Looking back on my life’s experiences to date I’ve wondered about the things I’ve missed and the mistakes I’ve made throughout the years. I’m sure I could bore people with a long running narrative of all the things I’ve done wrong, the bad choices I’ve made, and the mistakes I’ve committed. I’d like to just focus on one that has been at the back of my mind today.
I feel I’ve wasted a large portion of my life on gaming. Specifically, I’ve spent a lot of time on computer games as a distraction from life’s realities. I’m all in favor of computer games as a way to relieve stress or get away for a little bit but I’ve previously gone for extended periods at a time where I would be involved in computer games. Over a matter of years I have played a variety of games from MMORPGs, MOBAs, strategy games, and first-person shooters. When I would get involved in a game, I could waste days on end. Up early in the day, playing an entire day away without spending time with friends or family. When I used to get involved in a game, my OCD would kick in and I would be thorough about making sure I played the game well and would cover all the bases.
How many important events did I miss with friends or family? What important details of their lives were missed because my children only saw the back of my head as I stared at a computer screen? What example did this set for my children? I’ve seen other people’s relationships come apart with the stress of one spouse whose main focus was on playing all the time. While that gaming has added some experiences that have made me who I am today I think I would still be willing to tell my past self to change the behavior earlier.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a gamer. I greatly enjoy a good game of Pandemic or still sitting down to a tabletop game every so often. I’m just trying to make certain that gaming is an occasional social interaction in my life rather than a central focus of it.
Fortunately for me, I’m a constantly changing person. Over the past several years I’ve pushed myself to change the patterns of my life. I more enjoy social engagements that challenge me mentally and expand my circle of friends rather than socially isolating myself from the rest of the world.
We all have regrets and I think back to this being one of my bigger ones. I’m glad I’ve stopped it now and I think that doing so has brought me the rich reward of having a better relationship with my family and a growing circle friends that I cherish.