Today is this blog’s fourth birthday, and the traditional way I’ve chosen to celebrate this anniversary has been to reflect upon a valuable lesson that I’ve learned since the last December 20th. Of course, these posts are always a cover for me to needlessly post pictures of Setsuna everywhere, but the topic of this post relates to a previous post in this year’s 12 Days of Anime series as well as a couple of future posts that will appear later on. The theme between these posts is on the challenges and difficulties inherent in following anime within a dense, tight schedule, and the focus of this post is learning how to manage these obstacles and accept certain complications.
My ideal anime week would be one where I watch the most recent episode of every airing anime, am able to complete a weekly anime post on time, and am able to chip away at my backlog. However, I’ve never had an ideal anime week in at least a year. As I continue to grow older and assume new responsibilities, the time I have available to watch and blog anime grows less and less, leaving me with difficulties every week. Each obstacle then forces a decision, about when I will be able to watch an anime or write about an anime or even if I’m able to watch an anime or continue with a series. At times, this has led to episodes being delayed by weeks and posts delayed even longer. At time, I realize that I can no longer keep up with an anime and needing to delay watching it until another time… that is, whenever I can find the time. And though this happened occasionally through these past 4 years, I was always able to find a solution, and things usually worked out in the end.
This year, however, has posed quite a bit more in terms of obstacles to my anime life, and has led to a number of situations where there was no easy solution. For example, I’ve needed to drop more shows than any year previously, including a number of shows that I was enjoying at the time I stopped watching them. Perhaps the most noticeable, at least from the perspective of readers of this blog, is that I had to give up on writing my weekly posts for Autumn 2014 despite desperately wanting to talk about every airing episode of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, Mushishi Zoku Shou 2, Shirobako, and Yama no Susume Second Season among others. It has been frustrating this year. It has lead me to even wonder about the feasibility of this blog and how well I’ll be able to continue this lifestyle into the future. But, after dealing with these situations and considering the various outcomes, I’ve come to a valuable conclusion that will help me manage both this blog and my anime lifestyle in the future. And the solution is actually quite simple: learning to accept the obstacles.
What this means is that I need to be aware of the random challenges and difficulties that will occur in each and every season of anime and that I will need to deal with them in individual ways. Yes, this means that I will need to skip a week or so of anime. Yes, this means I will need to skip a post or two or whatever. Yes, it means I’ll need to drop an anime with the intention of finishing it later. It means to understand that these situations will happen, and to not let it frustrate me. Of course, each of these situations will be disappointing, but they’ll be necessary for me to continue this lifestyle in the future. Yes, cutting down on blogging for a season and accepting that will help out the blog in the long-term. Yes, skipping a few episodes of an anime that really isn’t that great will allow me to keep up on another show that I like or one that I’m watching with friends. Yes, maybe I was watching too many anime and need to cut back for a bit until I have more time. These are the things that I never really appreciated until this year when I began to encounter them more and more and began to experience irritation and annoyance with these predicaments.
So while this isn’t the happiest lesson that I’ve learned while blogging about anime, I feel that it is one of the most important. It’s another lesson in budgeting my time, between real life, watching anime and writing for this blog. And as my real life continues to take on more responsibly and requires more of my attention, I will need to accept the reduction in time left to watching anime and blogging, and I will need to adapt to those new circumstances as fits. What I was able to do in the past might no longer be feasible right now, but I need to understand that, accept that and find a solution that works. That lesson stands alone as the most valuable of the year for me, and why I wanted to share it with you as part of the four year anniversary of this blog.