My name is Rachel and I am a Candy Crush addict.
It started innocently enough, as a distraction from blogging and bookkeeping. Before long the beguiling game began interfering with my daily life. Every game is created with the intent of snaring players. They entice you with bright graphics and the undeniable satisfaction of instant gratification. I am a relatively self-aware, educated adult. I know this. Yet, I am reeled in time and again. Slipping into a trancelike state and resurfacing hours later, the menial chores of motherhood piling up around me.
It creeps up during the school week. The itch to escape into fiction and fantasy arrives as the lights of the school bus appear. I am in denial. If I escape into a book or Candy Crush, I don’t have to face niggling responsibilities of a housewife and mother. I know mindless game playing is a symptom, not the disease. It is the manifestation of my dis-ease, my unhappiness with life in two households.
We’ve shuffled to cow camp and back to our home in the valley with regularity these past four years. Trying to strike a balance, with family, school, and social lives. The importance of every extra-curricular event or birthday party is carefully weighed against the number of days that have passed since our family has been under one roof together. We’ve cobbled together a sense of normality, despite the coming and going.
Amidst all of this back-and-forth, I’ve lost track of “real” life. I don’t know which is my “realest” reality? Is it Mom-the grocery shopper, vacuumer, folder of laundry, cook, and taxi service? Is it Rachel-cowboy-girl, rider, and roper with the cowboy crew? Where did Rachel, the artist and academic, go? I am tired.
Candy Crush is not the cure. I know this. Laundry still must be done, meals must be prepared, and sometimes you just have to vacuum the floor. Or not. Go Fish, a garden hose fight, or horseback ride may be necessary. This fatigue and disenchantment will pass. I know this, too.
I will take a deep breath. I will remind myself to live in the present. I’ll practice mindfulness, inhabit the little moments, and enjoy my family now. They are better measures of a life, than any labels I might apply to myself.
Just one more game. . .