I think I've come to the point where I'm finally ready to admit it.
I'm a Casual. Not even a Casual Raider, but just a Casual. Not temporarily, as I once insisted, but permanently, at least for the foreseeable future.
How many of you are surprised? Perhaps you're wondering why I'm announcing it like it's a big deal. Didn't I already know that was the case?
Well, one has hopes, and one also has reality. Here I was, fondly awaiting the day I would transfer back to a US server, join a raiding guild, and raid three-ish nights a week for fun and profit. I hemmed and hawed about work and gym schedule, always keeping an eye on my weeknight raiding availability. But, as I happily discovered a while back, I have other hobbies I enjoy, like cooking and weightlifting. Not to mention I have spending money, which means I can actually go out with friends when I want to. As you can imagine, these sorts of activities cut into WoW playing time, especially the time necessary to gear up and prepare for raiding. If I'm not willing to put in that prep time, then I can't be a good asset to a raid team. Which means...no serious raiding.
Fortunately, changes to end game procedures mean that, should I find myself more free time as my schedule starts to cement itself, I may actually get to go into raids (assuming I can at least expend the effort to do dungeons for appropriate gear). And, if I don't, a server and guild change will ensure that I have an active guild in which to participate while I quietly do my rep grinds and achievement hunting.
There's just one more thing. I have to request that my name be made available on the new server. If the request is denied... what then? There are a couple of variants that might be acceptable (first of all Redcow, because who the hell would name their toon that), but could I handle a change like that??