Bridging the gap

All too often in life, we find ourselves losing sight of things that are, or were once important to us — friends, co-workers, family, and even the things we do, like keeping up with a TV show or book series, maintaining a regular online blog (guilty), and keeping up with hobbies that we love.

My company, Procrastination Games, was founded because of this inherent oddity in human nature. We procrastinate all the time in life, putting so many things off for later, with the best of intentions to make them happen (eventually), until eventually it rusts and decays to the point of being unrecognizable, and is lost forever. This company was going to be one such thing. It was an idea, a dream that I and one of my best friends had, that we had talked about for years, but never took the plunge to dive in and actually do. And over time we gave up on the idea, as it was “just a silly dream from years ago.” It wasn’t until the intervention of a third party, one who had already owned and managed his own local business successfully for over 6 years, that we were able to found Procrastination Games. (And, truthfully, we put off even coming up with the name of our company until 3 months after it was “founded.”)

When we lose touch with these things that are dear to us, it becomes increasingly more difficult to reconnect with them, the more time that has passed since we have been involved. A lot of people say “well, the telephone works both ways, and they haven’t called me in 2 years either.” This is flawed thinking. The only reason for clinging to this statement is because you might be afraid that the person you are trying to reconnect with might be upset at you for the long period of radio darkness. And maybe they should be, the telephone works both ways, after all.

This is where the idea of bridging the gap comes in. Picking back up that brilliant project that has been collecting dust, going back to painting, horseback riding, swimming, exercising, or whatever, or even calling up your High School best friend, and catching up on ancient history. In my case today, it means getting back to writing again.

There is no easy way to bridge the gap. It is going to be awkward at first, and you will feel clumsy. The first time you pick up that paintbrush, or get back into the saddle, or hear the voice of your long lost comrade, the first few minutes will be difficult. But then this amazing thing happens — it all stops mattering. Almost immediately, those months or even years of nothing become just that: nothing. Just like riding a bicycle, you fall back into your old groove, and it feels natural once more. You and your old friend (whatever it might be) go back to being the best of friends once again, and while away the hours doing whatever it is you loved.

For me, there are a lot of things in my life that seem to have this tendency: Friends, Family, Martial Arts, Reading, Painting, and Writing (including blogging). And with each of them, I somehow seem to find my way back after letting it sit on the back burner for a while, and it’s just as amazing reconnecting as it ever was. Formerly on that list included my biggest passion: Game Design.

Ever since I was a kid, games have been in my blood. I learned to do math using dice, I learned to read out of a Dungeon Master’s Guide, and world history was only a game of Axis & Allies away. I love games, and I love what they can do for people. Most people might look at games, especially my beloved board games, and think of them as an idle waste of time, or as a “distraction,” but the truth is, there are fewer greater ways to inter-personally connect with people than with a board game.

I let my project Gladiators: Days of Blood and Glory sit on the shelf for over 2 years, doing nothing but collecting dust, and I feel bad for that. It was a big deal to me, inspired by delightful bits of my life all the way back to childhood, and I owed it to that idea to make it into a reality.

So, I hope that each of you, my readers, will take this blog as an opportunity to reconnect with something or someone (somenoun?) in your life, and go back to it. Take the plunge, stop procrastinating, and just spend a couple of hours with the noun that you love most that you’ve let fall by the wayside over the years. Don’t do it tomorrow, don’t do it later today. Do it right now. Get up from your computer, and go do it now.

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