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Sometimes life seems to be a little dull. We get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner, we relax, go to bed, and then up again to start the whole cycle again. The days are the same, the weeks are the same, the months are the same, and so on. What can we do to break the cycle?

Many folks break up this cycle by doing what they enjoy. Maybe it’s quilting, writing, having an adventure in a local forest, or taking a long drive. For others, like me, it’s gaming, writing, and reading. Reading really helps me a lot. There are so many books and so many places to visit.

I read a book by Stephen King, titled On Writing. He wrote this book while he was in the hospital recovering from an accident, where he was hit by a delivery van while on his daily walk. In the book he described himself as more of an archaeologist. He “uncovers” stories that are already there. Each chapter strips away a little more dirt.

It’s a great analogy for story telling. Initially the story starts out at the surface level. We get to meet the main characters, the place they call home, and told about a problem these characters are involved in. As the story unfolds, we learn more about our characters. We learn how they react to stress, how they think, and what they do to solve the overarching problem. In the end, depending on the story type, the characters win or lose. If they win the story is a comedy. If they lose the story is a tragedy.

Reading can break up the monotony of day-to-day living. It takes us to far away places, and lets us explore another world “discovered” by the author. I truly enjoy reading a great book, regardless of where it takes place, what time period it is in, or what the characters are doing. Each book is an adventure waiting to be had.

One of the key lessons I’ve learned in retirement is the need for structure, and something to look forward to. I look forward to reading every day, writing this blog and working on my book. I also look forward to my game sessions, which are a lot of fun for me. Games have become so realistic that they act like books for me. They transport me to a war torn city, an outer space battle, or an adventure with friends who are part of my adventurers party.

As far as structure goes, I tend to chunk my time. One chunk I do my morning routine, the next chunk I read, followed by another chunk which is writing and the chunk I am in right now. After I have done all of my daily chunks, it’s game time. Even when I game, I have goals for each gaming session. It could be to finish a challenge or solve a particular problem to get to the next part of a story. This is what I do in a game I’m playing now called Far Cry 6. Far Cry 6 is set on an imaginary island, where a dictator uses his people to manufacture a cure for cancer. The problem-the chemical used to add to its chemical crop kills those who work in the tobacco fields.

In another game I play, Call of Duty Vanguard and Mobile (two different games), I work predominantly on leveling up weapons. Call of Duty uses camouflage to designate what level a gun is at. For example, when you complete all weapon challenges, the gold camouflage is opened up. When you get gold camouflage for all of your weapons in a particular class of weapons, you have access to the platinum (mobile) camouflage, or diamond camouflage in the version of Call of Duty for consoles or personal computer (PC).

Every game has these types of challenges or goals. It’s great fun for me to try and finish all of them, which can take quite a long time. I’m currently working on gold camouflage for the assault rifle class on Call of Duty Mobile. I’m not playing Call of Duty on console yet, because the next year’s season does not start again until December 8, 2021. That will be a great day!!

The key to keeping your life exciting in retirement is to have a structure to your day, along with some things that really excite you. Each day is a grand adventure for me. If you need some ideas on what to

read or what to play on a game console, here is what I’m up to in both areas:

Books:

Delta Force: A Memoir by the Founder of the U.S. Military’s Most Secretive Special-Operations Unit

Deep Space: Star Carrier: Book Four

The Silent Wife

Games:

Far Cry 6

Call of Duty Mobile (iPad)

Call of Duty Vanguard

Mafia City (iPad)

Movies:

Apocalypse Now

Well, that’s it folks. Break up the drudgery of your day. There are many who blog who have all kinds of ideas for travel, crafting, writing, and all the rest. Use them. They are a great resource. Life is short. Make every day your best day, by doing things to break up the patterns or cycles in your life. You’ll look forward to each day. You’ll be excited to get up and get at it.

Have a great Monday, folks!

Until next time…

Dave