24.3.11

Pushing a Boulder Uphill

or The Tale of a Dwarf, a Dwarfling and Not Enough Zees


The Dwarf had a fatigued look about him as he trudged along the path.  His formerly red hair, now streaked with enough grey to make his beard look snow-covered, blew wildly in the strong Dun Morogh winds.  His bright blue eyes were beset with creases and wrinkles but carried a determined squint, a defence against the stingingly bright snow of the mountains.  His head was bent forward as he pushed himself onward.

The last few weeks have been quite hard here at Battle Medic HQ.  The Dwarfling has been a part of my life for five weeks now and, as wonderful as she is, she is freaking exhausting.

My wife has been fantastic during this period, and has been trying her best to insulate me from the sleepless nights that come with a newborn baby so that I can perform well at work.  Still, I find myself up during the night fairly frequently rocking the baby to sleep or waking up when Mrs. Fannon gets up to look after her.

The snow was mercifully packed down from recent travelers along the road and it was no longer snowing, making each step the Dwarf took easier.  The Dwarf knew, however, that the journey would become more difficult.  With his hand he shaded his eyes and glanced upward towards the summit, grimacing.

The lack of sleep is really starting to get to me, and my brain feels like pea mush baby food – all green and squishy and not really all that appealing to think about.

This fatigue induced brain-fuzziness that I’m feeling lately has touched all aspects of my life and made even the most mundane tasks seem as daunting as pushing a gigantic boulder up a hill.  I find it very hard to concentrate at work, which given my profession is a very bad thing.  Most days it’s all I can do to stumble through until 6 o’clock.

He reached a fork in the road and paused for a moment.  In between the heavily snow-laden pine trees a path was visible leading up the slope.  It was apparent that it had been used recently and was kept well maintained, but the snow had blown in during the night and piled itself in deep drifts, covering much of the path so as to make any traveler’s journey up the hill arduous.  The Dwarf turned and started up the path, his feet sinking into the deep snow up to his knees, and began to slowly and painstakingly ascend the hill.

I find it extremely difficult to sit down and write for my blogs.  The words fight with me a lot more than I find they do when I have a clear head, and the wit and humour that I try to inject into each post has been missing, or at least hard to find.  I have started three or four posts over the past couple of days and all of them feel extremely tedious and repetitive and repetitive.  My normal technique of dealing with writer’s block by sitting down with my laptop and a glass of wine in a quiet room and just writing is hard these days because the house doesn’t get quiet for any length of time.

The other issue is figuring out just what to write about.  It’s a sad fact that my play time over the course of the past five weeks has been woefully restricted.  And when I have been able to play, the fatigue and fuzziness has ensured that I don’t get a lot done.  It’s tough to write a really compelling and personal WoW blog when you’re not actually playing WoW very much.

And before anyone panics, this is not a goodbye post.  I’m not leaving WoW for another game.  I’m certainly not quitting the blog – I enjoy this far too much.  I want to play, but life is conspiring against me.  I find it ironic that there are a lot of people who are leaving WoW because they’re bored with it, and I am desperate to play and can’t.

Seemingly after an eternity of backbreaking effort he reached a plateau and stopped for a rest.  He reached out his hand to brace himself against a large, gnarly pine tree; the rough bark feeling oddly warm in the frigid cold of the failing day.  He was breathing hard from the exertion of the climb and his breath had accumulated into icicles that clung to his beard, hiding any red hair that remained beneath a coating of frost.  A mountain hare sitting on a nearby stump considered him for a moment before hopping away.

The Dwarf smiled and looked up towards his destination nestled into the hillside at the far end of the plateau.  A warm and cheery glow was coming from around the sturdy, oaken door of the little stone home, and the smell of roasting boar was wafting through the crisp evening air.

The vast majority of my WoW time lately has been spent playing Fannon 2.0.  I’ve been really enjoying the levelling experience, but the most compelling thing is that I can play in small chunks with no consequences.  I find logging onto my main these days very stressful because I don’t feel like there is anything that I can do that is both fun and can be dropped at a moments notice when the Dwarfling decides that she wants daddy.  There is no pressure on Fannon 2.0.

I am still managing to raid twice a week, for the most part.  And while my wife and I have an agreement on my raiding time, Dwarfling Aggro has been a frequent occurrence.  More than once I have wiped the raid because the crying starts and I’m trying to heal and move with only one hand because I had to pick her up.  Ascendant Council is a pain in the butt with only one arm.

