Big news. I took a dip in Lake You recently. Yes, I actually managed to get some Xbox time in. And, yes, I’ve only gone for the whole rather vomit-inducing ‘Lake You’ thing because I can’t find another free image that sums up this post.
I think it’s fair to say that I’ve found adapting to having two kids harder than adapting to becoming a parent for the first time. Consequently, I haven’t done much besides working, looking after the boys and falling asleep soon after dinner since Xander arrived.
Of course, both Kate and I are more confident than we were at first with Dylan. But time is becoming much more of a luxury. Anyway, back to the main point. It was great. Just me, the remnants of a bottle of Old Speckled Hen and Batman kicking the crap out of Joker’s henchmen for a couple of hours.
According to the save game file I feverishly loaded up, barely able to believe that the console still worked with all the dust that must have gathered inside it, it was the first time I’d played since St Patrick’s Day. Yes, this post is already threatening to stray into ‘cool story bro!’ territory, but bear with me.
You see, video games used to be my catharsis. Getting back behind the controller felt good. I’ve been pretty stressed of late. Getting stuff finished before moving jobs, starting the new one, worrying about things that I really needn’t worry about and a general lack of sleep had got me quite uptight.
But assuming the guise of the Dark Knight, walloping the inmates of Arkham City and gliding around its dilapidated buildings banished it all. I sailed through the boss battles with aplomb. I also racked up an impressive tally of achievements, the like of which I used to struggle with.
As a result, I felt great the following morning. Who’d have thought a brawl in what basically is a bit of a shithole could be so beneficial? I’ve even made a few repeat visits and completed the story mode. Check me out!
And with this came the realisation that it’s so important to still have a bit of ‘you time’ as a parent. It’s so easy to get into autopilot mode. Even more so once you have to completely forget about yourself and what you used to do to relax.
Of course, the kids should be the top priority. Putting aside things you really want to do is a small price to pay for all the awesomeness they bring.
But we all need a bit of time to ourselves now and then. Whether it’s getting out of the house for some exercise or a bit of escapism in the comfort of your own home with a book, video game or whatever, it’s essential.
What do you do to unwind when you, ugh, go to Lake You?