Caught Me Gaming’s 2015 Retrospective and 2016 Goals

Wow, December 31 sneaks up fast! Here we are, another year behind us.

I was feeling like I hadn’t written much over the past year, but I surprised myself and discovered I clocked in 48 posts in 2015. That made me think, “Gee, that’s actually not that bad…” especially considering the year I have had. Really, that is almost a post a week, give or take. Certainly not the two posts per week I was aiming for. But, really, what you read from me was about all I could do.

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There is something I have needed to address for some time now on this blog, and now seems as good a time as any…(bombshell!) I have had some issues with mental health arise that totally took me by surprise this year. Frankly, it figuratively knocked me flat on my ass. I have been hit with the ol’ “Blues” before – usually it’s seasonal, and I turn around after a few weeks. But, this Spring, it was like someone turned off the lights. Everything was dark. EV-ER-Y-THING. Paired with anxiety (my dark passenger), I was feeling damn shit. To most people in my life, it was business as usual, as I still made it to work and participated in my normal activities with family and friends. I am not sure I did, but I tried the best I could to hide it from people. How this translated to you readers was scant blogposts. And to my blogging friends, they experienced my episodic “disappearing acts” that concerned some of you enough to reach out (You know who you are, and I love you guys for it. Thanks for checking in). Although it’s true that I have had one of the busiest years work and personal-wise, as well as some health issues arise that I had addressed in a previous post, the depression and anxiety were factors in terms of how I dealt with the time that remained. This was a tough thing to deal with. If you are concerned reading this, I want you to know that I am looking after myself. I feel that I am slowly coming out of it. At the very least, the lightness is coming back into my life, and things don’t appear so heavy.

Let’s move aside the doom and talk about some accomplishments I DID complete this year!

Well, my goal to make a dent in my collection of PC boxed video games did not pan. Game-playing suffered. I haven’t reviewed much this year on my blog. Compared to in the past, I didn’t play much:

  1. Streets of Rage (Sega Genesis)
  2. Streets of Rage 2 (XBox 360)
  3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Arcade Game (Emulator)
  4. Torchlight (PC)
  5. Torchlight 2 (PC)
  6. Angelica Weaver: Catch Me When You Can (PC)
  7. Redrum: An Eerie Hidden Object Adventure (PC)
  8. Mysteries and Treasures: The Adventures of the Mary Celeste (PC)
  9. Art of Murder: Hunt for the Puppeteer (PC)
  10. Badland (Android)
  11. Kentucky Route Zero (The First Three Acts) (PC)
  12. Journey Into the Arctic (YouTube)

I also completed:

  1. Mass Effect II (XBox 360)
  2. Diablo III (including Reaper of Souls)(PC)
  3. Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel! (PC)
  4. Unsolved Crimes (DS)
  5. Monument Valley (iOS)
  6. Silent Hill: Downpour (PS3)

…though I did not review them.

So, I didn’t do badly, but I could really do better this year. I am still hell-bent on making a dent in my PC collection of games (gee, that last sentence almost rhymed!).

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Hey, where’s the music with dirrrty smurfs? Well, sadly, with this thing I was dealing with, I found myself not listening to any music for months at a time. Not in the car, not at work. I didn’t want to listen to anything but silence. Depression is tricky, and you don’t always know what’s good for your soul. Here’s the thing with music…when the music crept in, I felt a million times better. Music Keeps Me Alive, indeed! More effort to surround myself in the tunes will be made, starting with that rubbermaid container of music in the rec room.

Another collection I would like to explore is my burgeoning movie and TV collection. I can’t even tell you how many I have, but I’ll estimate it’s over 500 titles. It’s to the extent that I don’t even know what I have in there any more! So, I think one goal of mine this year is to learn what it is that I have so I can either catalogue it for life, or set it free.

The two things that really ramped up for me was my knitting and reading books – two goals I had for this year, so yay me!

I managed to knit a top-down raglan from a disasterous swoncho, and a few baby blankets.

When it came to reading, I participated in the To Be Read 20 challenge where I got down to reading 10 books! This is an accomplishment for me…I read zero books last year! I did very well in that regard, and would like to continue on this path for 2016.

