I’m in an introspective mood today. Must be the stormclouds outside. Or the economy. Or maybe the articles like these and sites like these that I’ve been reading lately. Maybe it’s the leftover Thanksgiving turkey I ate for lunch.
I’ve resisted the siren call of World of Warcraft for at least three years now. (Giving in a few times to the ten day trial, of course, and plenty of reading.) It’s not because I think it’s a bad game. It’s because I don’t have time for it. (Which drives my extreme distaste for the subscription model.) I’ve all but quit Atlantica Online, an excellent free game. I almost never play Puzzle Pirates any more, despite being a huge fan. I’m playing Guild Wars lately, and hopefully soon with my wife and friend and brother in law… but I can’t see that lasting for terribly long. I just don’t have the time. Oh, it’ll be great fun while it lasts, and I doubt I’ll ever get burned out to the point of disliking the game, but there’s just so much else that I would like to do.
There’s the card game that I’ve designed and prototyped. My siblings and wife love it, and I’m trying to get more people playing it to get feedback. I’d love to be able to make some money off of it. I’d love to make a physical version for sale, and a digital version for sale as well.
That’s another thing: I’d love to learn more programming. I can do some scripting for Maya and Max, but I want to know enough to be able to write my own games and utilities. I know some HTML and CSS, but I want to know more Java and PHP.
I want to draw and paint. I’m an artist by trade and by interest, but it’s been way too long since I just did art for the fun of it.
I’d love to take more photographs. I’m compiling a texture collection similar to what these guys do, but man, I’ve got a long way to go. Beside that, I’d love to go out in the beautiful canyons that are nearby (as well as the local national parks) and just take pictures of the natural world. My wife loves the outdoors, and I’m afraid that I’ve not taken her out into it as much as I should. She’s a great sport putting up with my tech geek ways, but it’s time I give more to her, and give our little ones more memories than Daddy at the computer.
I look at sites like this and think that it’s exactly the sort of thing that I would do if I were carefree and single, with time to spare. I love helping people, I love waxing long and winded, I love teaching. I’ve written tutorials before, and I might just wind up in a teaching career, so it’s no great stretch… I just don’t have the time. I’ve even done fan art just because it interested me, and because I hoped others would like it, but I don’t have time for much of that.
If I were getting paid to make these things, I’d make time. Thing is, I have the mentality to do them for fun, I just can’t because I have to work for a living. On top of that, I place my wife and children higher in the priority list than other people, no matter how much fun I have writing up walkthroughs or teaching technique. That’s healthy, and I’m not complaining about having to put off my fun for my family. That’s a no brainer choice.
It’s just… there’s never enough time to do what I would like to do. Again, it’s no surprise, it’s just a little… saddening. There’s a great article that I look to at times like these, and it reminds me that priorities are normal and ideal.
You can’t do everything. Still, I’m a little sad that I’m a finite being with only so much time to go around. I wish I didn’t have to sleep or eat. I wish there were more hours in the day.
In the end, my life is pretty great. I have a wonderful wife, two marvelous children, great extended family, good friends, a safe place to sleep at night, health (mostly), talents and areas of interest, a good job (for how long, who knows in this economy, but still, it’s good), great scenery outside, good music, lots of good books and games, and it may snow this weekend. (I love snow.) I’ve really got it good compared to what life could be like.
I do miss my carefree days of Final Fantasy marathons, six hour volleyball sessions and zoning out at the library with five new Star Trek novels. I’ve traded that for a family and a career, and it’s a very good trade. It’s just… I do wish I could have both. I wish I could have the Good and the Better as well as the Best. Such is the nature of finite beings, though, and for now, while I can’t shake the mild melancholy of what I’m missing, I’m very happy for what I have.