the cure for the imperfection blues
- 3,329 wds. long
A little while ago, I found that my use of Habit RPG was exacerbating the imperfection blues. Improvising upon them, you might say. Writing new verses. Singing them incessantly. Giving me, in fact, an earworm.
The imperfection blues is that self-defeating feeling that if you can't be perfect then why even try at all? If you were to give them lyrics and sing them over a three-chord progression, they might go something like this:
I got so much stuff to do today. But I can't get past thing one.
Oh lord, I got stuff to do today. And I can't get past thing one.
I done failed at thing number one, so I know I ain't gonna get nothing done.
But today, oddly enough, Habit RPG cured those blues. Temporary cure? Permanent? I don't know and I don't care. It got me through the day.
The cure for the imperfection blues might be lyricized like this:
So sometimes you can't do it all
And that can make you sad.
But I bet you can still do this!
So it ain't all that bad.
This bit of hopeful doggerel, like so many other song lyrics and most Emily Dickinson poems, employs common meter and thus may be sung to the tune of "Amazing Grace." Sorry about that.
The real-world application of this was to realize I could still do my morning pages even though it was nine o'clock at night. I could still earn the right to check the little checkbox and get rewards for my little 8-bit avatar. And then I could go ahead and submit the phantom phone story to WOMEN DESTROY FANTASY! and check off that box (and get rewarded for it). And then I could check off the "1 hour of writing" sub-item under the "5 hours of writing" daily item and thus minimize the overnight hit point loss.
By rewarding me in-game for doing individual tasks, Habit RPG encourages me to appreciate my accomplishments, however small, and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. And even though there are days when I can't seem to summon any emotional buy-in for that appreciation, the game mechanic serves as a sort of "fake it 'til you make it" device.
It's really kind of genius, this game.
And now I'm going to check off the "post to 'actually writing blog'" item. Maybe I'll get a random drop! I hope it's cotton candy. My pet wolf cub is hungry!