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As I write this, I'm running on roughly four hours of sleep. Not because I was partying last night, and certainly not because I was gaming.
I was awakened at 4AM by my three-year-old daughter who was having difficulty breathing and could only describe it as "my mouth hurts" followed by gagging and wheezing. She's OK. It was a croupe, common in kids her age and exacerbated by the wildfire smoke that's been filling Santa Cruz for the past week. A few minutes in the cool night air cleared it up. Several days before, my five-year-old son had the same problem around 5 am.
These early awakenings aren't an uncommon occurrence though they're of course usually less scary. Just a kid wanting his/her cereal, or wanting to go potty, or complaining that his/her sheets are sandy. You name it. And in case you're wondering, no, you can't "order" a kid to go back to sleep, and try as they may, they cannot snuggle themselves back to sleep in your bed. At least mine can't, and that's alright. Warm fuzzy morning for the kids; kinda groggy morning for the adults. We can handle it; we have the coffee.
Where was I going with this? Sleep deprivation, yes. Often a sign that your time has become a precious commodity, and that you've been spending more of it than you can afford. This in itself is sometimes a sign of regret, of staying awake in some vain hope of regaining the time you took for granted as a 20-something. Trust me, it doesn't work.
I've made my peace with this realization and have tempered my purchases somewhat, but I wish I could have seen it coming much earlier because I have left quite a few old games unopened in my earlier gaming years assuming I'd have the time to complete them after playing whatever hot game of the month had shoved it out of the spotlight. And these have accumulated, not into some sort of prized trophy collection as it would to some, but as an embarrassing sign that I made a fundamental mistake as a gamer: I took my damn hobby for granted.