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Halo Night

That’s right…tonight is Halo Night, probably the last one for a few months.

My oldest son scolded me earlier this month because I didn’t do “H is for Halo”. It’s his fault that I’m playing it now. It was a forbidden game in our house when he was much younger. I cited the usual…addiction to violence, inability to separate fantasy and reality, dangers to physical health, blah, blah… I tried playing it once, maybe 6 years ago. The controls were confusing. Actually, figuring out how to look around was confusing. It went like this:

“Nope, mom, that’s the sky. Look down. Too far, that’s your feet. Ok, now just…nope. You’re dead!”

I don’t know how he talked me into trying it ever again. But we did…together. I learned some things about myself as I learned to defend the universe.  I’ve been criticized for playing, told I need to “grow up”, but I believe part of growing up is discovering who you are, finding what you like to do, and not letting anyone steal your joy. Here’s why I play Halo:

6) It’s fun! It may not be your idea of a good time, and that’s OK. Go watch a documentary on the life cycle of a water beetle, drool in a recipe book, or inventory your lint trap collection. Find something that makes you happy.

5) It’s even more fun when it surprises others! Recently, an electrical apprentice struck up a conversation at work over the week he was there. He was shocked to find out I wasn’t in my 20s. He was shocked to find out I had a 27 year old son. He was shocked to find out I had a tattoo (considering I work in a church, for some…that is shocking)! At the end of the week, somehow, Halo came up. As he packed up his gear, he smiled at me and told me, “Jenn, you are full of surprises”! I’m a plain, quiet, middle-aged “church lady”, so…cool!

I’ve wasted far too much of the first half of my life crying, so I am determined to laugh more (even if it means by myself or laughing at myself – I will never cease to be amused). – jennsmidlifecrisis

4) For health reason. A 2003 study showed that action gamers were better than non-gamers at quickly processing complex info, estimating numbers, controlling their attention spatially, and switching between tasks. Video games can also  help with fine motor control and reaction time, as well as in developing strengths like patience, perseverance, and strategizing/problem-solving. I enjoy the mental stimulation of a challenge, and the euphoria of success!

3) I find it relaxing. I can zone out from the real world for a short time, which gives my mind and my body a break. I can take my frustrations in a place where I won’t cause harm. Increased dopamine helps reduce frustration. It’s one of the strongest drivers of work ethic because we focus on building successes or positive outcomes. Our brains then create optimistic and hopeful feelings. As our focus shifts to improving, it can heighten our sense of having control in a situation, which then transfers into the real world. We all, at times, need to “reboot”.

2) I can do it! There are a lot of things I can’t do, for one reason or another. I have physical limitations – the spirit is willing, but the body can’t keep up! I have mental limitations – math, for example, is not my friend! The gifts and talents I have been given are not transferrable to every area, in every part of the known universe. But in this world, I am strong. I am capable. I am in control. I feel like a dangerous and invincible warrior!

Warriors are those who choose to stand between their enemy and all that he loves or holds sacred – Author unknown

1) I get to spend time with my kid. He grew up too fast. He’s moved away and building his own life. I’m proud of him – that’s how it’s supposed to be. So if he still wants to hang out with me, from time to time, bring it on! Relationships are a two-way street. If I don’t take an interest in the things that interest him, we might drift apart, and I can’t bear the thought of not having him in my life. Besides, I’ve improving and sometimes, I can kick his butt!

Bonus – I get to do it in a hot body!