Monday, 4 June 2012

Rear Guard Action

Read this bit only if you really care to know about me. If you're here for the games and military history the stuff below will prove boring and sometimes even frighteningly familiar.

This blog comes out of the realisation that trying to maintain a relationship with kids sucks up time like a black hole and that in good conscience you can't keep up the frantic rate of gaming, socialising, concert going and sporting you maintained as a bachelor. I'm still getting to grips with that situation after almost two and a half years, rather reluctantly.

At the same time I've started to realise that what I really like to do in life is play, read and talk about games and (military) history. I love that more than my job and more than concert going and sporting. I need money to live so can't quit working, so sporting and concert going have lost out. I've added almost 10 kgs in this period and I hate every single one of them.

And finally, my life is a graveyard of good ideas and hopeful starts. Very few projects get finished. That is something I want to change the most.

And then you turn forty. All these things come together and you face that crisis in a haze of organising a megagame while hosting a friends from abroad before running off to go camping. And a number of things you've been mulling for months need fixing. So you draw it up in a list. It means accepting that some things will never get finished or need to be outsourced. It means setting yourself goals to strive for rather than careering off into the dark future. It means stop using a rediculously outdated computer so you don't have to improvise all the time, you idiot!

So think of this blog as a rearguard action. An attempt to retain some of the ground lost to age and commitment (and lose some of the weight I've gained). Think of it as a means of putting dots on the horizon and enlisting the help of others to stay on course.

I'm going to turn these into a few Grand Projects and a few shorter ones with shorter time span. So my first posts will actually be more about detailing these goals: which boardgames do I break out first? What books do I review?

Perhaps I will do the occasional report on one of the few concerts I still get to go to. I might even whinge a bit about the weight of responsibility and my belly. But the main staple should be games and military history.


  1. Jur,

    Age is a great thing. We get better as we get older as we grow with experience. It does come with a price.

    I can sympathise with many of the things you write above. I can hear the chiming of little bells of recognition "a graveyard of good ideas and hopeful starts".

    Perhaps when you have lived a little longer and are the age of Abraham you will realise the good ideas and hopeful starts are themselves important. Achievement is great, but over-rated.


    PS - you didn't tell me it was fortieth birthday.

  2. 2 1/2 years ago I got divorced, I have two kids and am 43. Let's see:

    - Gaming: a good part of it with the kids
    - Concerts: took both the kids there once each, they want more.
    - Weight: lost +10kgs
    - Sporting: well, I bike to and from work so that's about 45 minutes 5 times a week.

    The single-with-kids lifestyle doesn't come cheap* but it has some great perks. If you can turn part of your hobby activities with part of your with-the-kids activities, you're golden. "Part" is the magic word.

    * Municipal and water taxes don't get cut in half, you pay the full rent, same with the fixed part of utility bills. Go look for hotel rooms or other places to stay on a holiday. Groupon has awesome for-2 deals :-P
    You essentially pay for two all by yourself. If single was a brand you could show it of and make that guy with the Mercedes AMG and the Armani suit go green with envy.

    PS No, I'm not telling you to go back to single again :-)
    PPS I still have to write that gaming & filk article, sorry.

  3. I came from the single life and enjoyed it very much. So I am well aware of the trade off. It takes a special kind of woman to wean me of the freedom and independence.

  4. [rest assured, I will return to the topic of wargaming in other comment sections but you started this by putting up this post :-) ]
    You can't beat the weight loss though :-P
    Anyway, single plus kids (even though you don't take care of them full time) isn't really being single properly. Doing things by myself is taking time away from the kids. Without kids, that wouldn't be an issue. In the end, it's a matter of finding out how to work with what you have.
    A single, I found, is defined as someone looking for someone else to be with. Just recently, as I said I will most likely be single for the rest of my life (by preference), I got a variation of "you poor soul, you will find someone, I was single for x years and see: I did find someone". To those people that did: stop it, you mean well but you got it all wrong, I'm not a poor soul. They very idea of single being a choice seems to elude people. Understandably because humanity is pervaded with the idea is that a relationship is what we all strive for. It is what put me on that path as well. I did have a feeling it might not be for me, and yet I did. Because it is what you do, right? When you think of it it is logical that a certain amount of people (a minority, to be sure) are better off single. I have a few such friends. One of them did get married and divorced in her early 40s (I knew her from before that). 20 years further and she is still single and happily so. Her example is what made me realize that I might be one of those people, no matter what Sandra Bullock or Hugh Grant try to make us think :-P
    Oh well, back to playing Warhammer, Munchkin, Tsuro and in the near future D&D with the kids. Single with kids is the trickiest to get into but it is the best of both worlds (to me at least), counter-intuitive as it may seem.


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