April 2nd, 2014 (Right Now)
by Steven Townshend
My regular job grants me vacation time, and Friday morning I awoke to realize that the beginning of April meant that I would lose some of that time if I didn’t use it immediately. Last weekend I took a spontaneous vacation therefore, in which I didn’t go anywhere and didn’t do much of anything. What a waste, I thought, to fritter away one’s time this way.
The first day, I did my taxes. The second and third I enjoyed as I would any other weekend.
The fourth day, I did very little of anything of import. I went outside and took a jog—the first since October, before the cold. With little to do but rest, I felt fantastic at the end of it all. I don’t know that I really accomplished anything last weekend except for a healthy state of mind. And you know, that’s something.
Any minute now, my next project begins. Every free minute, hour, day, is precious before I’ll be a concentrated word-manufacturing machine. I think the project will be great fun, but it’s sure to involve almost all of my time for three months to come. This week I’ve been declining invitations and getting myself in a place where I’ll be ready to focus for an extended period of time.
As winter lingers into spring I think back on the goals and ambitions I had at the beginning of the year, the ones I instantly failed to meet. I’m confused about my goals and ambitions; as long as I’m confused, I’ll just continue to enjoy doing what I’m doing. It’s difficult to be patient with the future; we want spoilers and we want them now. The best we can do is work toward what we want to do and be, and when that direction seems hopeless or unclear, the best we can do is what makes us happy. I think?
I’ve been delving into some of Gary Gygax’s classic works from the 1980s. Stuff I’d never read before, like the Temple of Elemental Evil. Many of these classic works in role-playing game design can feel clunky or overblown, but at the heart I always find some unique idea, element, or feeling—the raw potential that people who used this material brought to life in their own words and made special for their own audiences. I continue to find this to be true as I discover why these works are considered classics.
STRANGER THAN FICTION
My weight has gradually dropped month by month as the winter gnaws away. The other day it was at its 2003 post-Utah depression weight, which was about 179 lbs. It’s that same weight except without the months of depression or the living on the road. This is without any particular effort on my part. I was almost worried, but I’m guessing that a daily repast of raisin bran, spinach salad, home-cooked meals, dark chocolate, red wine, exercise, and little junk food or big, overindulgent meals has done it.