[Another 365 days has passed, and in an exclusive GameSetWatch article, regular columnist Mister Raroo takes the opportunity to reflect upon 2008 in terms of not only gaming, but his personal life as well -- and as an added bonus, he includes his top 10 games of the year!]
2008: Challenging But Rewarding
It’s hard to believe that 2008 is already drawing to a close, but looking back it was certainly a full and busy year. Between watching my son Kaz develop and grow on a seemingly daily basis, working full time, and taking courses toward my Master’s of Library and Information Science degree, it’s felt like I’ve barely had time to do much else. That said, I always make an effort to squeeze a little recreation into my days, usually in the form of playing video games. It’s important to step back from things and give yourself a break, even if it’s only 15 minutes here or there.
Financially, 2008 was more than a bit depressing. The economy’s instability led to ongoing budget cuts at work, causing both Missus Raroo and me to worry about our job security. Our home, which we purchased last year, continued to drop in value while, at the same time, we had to pump more money into it to fix a few problems that arose. Our cars both needed to have some costly work done on them while other expenses, such as rising daycare costs, just continued to pile up. We’ve managed to squeak out from under these financial weights and stay in the black, but not by much.
Even in difficult financial times, though, things don’t seem so bad when you have people in your life that make each day feel special. I’m very fortunate to have such a lovely wife and wonderful son, not to mention both sides of our families in town. Holidays and special celebrations are always happy times because we are able spend them with the people we love. As trite as it may sound, I may not be wealthy in terms of money, but I’m a rich man when you consider how much family support and love I have. Family can sometimes be stressful, but the good by far outweighs the bad.
As a parent, 2008 was a particularly amazing year because I was able to watch Kaz grow from being just a cute little guy we took care of to a bona fide member of the family. It’s pretty incredible to think that at the beginning of the year he didn’t know how to walk or say any real words. These days, he’s running all over the place, helps pick up his toys, uses actual words to talk, and even takes on the chore of feeding our dog Howie his dinner. It sounds funny, but Missus Raroo and I often comment that Kaz has finally become a “real person.”
As a whole, I think 2008 was pretty spectacular. There were far more highs than lows for me, and there isn’t much I’d change given the opportunity. My family was healthy, a lot of great memories were created, and even the presidential candidate I voted for won the election, for once! Yep, 2008 was not a bad year by any stretch of the imagination. And when I think about all the excellent games I played during the year, it just seems even sweeter.