The books read:

  1. The Camera My Mother Gave Me – Susannah Kaysen
  2. The Tragically Hip Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box Set Book
  3. Airframe – Michael Crichton
  4. In the Pleasure Groove – John Taylor
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  6. It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken – Seth
  7. Generation X – Douglas Coupland
  8. 9. and 10. A Game of Thrones: The Comic Book Series, volumes 1-24

Coffee reviews are still a staple on Caught Me Gaming, and will continue to be in 2016! Hey man, java is the nectar of the gods! Expect more home-grown brews as I attempt to branch out and explore coffee from my community this year. Prepare yourselves, Cupfaces!

This past year, I also discovered a different outlet that I hadn’t used in years – that of graphic designer. I had dabbled into that line of work in the past, and thanks to a call for artists by Geoff over at 1001albums, I have become his steady graphic designer for the last few blog projects. I had put away the visual artist part of my life for almost a decade now, so dipping my toe in and designing on my tablet was a fun experience, especially since he gives me carte blanche! If you want to read some great musings on music and see my work, check out Geoff’s blog at 1001albumsin10years.wordpress.com.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t address the awesome packages I received this year full of coffee, music and cool stuff! Never mind the fun stuff I sent off to friends in the blogging community! These things were truly fun and really put a smile on my face.

Overall, my blog has turned more personal – more anecdotal – incorporating pieces of my life with how it fits in with music, books, and gaming. I plan to do a lot more of that – it’s definitely an outlet for me creatively – a light for my darkness if you will. As for the depression, I feel myself very slowly turning a corner. I can’t promise I will write frequently, but I do promise to keep writing.

Guys, thanks so much for hanging in with me and supporting me, checking in with me and reading my ramblings this year. Things have been rough for me, but with a new year comes a clean slate, and with a clean slate, hopefully more light. Any day now.

Happy New Year!!

~Sarca

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38 comments

  1. Seriously, this is a massive, excellent post. I’m sorry not all of the year went well, but it sounds like you’ve got a handle on things. If there’s anyway I can help at all I’m here. All the best to you and yours in 2016 and may the music (and the coffee and the books and the knitting and the games etc) continue to Keep You Alive!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this Sarca.
    Wendy missed two months of work with the anxiety/depression double whammy this year. The more people she speaks with about it, the more people are sharing similar stories. It affects so many of us and I think posts like this one can really help others to know they’re not alone.
    I found myself singing the hip’s depression suite a lot this year, “are you going through something? ’cause I am too”

    I’m pleased to hear you’re optimistic about 2016, I really like the more personal direction your blog has taken. Of course I still enjoy any and all ‘fee reviews! But I quite like the personal approach.

    And I certainly approve of the post ending with a watchmen song title, any day now πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I wish they had new music for the tour. I would love to buy their stuff on vinyl but they never made any. The last thing issued was the 20th anniversary In The Trees re issue in 2014. It was a double cd, second cd is outtakes. I already have In The Trees so not sure I need another.
          Anyway, I hope you enjoy the concert, and maybe a review. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

        1. For some reason the website does not list all of the shows. The show in Waterloo I am going to is on their Facebook page, but not the website. Maybe they are coming closer to you.

          Like

  3. Sorry to learn that the last year has been a tricky one, but thanks for sharing your story. Here’s to a bright New Year, Sarca! – here’s to music, games, coffee, movies, books, TV, knitting, creativity, and community!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Regarding the “doom and gloom”, this is a subject I know something about. It happens, it can happen to anybody. I know a couple people for whom it’s happening right now. Good for you for being a strong person and surviving everything and making it this far!

    Now let’s grab a coffee and wake my ass up! LOL! Happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m very sorry to hear this. I have a few friends with depression and it is always a jugging act. Thank you for sharing this, I know sometimes it can’t be easy as to what to share online. πŸ™‚

    I hope 2016 is good for you. Happy new year.

    Like

  6. Wish you a positive 2016 filled with much more light than darkness Sarca. Thanks for sharing. I am here for you as much as another blogger can be – you share and we share —-and then something happens where we all feel better. Kind of like a big digital world-wide hug-fest. I know blogging has/does help me through some difficult times.

    Take Care, Wayne

    Like

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