the other side

Let’s see how I did with my 2016 Resolutions and Reminders:

1. Do not pre-order.  I did pretty good at this, actually.

2. Don’t buy everything.  Remember that you have an active Gamefly account.  I started out doing really well at this.  But I also kinda went a little bananas during the Xbox holiday sale, which I’ll get to in a little bit.

3.  It’s OK to not finish stuff.  It’s OK to not start stuff.  It’s OK to not want to feel like you’re wasting your time.  Recall #1 and #2 above.  I finished most of what I started last year, and while I’m in a bit of a backlog logjam at the moment, I did relatively OK at this.

4.  Don’t worry about “missing out on the conversation.”  […]   This will always be an issue for me.  But I’m also becoming a bit more comfortable with the realization that nobody really cares.

5. Write when you can write;  read when you can read; listen when you can listen.  Enjoy what you can, and don’t fret about what you can’t.  Try not to be idle, unless you’re looking to achieve stillness, which is another matter entirely.  I think I did OK at this, all things considered.  I would’ve liked to have written more – and we’ll get to #7 shortly – but I enjoyed most of the media I consumed last year because I allowed myself the time to properly experience it.

6.  Set reasonable goals.  You wanted to read 30 books in 2015, you ended up with 41.  Don’t challenge yourself to read 45 books in 2016 when you already know that’s impossible.  This apparently applied specifically to my book-reading habits; as it happens, I ended up reading 51 books last year, so, go me.  But the pressure to hit my Goodreads number drove me insane.  I purposefully set a lower number this year (30) only because I like how Goodreads lays all this stuff out.  I plan on blowing past it.  There’s also a ton of exciting books coming down the road pretty soon, and I already splurged on a bunch of wish-listed items at year’s end, so I’ve got plenty to read in the meantime.

7.  GET BACK TO MAKING MUSIC AGAIN.  Don’t procrastinate by playing games you’re not even enjoying.  You like making music; you always have; if you need to fancy up the studio area, do it, but the work is the work is the work, and if you’re not working, there is no work.  I failed at this, big time, and it’s my primary regret of 2016.  I aim to turn this around.

8.  Make regular doctor appointments.  On it.

9.  Hug and kiss your family every day.  Don’t go to bed angry.  Communicate always.  On it.  This one’s easy.

10.  Be good to yourself.  On it.

I spoke with my therapist this past weekend; he asked me if I’m a New Year’s resolution kind of guy.  I’m not, generally speaking.  I know I need to lose weight, I know I need to eat better, I know I need to get to work on my credit card debt again, I know I need to get back into a creative routine and finish that album.  But let’s be honest here:  Donald Trump is going to be President of the United States in less than a month and I’m starting to have recurring nightmares about nuclear war again, which is a thing that I only finally stopped having when I was 9 or so.  Life in this country is about to become so thoroughly surreal that I don’t even know how to properly process it.  I suppose I should be grateful for being properly medicated, because at least I can still leave the house.

To that end, I’m not going to make any resolutions this year, beyond (a) taking proper care of myself, both physically and mentally; (b) spending quality time with my family, who I love more than anything; and (c) getting back into a creative routine, because I miss it and I need it.  That’s all I have control over, at any rate.

Mounting a proper resistance to Trump is another matter entirely, and that will take shape in due course.

As noted in #2 above, I did go bananas during the Xbox holiday sale.  Truth be told, now that I’ve spent a bunch of time with it in my mad quest for Achievements, I’ve started to realize that I like the Xbox One a bit more than the PS4, even if the PS4 is a more powerful machine.  And so part of the aforementioned banana-going was to buy a whole bunch of heavily discounted games that I’ve already bought and beaten on PS4.  And you know what?  That’s fine.  I was sorta enjoying Dishonored 2 and Watch Dogs 2 and I needed to get back into Final Fantasy XV, but the thing I’ve been playing the most over the last week has actually been Diablo 3, of all things.  I’m playing a female Monk, from scratch, yet again, and I’m still having as much fun as I ever did.

I, uh, also managed to score a PSVR unit, which arrived yesterday.  And, um, it’s amazing?  Sure, the graphics are a little lo-res compared to what one wants, but the experience is nothing short of astounding.  I gave my wife the shark-tank tour last night, and she was amazed – I even gave my 3-year-old a few minutes with it, and he lost his mind.


I spent the bulk of my time messing with Thumper and Rez Infinite, both of which are simply astonishing in VR.  I also gave Batman VR a quick spin – just enough to say, yeah, I should probably carve out a few hours with it and use the Move controllers instead of the Dualshock 4.  But even the tech demos in the VR Worlds collection are impressive; for people who come over and have never used VR before, it’s a perfect introduction.  I’m still in the baby stages, of course, and so I don’t necessarily need a full-fledged game just yet, but I’m already looking forward to seeing what fun stuff will emerge from the indie space.

Author: Jeremy Voss

Musician, wanna-be writer, suburban husband and father. I'll occasionally tweet from @couchshouts. You can find me on XBL, PSN and Steam as JervoNYC.

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