Today is a special day for me.
This day represents a number of things making it one of the most important days of my life. Today marks the one year anniversary of the day I quit WoW and began a new life…
You might be thinking “So you quit playing a game, that’s not a big deal…”. You’ve got some nerve…
Quitting WoW was a big deal, not because I was quitting a game, but because of the amount of time I spent playing this game and the adverse affect playing it had on my life and mental growth.
What my life was like before January 7, 2010
I had 400 days of playtime between March 2005 and January 2010. That’s 400 days of playtime within 57 months ( = 4.75 years = 1734~ days ).
At 400 days of playtime in 1734 days, that’s an average of 0.23 = 23% of the day = 331.2 minutes = 5.5 hours/day…everyday…for 4.75 years.
It was another huge aspect of my life, more or less equal to that of my professional life.
In the years after school, during work, my week of 168 hours (24×7) was split up into:
- 45 hours of work a week (including commute time)
- 56 hours of sleep a week (at an average of 8 hours/day)
- 50 hours of WoW a week
- 17 hours for everything else – going out, hygiene tasks, laundry, playing other non-WoW games, drawing, coding….
Despite the game taking so much of my life, I was able to:
- Maintain my girlfriend for 6 years
- Excel in my professional career
The items that were strained were:
- Time with friends (and family)
And the things that were sacrificed were:
This was literally my schedule the weeks before I quit WoW – it’s absurd to the point that it seems like a joke, but it’s not. I played WoW every moment I could while I was awake and not at work or sleeping. While this isn’t completely accurate as I’d occasionally go out, watch a movie, go out to eat/eat, etc…this was always my weekly plan.
After January 7, 2010
This was my schedule after I quit WoW. Look at all that time. My life, no longer surrounded by WoW.
So with my new found free time, I began a number of tasks making this year possibly the most productive year I’ve had in my life. I accomplished so much this year, relative to the years I’d wasted playing WoW.
What I’ve done in the last year
I finally got off my ass and created a personal site, something I had intended to do for years. I’m quite happy with it, I was able to integrate WordPress into my code. I was able to move 3 months worth of posts from Blogger to WordPress.
I created 4 different themes which are fairly different visually…though the layout is fundamentally the same, something I hope to change with future themes.
300 posts since my first one, on Jan 26, 2010.
300 posts in 12 months is, on average, roughly 25.25 posts/month. That…is a lot of posts.
1486 tweets (tho this seems to be incorrect – damn you twitter!) since Jan 18, 2010.
Not that the number of tweets is an accomplishment, it’s more the fact that I didn’t stop using it like I do so many other things.
Improved development skills
Learned general PHP. Went from comfort level 0 to comfort level 8, my skill is probably still around 6-7 though…
Improved ASP.NET C# 3.5. Despite all my studying and development this year, I’d still only give myself a 3 in terms of knowledge. Maybe a 1-2 before this year. I hope to bump that up…
Improved XHTML 1.0 and CSS 2.0 skills
Improved jQuery, Web Accessibility knowledge
Actually read some novels, a format of media I haven’t touched in years. Completed 4~ novels in the last few months. While I’m generally always reading (Comics, Graphic Novels, Manga), novels have always been something I’ve generally avoided. Too many words. Not enough pictures :) It is an accomplishment for someone like me, to have read 4~ novels among the other things I do/read.
This area has been relatively quiet. Nothing worth of note, no long games I would claim as achievements for completion.
This area has also been pretty quiet this year. While drawing is/has always been a hobby of mine, my skill has never been good enough to make it anything more than a hobby, which is why it’s something I’ll only do when I feel like it, I have no desire to improve my skills here.
What I hope to accomplish this year
Do I have anything left other than some themes? In a perfect world, I’d like to maintain 2 sites for myself.
warrenshea.com as a professional/resume type site
yet_to_be_determined.com as a personal site, with blog posts, etc. kind of like what I have now but without the projects and resume section. A fully personal site.
I would still like to do a few themes, a professional one, maybe another “theme”Â one like Megaman/Naruto….but of what? Prince of Tennis, Death Note, Hikaru no Go come to mind…
I would like to scrap it all and re-build it now my CSS and HTML skills are much higher than they were a year ago. I would use SASS rather than CSS. I would use HTML5 rather than XHTML 1.0. I would organize my <h#> tags better, since WordPress uses <H2>, I would use…other ones. I would get rid of my general hate of <p> tags and use them over my <br /> tags…
I’ve blogged too much last year. Ever since I got sick with the flu, I feel like I’ve been less inclined to blog.
