Monday, September 29, 2008

Temperance (prop bet, anyone?)

My memory is a bit fuzzy, so take the next few lines with a bit of skepticism. Back in college, I had a History class where we discussed Thomas Jefferson's attempt at a life of temperance. He outlined a dozen vices in his life that he wanted to cut out, and he made a chart with one axis of vices, such as swearing and alcohol consumption, and labeled the other axis with the days of the week. Every time he committed a vice, he checked the box for the corresponding day.

A week into his experiment, the page was covered in check marks. TJ gave up on his experiment within two weeks.

This is a pretty good explanation of how I feel about temperance in regards to just about everything. Certain devilish desires I can abstain from, but I tend to believe that a little bit of a bad thing can be healthy for the soul. Alcohol, Poker, Sex... you can get into a lot of trouble being too crazed about any of these three things, but taken in moderation they are all great fun.

That said, how's this for an idea that will never work:

Maximum of 2 hours of WoW per day
Minimum of 1 hour of writing per day

I, like Waffles and many other bloggers in secret (you know who you are), have been playing too much WoW. I'd like to curb my playtime to at most two hours a day. I gave it a shot today, but wound up playing three hours while watching MNF. I obviously enjoy playing the game, but playing for hours on end just takes too much time from more important things I should be doing. I value this blog more than I value playing WoW, but I sure spend a lot more time playing the game than writing--so this shot at temperance is an attempt to change.

Everyone has vices they want to get rid of, whether it be smoking, temper, tilting, drinking, and yes, even WoW addictions. I'm not crazy enough to think I will be able to abide by my newly placed restrictions every day. There are things in WoW that require more than two hours to accomplish, and there will be days I simply won't be able to write for an hour. Instead of seeing a sheet filled with checks staring me in the face (no, I'm not actually going to make a "Temperance Chart" like TJ did), I think I'll shoot for five days a week of accomplishing one hour of writing and less than two of WoW. Instead of just wasting a rainy Sunday afternoon playing WoW, I can get a head start on homework for the next week for class, or start prepping lessons for student teaching. From the look of my two new classes today, I'll be having a lot more homework this quarter than any of my previous quarters at UW.

I'm hoping the allotment of two days of leeway a week will be enough to help me attain my goal, but I fear I'll need a bit more motivation. Do any of you have vices you want to try and weed out from your lives, even if that weeding starts off slowly? I'm up for a little prop bet if there is any interest. I'd be willing to offer up a personalized fictional short story, a drawing, maybe even a heads up SNG with you if you attain your goal. I'm hoping for some good incentive to reach my goals in return... cooking tips, motorcycle stories, rants, back massages...



Blogger The Wife said...

Offering back massages for me to give up my vices is pretty tempting . . . but I'm not sure I'm allowed to take that incentive . . . :)

Could you clear that through the Doc for me?

11:07 AM  

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