This week Heather and I went to the R Ladies meet-up at GWU and I went to the DCRUG meet-up at Optoro.

It was raining for most of the week though and we were experiencing just about the last of the summer heat.

We were also suppose to do a small ‘stay-cation’ in Georgetown, but I wasn’t feeling well. So we stayed home and rediscovered some old video games.

Secret of Mana

We bought a mini SNES classic at the NYC Nintendo store back in July and haven’t played it much since then.

When Heather and I first started dating over a decade ago, we nearly beat Secret of Mana on a laptop SNES emulator, but for some reason just stopped playing it abruptly. Life and school just got in the way I think.

We started it up again this week and it’s been a lot of fun. One particular thing we like about it is the RPG grind; it’s a fun way to relax while also feel like we’re still being productive.

It’s been hard most times to completely let go while attempting to relax. There is always a small sense of guilt about not doing work, but most importantly I think it is a fear and anxiety that ‘The Work’ won’t get done if we completely let it go. This can make attempts to relax anxiety provoking, creating higher anxiety at times than if we hadn’t tried to ‘relax’ in the first place.

So we’re playing through the game and come to the waterfall just before you earn your first magic spell next to the Water Temple. There are three fish monsters there and we notice they are relatively easy to kill. They also come with a lot of experience points, I believe 35 each or 100 total.

So we decide this is the perfect place to ‘grind’. We kill them without taking a lot of damage, leave and re-enter the screen again, and repeat a few dozen times. Over the course of 30 minutes or so we jump a bunch of levels and feel we are ready to proceed.

There was something notable about this discovery. First, I think we could really get into JRPGs for the reason stated above. More notably though, there was a distinct observation about the process of ‘gaming the system’. I’ve been struggling to discover the ‘right way’ to do things properly: how to sleep, eat, live and ‘relax’. I want to continue to build though, so ‘relaxing’ has been tough for the reasons stated above. However, this discovery is a good mix and was super rewarding. I can maybe find other ways to relax that involve progression. It won’t feel like a complete waste of time and it won’t burn me out from always working and attacking the next thing.

It’s a good balance between work and play.

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