If I’m the type of person to always be addicted to something, blogging would definitely be the World of Warcraft replacement of this year. Considering how much time I blog/write, while it’s significantly less than WoW, it’s the thing I’ve consistently spent the most time on this year. My WordPress is open 80% of the time I’m at my comp and I have so have drafts I haven’t posted…topics that seem relevant at the time and that I enjoy writing but don’t enjoy proof reading.
For blogging this year, I hope it becomes secondary to studying web development, which I’m going to try to make my new addiction (if it were at all possible to force an addiction…). I definitely know I will be blogging less this year. If there were 300 posts last year, I hope to keep it around 150-200 posts this year…and that’s fine with me. I’ve blogged my brains out, it’s time to move on and do something else.
Reading, Gaming, Art
These are no longer goals (except Zelda: Ocarina of Time…and maybe another RPG). I’m done trying to do these things if they interfere with…
Improving development skills
My goals this year is to improve in ASP.NET C#, CSS3. and HTML5. Of the things I want to learn and become proficient in, it’s definitely these 3 items, with a significance on ASP.NET C#. While this has been my goal every year for a few years, I expect this year to be the year that I catch up to the development world. Last year was getting over WoW, it was setting up warrenshea.com and learning PHP, and improving my skills all around. This year is all about going from a 3 in knowledge to an 8 in ASP.NET C#. CSS3 and HTML5 take a back seat to that but are still things I’d like to learn over the next year.
The skill increase leads to…
This is the year that I’m going to do it. I’m going to try to spend time learning ASP.NET C# (again), and really focus on getting this up and running.
How I’ve changed professionally this last year
There have been a couple ups but a lot of downs in my professional life this year, more so than any other year in my life. It has been extremely difficult year.
Roughly 1/4 into the year, my team had a (figurative) bomb dropped on us one Thursday making the next day, Friday, the worst day of work I had ever experienced and ever hope to experience. Personal morale was so low, I didn’t even know this job could affect me that much. Thinking about that day and the reasons why it occurred…it honestly makes me sick to my stomach. It may have even been the worst day of my life this year (in terms of how I felt emotionally)…though that day has some competition………
Roughly half way into the year, I had another professionally crushing moment leaving me depressed for months. While it’s been almost 1/2 a year since it occurred, I know I haven’t recovered from this. There’s still a bitter taste in my mouth that I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of as it’s something I have to face every single day of work.
As this year ends, I wonder if I can take another year like this one. As my ambition increased, so did my disappointment. As I start to care more about my job and career, the more I start to dislike it. It was much easier coming in to work every morning, doing task A, B, and C, and leaving know I’d accomplished A, B, and C. It seems like these days are: doing task A, going to meeting B, going to meeting C, doing task A, meeting D, leaving task A for tomorrow. Like I’m not doing anything. Nothing of personal value/pride/gain. I think I work best doing small tasks quickly and well. Quantity is an important aspect of my professional life. Without frequent moments of pride, I can’t help but feel…unmotivated and aimless. I hate long projects that last more than a couple weeks and that’s honestly all I have I right now.
To be honest, I don’t think I’d dislike what I’m doing now if not for what happened earlier this year. If I’ve changed at all this year regarding my outlook on my professional career, it is that I’m less naive. But I’m also very bitter. I’ve been burned so many times this year…it’s harder and harder to keep my work smile.
How I hope to change professionally this year
There’s a certain groove I used to have when I worked. I didn’t care about anything political, I did a good job on what I worked on, woke up every morning ready to tackle my projects, and left every day knowing I’d accomplished and learned enough that I wouldn’t carry the thought of work with me. I’ve lost that this year but I want to recapture it, somehow. I don’t quite know how yet…but I want to make work fun again. It hasn’t been for a while…not like it used to be.
How I’ve changed in my mindset of relationships and love this last year.
This year was a big year for me. I was able to finally answer a life-long question/riddle/dilemma that had plagued me for years. There had been something I’d been wondering, if the path I’d been on had been correct or not. It was always a nagging thought in the back of my mind but I’ve finally put it to rest. I can’t stress how important it is to answer a riddle that only you can answer and have no means of figuring out other than….you just realize it. It’s so…settling. I feel so relieved :)
…in one year…
How much will change by Jan 7, 2012?
What will I accomplish?
How will my life have changed?
What will I have figured out?
We’ll see….in one year…