Work has been keeping me insanely busy lately. The project I’m working is showing all of the classic signs of overload and warning klaxons are firing in my head almost daily. We’ve got scope creep, scheduling errors, incomplete modeling, and a lack of understanding of the complexity of QA on a software project. Fortunately, the pertinent parties are aware of the most pressing issues and I still have faith that we can pull a success out of this scenario. However, one of the most prominent side effects of this is that I’ve had a significantly reduced amount of real life time outside of work. Meaghan has recently returned to work after taking a year off in 2007 and so the housework, cooking, and shopping no longer have a full-time steward, further contributing to the reduction of time available in real life. I actually don’t mind doing housework and cleaning, I find it to be quite fulfilling and a good way to unwind. Despite that fact, it still takes up time in the evenings and on weekends and the shift has been noticeable. For the past couple of months, I’ve been the leader of a World of Warcraft guild called Honor Bound. However, due to recent real world time pressures and an alarming amount of drama occuring in the guild, I’ve decided to step down from that position. I just don’t have the time to be online each day and caring for twenty other people in a virtual world when my real life is so hectic. Furthermore, I was finding that the pressures of leadership in my downtime were eating away at my enjoyment of the game and turning it into another job. I have always operated in a leadership role in every job that I have worked whether or not that was the original charter of the position. I naturally seem to fall into a role where I’m rounding people up, rallying them, setting directions and marshalling a project towards success. I was the same in both school and college and have simply come to accept that it is the vocational role I shall often fall into. However, in my downtime I’d like to do something different. I don’t want to be in a leadership role, in fact I’d prefer just the opposite and not have to make many decisions or take charge at all. Leaving my job to come home, log onto Warcraft and then have to rally a bunch of people into organization and sort out all kinds of drama just wasn’t any fun at all. When I started playing Warcraft, I enjoyed the open nature of the gameplay and the social aspect of being in a world with thousands of other people, yet playing as an avatar very different from my role (or appearance) in real life. After taking on the position of an officer in the guild almost a year ago, and then more recently the position of guild leader, I have found that the enjoyment I drew from the social aspect of the game has inverted. Now I cringe if I see drama breaking out between friends or have seven people chatting to me all at once wanting to know what groups I’m going to get together tonight and asking for details of where we are going and whether “such and such” a person can come too.
Once my work schedule became busy, I didn’t get online to play Warcraft as much, but I’m not entirely certain that it was because I physically didn’t have the hours too. I was finding that I was more exhausted from work due to the additional pressure and didn’t have the energy to work my night-time job as Vaelorna, Guild Leader of Honor Bound. I am was worn out. Fortunately, not logging on quite as often has given me the chance to do some other things with my evenings and weekends and I’m really enjoying that. I don’t think I’ll stop playing Warcraft completely, but I certainly don’t want to be online more than a couple of nights a week and even then only for a couple of hours at a time. It is for that reason that I decided to step down as guild leader. I’m sure that everyone in the guild will understand.
The house is now looking great too. Last weekend Meaghan and I spent most of Saturday morning trying to get to the jobs that are rarely allocated time. The maintenance jobs like dishes, laundry, vacuuming, and dusting are easy enough to keep on top of. It’s the jobs like re-organizing the kitchen cabinets, dismantling a home gym, taking apart and fully cleaning out the cat’s room, or steam-cleaning the stairs that really take a chunk of uninterrupted time to get to. That’s exactly what we did on Saturday and it felt great. The stairs look absolutely superb (did I mention I have a vacuuming and steam-cleaning fetish?) and Meaghs did a wonderful job taking apart our home gym. We were able to get the gym packed away into a big duffel bag I have for that exact purpose and stowed away in our outside storage closet. I was able to steam the stairs, however I determined that the time has finally come for me to get a new steam cleaner. I found a Bissell that I like a Fry’s that has an on-board heater (something my current model lacks) and a hose with an attachment that would have been perfect for doing the stairs with. Without an attachment, using my current steamer on the stairs was just a pain and my back was hurting for a couple of hours afterwards due to lifting the entire cleaner up every stair and holding it there. Saturday afternoon we visited IKEA and picked up a loveseat for the war room (our play room), which looks great. Meaghs put it together while I joined some friends of mine at a UFC event Jesse was hosting. (Liddell got his ass handed to him by Jardine fyi; I think Chuck might be done!) All in all, a fabulously successful Saturday, but further testament to the fact that we are running around like headless chickens lately. In fact, one of the reasons I’m blogging is I’m feeling like I need to start taking more time to myself during the days to avoid getting overloaded.