I like an excuse to celebrate!
I always like parties.
But I’m an introvert so my parties consist of a small group of close-knit friends with delicious food and hazelnut coffee and good music and free-flowing conversation, and possibly party games, because my mom is the queen of party games. A little goofy. A lot of fun. And always prizes at the end.
I started thinking about celebrations yesterday because frankly, I was feeling down for no reason. This happens to me when my anxiety or depression flares. To be honest, things are going well in my life. I have nothing to be anxious about or depressed about, but that’s the funny thing about anxiety and depression. There doesn’t have to be a reason. Sometimes I just feel down. This doesn’t make my feelings any less valid. No one can tell me to “just snap out of it” because frankly, what is there to snap out of? I have to know what it is that’s causing it before I can leave it behind. I’m sure I’m not the only person in the SimLit community who struggles.
When I feel anxious or depressed, usually I need to pay closer attention to my self. This doesn’t mean I’m selfish. It’s so hard explaining this to my non-anxious and non-depressed friends. This means I need some self-care. I was tired. I had been around people. I had been working. I had been cleaning. I needed to recharge.
So I played the Sims yesterday. In game I have several versions of my Simself.
- One is my little Simself (a nine year old version based on me writing letters to an alien pen pal with sporadic references and inspiration from my childhood).
- One is my older Simself as I am now with a life based similarly to my current life.
- The other is my Simself that travels and explores new worlds when I download them or just feel like playing them or one that I haven’t gotten to try out yet even though I have all the expansions and store worlds. The last Simself is the one I let roam free and is primarily game play based (no hand holding guidance… no specific story plot). This one I play for fun and take a step back from omniscient omnipresent game-playing self. I live and let live. (I’ve been thinking about posting little anecdotes about these adventures since they are so different from my normal storytelling since I let the game dictate practically everything).
As I was playing, the game crashed. I felt sad. All that work done on my new apartment just lost. No way to gain it back.
Since I was already in an off mood, it made me feel worse.
“Let’s go for an evening walk,” my husband suggested.
We walked, hand-in-hand, quietly, which is unusual for me. I am an introvert but I’m an external processor. I process by things I can touch, taste, see, hear, and feel. I process things through deep, meaningful conversations or long meanderings through the woods or stream-of-consciousness journaling or rambly posts like this one.
If you want to learn more, and I digress, I shared this wonderful article and this article on Facebook in July 2015 because I thought “finally! someone who gets me!”
I like to talk. But sometimes silence is good. Silence is healing. Silence is refreshing.
We strolled down the autumn colored tree-lined streets of our neighborhood, walking hand-in-hand. At one point, he stopped and gave me a hug, wordlessly. We stood on a street corner and embraced in silence beneath the sunlight and gold. We wandered into the park and sat on the swings. I moved back and forth on the swings in rhythm, in sync, closing my eyes and feeling the cool, but not cold, evening breeze kiss my cheeks. I felt alive again. My soul felt restored.
As we walked home in silence, my husband put his arm around me and we looked up at the fiery orange leaves. I felt like all of autumn was celebrating with me, inviting me to a party filled with color and beauty. Something inside my soul whispered, “
This is what the good life is.”
Celebration is vital to my life. When I feel low or bad for no real good reason, I recognize I need to celebrate. Celebration can create deep meaning and purpose. Celebration brings joy. I need to get back to my roots. I need to get back in touch with me. I need to experience nature in all its beauty and glory. And then I need to share in celebration with others. Hence this long, rambly post about the Sims, sort of, but mostly about other stuff. 😉
All this is a long, roundabout way to say, on Sundays, I want to celebrate the world of SimLit with you. I am not going to commit to doing this every Sunday, mostly because things happen and any time I restrict myself to a schedule, it never works. I get more done when I don’t have deadlines than when I do.
I want to share with you “celebrations.” I want to invite you to a “SimLit party” on Sundays and share snippets of things I read during the week, SimLit or otherwise related to the Sims. Will you come to my party? 🙂
This week I’d like to feature the following stories/posts I read:
- If you’re looking for sweet family dramas, look no further in the Benders. I love how authentic and complex and flawed each of the characters are. This is the type of character I like to write and the type of character I like to read. Friendsfan always delivers the best lines, especially from the kiddos. The tales of the Benders, in my opinion, are proof that love triumphs through all. This week, I read several chapters, but I especially loved the ending to Brookes Battles, Parts 1 and 2.
- This isn’t a story, but is an award acceptance post. I nominated RipuAncestor of The Chrysanthemum Tango for the Unique Blogger Award because her writing is inspirational to me. I love her cast of quirky, colorful characters and intriguing plots. I am sharing this post of Ripu’s because I loved her answers to her questions from CathyTea and myself, especially the “what are you grateful for” and “writing process” questions. This past 2 weeks, I’ve been thinking about gratitude, especially with the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving about a month away. I have been trying to stop and take breaths during the day and think about one thing that I’m grateful for in the moment. Yesterday, I, too, was grateful for the “good moments that make life worth living,” and “nature and the wonders it holds.” I can totally relate to Ripu’s writing style because mine is similar. It’s nice to know someone else out there has a process all over the place and holds conversations with characters in their head.” Anyhoo, check out the acceptance post, and see who else Ripu nominated.
