I was thinking we might, after we have all the heroic achievements and gear we want, start farming mounts. I know T___ is going for the 100 Mount Achievement and I'm not indifferent to a little collecting (I've given up on phoenix unless someone else wants to spearhead TK runs -- I'm just NOT pushy enough). And others in the guild would go with us to ZG and we could leave Ravenlord last so I could just switch to Plum.The next day, a few hours before our traditional Sunday family run, my sister-in-law emailed me a 6-man Kael'thas strat. According to my husband, everyone but me was in on the surprise.
So. Help T___ hit 100 mounts GO?
I've been elated ever since, though we still don't know if the 6-man works. Half the guild showed up when they saw where we were, though T___ warned "If the phoenix drops, I'm master looting it to Beth. If you still want to come, pst for invite." And everyone who expressed initial interest still came -- which is not surprising, because some still needed to finish the place for the achievement and some love the boss fight and most also wanted to help me out.
The irony here is that while I still want the phoenix more than anything else in the game, I've stopped feeling like I'm going to die if I don't get it. A year ago, I hyperventilated over the possibility someone might ninja it from me if it dropped. Eight months ago, I thought if I wanted it enough, if I went to enough raids and got enough gear, somehow I'd get it. I obsessed over it so much, everyone in my guild started calling it "Beth's mount" just like I did in my head (it would be crass to say it out loud).
Christmas was my turning point. Maybe it was realizing I can do non-WoW things with my brother and sister-in-law and still have as much (if not more) fun. Maybe it was the looming joy in moving closer to them (right in the middle of Brewfest -- whose dumb idea was that? Oh, yeah, mine) or the wacky antics of my parents and my mom's siblings, or just getting to know my adorable (and well-mannered) teenage cousins better.
Honestly? I think it was sitting around in the evening, laughing too hard to breathe.
I don't know exactly what changed, but when I got home I found I was much less intense about the game. And, somehow, that made it more fun.
I think I've fallen into a casual mindset, if not a casual playstyle. The game is now a hobby to me, the way it was always supposed to be. Even the drama of fellow guild members matters less to me -- I'm not going to lose sleep about mistakes that I know could have been prevented by taking the game a little less seriously or having a little more humility. Either people will come back to reconcile or they won't. If not, I hope they find a nice situation where they can be happy.
My husband had a similar epiphany after losing a week of RL work in a server crash. He spent all last week catching back up and hasn't logged on since last Sunday. Now, he's decided to scale back his arena teams and look to activities with less pressure and more immediate satisfaction.
I think we'll still spend about as much time in-game as we did (and you see that I still find things to blog about). I spend a few hours every day working on dailies because it's relaxing (and because I have writer's block), and I even raid more than I used to. But I have less stress overall. And that's what this change has brought me -- inner peace.
And now that I have inner peace... it seems I'm getting everything else I ever wanted, too.