There’s this thing that C. S. Lewis said, about how when he grew up he put aside childish things, including the worry over enjoying things which are childish. I find that really applies to me. I’m a busy, busy guy. I have my side business, my writing, my demanding day job, the podcast, and of course my relationships because I’m poly.

In the past, I’ve lamented that sitting on the couch and playing video games is garbage time, and wasteful. But after sitting and thinking about it, it really isn’t.

Overwatch is a heck of a lot of fun. It’s a social outlet too. I have some very nice friends through the game whom I enjoy playing with. The nature of the game is inherently collaborative. It’s about as close as I’m ever going to get to being on a sports team.

Over the several years I’ve been playing it, I’ve really grown my skill at it too. I know that staying grouped up is better than playing alone. I know that the healers/support should stick with the tank, while the DPS (damage per second) folks flank around. I know how to use the environment to enhance my own play style.

And, most importantly of all, I know that engaging in something I enjoy, in moderation and balance is emotionally good for me.

It’s taken me ages to figure all this stuff out.

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AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

Spoiler alert:  it’s me. 

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I was walking to lunch just now. This morning I had a meeting with my boss, to do my review. It went pretty well. 

I got into a talk with him about what matters to me, technically and professionally. That in turn got me thinking about who I am in the rest of my life. 

A huge portion of who and what I am as a person is hinged upon exercising my creativity. Whether it’s writing code in my day job, writing fiction, creating podcasts, writing code for my business, I’m constantly making something from nothing. 

Plus, a big part of my creative urge has to do with making the world a better place for those around me.  I like problem solving, like providing support, solace, and comfort to others. Kindness is my default. 

I see myself as one drop in a limitless ocean, which contains everyone and everything. I enjoy the effort to  make that ocean a better place. 

I’m grateful to be happy with who I am.  

 

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AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

I’ve been up since 5.  

I cuddled Missy, considered getting out of bed, decided against it, read Facebook, read some spanking erotica, considered again, stayed in bed again, got a text from my friend and fellow writer Zorro Daddy, traded thoughts on illustrated erotica, and finally decided to get up.

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That’s a whole lot of stuff in a small amount of time.  A thought about Andrea struck me as I realized that.  The busyness of my life is carrying me along, like the swift current of a river.

 I cannot help but be caught in that current. The river has an origin that I can’t even remember. And it’s moving along towards the sea. Eventually, its water will mingle with and become more an indistinguishable part of a much larger body of water. 

Andrea, she’s like this sparkly pink fish, that jumped around a lot, made these big splashes, really dominated a good long leg of my river.   

But now she’s sped off to the sea.  Where I too, am headed, some day.  As much as I don’t want to move away from that part of the river, it’s not really possible.  I’m being swept along.

 It’s not a bad thing.  This river is filled with lovely experiences, wonderful people.  Yet still there’s this tendency in me to struggle, to try to remain where I was, to clutch at the past like a rock. 

But as Andrea said, that’s not what you do. You just keep swimming.

She’s right too. I realized when you swim along with the river, when you don’t fight it... that’s how you stay current.  

So, I’m back at work today, trying my best to just be in the moment.  It’s actually going pretty well.

I did have a teary moment in the car this morning. I was listening to episode 52, the anniversary show, greedily listening for Andrea speaking, laughing, loving. 

I forgot that she had had to leave the recording before we finished.  At a certain point she announced she had to go, told us how much she loved us, and said goodbye.  

I gripped the steering wheel tight, and sobbed. 

But at work, I’ve largely been able to focus today, to make progress.  

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I’ve been listening to a good book, Morning Star by Pierce Brown.  It’s an amazing book, which is often hard to read. It’s filled with pain, suffering, and death.

As I was eating my lunch, a few minutes ago, I got to a part of the book where the protagonist, Darrow mourns the death of a very significant character.  I’d rather not say who, in case you read it. 

Sharing in Darrow’s mourning weirdly feels comforting to me.  It feels like the whole universe kind of has me cradled in its gentle hand, keeps pushing me into things which both stir my grief and then smooth it out. 

That’s just the sort of epiphany Andrea and I would have dished about for hours on the phone.   The thing about being cradled by the universe is, I’m the universe too.  Part of being cradled is doing that same cradling for others, too.

It’s clear to me that Andrea is still just as vibrant and enormous a part of my life as ever. Her shape in it has changed, but not her worth or strength.  She lives in me.   She’s sort of everywhere.

I decided to blog about it for just that reason.  I hope that helps you, too, dear reader. 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

So, I had this particularly shitty start to my day.  I went to the dentist, which wound up turning into a painful visit to an oral surgeon, and a second visit to the dentist.  It ate a huge chunk of my day, which in turn made me ultimately call out sick. 

Yay.

But actually, it was kind of yay.  After I was done with my Daily Dose of Dental Devastation™, I was on my way home to take a nap, when I decided to call Frankie instead.  I wanted to check up on him.  I'd been worried about him since Andrea's passing away last week.

We spent hours talking to each other on the phone.  

This is something we used to do all the time.  We had fallen out of the habit of it in the past several years, for several reasons. One of which, he observed, was that Andrea was sort of his "local mako" doing the same sort of mindful processing right there with him that he and I used to do remotely.

Today, I was his "long distance Andrea", helping him do a bunch of processing like she used to do with him.  We both got a good long laugh out of it.

Plus, we talked about this video game we both love, and which Andrea did too, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

This is where the shrine part comes in.  I lamented to him how I was well and truly stuck on this one particular shrine, the Shora Hah.  It's finicky and challenging, requiring puzzle solving skills and some degree of precision targeting and quick reflexes.

It's horribly annoying is what it is.

Frankie gave me some tips, and we talked about how much Andrea loved the game too, and how they would sit and discuss the game together, try to look at things in it differently, see the problems from different angles.

We had this moment where we both got very quiet, when we realized we weren't talking about the game anymore, but rather how Andrea did pretty much everything.

Just a few minutes later, I got past the part I'd been stuck on for days, and then, keeping that facile, open perspective ideal in mind, quickly solved the rest of the shrine, and got all the way to the end.

That's me, solving the very last puzzle, how to light all those torches, simultaneously, without getting them squirted by water

That's me, solving the very last puzzle, how to light all those torches, simultaneously, without getting them squirted by water

I worked on the very last puzzle, and Frankie told me, laughing, how he had been STUMPED on it, and Andrea had made this simple suggestion that turned out to be the answer.  

(It's to stand right in the center, and do a spin-attack.)

I said I'd tried that, but it only got half the torches.  He told me to step back a bit, to "center myself more".

It worked.

I said, "Center myself.  Right.  Thanks, Andrea."

We both laughed together.  She's still with us.

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow