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Chorna’s Journal – 2021.03.27📔✍️

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Pleasure vs Happiness

I started a book club with Pixels a little bit ago and it’s been slow going but really nice to have somewhere to put up my cliff notes about what I’m reading to share with others.

We’ve started with the book The Art of Happiness, which is a collection of conversations and observations between the Dalai Lama and psychologist Howard C. Cutler. In the most recent chapter read, they discussed the difference between happiness and pleasure, and I found it incredibly insightful and thought provoking.

It let me to muse on my somewhat on-going obsessive self-debate about whether or not to buy a stupid Tamagotchi. There’s a range of really lovely colours and designs which were launched for the 25th Anniversary and I’ve been uhming and aahing over whether or not I would like to get one, and whether I should get one.

The purpose of the dilemma of “want” vs “should” can be rephrased as “want” and “need”.

The Dalai Lama’s words resonated with me, reminding me of a personal revelation I’d encountered some years ago, and which has resurfaced in different ways over the course of my life. Most recently it was applied during my decluttering phase – which happened over a 2 year process, inititially as an act of personal auditing, then later as my nesting instincts kicked in before our son Gabriel arrived.

The Dalai Lama suggests that the dilemma most of us face tends to be so difficult because there is a notion that we’re either allowed to have something, or we are denying ourselves something. And the latter is never a nice feeling, even if we know it’s the better thing to do.

So instead he suggests it’s better to consider the scenario in a different manner. Whether or not we want or need something, should ultimately come down to whether or not something will make us happy or not.

This can seem somewhat overly simple, but ultimately whatever we decide to do – to have a Tamagotchi or not to have a Tamagotchi – the result would end up being “I’m happy”. And who doesn’t want to be happy?

I sat back for a while and thought about another situation where I applied this way of thinking more naturally. For about 5 years before we finally made the move out of London to the seaside town we live in now, I’d disctinctly remembered asking myself continuously if I’d be happier living outside of London or not. The answer was a big far resounding “yes”. This was because irrespective of the career opportunities, the wealth potential and access to cultural activities, heck even the cosmopolitan social circles, these things seems to be outweighed by something fundementally missing from the city: there was a simplicity and closer connection to nature and quiet that was missing. And these were things that felt more important to me than the other more material aspects.

I’m glad that eventually Aidan agreed to leave London with me, but that’s a whole other story which has some very tragic chapters. Ultimately though I do continually check in with my husband to see whether we’re still on the same page about the decision we made, and if we ever want to revisit this choice and make any changes.

Coming back to the Tamagotchi dilemma though – asking myself whether or not getting the Tamagotchi would ultimately make me happier, the answer was a far easier no. I know I wanted it because I had a desire to relive a feeling I experienced when I was younger – being able to dote on something smaller than me, feel the excitement of discovering what it could grow into. As an adult I have my own family now, and it’s far more fulfilling and satisfying in a way I had no way of fathoming until I became a parent. So now I feel less compelled to feel like I’m denying myself a gadget, and more that I’m feeling grateful that I don’t need it because I already have so much.

New Streaming Schedule

It’s nice to be back to streaming on a regular basis. I feel like my life has settled somewhat and I’m finding more time to fit in the things I love doing. The only downside is that I still have to work to keep a sustainable amount of income in and that means less time with my family than I’d like, but I’m grateful that we’re able to get by just about on what we do bring in, and that ultimately I can still keep my family as close to me as possible while I work.

The new game schedule is a big deal for me personally as well because being able to add more games to my week and diversify my stream content is something that will hopefully mean I’ll maintain a keener mental acuity throughout the week, and it’ll be more entertaining for the Pixels to.

Streaming really is my preferred work, and I like to be thoughtful about my structuring and content, keeping in mind longevity not just for stream purposes, but for overall experience and enjoyment. Audiences like to know what they can come to expect from the streamers they support, but I think it’s also nice to broaden the experiences of viewers gradually with newer content, too.

One of the things I’d done is add in a couple of hours a week where the Pixels can vote to see a game on the schedule. The purpose of voting is two fold – a) it helps Pixels become even more involved in the stream, and b) it helps me not to get too bored of playing the same games all the time if the Pixels are spicing things up a bit.

There is a limit to what I can stream – games available for votes are listed on our Trello board (oh how I love that thing lol), and I hope that it means Pixels will join me in some multiplayer games, too.

Raising Gabriel: Music

Finally, leaving this here as this song that Gabriel and I are loving right now. We listen to it on repeat as Gabriel falls asleep.

I hope you’ll enjoy it, too. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

— Chorna x

About the Author

Chorna once enjoyed a successful career in the gaming industry in various roles - from marketing and community management, to game designer. She continues to write delicious bits of text you've consumed from various brands but never knew it.

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