Pizza from Scratch, 8

31 October, 2005

Uncle Says "Have Fun!"

© Bill Lemmond (Actually, you're welcome to download and share these web-resolution images, and you probably won't be happy with printing them.) ,
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I've seen the back of it by a good twelve years, but for decades, I was clinically depressed, wishing for a terminal illness. All of several otherwise competent, caring mental health professionals missed the one thing that got me over it. I suspected I needed to have more fun, and I was right.

Why did it take over thirty years to find people who accepted me and included me in fun every week? I didn't change quickly. I think it took a year or two of getting together with friends. During that time, I laughed more than I had in the rest of my life. I heard more jokes that I could never repeat in mixed company, or to my family.

One evening, I thought to myself "Hey - I don't feel sad!" And that was it. This allowed me finally to go back to college, after 22 years. This time I did well. Most of my homework I did during face-to-face role-playing sessions. I couldn't do heavy reading while the jokes were flying around the table. Reading and listening are too close, and I couldn't follow more than one train of thought. Yet I could write, or do calculus, because I could set it down, take my turn, and pick up where I left off.

I can't promise the same results for everyone. I still had to be willing to work hard. I needed understanding friends, who realized I needed to work while we played. Their patience was often tried, when I needed to be brought up to speed on the game I'd only been half following.

Balance has been very important. If I had played Sid Meier's Civilization day and night for more than a few weeks, years ago, I'd still be a college dropout. Instead, I simply start my mornings with an hour with a favorite game, while I eat breakfast. I work hard to stay in my happy place, so I can work hard on work. That's how I graduated community college with a 3.986 average, and with a 3.765 for my bachelor's in economics.

May you all find balance, happiness and success.