Ennui and manifestations of guilt.

So I didn’t get very much done yesterday in the old Core Temple. I’d like to start by pointing out that it is approaching Fall here in northern Alberta and this means it is *very* cold in the mornings, and that cup of coffee that used to get me going needs a friend or two to stoke the old internal fires before I’m coherant. And it needs a full party wagon of buddies before I’m human, but that’s another story for another day.

 After a sluggish “why oh god why” sort of start to my day, I attacked my work with a vigour and managed to get a few tasks accomplished. However, as the workday went on and my attention wandered, I found myself with one very poorly spent day and one very large pile of not-done work. And let me tell you, when your work is made of rock, it’s a big bloody pile indeed.

And so, enter the Guiltmonster.

Now, raid monsters I can deal with. Shattrath Lagmonster, likewise. But when the Guiltmonster rolls into town, he’s here to stay and his Guilt Trip aura infects everything in my life. So, I’m already feeling guilty about not accomplishing the work I set out for myself and then I start feeling guilty about why exactly I didn’t get that work done. And there is a simple answer to that, of course, and it is “because I was too busy trawling the beta forums and the beta wiki for information to post on my guild’s forums.” And here is where it gets really interesting: Why would I be doing that during the day, instead of in the evening, like a good little worker bee? And the answer to that would be “because I don’t get enough face time in with my guild, so I wanted to make it look like I’m alive and participating, and because I’m not going to log on my main this evening, I’m going to log on a random alt and spend time with my better half.”

Do you see where this is going?

This is my Magical Circle of Guilt: Abandon my (long suffering) partner to play some WoW. Feel bad. Abandon my Guild to leave town and get some work done. Feel bad. Abandon my work to spend some time with my family. Feel bad. It’s pretty special.

Now I can already hear the cries of more sensible folks (is that you, Mom?) telling me that it’s “just a video game” and that I should be focusing on the important things in my “real life.” But I would like to point out that the time I spend with my guild is very real. It is no less real than the time anyone would spend with a beer-league softball team. Or a group of buddies that gets together to play golf onthe weekends. Or any other social interaction. Because, when all is said and done, the reason I have lost sleep, shed tears, torn my throat with screaming in both frustration and extreme joy is because my guild matters to me on an interpersonal level. There are real people there at the other end of that series of tubes and I care very much about them. I would walk through fire for some of them, and I know that feeling is reciprocated.

And what I truly believe is that I can find a balance between the things that make up my life. I know this balance exists, because without any one of these three things – work, guild, family – my life is not compete.  So I rob from Peter to pay Paul and struggle to stay ahead of the Guiltmonster.

I’m staying off my forums today, and I’ve managed to get another well described, so I feel damn good about that. I will likely spend time online with my better half tonight, and then stress about my guild. I know they are getting along fine without me while I’m up here in the frozen north but I still worry. I love my guild and I want to be there. I want to share in their experiences, I want to laugh and cry with them;  I want to exult and commiserate and do all those things you do with the people you care for. 

And I will. Tomorrow.


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