On a recent rainy Saturday, I was playing the board game LIFE with my family. I need to also be transparent and share that I am not typically a fan of board games in general. They can sometimes move so slowly and take forever to finish- at least if you want a clear winner. I love sports and competition- and prefer games that have more strategy. I can even play a good “Chickie” or two in a game of Chickenfoot Dominoes and learned to “take my tricks early” in Spades- as taught by my amazing grandparents during summer trips to their house on Lake Altus in Oklahoma.
The board game LIFE can be kind of fun. You can decide if you want to take the path where you might get to have a family. You might even get to pick a house if you have a lucky spin. If you take a little bit longer route (see what I mean about taking a long time to play) you can go to college and have a career that pays more. However, the outcome is still for the most part random-and there is not a real strategy. If you try to play the board game LIFE with some strategy in mind, you will likely end up very frustrated. You are better off just spinning and seeing what happens; enjoying the break from work, the things that don’t have to be done right now, the stressors of life-and focusing on spending treasured time with friends and family.
We can apply this same approach to real life, too. While we can absolutely have a strategy for our life and should indeed make some really important plans, those plans will not work all the time, and circumstances and situations can and do change. Ultimately, we will have to accept that an awful lot in our life is left up to the spin. Getting to that point is much like a board game-it can take a long time and include a lot of frustration along the way.
“You never win any games you don’t play.” – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban
This quote reminds me that we must always be willing to playing the game, rather than getting frustrated, flipping the board, and quitting! Real life is messy. There can be art in the suffering, lessons learned with each spin, and while it is almost 100% certain that our lives will not go the way we have strategized in our minds, we can still get the win.
Are you a fan of board games? Leave me a note and share some of your favorites!
Tonya Hitschmann, Director of Community Programs