(Addictions are nothing to take lightly – especially ones that are a threat to one’s or another’s well-being but there might be an exception or two, for example…)
It is a snow day today. There is no school due to a constant spell of what is called “lake effect” snow. That happens when cold moist air over a large body of water (any of the Great Lakes – in our case, Lake Michigan) comes overhead in its easterly path and meets warmer air over the land. The moisture becomes snow and blankets us along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.
Even though I have been out of school for over a dozen years, a snow day remains something to celebrate. It’s in my DNA. A snow day is a thing to celebrate because it imposes a day off from anything else one had planned. It’s like a free pass to do whatever you want – as long as it’s at home.
In today’s case it led to rescheduling my hearing aid check at Costco (22 miles away) and a pulmonary functioning test (12 miles away) that my M.D. ordered. But that’s not all; we also volunteer this day each week as reading mentors at a local school. My fifth graders are great fun – bright eyed and brilliant, beautiful young people, as diverse a group as I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing – yet they are behind the proverbial eight ball being born into the institutionalized sociological poverty syndrome.
So, what’s an old guy to do on this unexpected day off? My trusty DELL awaits and I head down to my “office” and switch it on. I check all my usual morning items of interest – local paper…obits; Chicago Tribune…obits; Daily Record (NJ)…obits and then I check email and my website blog – just to see if I’ve been discovered yet and if the Pulitzer Committee or some process server is trying to contact me. Hope springs eternal.
With the best of those hopes dashed, I turn to oh, perhaps just a little time on a game…it might be Eager Beaver Adventure Park, Atlantiles or Stack’em Up Solitaire. No Grand Theft Auto game for this guy. But first I need to do my daily litany of spinning the Wheel of Wow and making my five wishes in the Wishing Well.
I do know when I’m away from my DELL for a few days I sense pangs of emptiness. But today it is different. I logged on to the game site with my user ID and password. I revel in the fact I have accumulated nearly 1.1 million virtual dollars called “Kinzcash” and I need to add to that total by playing more games in competition with 7 year olds (that’s my level). How pathetic is that? I do all the usual things but alas and alack, the site freezes up as soon as I click on a game to play. The stress of longing grows in the pit of my stomach. Whatz up wit dat? Am I addicted? Is this a dependence on these games? I sometimes justify my involvement with these things as a Mantra during which I go into a meditative state but perhaps it is more basic than that.
I go upstairs and aimlessly wander about. A deer in the headlights. Throughout the day Lovie notices a marked increase in my presence but she says nothing.
I eventually go downstairs and try again only to find the same results. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is a definition of insanity. Am I there?
The snow continues to fall…8, 10 and now 12 inches blanketing the ground. I set up the fireplace, light it and watch. I read a bit and tilt back. My eyes close and I drift off for a bit.
It’s a snow day and I’m going cold turkey from my games.