Whenever I'm super stressed and anxious (particularly when I have upcoming doctor's visits or surgeries scheduled), I've noticed that I tend to turn to games like Solitaire, Scrabble, and Boggle. Unlike zoning out with a show or YouTube video, games keep my mind engaged and I have to be paying attention to them (instead of my nagging anxiety-ridden thoughts). I'm actually in a bit of a Scrabble phase right now, but for a good chunk of 2017, I was all about Solitaire.
And, of course, being me (creator of this fine site that you're reading today, haha), I started noticing some good life lessons as I was playing — and there ended up being a lot more than I would've imagined!
You can be dealt a bad hand, and still end up winning. You can be dealt a great hand, and still end up losing.
There's strategy involved, but also a heck of a lot of luck in what cards you're dealt.
You can't focus only on the card you need now; you have to look at the whole game.
Playing a card the first time you see it isn't always the right move.
You — and only you — are in charge of what you do with the cards you've been dealt.
Sometimes you take winning for granted. More often than not, it's pretty anticlimactic.
A high score is nice, but it's better when you play for the joy of it.
You've got to play the cards you're dealt, whether you like them or not. (Though you can start a new game at any time.)
When you don't rush while playing, you make a lot fewer mistakes.
Sometimes you know you're going lose, but you just keep playing. (You usually shouldn't.)
If you look, you'll find patterns, but if you're not paying attention, it'll seem like random chaos.
You often lose when you have too many of the same color or number; sameness doesn't win.
Pay attention how you feel when you win or lose. Your reactions aren't always what you'd expect.
One card can change everything. You can be on the verge of losing, and draw a game-changing card.
I thought about writing more details for each point, but I'm guessing you can figure out how these lessons might apply in real life. (And if you can't, dig deeper — you're just as wise as I am!) And if you haven't played Solitaire (or any other game) in awhile, I highly recommend giving it a try. It can give you mind a break from the incessant thinking (or is that just me?!), while not allowing it to completely zone out, the way it might do with endless Netflix episodes or some other candy-like brain food. If you already are a fellow Solitaire-lover, did I miss any lessons? Anything you've noticed while playing?