2016 was definitely a year of change. Major change. When I look at the world as a whole, much of that change has been negative. When I look at my own personal experiences, most of that change has been positive. Regardless of its impact, though, change is very difficult and extremely stressful. Oh, and did I mention exhausting?
The first half of the year or so was pretty steady for me. I was streaming on Twitch regularly and making steady, albeit small progress on my video game backlog. My son graduated from college and then around the end of summer, my universe got turned upside down. Most of it was good, honestly! But all at once? Oh man…
So earlier this year, I had decided to pursue my Master’s degree. I decided to apply to an MBA program since I’ve had over fifteen years of real life experience working in accounting and management. The school I chose had an Accounting MBA, so I’d be able to prepare for either the CPA or CMA exams with this program. I was accepted around the beginning of summer and while I knew that this would affect my streaming schedule, I would only be taking 2 classes per term, so I’d still be able to Twitch, just not quite as often.
But then around late August or early September, two things happened. First, my boss found a new job and we suddenly needed to find a new Controller asap. After discussing it with my boss and the president of the company, I was promoted from the Accounts Receivable and Payroll Clerk to the Controller of the whole company! I had a crash course in my new position over the course of about two weeks. Second, right around that same time, my husband’s older brother suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. And then a few weeks later, school started. I had one evening class and two independent study accounting courses. (The two accounting courses are required as a catch-up since I don’t have an undergraduate degree in accounting.)
So I was regularly working 12 hour days and coming in on the weekends to figure out my job, trying to support my husband after the loss of his second brother, and cramming school work in whenever I could. I didn’t pick up a game controller for months! I was completely exhausted and even when I had a few moments to myself, all I wanted to do was be a complete and total vegetable. I didn’t want to hang out with anyone. Even gaming felt like too much work!
In October, my husband and I went to the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival in Las Vegas. I would love to tell you that it was awesome, but it wasn’t. By this point, I hadn’t logged into the game in about a month, so I felt disconnected from it. I know that if I wasn’t completely drained, standing in endless lines and dealing with the fact that it was rather disorganized probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much. I was really happy to be present for the announcements of new game features, of course. And the two concerts were amazing! But overall, the best part of that trip was the fact that I wasn’t at school or work. I spent one full day just lying in bed in the hotel doing absofucking nothing and it was amazing. XD
Other cool things we did in Las Vegas included eating and drinking a LOT of fabulous food and checking out the Bodies exhibit.
By around election day, my life was starting to calm down somewhat. I was no longer going into the office every weekend and instead of leaving at 8 or 9 at night, I was leaving between 5 and 6. However, I had fallen VERY behind in my two accounting classes. I had managed to keep up with the evening class since it only met once a week, thank goodness, but I suddenly found myself with almost an entire semester’s worth of work that I needed to complete for two classes in less than a month! When I explained my perfect storm of circumstances, my professor was very understanding. He gave me extensions on all the homework and we scheduled the exams throughout December and the first week of January. (As of right now, all I need to complete are the two final exams. Whew!)
Unfortunately, I still didn’t really have any time to play my video games. It didn’t keep me from buying them, though! But now my backlog is even WORSE! I’m also trying to catch up in Final Fantasy XIV, but my intense fear of the Duty Finder is making this quite difficult. I’m looking forward to patch 3.5 because we’ll be able to create cross-server parties. So maybe I can get my friends on other servers to help me. Although honestly, I really just need to develop thicker skin and stop freaking out whenever I have to play with strangers… So if anyone wants to help me, I still need to clear Sophia Normal and the current Alexander Normal stuff. 😀
In other FFXIV news, my son started playing again! He’s level 37 on his highest job right now, so I’m working on helping him level and gear up. It’s a bit slow going since he’s in New York and I’m in Hawaii, so we don’t get to play together as much as I’d like and he doesn’t seem to like playing by himself. I keep bugging him, though, to get his questing done so that we can do group content whenever we’re online together.
I did start playing a few games during the last few months, although I haven’t made much progress yet. Pokemon Moon and Final Fantasy XV have gotten the most of my attention. I’m hoping that I’ll finally finish a Pokemon game for once. I’ve bought every Pokemon game since Diamond & Pearl, but I’ve yet to actually FINISH one. I can’t resist this new one, though, because of all the Hawaii references. I’m almost done with the 2nd island challenge. In Final Fantasy XV, I’m on Chapter 3. I am REALLY enjoying FFXV, although the battle system, even with Wait Mode, is somewhat challenging to me. The targeting system is giving me trouble. Sometimes I’m COMPLETELY CERTAIN that I’ve locked on to a specific enemy, but nope! I go warping in some completely different direction!
The other cool gaming thing I tried recently is the Playstation VR. Sadly, it makes me motion sick if I play games with a lot of movement or if I play for longer than about 15-20 minutes at a time. The demo I enjoyed the most was the Thumper VR demo, but since I can’t even get through the demo song without feeling like I’m going to die, I didn’t buy it. I DID buy Harmonix Music VR and Perfect. Neither of those is a game, per se, but they are enjoyable virtual reality experiences that I can have without losing my lunch. I particularly enjoy Perfect because it’s beautiful and relaxing. It’s exactly what I wanted from a virtual reality experience. I love being able to sit near a crackling fire and throw snowballs.
So what can you expect from me during 2017? Starting sometime in the second half of January, I am planning on returning to Twitch. I haven’t nailed down a schedule yet, but it will probably be only two or three times a week. I’m also hoping to participate in a video game music podcast with a friend of mine starting this year. When that takes off, I’ll be sure to link it! My goal for 2017 is to play a non-FFXIV game for at least one hour per day. This doesn’t sound like much, but I figure it will help me slowly work through some of my backlog. I’m also hoping to post here once a week, listing what games I’ve bought or played. You know, to try and hold myself accountable. We’ll see how I do. I’m not optimistic. I’m terrible at this kind of thing! LOL
In any case, I apologize for the length of this post. I hope everyone has a great 2017! Happy New Year!