At the end of each year, I like to reflect on what has happened, how I’ve grown, and what’s to come.

Without a year’s worth of Sunday News posts, I’m having a little bit of a hard time remembering what’s happened. … This year amounts to three main things: 1) playing the Switch, 2) helping a friend in need, and 3) reflecting on my mental health.

At the end of each year, Nintendo let’s players download their Switch stats which includes: total number of hours played, number of hours played each month, total number of games played, and games played the most during the year. Last year, I played for a little over 200 hours. (That may seem like a lot, but it’s really not.)

According to Nintendo, this year I played the Switch for 922 hours. I played 16 different games. (This stat isn’t completely accurate. Nintendo counts a game as played even if you accidentally open it and then close it right away.) The games I spent the most time playing are:

  • Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Ultimate Chicken Horse (the greatest four-player game ever)
  • Pikmin 4
  • Mario Kart
  • Stardew Valley

One of my friends is going through a trying time. She was a stay-at-home-mom of three, ages 13 (f), 7 (f), and 3 (m). In June, however, it became necessary for her to get a part time job. Her 13 year old often babysits the younger two, but my friend didn’t want to rob the 13 year old of her childhood by putting too much responsibility on her all at once so I offered to watch her kids.

The summer was great. The 3 year old had his siblings to play with and keep him company. I mostly made sure they didn’t kill themselves or burn the house down. Once school started, I burned out quickly. I love my friend’s kids a lot and 3 year old’s are a handful when they have no one to play with or entertain them.

I still watch the 3 year old, but my friend has cut back her hours because she knows I’m burned out and her 3 year old misses having her at home.

My mental health has been pretty good this year. I’ve had ups and downs like everyone else. During the summer, I noticed no depression or suicidal ideation. That continued until November when SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) hit. My depression and suicidal ideation are manageable, especially when I use the skills I learned in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). Even though I’m dealing with SAD right now, I’m in a much better place emotionally than I have been in almost a decade.

I’m proud I’ve stuck with helping my friend even though I’ve wanted to tell her I can’t anymore. I’m proud I use the skills I learned in DBT when I need help regulating my emotions, tolerating distress, or making sure my needs are met. Even though I feel like I haven’t done much this year, I know that what I have done is huge. I feel hopeful, content, and I’m looking forward to the new year and its opportunities. I’m grateful for my support system and I’m looking forward to connecting more with this amazing online community.

Here’s to many wonderful possibilities! May your 2024 be merry and bright!

Are you looking forward to 2024? Do you have any resolutions?

About Jenni Elyse

Hi, I'm Jenni. I’m an eclectic reader. I mostly read fiction and I favor fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers, and romance. The more kissing in a book the better!
Read More

8 replies
  1. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    3 year olds are tough! I love my grandson dearly but he can be challenging. I admire you for taking on the childcare to help out because I’m not sure I would except for my own daughters. And even then it would be a big ask! I don’t do resolutions but I’m hoping to go a few places and stay healthy.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Margaret! It is a big ask. I don’t know how much longer I can do it. I’m trying to stay strong, lol.

      I don’t really do resolutions either. I just try to do better each year.

  2. Vlora
    Vlora says:

    I’m glad you had a good year mental health wise, that’s huge! And it sounds like you’ve been very supportive of your friend. Hope you have a good start to the new year!

  3. Literary Feline
    Literary Feline says:

    Mario Kart is a favorite in our house–at least for me because the three of us can play together (and it’s the only game I really play on the Switch besides the occasional Just Dance with my daughter). My husband played a lot of the Zelda game this past year. I am sure your friend is grateful for the help with her kids. Three year olds can be a lot! Your friend and her children are lucky to have you. I am also glad to year you had a good year mental health wise. That’s a definite win! Take care and have a great New Year.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thank you! 😀 I’ve played Just Dance on other systems but not the Switch. I’m not coordinated enough to do very well, lol. I hope you have a great new year too!

  4. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)
    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) says:

    It is definitely hard to take care of your mental health sometimes. You know you need to let others worry about their own issues sometimes for yourself, but I know that if I can’t help friends and family that will make me have my own anxiety issues at times. So it sounds like you’re doing a good job at keeping yourself where you need to be. I didn’t play much on my Switch this year other than when my niece got back into Animal Crossing for a bit, so I resigned up for the monthly subscription so I could go give her a bunch of the money I’d gotten on there from planting the money trees, lol. I did get on to celebrate NYE on there too. I also notice doing the Sunday posts is nice for me to be able to go back and see what has happened throughout the year like you noticed when you didn’t have time to do them.
    Hope 2024 is a great year for you!
    Here’s my end of the year wrap-up:

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Sometimes it’s so hard to balance between what you need and what you can do to help others. I’m just glad my friend understands that I need more time for my mental health during this time of year.

      I love Animal Crossing so much. I get on every now and then like I did on NYE. For the most part, though, I play other games. I mean I have put 1700+ hours in AC so I’ve played it to death, lol. That’s so nice what you did so your niece could enjoy playing AC.

      Happy New Year!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.