You can’t reset the farm

I play my fair share of games on my iPad, but I also frequently purge my game apps and delete them, either because their novelty has worn off or I feel like I’m getting distracted from other things I want/need to be doing. But one of the few games I keep coming back to and re-downloading is Hay Day, which despite being another cliched farming game, is admittedly pretty engaging.

Here’s the thing: Hay Day is designed for long term gameplay, you can’t reset your farm to level one, even if you delete the app and reinstall. The creators of Hay Day say farm resets are not possible because of programming complexities, but also because they designed the game with the idea that you would not only take care of your farm, but take pride in your farm. The game doesn’t penalize you for taking breaks, your crops and animals won’t die, they just sit there patiently waiting for you to come back and give them care.

This struck me as a quite the metaphor for life. No matter what state I leave my farm in when I go on another purge, it’s always there, exactly as I left it, every time I go back. And as much as I might want to go back, reset, take a fresh start, that’s not going to happen. Which is a lot like life.

I’ve been in a creative slump lately; actually I’ve kind of been in an overall life slump. I’m going to say it’s because Mercury has been in retrograde for a little while now, but it goes back into normal alignment this Saturday, so I’m running out of time to blame just the planetary forces for my slump. But my point is, for the past week or so, I’ve been alternating between feeling miserable and pathetic, and searching for the perfect reset. I’d think of some new habit or routine that I was going to start, like sunrise meditation every morning, but then something would happen like I’d sleep in and miss sunrise and then my whole “perfect fix” for my slump would be ruined for another day.

But here’s the thing, you can’t reset the farm, and you can’t reset your life. There is no magic button to restore everything to default settings so you can redo it perfectly. Even if you give up and spend the whole day just sitting on the couch drinking really gross Orange Creme vodka and watching Netflix, your life is still happening, waiting for you to reengage and feed the chickens, or meditate whether it’s sunrise or not.

Today I got up, and even though the sun was already above the horizon, I pulled back the curtains to let in the morning light anyway. Because even though I missed watching the sunrise, it’s still a beautiful day.

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