than D&D! It might wind up being a short-run, but testing the waters with a limited-run game is a great way to build up to a regular gaming group! I’ve done it multiple times in the past myself and I’m hoping things go well enough with this new group that it sticks around for future games. Just like I’m hoping this Monday night short-term game turns into a longer-term gaming group as well. So much potential for tabletop roleplaying games! And none of this even mentions the progress I’m making on my other creative projects and a game that I’m excited to start playing now that I’ve finally remembered what it’s called. Seriously, I’ve been trying to remember what Dragon’s Dogma (which comes highly recommended by some critics I respected and who have never lead me wrong in the past) is called for months and now I can pick it up to play in my evenings hours since Stardew Valley has begun to lose it’s shine. I still play it as a quiet-down game before bed, but I’m probably going to switch back to Animal Crossing soon. Animal Crossing has better long-term playability and feels like less of a grind that my current setup in Stardew Valley does.
Lots to be excited about as I go into this week, with a long-weekend and then a vacation on the horizon. Hopefully nothing bad happens [so much for that, you know? But while I have strength left within me, I will continue to fight this bullshit], but I feel like there’s enough good in my coming days to make up for a bit of it if it does.