By the time I publish this post it will be 2018 in some parts of the world and others will still be waiting. By the time most of you read this post it will almost certainly have arrived everywhere – so Happy New Year!
It has been a strange experience being off Social Media for the last week or so. I used to do it fairly frequently when I was running a ‘normal’ job, so that I didn’t get bugged about work stuff. But it has been a busy year, despite my work situation, so a break was very much in order.
So what has FJ been up to over the Christmas and New Year period, and what does 2018 hold?
What I Have Been Up To
I’d love to say that the house is pristine, but the reality of a 14-month-old daughter who hates sleep means I have never achieved this! Due to getting a horrible cold, my housework has not been spread over a week. Instead I’ve had to do slightly less overall but blitz a load in one day. Not good for the fatigue! But overall I haven’t done more than I would normally.
My Fibromyalgia pain has been awful, being honest. But I have had some days to myself, which helps. In the New Year I have a catch-up with the Pain Management Programme, a 24-hour blood pressure monitor fitted and my first foray into clinical psychology. These are my last medical attempts to address my pain for the foreseeable future. But I guess I still have options.
I have had a lot of time in LOTRO, which I needed. Of course I had time enjoying LOTRO’s Yule Festival, but that wasn’t my focus. I had been putting off finishing up a huge storyline at the end of Angmar. This was because I needed time to read the quests, understand the story and enjoy it. With NJ’s demands I hadn’t been able to do this. So I finally completed this for the first time – and it will form a new blog post fairly soon! It was a long, hopeless story (hopeless in the sense of the Enemy seeming to win all the time) that resolves in a victory for you, kinda. It took me some 3 days to complete this but it was totally worth it for the story.
In the same way as I needed time for LOTRO’s story-telling, the same applied to SWTOR. I finally caught my oldest character (my very ‘original’ one) up with the latest content, dealing with Crisis on Umbara, and Traitor Among the Chiss. I finally know enough to write about this chapter now!
In Dragon Age: Origins
I finally got some time to continue my early exploration of Dragon Age: Origins. Amazed by the drama and storytelling, though the battle of Ostakar was pretty depressing! Am definitely intrigued to see how this story develops as I play my Elven Warrior.
What Does 2018 Hold for FJ?
Let’s ignore the health stuff for now, because that’s just full of uncertainty. As someone who struggles with depression, I also have an aversion to thinking Happy New Year could even apply to me. So being positive, here’s my rough plan for carrying on contributing to the communities of the two games I love!
- Streaming: In January 2018, I will pick up running two streams a week, mostly on Thursdays. In February I am going to trial three streams a week. Please do follow me on Twitter or Twitch to keep up-to-date!
- Blogging: Starting with some FanFiction, I will then return to creating ‘useful’ posts for both SWTOR and LOTRO, one of which has been started already! As always Patreon Supporters will get early access. But I have a lot of topics planned for the new year for both games, so watch this space!
- YouTube: As well as my haphazard video posting, I will be trying the Warden class in LOTRO and creating a YouTube series based on this!
- Social Media: this Twitter break has been healthy. So I am considering a week off every 3 months. If blogging, streaming, tweeting (and other words ending in -ing) is to be the way I support my family in the future, then I also need holiday time! I will also be back ‘on duty’ at @lotrofamily and hope to continue my contributions there too.
- FibroJedi Website: It has been a humbling year – over 77,000 people have visited my ‘little’ blog in the last 12 months! This is awesome, but it also comes with challenges. Because the guides and long-form content tend to attract the most visits, these have highlighted that maybe I am cramming too much into one post! To create a helpful guide or overview needs screenshots, text and embedded videos. This increases load time, and I’m aware that some folks are taking a few seconds to load everything. I will need to go through all posts, adjust image sizes and help pages to load quicker. And some future content may be split over two pages. Please bear with me as I make these adjustments – I want to provide a great experience here, as well as great content!
TL;DR Happy New Year
2017 was among the hardest years of my adult life, and nearly the hardest my wife and I have had since being married. I hope 2018 brings relief and some blessings, in spite of some of the challenges we will still be facing.
Having a break helped me to just play the games I love, but I am also looking forward to returning to Social Media. I just hope I can keep everything balanced!
There’s a ton going on here over the next year, so thank you for joining me on this journey. And I really do wish you all a very Happy New Year!