I think it's always worth reminding yourself of what you have in your life. It gives you an opportunity to appreciate the people, connections, things and everything else around you. It's so easy to go through the day and take everything for granted. So, maybe this article is a bit of a fluff piece, but I still want to share with you what it is that I appreciate in my life and maybe it reminds you of what you have in yours - and if you're happy to, please share those things in the comments below.
I do need to start with my wife, of course. She's the absolute best. Not only does she put up with me, she actually supports me a lot - generally in life, but also more specifically with my board game hobby, blog, videos and everything else that comes with it. It really hit me the other day when she played Tharos by Spielworxx with me. It's not the first time that she played a game with me, so that I could review it, but this is not the sort of game she would naturally choose to play.
Added to that, it's a longer game and we ended up leaving it set up, for two days in a row, playing a few more turns in the evenings until we finished it. The game was taking up a fair portion of our dining table, so dinner time consisted of moving as much out of the way as possible, so that we could eat dinner together as a family. It reminded me of my childhood, when my brother and I would sometimes play games over several days, leaving it set up on a table somewhere.
It was then that I was suddenly reminded of how much I love my wife and how much she does to support me. It's so easy to take for granted. I love playing board games, so I automatically assume everyone else does too. My wife also enjoys playing board games, but that's different to playing a game to be reviewed. It's wonderful that she is happy with the two of us reading the rules together and starting to play, learning things as we go along. It's scary and many people don't like it, so I'm really thankful that my wife is happy to go into a game nearly blind. It makes it so much easier.
So, yes, there are many reasons why I love my wife, of course, but her support of my hobby is amazing and has to come first in this article.
I also really appreciate my games group. When the pandemic hit and we could no longer meet in person, they were quite happy to try playing online. It took a while to get used to, but it was a lifeline for me. It meant a huge amount to me to keep the weekly games night going and I think we got as close to an in-person games night as you can get when playing online. So simply having them there with me every week, be it virtually, is in itself amazing and I really appreciate it.
However, now that COVID rules here in England are mostly gone and we could meet up again in person, everyone is keen to stop the online games night and finally see each other face to face and play physical board games again. Yet, I'm a little bit hesitant because I have to think of my family as well. So I really appreciate my friends being so patient with me and respecting my worries. They want everyone to feel comfortable before we meet up again. That is so amazing of them and I really appreciate their understanding and support in this matter.
I also appreciate many of the people in our hobby, especially those I communicate with via Twitter or Discord. I feel I have made friends that way, or at least it's very, very close to friendship. There are many supportive people out there and we all do what we can to help each other. That's really special and certainly isn't a given, particularly when it comes to other bloggers, podcasters or YouTubers. It would be very easy to see each other as competition, but it's completely the opposite. If anything, many of us want to work together.
The prime example is Antoinette of Good Owl Games, of course. The podcast we make together was her idea, or at least she was the one who approached me. Over 30 episodes later and we're going from strength to strength, even though there were times when I didn't have the time to record. I think it's very special that we have this podcast and it means a lot to me. I really appreciate that it's still going and that many of you enjoy listening to the Tabletop Inquisition episodes every month.
I would also like to say that I really appreciate it when publishers trust me with review copies of their games. Of course, many of the games I review are still ones I bought myself or backed on Kickstarter, but there are a few that are review copies. It's not cheap to ship games to me, so I'm really happy when a publisher accepts my request for a copy of one of their games, so I can review it. There is never any guarantee that my review will be particularly glowing either, so publishers do take a punt on me.
It's even more wonderful when publishers contact me first, without me prompting them, offering to send me a review copy of their game. After all, I don't have a huge following. I don't hold huge sway over what people buy. I'm not really an influencer, at least not in the sense of someone who has tens of thousands of followers. I think that shows that publishers believe that my reviews are honest and constructive, rather than sensationalist and clickbaity.
So, yes, I do appreciate publishers sending me review copies and I will continue to review games fairly and honestly.
Finally, but by no means least, I really appreciate you, the reader, listener or watcher of my articles, reviews, podcasts and videos. Every time I check my stats and see that more people have come to the blog or more have subscribed to my YouTube channel or when Twitter notifies that another account follows me, I'm so chuffed. Even though I do this, because I enjoy doing it, it's very special to see that you like what I write and that some of my articles chime with you. It warms my heart and soul.
So, thank you, all of you, for being there and being so wonderful. I appreciate you all.
Now it's time for you to think about what you appreciate in your life. No, it doesn't have to be board game-related of course. Whatever it is, big or small, please share it in the comments below. It would be so wonderful to hear from you.