Why did I have to see this particular episode of Adam Ruins Everything?

It’s the one about death and funerals. If you watch it, I recommend you do something happy and meaningful afterward.

I was already going through a malaise and generalized anxiety over what to do next in life. It’s happened before, and no doubt it’ll happen again. This is something I’ve struggled with since I was a kid.

Watching Adam Conover talk about death, his friend Emily get hit by car, then his new girlfriend get killed at the end of the episode didn’t help.

I tried to paint miniatures. I couldn’t.  I looked through all my old binders of campaign notes. I picked up the DCC RPG rulebook, flipped through a few pages, and set it down.

What’s the point of all this?

Why should I bother trying to put a group together to play Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG when everybody seems to be playing Pathfinder or D&D 5e?

Why do I paint miniatures and play wargames? 

Why do I devote so much head space to these activities?

And why have I been doing this so long? 

And on top this, the power jack on my old laptop had malfunctioned. The battery, nor the computer itself, could receive power. Before I realized that was the problem, it was too late.

I broke into a cold sweat while I watched the computer’s already low battery power down to zero with the latest edits of How to Finish a Campaign (Finally!on the desktop.

Later I put in a replacement battery, and watched that one power down, too, as I backed up all the contents of the hard drive. Now I’m typing this on a backup computer, which is even older than my old laptop.

The backup computer is solid, though Microsoft Windows updates can take forever and once caused it to lock up for 3 hours. (Moral: always back up your files.)

I know its only a matter of time before the backup computer will stop working as well. I just don’t know when, and I’d be hard pressed to afford a new computer at this point. Glitches in technology, but they always seemed to happen whenever I’m about to finish a project. (Moral: always back up your files.)

I could be overly dramatic, but that’s how I feel at this point. I don’t know how much time I have left to complete what I want to say on this blog and in this life.

My backup computer could crash. Or I could get hit by car like Emily did in the episode above. (It’s not improbable, the traffic in Atlanta is pretty ruthless, especially if you’re driving on the I-285 Perimeter).

Every time one of these bouts of ennui or existential crisis come along, I recall that infamous scene from Fight Club, where Tyler Durden says to Raymond K. Hessel:

“The question, Raymond, is what did you want to be?”

RaymondKHessel
“Tabletop gamer” probably isn’t the right answer, is it?

 

(And the night after I wrote the first draft to this post, I came down with some kind of stomach virus, which left me bedridden for the better part of two days.)

So here’s what I really want to say: 

If you’re going to be tabletop gamer, in whatever form, be it playing wargames, roleplaying games, or board games, then make your time count and enjoy the hobby.

If there’s an ongoing theme or recurring message to The Word of Stelios, that’s it.

I’ve addressed it in a roundabout way here and there. I talked about it at the start of The Art of Wargming. In fact, I’ve decided that “Make Your Time Count” is the #1 rule of tabletop games.

After all the angst, ennui, and existential crisis, there is some good news:

You get to define what “make your time count and enjoy the hobby” means. 

Not your friends. Not your family. Not strangers.

Not people who’ll never understand your hobby.

Not somebody on the Internet (like me, for example).

Not somebody who says you’re”doing it wrong.”

And certainly not the gaming companies out there.

You.

That’s it.

Now go do something happy and meaningful.

Gaming or otherwise.

Fin.