Lately I’ve noticed we can learn about life in nearly everything we do. This weekend I found some life lessons I’ve learned from playing the game solitaire.
Yes, here I am in the midst of a really hectic work weekend and I’m talking about play! We are undertaking a massive decluttering job here in Milly’s Realm. One room needs to be cleaned out ASAP! And that means NOW! Months ago the eldest prince moved out. We cleaned up a lot of his room but it came to a screeching halt with my dad’s needs. Welcome to life in the sandwich generation! Priorities over clutter results in unfinished projects!
The eldest prince is moving back to his apartment for a while. Yes, I know it is actually the princes’ bedrooms in my home. But if I call their rooms’ apartments I remind myself they are actually grown men. It is very important I remember that factoid.
Anyway, the upshot is his old apartment became a storage unit instead of a guest room. A new bed has arrived and the storage needs to go! Because, a full size bed is not going in the living room!
So how did I start Saturday morning? With some solitaire on my phone of course! As I played a few games my mind wandered from the weekend plans, to dad, to the princes and princesses, and prayers for “help!” Finally, I talk to God about what I have learned from years of playing the game. Then I started outlining this post!
I learned solitaire from my Grand-mama. I didn’t know my maternal grandmother until I was in my preteens. We had little contact with her due to her alcoholism. A tragic event caused Grand-mama to stop drinking. At that point I was able to get to know her. She was by no means a traditional grandmother. But boy could we talk! And we did over solitaire.
Once I had learned the basics of solitaire. Sitting opposite of each other at the kitchen table, we would each take our favorite deck and lay out our game. Then we each played our game while we talked about whatever was on our mind at the time. I haven’t stopped playing solitaire even though she passed away when I was in college. Mostly I play my games on the computer or phone now. However, I have a new conversational partner. Can you guess who that is? If you said God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit you would be correct! So what did I find in my thoughts this weekend?
Grab a deck and let’s get our play on!
- Go with the flow man! I can just hear the stereotypical surfer dude can’t you? I don’t know about you but I have to remind myself to enjoy the ebb and flow of life. In solitaire it’s not how fast you win, although a fast flowing game is fun, it’s the cadence of the strategy play that really makes it fun.
- Try not to think ahead too much: Just like life too much speculation can ruin the play. In solitaire the game becomes monotonous. Where are the twists and surprises if you have planned out every move? Plans are great but we need to be loose enough to handle the switchbacks in the trail. They say “Life is a game.” Relax ENJOY it! This is Play.
- Try again and again: Don’t let discouragement defeat you. This is a hide and seek mixed with a matching game. That means we may need to change our strategy. What we truly want in life is usually hidden we must seek it. To find our higher power we must seek him to connect with him. Match up your talents and seek your higher power. That’s my strategy until I learn more.
- Know when it is over. Some games are unwinnable. Some games just bore you. When it becomes work, put the game away. You can always pick it up later. In life and solitaire we call this cutting our losses. You are allowed to walk away from the game. Maybe I’m bored or cranky. Maybe a better opportunity came along. It’s okay to switch it up! Just get back in the game!
- Keep the mind open: Allow the mind to wander across the deck laid out. A lot of times I see something different if I stop, pull back, open my mind and return to the game. It is amazing what happens when I change my perspective.
- Have a great conversation: Having our “game face on” doesn’t mean we have to lose out on an enjoyable conversation. The great thing about being made in God’s image is we can multi-task. God is the ultimate multi-tasker! We are instructed to “Pray without ceasing” [I Thessalonians 5:17]. It sounds like God wants to be included in my day. Even while decompressing with a game of solitaire I can have a conversation with anyone in my home including the Great I Am.
Enjoy those games! God Bless!