Every night on the way home from work I find myself wishing I could stop at the bar and get a drink. “Just to unwind” and relieve some of the pent up stress in my neck from the past thirteen hours of work. I gave up drinking years ago, but the way alcohol relaxes your mind and body at times calls to me.
I have a great job; One that for the most part I like. I like to learn and be taxed intellectually. However the level of stress that my job creates in my life is ruthless. It’s like knowing you have a twenty page paper due, that sites sixteen different sources and it is your entire college grade. However, you only have two hours to write that paper, and you can only find seven sources.
Playing video games for me is a stress relief. Since I don’t drink anymore, I play video games to “unwind” after a long day at the office. Coming home to my wife and kids is good, but I need something to unwind and relax my mind... To not think. Playing video games offers me that respite.
I know that I have a tendency to get “lost” in the games because I have to beat the darn thing. My wife patiently waits for me to come to bed, and then sighs loudly and wanders off to do her own thing. Sometimes she even falls asleep on the couch watching me play—and I hate to admit that I have ignored her while I have been “trying to get to the next level so I can save.”
I liked the post MMB put up earlier about “my husband doesn’t understand blogging”. I think the same could be said about my wife and my chosen hobby—playing video games. She doesn’t understand it. She is perplexed by it. I will lose myself in a video game, and sometimes stay up all night on the weekend trying to beat it. However, she has never made me feel guilty for playing video games. She understands that I have a hobby—and that my hobbies don’t have to be the same as hers.
I think that is why her blogging doesn’t bug me. I don’t get why she likes to blog. It seems really weird to spew forth all our stories onto the interweb for the entire universe to read. And the commenting on others people’s posts is bizarre. It seems like she is kind of being a voyeur.
But, my wife doesn’t understand my need to beat Modern Warfare 2 either.
Maybe I have a problem getting lost playing video games. Maybe I do it to calm the stress that I feel inside my brain from having to deal with my work. Maybe I have a tendency to ignore everyone when I am playing the games. But, to me playing a video game is better than going to the bar for a drink.
I think that is what people have to try to understand. Yes, playing video games is a waste of time. Or watching sports or even blogging could be considered a waste of time. Yet what would the alternative be if they didn’t choose that particular hobby?
Until I can figure out how to deal with the exorbitant amount of stress my job creates for me, I will continue to play video games, because for me the alternative is much worse: The Bar.