Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gaming Funk and Long Life Ramble

It must be a November thing - end of year and a new one coming that gets me into a busy time that occupies my mind and attention. Also, I get more reflective of how I spend my time and my priorities as far as family, business, friends, spiritual, etc. Last november I took some time away from gaming, blogging, and Youtubing. I don't know if I'm doing that now, but I do know that I won't be getting a lot of gaming and modelling in over the next few weeks.

October included my wife travelling to Toronto, me to Dc and the family to LA.  All very lovely etc etc, but those combined with other life events turned October into one big calendar filler.

The trip to LA was great but also made me melancholy. To a point that I'm in a gaming funk as in I'm not thrilled about doing any of it, board or mini. Time is such a crunch and there are other things that need my attention that I feel slightly "guilty" even thinking about playing something.

I may try to get my first play of Caucasus Campaign in, but who knows.

While I lived in LA I was much more artistic minded. Ideas of art projects and pursuing letterpress and lino block printing. I did a little after we moved  back to the midwest, but gaming and miniatures soon took up any creative time. Going through Hennessy and Ingals, my favorite book store in Santa Monica got me the itch to attempt more work. In addition, going through the new wing of the St Louis Art Museum also has given me an itch.

There's also time with my boys. 12 and 10. The 12 year loves sports and really enjoys playing and practicing with me...even though sports is not my top priority or talent. He has some interest in art and architecture. He also likes reading and some kinds of games...mainly word games.

The 10 year old has nothing that really grabs his attention, except for Minecraft and ipod games...but when he's not playing those he can be very creative and interesting. When playing, he's too focused on those games to give much time to creating. Meaning, I should spend some time with him helping him to find that thing that interests him. In this way, he's similar to me.  Kind of hopping from thing to thing. Moving sometimes when the activity reaches the point of being challenging...ie that initial honeymoon of a new activity wears off and you have to begin working on it.  How much energy and time do I need to spend finding him his interest.  If I let him go on his own, he will default to video games.

Then there's the house - repairs and remodelling need to happen and unfortunately, I don't have the cash to make some of it happen, so I need to do some budgeting and figure out how to do some it.

And my wife has now begun her third year as a business owner.  She doubled her business over the previous year. This is good. And she's making more contacts and inroads to getting more business, but it's slow going. She's done an amazing job pursuing it and keeping after it.  My support's been there in a lot of ways, but not too direct. There are some admin things I could do to help her out. 

Now to career - it's been pretty stagnant in the last 7 years or so.  I've had a couple good years I can point to, but for the most part it's been pretty directionless. Last November, I began a journey to see if I wanted to move into a completely different side of business: Organizational Development.  After many discussions and thought, I decided that it's a side of business that I would be better working on side projects and studying as opposed to working in it full time.  I will stick with marketing.

Marketing is a broad area and I've been in it off and on for 20 years. The part I'm best at is: given a market, keywords and factors most important to that market, and a tie in with sales tactics and goals, I can create a killer campaign that is integrated. Meaning it will not just be a flyer or ad, but a comprehensive series of activities that will aid sales in getting leads and closing more business.  Oh yes, I enjoy doing this in the B2B world.

That said, I need to make sure I'm keeping my skills up in this area at my current job and take a more proactive role in improving my skills and making a bigger impact for my team.

Here's something that's been getting me to thinking as well:

We put our 12 year old into a basketball training program during the offseason called Ledbetter Academy.  They teach fundamentals of footwork and ball handling. The first third of each class is spent watching film of a player and also words from a college coach.  The film of the player focuses on the footwork lesson of the week and the coach would be on character. Alas, the footwork portion is lost on me. However, the talk with the coaches made an impact on me.

Having sat through these classes over the past 20 weeks, and then through the “final” exam a couple weeks ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about:
How I approach my work
How I can better lead and contribute to the teams I’m on and for which I’m responsible

The creator of the program, Brett Ledbetter, recently spoke at a TEDx event here in St Louis and I wanted to share his leadership insight with each of you.

He mentions the concept of “fixed” traits. This reminds me of the work of Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, author of Mindset. Lisa read it early this year. It concerns the differences between a growth and fixed mindset. I know a couple of you have already read it.  I’m working my way through it now.

I don't know where all this is going, or really the point of posting all this.  But this is an online journal of an Itinerant Hobbyist who is trying to figure out where he should be spending his time and energy.


  1. Todd, is the painting side of miniatures wargaming keeping you from doing more gaming with the little free time you have for the hobby now? Is it the required "prep" time which is inhibiting you from having more gaming time, or is it just basic lack of time altogether?

    1. Overall time. I have enough wwii minis to game if I want.

  2. I hear you. I think that gaming just needs to be fun. The holidays are time that is taken up by family. Kids and domestic life are all pressing concerns so I am trying to make sure that I don't let my time with the kids pass me by. So post and game when you can and enjoy. And yes, help the boy find his interest, I'm trying to do that with my kids. So far not sure.