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Life's Never-ending Quest Log

In the words of Napoleon Hill, “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”

Countless days and weeks I have breezed past my computer desk, my PC sitting unused and forlorn, particles of dust and a smattering of cat hair trying to establish a settlement on its blackened screen. Far too much time has passed since I’ve written anything, but the desire has been there…smoldering, ready to blaze through the bustling day-to-day slog.

As an avid gamer, I frequently enjoy the jest of comparing life to a video game–after all, it spices things up to say something like “I unlocked a new skill” in lieu of “I finally learned how to use Microsoft Excel'' or “I conquered that boss I was telling you about” instead of “Yeah, I gave the cat a bath today and came away mostly unscathed.” I say this to declare that the past several months have kept me occupied with the Tutorial of a Grand New Adventure in my life: imminent motherhood! In a mere FIVE WEEKS, my husband and I are gaining our Player 3. We've spent most of this year preparing to level up into first-time parents, and I have been running around like a crazy person trying to make our house ready for our baby’s arrival. That I’m an artsy/crafty hoarder cat lady has presented to me a challenge log of boundless proportions when it comes to organizing and de-cluttering (yes, the cats still need that cat tower even though they’ve clawed holes into the supports–are they really woodpeckers in disguise?!) (yes, I want to keep that stack of magazines from high school–what if I need cutouts from PlayStation magazine for a retro collage?); however, the deep-cleaning, moving of rooms and furniture, countless YouTube videos and info vlogs on pregnancy and parenthood, decorating a nursery, and overall preparation for baby’s arrival have been a cathartic trade-off to the anxiety and stress of the changes we’re undergoing as a family. Don’t even get me started on the, uh, physical aspects of pregnancy–hormonal overload has been a boss battle all on its own, with its scope of mental/emotional hurdles and fluctuations in energy (curse you, naps!)--Needless to say, life has been pretty busy for me lately. Innumerable ideas and topics for blogging have been bouncing around in my head for the longest time, without the will or energy to bring them to life, but as things around here are finally slowing down in our final stages of now we wait, I hope to put my keyboard back to work.

In the downtime that I have managed to accumulate in recent months, I am glad to say that I’ve gamed some and would like to share the titles in which I’ve become invested lately. My goal is to write about each one respectively, but for now I’ll give a quick rundown:

1.) Stray

Touted as a third-person cat adventure game, Stray definitely lives up to its reputation. I actually completed this title tonight, after 2-3 days of gameplay, and thoroughly enjoyed roaming the game’s futuristic dystopian streets as a lovable orange feline as it helps a cyber-being unravel the mysteries of the city. Stray captures the many quirks and mannerisms of cats in their natural state, and that alone makes this game a win-win in my book.

2.) Green Hell

Holy cow…As someone who loves adventure/survival games, I have to say that Green Hell is a force of nature (literally, you have to stay alive in the Amazon rainforest). I am happy to have added this title to my library of adventure/survival games, along with Stranded Deep, Alone in the Dark, The Forest, Ark, and No Man’s Sky. In Green Hell, basically anything can kill you, and kill you quickly. Sleep on the ground? You’ve contracted parasites. Fend off a puma? You better bandage that scratch before you bleed out. Run through a puddle? Ahhh, leeches! Those things are not the most fearsome challenges in the game–as you delve deeper into the forest, a mysterious story unfolds, and though I’ve spent more time crafting and gathering than I have on the story mission, I am very eager to see what befalls the game’s protagonist.

3.) No Man’s Sky

Riding on the coattails of Green Hell is No Man’s Sky. While this game is not what I consider to be the average adventure/survival game, I am continuously amazed and wowed by its potential the longer I play. Space is indeed the final frontier of exploration, and adventuring in No Man’s Sky feels limitless…infinite. Released back in 2016, many, many features have since been added, making the current gameplay feel like a whole new experience comparatively. You know how gathering and crafting busywork on Minecraft lends to the feeling of zen? No Man’s Sky is like that, but times one hundred. Whether you want to focus on exploring a single planet and stocking up on its vital resources, or whether you want to build up an epic, futuristic base, or whether you want to battle space pirates, or whether you want to purchase a fleet of cool starships to fly to a multitude of solar systems, the choice is yours. It’s almost overwhelming, the choices you have in this game. My current endeavors involve building up a time-gated NPC settlement to improve citizen happiness and eliminate their debt, as well as adding more to my current home base on one of the prettiest planets I’ve landed on so far.

4.) Ark

We started a new dedicated server with our friend/family group on Ark’s Ragnarok map, and after establishing our permanent base near a wyvern spawn point (what can we say, we like to live dangerously), I jumped right into my favorite Ark pastime: breeding sabretooths for color mutations. While I still consider myself a novice breeder on Ark, I am beginning to see results in the setup I have for my cats. Even though I could easily go out and tame wild dinos of various colors during holiday events, there’s just something realllllly satisfying about seeing the colorful results of my saber-breeding efforts.

5.) Final Fantasy XIV

My static title, and constant MMO of the past 7 years, XIV will never cease to draw me in, even if I only have time in the day for some quick guild upkeep. It just so happens that XIV released its latest patch (6.2) only two days ago, and the amount of content to enjoy and peruse is delicious. While I’ve yet to continue the latest main scenario questline, and while I still need to unlock the newest parts of this expac’s raid, I will say I’ve been greatly enjoying one new key feature that had been beyond hyped: Island Sanctuary. Within certain time frames, players can initiate the building of new structures while gathering at leisure, slowly developing their island into a lovely vacation destination. The island also comes with some rather tantalizing goodies, purchasable from an NPC vendor using island currency. So. Much. Potential.

Anyways, so that’s what all I’ve been up to lately, and despite life throwing me such a busy curve ball, I’ve been enjoying myself along the way. Anticipation for our little one grows exponentially every single day, and I look forward to raising a little gamer girl in the near future. Feel free to share your experiences gaming with your kids or family in the comments!

#life #gaming #parenthood #Stray #GreenHell #NoMansSky #Ark #FFXIV

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