I've now been a member of Farmville for one week. It all started last weekend, when I realized I was growing bored with my other mind-numbing game (Jewel Quest) and needed something else. And yes, I do need something to numb my mind - otherwise it runs 24/7 and never gives me a break. Must. Sedate. The. Brain.
After hanging out with my sisters all weekend and hearing my sister comment about feeding her dog on Farmville, I ended my self-imposed moratorium and started myself a farm. Some of my friends cheered when I made the announcement. Some of my friends groaned and asked what had happened to my morals. My brother-in-law, who is an assistant professor of clinical psychology, advised me to get to a support group and admit that I'm powerless over my addiction.
I must say, it's been a very educational week. It has reinforced in my mind the importance of setting financial plans and working toward them - otherwise, you'll end up spending all your money on purple scarecrows and won't amass enough to enlarge your farm, when that's what you really need to do. It teaches lessons in being a good neighbor and sharing our blessings. It teaches the importance of patience - I might be able to afford a horse stable, but construction is still a process and I can't just expect things in my life to appear in front of me automatically. If I want something to last and be worthwhile, I need to wait for it to develop.
I've also learned that we have to ask for what we want. We can't just assume that people will know and dish out the goods - and this is true in life as well as in Farmville. I can't just assume that my neighbors know I need bricks. I should send bricks to my neighbors, and then they'll return the favor with the bricks I need. I can't just assume that my family knows I need help with the laundry - I need to tell them and stop being disappointed when they don't just automatically do it.
I've also learned that it's okay to accept a gift and then to sell it for something I need more. There's no rule that says I have to keep everything I'm sent. It's not like posting the Christmas gift you got from your great-aunt Mabel on eBay as soon as it's unwrapped.
I'm learning which crops give the greatest payback for the investment (right now I'm lovin' on amaranth and pineapple). I've also learned that while strawberries are cute and tasty, they wither too easily and you don't make a lot on them.
Of all the lessons I've gleaned, though, I think the most important are these:
1. When you go to the grocery store and you notice that the cart return racks look somewhat like the fences in Farmville ...
2. When you wake up and the first thing you think is, "I wonder if my crops are ready ..."
3. You nearly miss taking your son to Scouts because you just realized that you do, after all, have enough money to upgrade your farm ...
It may be time to seek out that support group after all.