Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Regret

No regrets
No regrets

This week’s shared topic:

I was wondering if any of you were Nozdormu and could control time, what would you change in your WoW history? Did you leave a guild you wish you had stayed for, did you transfer servers or faction but regretted it later? Have you lost an item you can never get back or deleted something that is now gone forever?

What have you regretted?

I know many players’ regrets, packaged in a heart-shaped box, (complete with deer heart, huntsman’s knife, and a queen’s ring) will come in the form of those things Dragonray wisely mentioned –the lost item, the lost guild, the lost boss fight or opportunity.

My regret(s) come from the real world, attached with stingers, sacrifice, and second guessing.

Since the majority of people I play with are SOIAROMWKOSWKBMWMWHNFORFWILTWAMIMSOACIOOFR’s

“Single, or in a relationship, or married with kids, or sometimes without kids, but mostly white males who have no frame of reference for what it’s like to walk a mile in my shoes, or a husband with a chronic illness or other family responsibilities.”

Okay, sure, he was a single dad, but he had Charlie to help out..
Okay, sure, he was a single dad, but he had Charlie to help out…

Basically, there is no one “type” of player, but yes, it seems that the vast majority of players do not have direct child responsibilities, at least not at game time. The time zone is such that kids are in bed asleep, or a spouse, usually a wife (but not always in the case of me and Navimie) are in charge of the children while hubby plays. I am not trying to be gender or sexual-orientation biased. I would love to know how many lesbian and homosexual, and transgender couples, manage child rearing responsibilities and their game time/entertainment needs. Gone are the days (thank heavens) when dad came home and wife brought pipe and slippers and he sat with his face behind the newspaper while the family catered to him. If I glance over at my friends, and count have many have children they need to tend to, my list has two out of…twenty? I haven’t counted the entire list.

find you

But my regret is simple: I regret the time I have taken away from my sons, specifically my younger son. There is a crisis going on in his life right now, and because I am a mom, (and a mom whose attention has swerved for hours toward her computer monitor) I deeply regret the amount of time I have played. I don’t care how I’ve justified it, needed to do it for my own creative playground, or my own emotional escape. There really is no justification. I needed to turn my face away from a screen and make dinner once in awhile. Sit and talk with him. I needed to continue to have conversations with him. It’s not too late, but right now I feel very raw about recent events. With regret comes resentment, its twin sister. (And they are ugly sisters, too.) So when I share with you my deep regret, you will maybe understand why it’s all the more sour when I think about causing a wipe and another player says in raid chat regarding my mistake, “No Words.” There is a litany of verbal punches and jabs players hit each other with, and it feels very Lord of the Flies meets Bart Simpson. I resent when other players are assholes, quite frankly. But more importantly, and poignantly, I resent and regret when I look in the mirror and see my failed self with my most important job.

There are no second chances with parenting. Not really. Kids are the most resilient of humans, though. I have seen that time and again. Horrible, terrible things that happen to children and somehow they overcome the odds. Having a mom who plays WoW is not the most terrible thing in the world. But when my time spent in Azeroth is no picnic, it makes me wonder if I should walk away from the computer screen and go have an actual picnic.

I couldn’t call my mom yesterday or the past few days because I knew I would start to cry, so I did what any modern mother would do and sent her a text. I asked her how she dealt with all my bullshit. (And believe me, there were many episodes of bullshittery throughout my adolescence and into young adulthood –in fact, I’m kind of an expert at it.) She said essentially this: her and my dad’s job was to keep us from being teenage mothers and out of jail. Everything else, as long as no one died, could be fixed.

Wise words from a wise mom.

PS One thing I do not regret is our OLRG runs. Those are my bridge games, my margarita-and-canasta-games, my mental mani-pedis with ladies and gentlemen I adore. Carry on, OLRG!

9 thoughts on “Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Regret”

  1. I’ve often thought about how lucky I was that WoW wasn’t around when my daughter was at home.

    Yes, the assholes. That’s why OLRG is the only group activity other than world bosses I do, It would kill me to think I’d spent all this time on enjoyment rather than cleaning/working to be pooped on by judgmental idiots.

