Life can feel pretty chaotic, happenstance, random, coincidental or strange. I’ve got my free will, you’ve got yours, we’ve all got circumstances. Somewhere in the recesses of my fragmented memory I hear a memory of myself screaming at someone “This is not a fucking GAME!”
What if it actually were, and we could know that going into it, and as with any game, even have the rules in front of us, and a moment to get set up? There are lots of sorts of games that life is rather like. Games make good metaphors of life for that reason, and many games creep into our language as figures of speech. (I’m looking at you, Baseball!)
If you had a stack of chips – call it your savings – and cash flow that replenished that supply – call it ‘a job’ – and some goals to reach with those resources, and some challenges and hurdles to overcome… that sounds a lot like life. The only thing missing is a system of winners and losers, and a way to keep score. And a timer. Games always end.
Here’s your first goal, first round of the game: acquire suitable housing. lol Yep. There are a lot of options. Do your chips cover what you want most? No? I guess rethinking that makes sense then… What can you afford? Meet the need as soon as possible, improve over time; it’s a common strategy. What if you are fortunate enough that you don’t want or require more than the basics? Your chips pile up! Is that important? No – they’re just chips. lol A lot of people miss that detail. We primates are a competitive bunch – what we grab up and keep close doesn’t have to have real value, it just has to be more of whatever it is than that monkey over there has. Hell, in some groups, even having more pain, more misery, amounts to riches.
Every choice we make matters. Every opportunity for a decision, or indecision, or action or inaction, takes our piece another step around the game board. We progress toward our goals, or move away from them. Sometimes we stand still.
This morning, I’m playing The Game Of Life in my imagination. I’m starting with the chips I’ve got, the job I have, and mentally rebuilding my experience with those resources. Not personally my own? I’m not counting it. What do I really need? What do I want? What contributes value to my experience? What do I keep, what I do I let go? What can I have? What is out of reach? What matters most? At the conclusion of this morning’s game, I’m hoping for a clearer picture of the life I would like to be really living. A good map makes any destination easier to reach.
Few challenges are as challenging as they seem. Few hurdles stand as tall as we fear. Our choices matter – even our choice about what matters, and what the choices may be. Today is a good day to make good choices.