Early Christmas Break

Hello, hello!  Is everyone ready for the holidays?  I hope so.  Anyway, I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to come up with a topic for this week’s post and I keep coming up blank.  Since I’m doing a book review on Christmas instead of taking a break, I figured I would take this week off.  So, here are some festive photos of my chair that Dad decorated and a couple from the MDA Holiday Party in lieu of an actual post!

Merry (early) Christmas!

Less Screen Time: Pros and Cons

Howdy, howdy!  How is everyone doing this December?  Are you ready for whatever holiday you happen to be celebrating?  We aren’t planning on doing anything this year, so we’re pretty much prepared.  Anyway, I haven’t been doing much aside from reading and crocheting.  That means I don’t have much to talk about.  But it also means I’ve been away from the computer more often than usual.  It makes for a weird combination of good and bad.  So, I thought I would take a chance to ramble about some of the pros and cons I’ve noticed about being away from the screen.

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Pro 1: Less social media drama.  Don’t get me wrong, I love lurking and seeing how everyone I know is doing, but I really like not getting sucked down all the flame war rabbit holes.  I still scroll through everything on a daily basis, but I find myself reading fewer comments because I’d rather go play with yarn than watch people argue.  It just seems like a better use of my time.

Con 1: Less socializing.  I don’t socialize enough as it is, but being away from the computer means that I don’t respond to Facebook messages right away.  I rarely respond to texts right away anymore, unless it’s important.  It’s just not as easy to multitask when my computer is in my room and I’m in the dining room.  So, sorry if I haven’t messaged you enough or in a timely manner.  I’m being worse than usual about it.

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Pro 2: Yarn doesn’t judge me when I curse at it.  Try it.  You can say anything you want to yarn and the worst it will do is tangle itself up, which just results in more colorful language.  Say the wrong thing online and someone’s going to blow up at you whether you were talking to them or not.  Yarn is good.  Yarn doesn’t judge.  Be like yarn.

Con 2: Yarn won’t help you with stupid things.  As good a listener as yarn is, it won’t offer unhelpful solutions when you need a laugh.  That’s what my Interwebz friends are for, to send me stupid memes and GIFs when I’m in a funk.

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And sometimes yarn curses back.

Pro 3: Finding new communities to be part of and learning people you already know are in those communities.  I’ve joined a few crochet and fiber arts groups only to discover people I already know are in them!  It’s actually kind of cool to join a group and realize you already have friends there.  Plus, it’s nice to have places to go and ask beginner questions and get a lot of feedback.

Con 3: The groups are online.  In other words, I join them and stalk them for a few minutes, then go back to the dining room.

Ultimately, I’m still on my computer a lot, but being away from it seems to be helping my mental health.  I don’t know if it’s just being away from the negativity of social media or if it’s doing something with my hands or a combination of the two, but I feel better (not as depressed and anxious as usual).  So, I think less screen time is good, but I still need it to socialize.

What are your thoughts on screen time and social media breaks and all that good stuff?  Feel free to leave your comments or thoughts here or on my social media pages!

Mindless Games and Why I Play Them

Happy new year, everyone!  I hope the year has started off pleasantly for you.  I’ve just been working on revisions to G&G and relaxing.  I have a tendency to play mindless games when I relax.  You know the ones.  Candy Crush, Diner Dash, Papa’s Pizzeria.  Pretty much anything with an alliterative name is bound to be mindless.  Match three games or hidden objects games or time management games.  The types of games that give you something to do with your hands and pretty images to stare at, but require little to no deep thinking.  However, some people don’t really understand why I play them and even pick on me for it (in a funny haha way, not a mean one), so I thought I would explain a little bit.

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May your year be filled with love and light!

Mindless games are simply a way for me to shut down my brain and stop overthinking things, especially when I’m dwelling on something.  They allow me to focus on something mundane and ignore the voices in my head for a while.  When I’m upset at life or stuck on a story or whatever, the games help to clear my thoughts.  It’s kind of like when you get sucked into a TV show or a movie or a book and everything else fades away for that hour or however long.  It’s a way to bring peace into my head, like my own little meditation.  When your brain is constantly on high speed over the stupidest things, it’s a really nice feeling to just relax.

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I can stop whenever I want.  I just don’t want to.

There’s also this weird side effect of mindless games that I don’t get from TV or books: I find solutions to plot problems when I play.  With TV and books, I have to focus on their plots and follow along.  Mindless games don’t require that much interaction, so my subconscious is free to roam wild.  In its roaming, it finds solutions to problems organically.  It finds things I would never come up with even after hours or days of plotting.  I know a lot of people who have these revelations in the shower, and others who keep dream journals for this type of stuff, but not me.  Mindless games are where it’s at for me.

So, laugh at my stupid games all you want, but there’s a method to my madness.  Plus, and this is important, I enjoy the games.  I like matching games.  I like the games that simulate tasks like waiting tables and cooking and all the other stuff I can’t do.  It’s fun and stupid and makes me a huge nerd.  I fully accept that.

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I’m right here!

Do you play any mindless games?  How do you go about clearing your mind?  Do you find your aha moments in the shower or driving down the road or in your dreams?  Thoughts, comments, questions, and everything in between are welcome in the comment section here or on my social media pages.