If you are a gamer, here's a question for you: what actions you like to do most in a video game? For example - if you were playing Mario, are you the kind of person who stomps on every enemy you can stomp on? (I do this all the time.) Or are you the kind of person who runs off every edge to see if there's a hidden secret? (My partner does this all the time.)
Recently, I discovered something else I had been doing all the time in video games that I haven't thought about before (even after playing video games for decades): I pause and/or open the menu. I pause in City Skylines. I pause in Project Highrise. I pause in Stardew Valley. I pause in RimWorld. I pause in Two Point Hospital.
What do I typically do when I pause? First, I breathe. Then, I plan. Where do I want my commercial zones in relation to my industrial and residential zones in my city? Where do I want to put my restaurants in a building so that I won't get complaints from other tenants? How do I want to arrange my farm plots and sprinklers so that my one scarecrow can protect all the crops? How do I arrange all the rooms so that my colonists don't get upset because they "ate without a table"? Which nurses should I put in the different treatment rooms to maximize the treatment success rate?
I don't like it when I can't pause when I'm in a multiplayer game. I really don't like timed battles. I especially panic in those situations when you need to escape from a castle that's going to burn down in 3 minutes or something and the timer is ticking and you open the menu to pause but you notice that THE TIMER IS STILL TICKING.
It dawned on me that I've been "racing against the timer" for the past couple years (e.g. a surprise deadline in 3 hours on something I have not worked on or even seen before), and that was one of the reasons why I was not feeling well overall. Of course I can't pause real life like the way I can pause in a video game, but I noticed that following my wanting-to-pause-and-plan instinct to be healthy for me.
Do you like pausing? Or do you prefer real-time?
A delicious tradition
How did you spend your New Year's?
On New Year's Eve I always eat 年越し蕎麦 (Toshikoshi soba) which translates to "year-crossing buckwheat noodles". I've done this since childhood. Doesn't it look delicious?
Eating soba in New Year's Eve is a Japanese tradition, but I don't actually know how it became a thing in Japan. From what I've read, it's something that started during the Edo period (1603-1867; it was apparently a tradition at least in Osaka by 1814). There are many potential reasons why it became a thing. In wikipedia it says: that this custom "lets go of hardship of the year because soba noodles are easily cut while eating". That seems to be the most prominent reason, but other potential reasons exist: e.g. long noodles = longevity, buckwheat noodles can survive severe weather during the growing period = resiliency and so on.
I eat toshikoshi-soba at the end of every year because it has been a tradition. Tradition is an interesting thing. I read somewhere that every several years your body basically replaces itself (on a cellular level; replacement speeds differ depending on the part of the body). So I'm changing all the time but I still feel continuity in myself (in the form of consciousness/memory). I'm totally different from the child me (and I don't even really have the sense of continuity anymore because childhood amnesia), but to me this soba-eating tradition that I followed since childhood is one of the ways that connect my current self to my past self. Further to that, I feel like this connects my current self to all the people who followed this tradition in the 1800's.
And probably all of us thought it was delicious.
I'm Candice and I doodle with the intensity of the doomguy.