So, fall is slowly creeping up on us here in Cowtown, which means firstly mah birthday (!!!) and secondly the anniversary of my first date with my (much) better half.
We’ve been together for almost nine years now, and I usually spend some time about this time of year reflecting on our relationship – where it’s been and where it’s going. Filing away all the smiles and the laughter so that I can access them at any time and discarding the tears and the fighting. And I readily admit that there have been some bad times. I’ve never bought into the White Knight mythos. I don’t believe in love at first sight and I don’t believe in Happily Ever After. I do believe, however, that like anything worth having at all, a good relationship requires quite a lot of work.
The love we have for each other is always there, underlaying everything we do like a deep aquifer that slowly nourishes the forest above it. But sometimes we don’t much like each other. Sometimes we have to comprimise for each other. Sometimes we have to sacrafice for each other. Sometimes we fight and sometimes things grow very strained between us indeed.
But we work at it every day. We work at loving each other more. We work at being more tolerant. We work at being easier to live with. We work at meeting together in the middle. We try harder – harder every day – to be each others’ ally. To be true and equal partners. It’s not easy. Not by a long shot – but it’s very, very worth it.
My relationship with Warcraft has been under a great deal of strain this summer. There have been more than a few times that I’ve looked back at the interactions of this game and my life and thought seriously that it may not have been worth it. Or, if it was worth it – it may not be any longer. I strongly doubt I will still be playing WoW ten years from now, and I wonder sometimes whether I will even still be in touch with my guildies in that time. And there have been a few times this summer when I honestly believed that that time had come. It was time to bid farewell to the game, the guild, and the amazing people that populate it. I wasn’t getting enough out of my relationship with WoW to make the maintenance worth it.
I stopped caring about WoW. I stopped caring about making my toons better. I stopped caring about doing all the work that needs to be done to keep the guild growing. The pruning and watering and fertilizing were just so much more work than the pleasure of watching it bloom and flower were even worth. I stopped caring about leveling my alts. I stopped caring about making money on the AH. I really stopped caring about raiding. And I stopped caring about blogging.
What could I say? I was done with WoW, ready to pack my bags, leave the sofa and the patio furniture, take the TV and the good china and walk out. Make a new start. What could I say about WoW that wasn’t whiny or spiteful or banal. When you stop having any good things at all to say about your partner then you know that the relationship is on the way out.
I took some time to reflect. I did the bare minimum in game to keep me raiding, and didn’t really focus too hard on doing much beyond raids. I watched House. And Battlestar Galactica. I played some Plants vs. Zombies. I worked in my yard and I read and I spent time with my family. I didn’t think to hard about WoW. I didn’t care too hard about WoW.
I set a small goal for WoW and I. I wanted the Ulduar craftables for my hunter – boots and belt. They’re not cheap, so I needed to spend some time working the AH to get the money. I got the belt first. I had made enough money that I could start twinking my alt pretty good and made leveling very attractive. I found that I was enjoying the paladannery and enjoying the AH games. I made enough money for the boots. The big patch came out and suddenly there were so many interesting facets to WoW that over familiarity had stopped me from noticing. The interest was back. The spark had come back to my relationship with WoW.
I’m back blogging again, after several stuttering attempts to do so. It’s one of the things that I’m doing to maintain my relationship with Warcraft and with my guild. I think that this is relationship that still has something to offer me. Still has places to go. And perhaps still is worth talking about.