Happy 18th Birthday, Tyler

Today is Tyler’s 18th birthday. My oldest is officially no longer a child. And while that means no more child support it also means that the time I had to mold him into an adult has long past and that all the things I kept putting off about his childhood have to be put away. I missed the boat on a lot of things, but maybe we’ll be better now that he’s grown. I hope so. Happy Birthday, Tyler.

Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition was released last week. D&D and roleplaying in general were a big part of my life for a long time (twenty some years), but a couple years back the hobby just sort of lost it’s appeal for me. I can’t really say why, maybe life just gets in the way of these things. But I must confess to being curious about what changes they’ve made to the game. Not curious enough to go out and buy the books, but just sorta wondering. I’ve heard good things about it and some of the electronic/web-based stuff that’s supposed to be out soon sound interesting, but I just don’t think I have it in me to relearn the game, find a group to play with, and dedicate the the kind of time to the hobby that I once did. It’s a little sad that something that used to give me untold hours of creative happiness has now just become something I used to do.

The worst part of it all is when I think about what has replaced roleplaying in my life. Because really nothing replaced it, it just went away. I started to pull away from RPG’s when I was trying to kick start my writing. I reasoned that all the time I was spending creating worlds, characters, and story lines for my D&D campaign could be better used to create worlds, characters, and story lines for my writing. That didn’t happen, or hasn’t as of yet.

Did video games take over that time? Maybe for a while there, but not so much anymore. Sure I bought the Sims 2, but really, I’m over it all ready. I bought an xbox and then a xbox 360, but I gave the 360 to my boys and I haven’t missed it at all and have had no inclination to get another console for myself. When I first moved here I was replaying some Need for Speed on the xbox, but that didn’t take. So I’d say that no, video games didn’t replace roleplaying for me. But maybe they did help me pull a little bit further away form roleplaying.

When I look back I can see that roleplaying was always something that I was a little shy about. I never really liked that most people didn’t get it and looked down on it as a hobby of geeks and losers. Towards the end I was feeling less and less satisfied with what I was getting out of the actual running of games (I’ve always preferred the creation of the worlds to the running of the games) and my desire to play in general was fading along with my enthusiasm. Then there was a divorce followed by moving in with my sister, a girlfriend, then two girlfriends, balancing my time between work and school… it all just sort of drifted away. By all I mean the gaming, the writing, and the whole creative part of my daily routine. But now I’m starting to stabilize. Getting my feet back under me. Finally getting to the point where maybe I can start listening to my muse again. I want to write and create, but there still just feels like there’s so much to do.

Tasha asked what happened to it all, the writing, the gaming, the creativity. It all just get’s pushed to the back. Even the blogging can be pushed away by something as simple as getting home 30-minutes late and feeling like the night is over even though it’s before 6 o’clock. Yes. I know it’s mostly a mental thing. And that I just need to motivate myself and get to doing the things I need to do. It sounds so easy. But it’s so damn hard.

I want to write everyday. I want to eat better. I want to exercise; lose weight and get back in shape. I want to study for and take the tests I need to take to get my license and my NATE certification. I want to learn more about the systems that my banks use. I want to get my realtor’s license so I can move into property management. I want. I want. I want. And it all takes time, discipline, and motivation. I’ve got the time, I’m just not using it as best I can. The other two, well, I’m a little hit-or-miss on the discipline and motivation.

I need to figure out what I’m doing, again. I had a plan, a good plan, but life takes unexpected turns and twists and even the best plans needs to be reevaluated. I need to reevaluate. Next week Tyler is coming to Grand Rapids for a week. I was hoping to talk to him about life, plans, and us. Get a little one on one time that we haven’t really had in a long time. But maybe while I’m talking to him about his life and the decisions that he needs to make I’ll be able to work out some of my own.

Later. Peace.

One Comment on “Happy 18th Birthday, Tyler”

  1. Three comments:

    1. It’s hard to believe Tyler’s 18. Just the other day I was remembering when you put his birth date on the back of your jacket, when you were 21. Was it really that long ago?

    2. I was explaining the loss of the role-playing energy to my wife the other day and explained it this way: It’s like role-playing was a limb I had amputated. It still itches sometimes, but when I go to scratch it, it’s not there anymore.

    3. I have great confidence that once you attach a timeline to your plans, you’ll be able to get things done. It’s like outlining the plot to a book you’re writing — plan the events, and then write the words each and every day. Before you know it, it’ll be done.

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