Embarrassingly enough that’s pretty much how I behave at a dinner table. I’ve got so much manner that I won’t start eating until everyone is served (given that there are <8 people in the party), but at that point… Oh dear. I just start eating and I won’t stop until the plate is empty and I’m finished. While the other family members still have at least half of their meal left to enjoy, I’m beginning to tap my toes, impatiently, wondering if it would be very rude of me to start clearing the table. They surely couldn’t mind if I at least put my own plate in the dishing machine?
I know this habit is far from healthy and whenever I’ve got the opportunity I try to put some restrictions on myself to slow me up. So if we’re eating china food and there are chop sticks available I’ll always pick those, hoping that the difficulties in handling the tools will keep me occupied a bit longer. (Unfortunately my skills in chop stick eating have improved too much lately, so the method doesn’t work as well as it used to.)
The Klepsacovic suggestion
Anyway. Klepsacovic made me think about the chop stick approach when I read a comment he did to my post yesterday:
You're rushing, there's your problem. Take your time. Relax […] Don't focus on the goal and end up with an unfun process, the goal ends up being a relief rather than a reward.
I think he’s absolutely right. I really need to slow down a bit. Mind you, not in the raids. Never. I really don’t like to raid at a slow pace. You know when there are several breaks without any clear time limit, when there are too much of discussions and random waiting for nothing particular. When marking and assigning people take ages. It makes my skin itch and my focus shatter. Besides, there is a good reason for raids to hurry up – after all there IS the weekly reset and a set amount of raiding hours available (in our guild about 10) before we’re starting it all over again. If we ever want to kill Yogg-Saron we have to keep it up, just as Spinksville suggested the other day.
No, let’s keep the speed in the raids. But what I’m talking about are the other activities, the things I do in between. What is the hurry, really? What exactly do I think I’ll reach by always trying to do things as quickly as possible, in an “efficient manner”? Am I not fooling myself, playing WoW as if it was a job? Will reaching the goal be more of a relief from an un-fun activity, as Klepsacovic puts it, than a real reward?
The thought worries me. It really does.
The need of variation
I could blame that it’s how I am naturally. I walk quickly too, in spite of my short real life appearance. I talk quite quickly – and a lot when I’m in the mood for it. Not to talk about my writing. I actually write faster than I think. So why shouldn’t I be rational and quick in my questing? Why force myself to a slower pace?
Well, the thing is that I imagine that constantly running your engine at warp speed eventually will wear it out. What we need to work at our best is variation. We need periods of recovery between the intense rushes. Moments of tranquillity and relaxation.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m looking for it in the wrong place, wanting to spend some slow time in Azeroth. Maybe the best thing between raids would be to minimize the online time, to just get the little gold I need for repairs and consumables in the quickest possible way. I should shut down the PC, open the door to the little garden on my backyard and lose myself in the May concert of the blackbird. (Have you heard it? It will break your heart if you just bother to listen. There’s no game sound that can compete with it, believe me. And above all - it's random, unscripted and absolutely unique, a one-time-only happening.)
Still there are reasons why you should be online not just on raid time, not the least if you want to have some kind of social life and be a part of the guild. And I can’t rid myself from the thought that it should be possible to play WoW in a different manner. I should be able to enjoy the quests and the incredible details in the artwork, instead of mindlessly chasing the next reward.
I wish I could slow myself somehow, making it possible to actually feel every flavour of the game. I want to silence the competitive side of myself, the one that is constantly striving for “accomplishments”, which in fact mean nothing at all. I want to eat WoW with chop sticks. Not always, but sometimes.
I only wish I knew how.