Sometimes, I look around me and I think that my friends have it better than me. I know, I know... It's that old 'keeping up with Mr & Mrs Jones' thing. I see friends who appear to be earning more than I do, posting selfies of themselves swanking off ( I said SWANKING) and I sometimes wonder whether I should have stayed on the staid and solid path of a 9-5 in a government department and been a quiet conformist.
And then I look at what I do have...
1. I have my own studio built into my home.
2. I paint toy soldiers and write for a living. And that's full time, mind you. It's my JOB.
3. Because of '1.' I can have a house filled with Scotties and a decidedly dubious Westie, and they are rarely left alone.
4. I get to create literally thousands of miniature works of art and things of beauty every year. Each one of those is, in the big picture, a little reminder of my time on this planet.
5. I can select the time I live in. I choose the 1980s and therefore I can create an audio, visual and aesthetic world to live in, popping out only to check the news.
6. I have a truly wonderful wife, am comfortably off (at last) but not excessively so, lest I forget myself. But I can go to see the bands I want, pursue gaming and now model railways in a comfortable yet controlled way and collect original pieces by those artists whom I worshipped all these years.
And let's not forget the wine! Never forget the wine.
7. If I want a day off, I can take it at the cost of a bit of hard work before or after or the sacrifice of a few pounds against a bit more freedom.
8. I can give to charities of my choice when I am 'on a roll' and can do so because I want to, rather than because it expected of me by work colleagues, passing around the hat.
On balance I think I can say that I am a very blessed and lucky man indeed. I mean, I get to be involved with my hobby 24/7 and to live and breathe the wonderful fantasy worlds that it has given birth to. Who could ask for more?
Well I guess anyone could, but who needs more than that? True, I am seen as a non-conformist pariah by some, but at the end of the day, what the heck does that matter in the big picture? I am living a full life where I determine what the quantitive measure of that life is.
If I may be so bold...
If you are feeling ground down, or helpless, stop and reflect on my words. You can be what you want to be, but you need to be ready for some hard work and reflection on what you need rather than what you think others feel you should. Take a risk or two, try something out. If you have a skill set now, that skill set will be wanted by someone, even if you don't achieve your goals first time out.
Nothing is beyond your reach if you really want it, and what's more, always remember that as a gamer you'll always have a little world of your own, to dive into when the world gets that little too hectic.
And always remember that when life is good - share it!