With a renewed vigour, he crossed the clearing and pushed open the heavy door.  The warmth from the cheery fire burning in the corner was a welcome sensation as he entered the little home.  White bear skins lined the floor and walls, and a table was set along one wall with crockery laid out for an evening meal, with two mugs of foamy ale already poured.

I suppose that I shouldn’t have expected less.  The exhaustion, the lack of time to do the things, the stumbling around like a zombie singing lullabies to your rather confused co-workers; these things are all normal when you have a newborn.

Still, I am looking forward to the day when I can play WoW and get a good nights sleep.

“Fannon, darlin’, is that yeh?” came a call from the next room over and presently a Dwarf woman carrying a bundle appeared in the doorway, her ample braids bouncing.

“I’m so glad yer finally home.  Everythin’ all righ’?” she said, passing the bundle to Fannon.

The Dwarf looked down at the tiny dwarfling face poking out of the swaddled blankets. The dwarfling’s eyes were closed, and her small, wrinkled face squirmed from the cold that radiated from her father. A drop of water from the melting icicles dangling off his beard dripped onto the dwarfling’s forehead and she began to cry.

“Aye, lass,” he smiled, his tired eyes twinkling.  “Everythin’ is just perfect.”



4 comments:

  1. Aww, such a lovely post, Fannon! Incredible writing. I'm exhausted just reading it. In fact, I think it's time for bed.

    Hang in there, buddy. Is it possible to maybe have a family member or trusted friend come over and look after the dwarfling while you and Mrs. Fannon take a nap?

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  2. Ah 5 weeks in, all that rest bonus has been used up ad you are finally realizing that you are at their mercy. Time to switch this to a tanking blog if you are gonna be pulling baby aggro at 3am.

    It's funny because babies deceive their parents the first couple of weeks by sleeping all the time. Week 3 hits and all of the sudden the baby is like "I'm awake now!" but by that time you've let your guard down and you get completely blindsided.

    I started to think I was experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer due to sleep deprivation, I lost the ability to retain short term memories in my sleepless zombie state. Ah, good times.

    Don't sweat the small things, you'll get your personal time back, your sleep, your routine. Growing pains aren't just for the baby, it's a family affair. It's those experiences, good and bad, that help us grow as people and as a loving family.

    By now you realize everybody is a "baby expert" too. If you comment about an issue you are experiencing everybody has a fix for it. One person will tell you to let them cry it out and the next will tell you that it's baby abandonment and you are severing their trust.

    In the end you have to do what feels right for you and your family.
    .

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  3. This post makes me want to roll a dwarf, Fannon. Awesome post. IT will get better in a few weeks when the dwarfling's tummy is a bit bigger and can hold enough to sleep longer and not wake up with the hungries.

    Hang in there. P.S. I am, too, enjoying a bit of the leveling here and there. Another priest and a lock. And i Hope to write about something today...been on vacation with my bloodelfling (spring break for the 12 yr old)

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  4. @Janyaa: Thank you. I am really pleased with how this post turned out. I was unsure if weaving the fiction in with the post would work, but after re-reading it a couple of times I'm kind of astonished how well the two elements flow together.

    @Risotto: Yup, she definitely had us fooled. She started out as a champion sleeper, but now she's all big eyes wide awake baby.

    I'm in a job where personality and energy are crucial to being successful, and I must say that right now I'm phoning it in for the most part. I'm stumbling around, avoiding customers and trying to look busy whilst spending most of my day on Twitter. It's not good. But, I know it's temporary, so I'm sure that I'll adapt and things will be better. In the meantime, I'm giving all my co-workers a good laugh at my expense. :)

    Yes, I've noticed that there are a lot of baby experts out there, particularly after I posted Go to Sleep, Little Dwarfling on my baby blog. So much conflicting advice, it's hard to know who to listen to. Still, it's all good information to know and it shows that a lot of people care and want to help.

    @Ttrinity: Everybody should roll a Dwarf. But be warned, they are highly addictive. Besides, it would be a refreshing change from obsessing about your Blood Elf's hair. :)

    Right now, it's not her tummy that is the problem. Once she gets to sleep she sleeps just fine. In fact, last night she mercifully allowed us to sleep from 1:30 to 8am when my alarm went off. It's getting her to sleep in the first place that is the problem. She is fussy if she is not being held and moved around all the time. My arm is sore from carrying her around all the time. :)

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