Sunday, June 13, 2021

Dealing with Post-Con Letdown


Dealing with Post-Con Letdown
Unless you've been away from the Tavern for a month or so, you know that North Texas RPG Con ended last weekend. I've already stated that I enjoyed it, and I'm pretty sure Erik (and Rach) had fun as well.....at least the videocasts sure make it seem like we all had a good time.

The thing is, after having so much fun for five days (I'm counting the Wednesday pre-con) having to return to "the real world" is a bit of a letdown.....depressing even. Now in my case there's a good reason because my "real world" sucks ass right now. I'm not looking for some pity here, it's just that I'm unemployed and my benefits are running out too soon (sooner than anticipated)*. I've been doing well with my budgeting, but in doing so I spend the vast majority of my time alone & not doing a whole helluva lot.

I'll live....this isn't a cry for help and if I needed to "send up a flare" I sure as hell wouldn't be doing it here.

Anyway, I don't think it is unusual for people to actually feel a little down after attending a con. First off there is always the possibility of picking up a little "con crud". Probably not as much now that people are COVID-19 shy, but a little physical discomfort following such a gathering....and don't forget travelling....is not unusual. If you're a little introverted, the crowds & interactions can leave you exhausted. Even if you aren't, sometimes just having to be "on" for extended periods of time can also leave you simply spent. Combine that with the what I would hope is a good time and you end up finishing the convention not in that "having fun" state and possibly physically as well as mentally spent/deficient.

Perfect setup for feeling a little depressed.

Now the question naturally rolls around to, "What can you do about it?" Now that's a HUGE million-dollar question with answers that are largely above my ability to answer....especially if you are clinically depressed. I don't have an answer...well I do, otherwise why bother with this post anyway, but my answer is, at best, my attempt to make myself feel better about my run-of-the-mill post-con letdown. You know, how I'd feel if my "real world" life was peachy-keen to begin with. Basically any other year than this year.

The first thing I usually do is go through my "loot" from the con. Everything I've bought, won, gifted....anything new I came home with. I'm probably far more materialistic than I should be, but going through these items lets me either relive events from the con, or look forward to the next con. That's a big deal for me....being able to look forward to the next event, and I'm certain it's a recurring theme in what works alleviating post-con letdown.

Whisky Tasting

Every con I tend to have a new "project" or three I'm giving a go for the first time, so post-con I get the opportunity to reflect and figure out what works and what didn't. I get to think about what, or even if, I want to change should I try the project again. For example, I put together a Whisky Tasting at NTRPG and while everybody loved the boxes I used to hold the samples, I do not. The little holder for the pencil doesn't do it's job and the cases don't mate up as smoothly as I'd like. I'm going to look and see if I can find some kind of plastic clip I can insert and maybe shave a tiny amount from each case's lid and bottom. I think I have just enough room to make the changes, but I may have to re-do the rare-earth magnets that hold the halves together.  

Speaking of convention projects. Post con is the time to start planning for next year. My creative juices get a proverbial "shot in the arm" during the con and I end up getting a metric shit-ton of ideas that I want to implement. Of course not every idea is even feasible, but getting them down on paper and figuring out how to start, much less finish takes up a fair amount of mental capacity (well, for me at least). It's difficult to feel down about the con being over if I'm busy planning for the next one.

Getting back into my regular gaming routine is a big deal......and since my home group didn't game last night like planned there might be some unnecessary reading into this last bit by my GM and/or fellow players. Seriously though, after a convention is a great time to get back into your game or even start a new one. This last week I've heard from a few folks that attended NTRPG for the first time and felt revitalized. At least one told me he hadn't gamed in years but was feeling motivated. Pick up those dice! Try that new game system! Please don't just save up your gaming for those con weekends. If you find yourself without a home group then get to your FLGS (Favorite Local Game Store) and start asking around.

Ultimately, at least for me, the inevitable post-con letdown is just something I have to deal with. Now I wouldn't say you should just "suck it up", but I definitely have to......it's more a price to pay for the fun I get to have at the con. Pretty much the ying to the yang and it all balances out in the end, again for me.

Now if you happen to have some minor post-con letdown yourself maybe these things will help, but I'm not posting this as self-help for you as much as an acknowledgement for myself. If you happen to have some post-con letdown realize that it might just be a normal temporary thing or maybe it's something else. If things get worse or linger talk to somebody about it. I won't go so far as say talk to a professional counselor since I'm not capable of pointing out the requisite criteria for needing that kind of help, but bringing in someone else might help establish, or rule out, the need for said help.

Oh and for the record.....I'm NOT planning on making Gamer's Health a thing, well one of my things....that's on Rach & Erik. I'm actually just about to fire up their vidcast from last night and thought I should mention that as they have Con Crud in the title.

*Technically I have a job, just the start-up date has not been announced yet. I expected to start working months ago and then maybe this month....now? August maybe?

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