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Aaron Waite Aaron Waite
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Saturday Morning Peace

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The importance of gaming in solace

Every Saturday morning I have a routine, a routine that dates back to my single-digit years. Throughout the week, I would have school, Little League games and a host of other things that would crowd in on me, but Saturday mornings were made for one thing and one thing only: gaming.

I would awake at 6 or 7 on these mornings and creep downstairs to the NES (or SNES, in later years) and try to find a game to play. Finally reaching a decision, I'd game until Mom or Dad dragged me away to do some form of chores (thanks a lot for the personal responsibility cramping my style, parents!). But for those few brief moments in the basement, with the morning light just starting to seep through the small windows, I took those precious moments of quiet time to heart. Small, simple moments of just enjoying a good game.

I'm married now, work 40 hours a week, and I do try to have some form of social life. I'm a hermit and troglodyte at heart, but I work very hard to make sure the people I love know that I do indeed love them. Being secluded is part of my nature, giving me pause, giving me time to think, to process my far-too-quickly ongoing life. If don't get these moments alone, I find myself irritable and worried, more scrunched brows and frowns than my usual smiles and snark.

But I'm an adult now. I have responsibilities to be around people and around co-workers, and sometimes peace and serenity are hard to find.

And then a refuge came in an old friend.
I woke up one Saturday a few weeks ago, saw the sunlight just starting to come in through my window, and thought back to those days spent in solace in the basement. My life has been good, but kind of stressful lately. It's been hard to find a quiet time between my marriage, my job, and my budding competitive gaming streak. These are all good things, fantastic things, but sometimes I just need a few hours to step back and take it down a notch.

So now on those Saturday mornings, my wife at work and the rest of the world at peace, I find myself quietly finding an RPG or a casual game of 'Team Fortress 2' to play and chill out from the world around me for a bit. My dog usually accompanies me, content to sit at my feet and chew on his toys, seemingly enjoying the quiet as much as I am.

At moments like this, I feel like I can recharge my batteries and be ready to be the best husband, employee and friend that I can be.

It's just me, the sunlight and a game for a few hours. Nothing more, nothing less.

Aaron Waite just won his first 'Halo' tourney. He plans on resting on his laurels and writing a book on the experience.


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