Poor Akira often has a perplexed look on his face, don't you think?
For the most part, I've managed to keep to a belated New Year's resolution that I quietly made to myself after a marathon game period.
"Play when I'm good."
"Good", in this case, is supposed to mean:
- I've got a period of time wherein I'm almost guaranteed not to be disturbed.
- I'm free of immediate obligations and tasks.
- I've stuck to my (physical) workout routine.
- I'm not physically or mentally stressed/exhausted.
- I've taken time to study/research any puzzlements from my last game.
Counterproductive and frustrating
I used to play some of games as a form of escapism; to forget things that might have recently troubled me or to get my mind off an issue.
Imagine that I've just wrapped-up an exhausting day at work when things didn't go as planned and I was overstretched. "Hey! It's all over, ChiyoDad! Now let's play Go!"
BEEP! Wrong! It's probably one of the worst times for me to play Go. I'm tired and drained and even all my enthusiasm won't be enough to charge-up one tiny little brain-cell for a battle royal. Passive mental escapism might be the better alternative to active mental escapism. I should just fix myself a strawberry smoothie and unwind with a movie or, at worst, solve some very light tsumego.
It's an ironic fact that a lot of the times that I want to play Go are actually the most counterproductive times.
- A brief unexpected lull at work? Not all high-priority tasks done?
- Overworked? Just finished a long morning of house-cleaning? Got a headache or even just a mild head-throb?
- Substituting your gym period for Go? Got a guilty feeling because you're supposed to be pumping iron and doing a 30-minute cardio?
- You didn't read-up on that joseki that you mis-played?
... which may cause me to drop in rank (I'll be honest. I try not to get hung-up about rank but I occasionally still do.), thus leaving me slightly more frustrated, ...
... which may induce me to play another game to try to redeem myself ("That wasn't me. It was just an anomaly. I'll be better focused in my next game.") ...
... [BEGIN LOOP].
Holding to the conditions of my resolution often means playing only one game a day (on days that I can) or playing a handful of games infrequently. I'm playing fewer games than usual, but I'm finding myself enjoying my matches more.