Tuesday, November 14, 2023

A Holiday Break

 Life must be lived as play, playing certain games, making sacrifices, singing and dancing, and then a man will be able to propitiate the gods, and defend himself against his enemies, and win in the contest.”

– Johan Huizinga

I think I need a holiday break. From many things, really, but in this case, writing and posting here on Hobby Games Recce. The fact that this is my fourth start on a blog post in 24 hours demonstrates I’m pushing myself, am way too critical of myself, and continue struggling to overcome my self-confidence demons. Besides, everything seems a bit overwhelming these days. I’m battling my usual personal anxieties and insecurities about my creativity, productivity, and life in general, including drama with sanctimonious, self-righteous in-laws. Larger concerns overshadow everyone’s lives these days, from the dysfunction of American government, the specter of growing white nationalistic fascism, and wars in Ukraine and Gaza and the loss of innocent lives in the crossfire. Oh, yes, and we have all these touchy-feely, mindlessly happy holidays like American Thanksgiving and yuletide celebrations that simultaneously require lots of time, energy, and effort along with the demand that we endure all this with a smile on our faces.

Apologies. I try very hard to maintain a generally positive presence online. I don’t always succeed. Please forgive this lapse. Take it as evidence I need a break. Maybe find some humor in it.

This time of year is crummy for blogging anyway. I usually succumb to writing a vapid Thanksgiving missive, the inevitable yuletide holiday attempt at sounding hopeful amid all the darkness, and either a look back at the past year or an insipidly optimistic view toward the new one. All of which garners lower-than-usual readership numbers (which are already pretty low to begin with). and little engagement (also pretty low throughout the year).

Mmmm...stollen. (Note: Not actual
stollen I baked.)
So how am I spending my time away from Hobby Games Recce? I’d like to take some time for myself in the Hermitage at the Edge of Oblivion, my euphemism for stepping away from posting here to focus on other projects and simply clear my mind. That’s on my list somewhere...way at the bottom, I’m afraid. In the mean time I’m consumed with holiday work: baking stollen as yuletide gifts (alas, too late for those who celebrate a “Stollen Election” day) along with a few other sweet treats; hosting family for Thanksgiving and my son’s birthday; undertaking yuletide holiday activities like buying and wrapping presents, setting up lights, the tree, and the train, and cooking for everyone; and perhaps finding a few stolen moments to work on my Mage-Blight Hills fantasy roleplaying setting (system-neutral), with which I feel slightly greater sense of accomplishment than the blog, despite its far-from-publishable form.

I have my coping strategies, of course. Stepping away from Hobby Games Recce for a short while is one of them, something that usually helps me return with a fresh perspective and renewed energy. Immersion in games helps, whether reading the rules and playing around with a new acquisition (a used copy of Avalon Hill’s 1964 Midway game), setting up some quick battles on the wargaming table (when not used for gift wrapping), exploring some solitaire gaming (Ironsworn: Starforged beckons), and getting some Zen time painting miniatures. I am already imbibing in holiday spirits, notably an IV drip of good (and cheap) glühwein, a sweet, spiced, red holiday wine served cold or mulled, quite tasty and relaxing at 8.7% ABV. I have plenty of unread books to tempt me into a momentary and immersive respite. I expect I will vent my stress journaling in my “Dr. Daniels” therapy file. Hmmm, seems I thought I had more coping strategies sitting around in dusty corners. Maybe not as many as I’d hoped.

For those seeking an early dose of holiday inspired content, I recommend some of my past missives, most of which, however dated, still seem relevant today:

A Little More Light This Year”

Share Our Good Fortune”

The Light within the Darkness”

Giving Thanks in A Plague Year”

Living Thanks”

Lest I forget, thank you kind readers. I hope I can provide more enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring material for you in the New Year. May you remain grateful this Thanksgiving, discover the light in the darkness this yuletide, and find renewal in the New Year. Take care of yourselves and each other. Carpe ludum!

But in the end it’s only a passing thing, this shadow; even darkness must pass.”

– Samwise Gamgee


  1. Enjoy your break! I look forward to hearing about your holiday gift acquisitions. Take care.

  2. Have a good time away.

    I'm never sure if my reads through Feedly (RIP Google Reader) ever show for the blogs I follow, so know you may have more readers than you think.

  3. A good time of year to rest, take walks, read books, drink hot things while there are also blankets. =)


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