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To Wherever And Whenever, This Fresh Cold Turkey?

I've successfully quit Internet message boards.  For all my agonizing over it, quitting was simple: I only needed to break the cycle of posting and wondering if my posts were replied to.  Stop posting long enough, and one's posts are no longer topical enough to care.  So the solution to avoid getting addicted to message boards is to never post, and considering how sick I am of sophomorism, my posting only causes a lot of hurt feelings all around anyway.

Without forums, I've suddenly a lot of time sitting about to use productively, and I'm consumed with the boredom that comes from having to thus far failed to embark upon a worthwhile activity.  I've had all of 16 hours to myself since my last work shift, not counting the time spent in basic life maintenance, and I mostly spent it revising blog entries here or rewatching old Zero Punctuation videos.


In fact, I may well have eight days to myself now (but it's difficult to say, what with being the "on call" guy at my job).  That's a considerable hunk of time to get something done.  What to do, what to do?

On the productive end of the scale:
  • I could start making something in Game Maker, a platform I recently purchased that is certainly capable of anything the heart desires (so long as that can be reliably abstracted in 2D).  Sitting down with The Game Maker's Apprentice and The Game Maker's Companion and going through each and every exercise will undoubtedly teach me something... even though Game Maker is so simple that I wager I will already know 80% of what those pages impart, at least it would get me in the habit of using it.
  • I could try a bit of physical exercise (though 8 hours of moving books about a library isn't so bad there).  Though my nasty bout of whatever it was made its way through my system inside of 48 hours, I'm still not feeling 100%.
  • I've calculated my budget and determined I actually spent somewhere around $550 on games over the past three months, twice as much as I thought I did.  For that matter, every time I bought a game, it was at around 50-75% off, so I suppose I have about $1000-$1500 worth of computer games to play between Steam and Origin right now.  While what I spent is still perhaps the equivalent of buying three full-priced games every month for three months, I still think that's absolutely ridiculous.   I really need to justify having spent so much on games by actually playing them, but I'm largely put off them because of my Indy-minded strangeness.  Maybe I should do some Let's Play videos on them, or use them as material for this blog.
  • I'm sure there's more useful things to be done.  Cleaning, for example.
The alternative from those activities is mostly downhill from the self-improvement peak:
  • Playing a game is more productive than nothing: it's an interactive activity that (hopefully) challenges me in some way.  But I've played a lot of games in my lifetime, and far too many games leave me feeling as though I learned nothing from them at all.
  • Watching TV, browsing the net, and watching videos is a whole lot of nothing unless I'm deriving something useful from what I've seen.  Does entertainment count as useful?  Maybe if I'm in dire need of fun.
  • A near-worse case scenario is when I've descended to something worse than not useful, something that leaves me worse off than I started.  I don't drink, smoke, or abuse drugs, fortunately.  The concern here is that randomly browsing the Internet runs the risk of another vice, "mental intoxicants," such as pornography, that leave me in a mentally polluted state.  This is the danger of idle hands left idle for too long.
Any one of these distractions leave me wondering if I've wasted precious time.

I am a little concerned that, the moment I start working on something worthwhile, something will happen to interrupt it.  It always does.  But so what?  Everything great was made in spite of interruptions, not at the mercy of fickle fortune, and so I should welcome the opportunity to learn to adapt while still pursuing an idea.

No, these "eight days off" are nothing special - in fact, if I'm lucky, I'll be granted more opportunities to work: there, at least, is a meaning of life I don't have to come up with for myself.

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