This week has been kinda stressful. I'm extremely conflict-averse, and in a normal week I might have minor conflicts with one or two people, usually fairly easily resolved. This week I had minor or major conflicts (mostly minor) with half a dozen people, mostly either initiated by me or stemming from things I did and said, and one of them in particular (at work) has been especially stressful.
I should make clear that these are all the kinds of things that most people take in stride. People disagree; people argue. But I'm a delicate flower sometimes, and this kind of thing makes me tense.
Meanwhile, I've been thinking about how I've been spending my time. I've sometimes been spending a couple hours a day playing games (mostly iPad games, especially Spider solitaire), and a couple more hours a day on Facebook. And although I resist the common idea that those activities are inherently a waste of time that would be better spent on, say, face-to-face interactions with people—I get a lot of enjoyment out of both games and Facebook, and I learn a lot from reading stuff friends post—I think I have to admit at this point that both of those activities are getting in the way of my doing stuff that I want to do and/or should be doing.
The games thing has been coming and going. I've always had periods of a week or two when I obsessively focus on a particular game and play it in every spare moment; with most games, after a couple of weeks I lose interest and move on. But over the past couple months I've had a couple of periods when I was playing the same small set of games over and over, and my interest doesn't seem to be waning.
So sometime around Wednesday morning, I decided to try again on something I've tried before: each time I get the impulse to play an iPad game, I'll open an ebook instead. Or Paper, the drawing program I've been playing with. Ideally I would divert to writing instead of reading, but that's harder because I do my writing on my computer rather than on the iPad. So for now, reading will do, especially because there are a lot of books I want to read.
I intended it to be just one day, and it went well. But the next morning I decided to do it again. And again the next. And now I haven't played any games in three or four days.
(I may have made one or two Letterpress moves somewhere in there; I'm not counting that, because it's asynchronous, only needing a couple of minutes for a move a couple of times a day. I don't get obsessive about it in the same way. But I also went so many days between Letterpress moves in the past week or two that I suspect the other players have given up on me.)
I'm not dead-set on stopping playing permanently or anything; I still see nothing wrong with games per se. But I think that at the moment, it feels better to me to stop for the time being.
Meanwhile, after some arguing on Facebook the other day, I decided to take a day off Facebook. I was losing sleep over the various abovementioned conflicts, and needed to take some time to destress. And that went pretty well. I'll almost certainly be back on Facebook sometime soon, and I already stopped by briefly this morning to say happy birthday to someone, but I may start treating FB more like Twitter, just looking at the latest posts rather than trying to stay totally caught up on specific people. So if you post something to FB that you want to be sure I see, may be best to let me know via other channels.
Then again, I may be back to my normal behavior soon. We'll see.
Oh, and I've also stepped away from the Wikipedia “American novelists” controversy.
Plan for this weekend: (1) clean up messy house; (2) host a writing day tomorrow. Will also try and get some writing done today; am trying to get second draft of my novelish thing done by May 9. Unclear as yet whether I'll be able to do that, but this weekend seems like my best chance for it.
(What I've been reading lately, instead of playing games (started some of these long before the games moratorium, though): The Governess Affair, by Courtney Milan; Wide Open, by Deborah Coates; Tingleberries, Tuckertubs and Telephones, by Margaret Mahy; The Body Project, by Joan Jacobs Brumberg; Gooseberry Bluff Community College of Magic, by David J. Schwartz; Farthing, by Jo Walton. All worth reading, though I'm not yet done reading the last three of those.)