Being a series of excuses in ten parts. And also a way for me to keep track (beyond just in my head) of where all my free time is going.
1. Top Secret Project - This occupies a relatively small amount of my time, but most of my mental anxiety is derived from it. I expect it to slowly shift to occupy just as much headspace and lots more real time in the next couple months. No, I can't tell you what it is. No, it's probably not exciting to you. I'm not writing a comic or anything like that. All will be revealed in a few months, at which point most of you reading this will go "Oh, I can see why that was so stressful. But I don't really care."
2. The Family - I do like to occasionally spend time with my wife and daughter. I probably still don't spend enough time with them. And the new baby is due in June. We've had some minor issues, which fortunately still look like they're going to result in healthy baby and mama. This accounts for too little of my time, really, but I do try to spend as many hours with my daughter as I can, when she's not sleeping and I'm not working.
3. Gaming - I'm running an Eberron game for one gaming group, playing in a Call of Cthulhu/Ravenloft game with the group when I'm *not* running it, playing in a Warhammer Fantasy RPG game with another group and planning a Champions game for that group when I'm not playing WFRP or running Eberron. Net result? I only spend maybe 8-10 hours a week on gaming, maybe 2 hours or so planning for future games... but when I am gaming, that's pretty much all I'm doing.
4. Watching DVDs - I got a lot of DVDs for Christmas. Which is cool. But the piles atop my DVD case make me feel guilty, like I'm not properly using my leisure time (I know, I'm a sick man), and so I try to make a point to watch at least some of them every night.
5. Reading - I'm really trying to read books again. Just finished Phil Gordon's Little Blue Book, want to finish up the Fletch series, read the Swords of Lankhamar book and finally read through the Harry Potter books. I don't think about it at all when I'm not reading, but it takes up the time that was previously allocated to graphic novels. Although I am going to try to resume Graphic Novel A Day in January. Maybe with Book A Month as well, if I'm feeling overly ambitious.
6. Sleeping - Despite really bad sleep habits like staying up too late, I get to sleep in five days a week thanks to late shifts, so I tend to get enough sleep. Maybe more than I actually need.
7. Working - 40 hours a week, more or less.
8. Writing - Both here, on Comic Pants and (probably the most time-consuming and least consequential) at various comment threads and emails around the Internet.
9. The Internet - My gigantic time sink, as I've spent four hours on this damn electronic box tonight alone, when I had three other things I meant to accomplish relating to #8, #4 and #3.
10. Everything Else - Doing a mental checklist of the above, I should still have plenty of free time. Which means it's probably a variety of other little things keeping me busy.
So in case you're wondering why I've written so little for Comic Pants or Inside Joke lately... that's why. Holidays really screwed up my schedule, especially when I was sick for a week or two, and constant anxiety (both real and imagined) has kept me distracted from getting back to the routine. I am planning on resuming Graphic Novel A Day in January, and Comic Pants writing sooner than that.