    Hugs to you and young cub and I hope it works out for him.

    1. I shouldn’t always type things early in the morning. The thing is, the culture of raid runs, etc., does not mean they’re being jerks– there is an expectation (and I respect it) that players come on time, mentally ready, etc., and do their jobs. My own issue is purely my responsibility: I need to find a group of players who can handle that once in awhile I need to be a mom first. The other reality is sometimes I just read the general/trade chat and seriously regret my time here with some trolls and taunters. But I never regret my friendships, so that’s a good thing!

  2. Oh, Matty, I hope that you will be able to mend and repair these things that are not working for your son right now.

    Because my struggle with parenthood is that I am barren and do not have children of my own, my most important parenting responsibility right now is to be a good aunt to my growing collection of nieces and nephews. When we lived in Minnesota and were a twenty minute drive from my nieces and nephew who also lived there, I sometimes resented the amount of weekend time we spent with them and how it took me away from things I wanted to do in WoW. Fortunately, it usually didn’t take long, once we had arrived at my brother-in-law’s house, for me to realize that spending time with the kids was a better use of my day. I have missed them since we’ve been far away. I hope that when I do, someday, have my own children, whether through birth or adoption, I will be able to put WoW firmly in its place as something to do only when I have scraps and corners of time after my family’s needs are fulfilled.

    1. I am so honored to know you–I cannot tell you enough. We are blessed to have a friend like you, and your family is blessed beyond words. And know you are in my prayers. All I can say.

  3. Your story is very close to one that I’d write if I was to write my own regrets. Until very recently there was no balance in my life, I would have prefered an Azeroth picnic over taking my own younglings on a real picnic, I still struggle sometimes between the lure of wow and being more in the present with them. Sometimes I still fail but I’m getting better I like to think. I thank goodness that children are resilient and while you say there aren’t second chances I hope I can with enough time make sure they don’t ever remember the time when I’d be buried in wow to the exclusion of everything. Part of my playing habits has resulted in me now being the sole source of parenting for my youngesters, something that is very hard to face up to.

    Your OLRG sounds amazing and its wonderful they are there as the antithesis to the assholes that are there. Continue to spend your time with the players that make spending your time with them worth it.

    1. Zeirah – I need to write an addendum. Please don’t ever, EVER feel guilty for playing. The fact is this doesn’t address the hours I have spent with my children, and there are times moms need and deserve a break. I don’t subscribe to the notion that we mothers have to spend every waking moment focused on our children: it’s not good for them or us. I personally come from three generations of working women, so balancing all of life’s demands is tricky, but trust me–taking care of ourselves needs to come first. There’s a reason why we are supposed to put on the oxygen masks first.

  4. Hugs for you, Matty.

    I agree about the arseholes. Too many people ignore one of the core tenets of Basic Human Decency 101 – if you can’t say anything nice [or constructive] then KEEP YOUR DAMN MOUTH SHUT. One of the things that I realised I loved about my Cadence guildies was that it was EXTREMELY rare that anyone was called out for a mistake. When we wiped, people were happy to own up to their own mistakes, and even when it was obvious who did the stupid thing, the reminders from the raid leader was always general in nature (“just remember to keep an eye out for this debuff” or “make sure you dump the fire over in that corner”). It must have been pure luck that I stumbled into such a group of excellent people because I haven’t seen anywhere else that will give me that experience. It’s the major reason I am hesitant about putting myself out there and looking for another guild, whether in WoW or another MMO.

    I resent people being rude like that. If I can be a nice person, why can’t they?

    1. Getting with a good group at any point in life is both rewarding and difficult. I have said many times that I am an extremely loyal and funny friend–I have a friend I’ve known since we were four for heaven’s sake! I have moved all over the country, and even the world, and one of my coping/survival skills is to make fast friends, and ones that last. I am not worried too much about this –like I said, it’s more of a reflection that when I’m sitting here and my real life loves need my help and my face is looking toward those whose patience I am more than testing, it is a no-brainer. Right now at work many people are moving on, and it causes these little tiny “wakes.” We need to take time to recognize and mourn our small losses.

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