Each New Year, I nod approvingly and provide encouragement as friends and relatives describe their resolutions. New diet? I can tell you lots of reasons why that is a good idea. Quit smoking…. What, is this 1970? Donate to the charity of your choice, find a new pet/non human companion? Fantastic, and I will be there for you. After encouraging others, I like to skip the part where I have a resolution. I believe they do not work.
This year is different, life is short and I made a new commitment. I quit playing Pokemon Go and plan to use all that time doing one of the other things I dream of doing while playing Pokemon Go. Magical things like making music, writing, finishing as of yet unfinished projects or the non smoking equivalent of quitting smoking, which is probably going gluten free or commiting to smelling better.
Last night at the dinner table I told my family I was “Out the game!” It did not go well. I believe Anna was thrilled, although she only smiled. I am usually playing Pokemon while we go on walks together, I believe I can walk, be engaged in deep meaningful conversation and throw Pokeballs at imaginary beasts. From what I can tell, Anna believes I am limited to walking and talking, add anything else and I am not a good walking partner. Ava was on the couch not listening. Sammie was not pleased.
“But Dad, I like bragging about you playing Pokemon to my friends! You can’t quit” Sammie revealed.
Okay, not what I was expecting. I thought my wife and kids would be thrilled and I would be the family hero. Dad is back! Instead, it was like hearing,
“But…I brag to all my friends how you can’t seem to work out every year.”
“I like that you really should know Spanish but never commit to learning!”
At first, what Sammie was saying did not sink in. I kept talking about how it was over and Pokemon was an embarrasing habit anyway. Of course I am quitting Pokemon, I had just committed to it by saying it out loud so there was no going back. Besides, I will need to score over three hundred thousand more points just to get to the next level. To break that down, that is evolving 300 of the filthy pocket monsters while using a lucky egg. To evolve one Pokemon, you need to catch anywhere from 8 to 50 of the same type (more if its a Magicarp). You can go for days without catching more than one of any particular Pokemon. What a waste of time! It took me at least a month to get to the last level. The more I thought about it the more it was just good common sense.
Once the fact that my daughter likes that I play Pokemon and doesn’t want me to quit sunk in, I did a quick re-evaluation. I forgot about the monotony of catching Pidgeys. I forgot about the gyms. I forgot about the shame of being a nerd. I decided that if she wants me to keep playing, doggone it, I will. I love being my daughter’s hero and that time, as I have been warned by the father of teens, is quickly coming to an end.
Luckily the solution was simple. Before dinner was officially over I had already pulled out my phone and was loading it up. As soon as Anna left the table I announced that I was dropping a lure, incense and a lucky egg. I had to make up the time I had spent foolishly thinking I would quit gathering imaginary monsters so I could train them to fight each other in crazy gyms located at churches and government buildings throughout the world. Anna didn’t seem to mind and Sammie and Ava went back to their normal routines.
Lesson learned. I was starting off 2017 trying to hard. Really, I’m just a guy, a guy that is too old to be playing pokemon, but still plays it anyway. A guy that doesn’t practice the piano enough and will seemingly never speak Spanish. I do it well and at least one of my daughters is proud of me for it.
Funny, while writing this, a Rhyhorn appeared at my desk. CP 422. I caught him on my third try. Three day streak!!