Claudio and I have “Word with Friends” for iPad–basically Scrabble. Claudio originally thought I would be great at it because, well, I always yap about being a writer. No, Writer, capital W. And I always have my head in a book. Listen, I’m as shocked as he is that I suck. I am horrible at Scrabble.
Scrabble is teaching me something about myself I could have learned years ago were I paying closer attention. It teaches me something about my writing, my basic personality type and I’m wondering if I can change it or if I am just stuck.
Let’s frame it in the past. In the past, I hated to lose and gave up…(just so as not to keep this pattern going. Language is powerful and intentional.) If in the first two moves I had 16 points and my husband opponent had 64, I wanted to throw my iPad off my balcony. I was ready to quit.
Last night I was almost 100 points ahead of Claudio, and he wasn’t affected at all. I was texting him, “Bean is the new Ming!” (Ming is his co-worker who is particularly adept at Scrabble.) Claudio just shrugged and said, “It’s not over till it’s over.” And he just plodded along and came back and beat me by 100.
Actually we’re still in mid-game, and I’ve been ready to give up. I was devastated and he said, “Hey, I just played sad-ism for 64 points!”
“You don’t even know what that is! It’s sadism, not sad-ism.”
“Who cares? It’s worth a lot of points.”
I’ve been noticing that Claudio has a certain freedom and joy around language, or at least Scrabble, that I do not have.
Is this like life? Claudio built up a career for himself by just plodding along and having fun on the way and working hard? Never giving up, and never taking any of it too seriously and learning the “silly” 2-letter words that no one ever uses in real life? If life is a game, am I just a poor participant? A give-upper and read-a-booker?
I think about this today as I head back to edit my memoir. Is there a way to plod my way through this without being a sadist? Without hating myself or kicking myself all along the path and eventually giving up again and putting the yellowed manuscript back under the bed? Because I never played games as a kid, am I forever behind in the rules of life, the fun of playing just for the fun of it? Is my ego so out of size that if I’m not President of the club I don’t want to play?
I hope not. If knowledge is power, maybe I can do something with this. I woke up cranky and irritable today, and while Sofia is studying violin with her tutor I intend to begin rereading the manuscript. Here goes.
It sucks to suck. If I don’t try, try again, I’m certain to keep sucking.
Off to the game of life!
“Winners never quit and quitters never win.”