- I removed myself from the Legacy Reading Circle this week because I’m already in 2 other ones, and I just can’t keep up. The odd thing is I actually read more of people’s legacies this week than I have previously. It’s funny how when the pressure is lifted how freeing it can be to read. I don’t regret leaving because I need to get into a better rhythm of SimLit reading and stop the bad habit of over-committing, but it was nice to read at my own pace. That being said…
- I read another chapter of Thymeless’ Centauri Legacy, a #BuildNewcrest challenge. Thymeless’ story makes me want to get TS4 because Newcrest is beautiful. Her storytelling abilities are pretty sweet too! I am really enjoying Lissa, the lovely blue-skinned, pink-haired alien. I particularly liked this chapter I read Family Ties and the Amateur Spy because Lissa tries to catch the “litter bug” in Newcrest. There are some pretty amusing moments here, including threats and spatulas. I also thought Lissa was sweet in her response to a certain someone’s “interest” in her. She was kind and accepting. Definitely worth the read.
- I read another chapter in pixelatedknight’s Blount Legacy, another #BuildNewcrest challenge. This story features another pink-haired main character, Lexie. What I like about this story is how much of a “rebel” Lexie tries to be,. She doesn’t want to follow the “Creator’s wishes.” Pixelatedknight throws in some things I don’t typically see in SimLit, especially in the chapter I read-My Precious. I’d say more, but I don’t want to spoil anything. Even so I’d give this story an A for ingenuity and creativity within a challenge.
- I’ve recently been reading MastressAlita’s Cat Chronicles, and I must say they are truly brilliant! It feels so authentic to “cat voice.” Like the main character, a kitten, of course, sounds and feels and acts like a real cat, and reminds me so much of my cat, who is too smart for her own good. I read several chapters this past week, but I particularly enjoyed the “hunting prowess” in Cat Burglar and the cat getting high on catnip in Whacked Out with an appearance of the widow’s ghost.
- I have been enjoying CathyTea’s Whisper story. The story follows Cathy’s Simself through her delightful adventures. I love the description of the senses in these stories and Cathy’s internal thought processes which are similar to my own.
- I have now officially decided “fireplace, a thick volume of Dickens, and you” sounds like a fantastic date idea thanks to Whisper 1.9 (though I’d probably change that to a thick volume of O. Henry since that’s what I currently have checked out of the library). Even as a solitary date idea, it sounds wonderful. In fact, I might take myself on a “date” later this week. Though I’d probably swoon if my husband said a line like this.
- I love this line from Shea Hollis (TS3 Uni Life) in the beginning of Whisper 1.10. “Plants don’t own things.” I’ve been listening to the band Switchfoot’s new CD this week, and in one of their songs, there’s a line that says, “you posses your possession or they possess you.” Isn’t that sadly true of our society? Life isn’t about stuff. Like the song says, “If the house burns down tonight, I’ve got everything I need if I’ve got you by my side.” People are what matters. Memories are better than souvenirs. I’ve started giving people “gifts of activity” instead of item gifts. It’s a wonderful thing to go and build memories with someone, and it’s more meaningful than stuff. Okay, I seriously digressed… but I love the simplified life that Cathy lives in Whisper, and I don’t mean simple to sound degrading or downplay her life at all. I love how her character pays attention to things that really matter and she treats every person with respect and dignity.
- Okay, one last aside on Whisper 14 – who knew frisbee could be romantic? Now I want a frisbee date with my husband! 🙂
- I wanted to add this because I just read it today. CathyTea is doing a week long brief story series in celebration of asexuality. I think sexuality is beautiful and I love my sexual being. In fact, I devote some of my non-Sims writing to celebrate healthy relationships between couples and celebrate the beauty and power of sex. But… and this is a big BUT… not everyone feels like I do and not everyone is wired like I am. That’s a BEAUTIFUL thing in that of itself. I applaud CathyTea for her openness and vulnerability in sharing about asexuality, and for how she writes in a way that is accepting and respectful of all lifestyles in her SimLit. As an external processing, introverted, nature-loving introvert, I can totally relate to moments of “falling in love” like with the autumn leaves on the trees last night or the wind on my face while I was swinging or listening to a piece of music that speaks to me or my husband’s warm embrace. The world has enough hatred and pain. We need more moments to stop, take a deep breath, and fall in love with the things that matter most to us. This doesn’t make us weird. It makes us alive! Thank you CathyTea for the reminder.
Okay, seriously, I’m above 2000 words. I never meant this post to get so long. 🙂