The metaphorical kind, in which I introspect about a personal journey undertaken within the last year. I know, I know, it’s not New Year’s yet – why am I reflecting on the past year already? Because the 1st of December marks the start of a very strange few steps into the journey of adulthood. You’re going to laugh when you find out why. Are you ready for this?
Neopets. (Mom, stop judging me). A year ago, after a few months of playing Neopets off and on to pass the time, December rolled around. And Neopets runs an advent calendar. In the past when I’ve played Neopets, the December advent calendar was something I only checked maybe a couple of times, if I happened to remember, even though each day was a really cool prize. Around the same time, I looked into how to play the Neopets stock market – and the only really key thing in succeeding in the stock market on the site is remember to buy stock every day.
Every day? Psh, yeah right. I’m the type of person who starts and stops habits, has half-finished projects laying around, and more or less acts on the various other stereotypes about people who can’t stick to doing something every day.
You can probably see where this is going. I checked the advent calendar every day and loaded up on sweet prizes. I think I only missed one day in the entire month (and that day was not Christmas, feel free to judge me for that). In addition to that small feat, a few weeks ago I realized that I’ve gone nearly an entire year of buying stock every single day. I can count on my hands the number of days that I’ve missed buying stock in the last year, most of those due to my road trip across the country with limited internet access, which I think is a pretty excellent excuse (I will eventually write something about constant internet connectedness not necessarily being a good thing). In the past few months that I’ve been in London, I’ve started forming other good habits, slowly but surely. Some of them the Neopets habit even helps me with because when I remind myself that it’s time to buy stock, a few of the other things I should be doing that day pop into my head as well.
I formed a daily habit. A small, really insignificant habit, that some people might even call silly (but not the people over at Neodaq; those people rock my socks off). But it made a huge difference. The only consistent habit I’ve had for longer than that is making my bed every day. While I love having my bed as a neat little oasis amidst my chaos, I don’t think that particular habit ever really helped me with anything other than having a neat bed. So yes, I am pointing to playing Neopets as one of the main catalysts to the good points I see in myself today. Almost every time I excitedly think to myself, “Hey, I did a real-adult thing today!” it links back to keeping good daily habits.
I’m in grad school. My dishes are clean and I did some exercise today. I just finished and won NaNoWriMo; do you know I can’t even remember the first time I wrote a prologue to something and never finished the story? I was probably 6 or 7, and that continued for years. I still almost can’t believe I did it. Except I did, because I wrote everyday, motivation or not. I know there were many things that led to that, and I know that I still have a lot of bad habits. But today, silly though it may seem, I’m going to give a little credit for my progress where I think it’s due. Thanks, Neopets. =)