It's the time of the year again to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a good upcoming year. It's a good time to reflect a little and for me personally, time to feel a little sentimental.
So sure, sometimes I think back about my time in Norrath, the other life that I had for a while. And while I don't have any desire to go back, I also do not regret my time there. It was fun and exciting, and the comraderie felt real (for a while, at least).
What I do regret are the things I missed out on while I was tied up on the computer ... instead of reading up on my epic quests, I could have read a few greek philosophers; instead of debating strategies and politics in our guild and on the server, I could have gone out and done some things I've always wanted to do; instead of chatting with people online, I could have collected "can you believe that?" dating stories; instead of conquering Lord Nagafen in his lair, I could have done some real trekking across the globe.
Thankfully, it is often not too late to change things. But even when we know and want that, there is one thing that can hold us back: Fear.
Changes seem a threat to our existence. We cannot predict the outcome of change and as a result, we feel a loss of control. We cannot imagine how things could possibly be better than the current situation. We are afraid to be humiliated, to feel shame or worse, to have no respect for ourselves. We are afraid that our decision to change might - as a direct result - bring about misery. And we wouldn't have anyone else to blame for it. So, staying in a predictable pattern is safe and give us the predictable satisfaction level.
This - by the very nature of predictability - means that we limit our level of joy to something that's been previously experienced. It's so easy to forget that sometimes things we never thought about may bring us much more joy than anything we would have expected.
Before this year ends (if you care about yourself) take some time off from your routine (even if it's just for a cup of coffee / tea) and think about what you could do to make things less predictable - it doesn't have to be a huge gesture. It could be as simple as deciding to go for a walk by yourself. Don't let your life be shaped solely by the boundaries of fear. Happy Holidays and take care of yourself...