Siege Diaries 4/26/2020

Today started off pretty well. Had plans to play an adventure/roleplaying game at 1 pm, followed by another board game (perhaps), dinner, and then the evening would be spent doing a little viola practice, a little writing, maybe a little reading, and then watching the introductory videos on YouTube content production.

But the 1 pm game went sideways when one of the participants received a FaceTime call from family. We made plans to resume later, and the other participant went off for a nap. So Dave and I settled down for a board game, Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails, which was enjoyable even though I lost. And then the original game fell through. Even though by that time my heart really wasn’t in it, I didn’t want to disappoint Dave, who had been looking forward to a board game day. So, we picked up another board game for the two of us, Periodic, which is a fun little game about the periodic table.

And then I fell behind badly, and it stopped being fun. Instead, it made me stressed out, even though until then I’d been having a decent day, and then I felt even worse for feeling so crappy about “just a game” in the midst of the current situation.

Adaptation to the new reality is still an ongoing process. When you’re living with someone 24/7, and for the majority of the time we’re our only company, and you’re both stressed and depressed about the whole situation, it can be challenging. We’re very compatible when it comes to interest in history, taste in movies, the kinds of vacations we enjoy, political orientation, and the like, but he’s more of a gamer (both board and computer) where I enjoy crafts and music (listening, and now, playing). My activities are easier to do on my own, but I feel some obligation—that’s not the right word; desire is probably better—to make sure Dave still gets to do one of the things he finds fun. But sometimes, when things go too far sideways, it stops being fun. A cooperative game would likely have been better at that point, but those take more time for setup and I still had plans to work on other things in the evening.

So now, instead of pursuing a couple of the ideas I had for today’s entry (it’s the 34th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, for instance, although disasters are currently less of a fascinating rabbit hole because Reasons), I’m venting. As much as I seem to be holding my shit together, as much as I’m still sleeping well, as much as I’m actually getting some stuff done in my “leisure time”, I do so mainly because the activities I have chosen are either a diversion or a way to work through my frustrations somehow. Activities that create additional frustrations are not helpful—and usually put me into a foul mood and thus off doing one of the more pleasurable activities for a time.

I realized as I was typing this that what I’m pining for most is the ability to regularly do actual activities with friends—not just hanging out over Zoom. Oddly enough, that’s one thing I’m getting regularly with work—feeling like I’m accomplishing something useful (or fun) as part of a team. The game we were supposed to have played today? It’s exactly that sort of thing, and having to substitute a competitive game with no chance to talk to a couple of friends, that I then lost badly, just knocked me off balance.

Now, we’ve watched a couple of episodes of M*A*S*H*, there are raspberry turnovers in the oven, and I’ve written this thing and feel a bit better. But it does make me think I should see if I can find anything else—a game, or trivia, or something like that—to do remotely with friends. Maybe even something like a radio play, or improv, or….? And then, I’d need to find friends who have the time and the inclination for that sort of thing. That might be the challenge.

Whatever the case, suddenly I’m looking forward to the work week like I haven’t in a long while.