Good Day, God!
I enjoy playing games with my 97-year-old mom. Today, after we got back from the doctor’s, we were playing Skip-Bo when it hit me. My mother and I really are playing two different games.
She is playing one in which she “wins” if she plays all the cards in her hand and gets to draw five more. She also gets a “small win” if she can finish a run with a 12 and get it set aside.
The game I am playing is about being the first person to play all the cards in my pile and WIN! I enjoy winning, God. But, I realized that my mother — playing her game — is probably getting more TOTAL enjoyment than I am. Hmm.
And that got me to thinking about the varied and assorted Games of Life. When we are in school, the games are fairly easy to figure out: Achieving status as a Brain, Jock, Prom Queen, Cheer Leader — that’s winning. Then in our working years, it gets trickier. Employers and employees often seem to be playing separate games.
Now that I am retired I can create my own games. But I’m scared to actually do it. I have been sort of circling around the idea. I already understand “giving myself points” and I am part way through the book Game Frame in which Aaron Dignan extolls the benefits of games for learning and “accelerated achievement.”
But designing a game means choosing goals. It means choosing some goals and not choosing others. It means “noticing” what I find rewarding. And wondering what else I could find rewarding. This isn’t just “showing up” and “getting along” with half conscious choices. This is serious.
Ah! It feels like You just pointed out that I could start with a draft and keep on making changes. Thanks, God!