I had a great call-in from Jason of the Nerd’s RPG Variety Cast today which resonated with me.

In GM’s Journal #151 (on Patreon), I talked about how worried I was that I would lose my hobby. The stresses of the new job, the exhaustion I feel, the realities of life in 2022 were all getting to me. Although I dismissed those thoughts almost as soon as I uttered them, this was my audio diary and Jason heard them.

Jason called to suggest that it might be more helpful for me to consider that, at certain times in life, we might need to put our hobby into hibernation. That while the pressures of reality howl around us and we struggle through the winter of stress that afflicts most people at least some time in their lives, perhaps it’s a simple decision to store up the hobby and hibernate.

This resonated because it suggests a deliberate choice to place the hobbies in our lives into a holding state. Hibernation is a slowing of the metabolism, a sleep for the winter, and it signifies taking shelter from the cold of winter. Perhaps, given all that’s going on in our lives today, we don’t need to give up on enjoyment. We could simply place it on hold.

This connected to the rather fab book “Wintering” by Katherine May which I was given to read by my wife at the beginning of my mental struggles back in 2020. It’s not a book I would have usually picked up but the stories of her own periods of “wintering” echo with Jason’s ideas about hibernation. Simply, we learn to accept when things must slow and become grey.

As I approach the next phase of my roleplaying hobby, the desire to play is almost painful. But, at heart, I know that this winter needs to be a quieter, slower affair. Work needs to expand, at least for a little while, until I find a new equilibrium. Perhaps it would be best to view my slowing of games as a shift toward hibernation. The alternative is (metaphorically) freezing to death.

Game on!


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