I had the chance to take a few days off from work this week and rally my crew. You may call it a “stay-cation.” I may ridicule you mercilessly if you speak that term to my face, but regardless, the family and I didn’t travel, rather it felt like we regrouped.
There were low points: A malfunctioning sump pump which threatens to give out at a moment’s notice and potentially flood our basement.
There were high points: Getting to spend time with my 7 week old nephew and remembering what it feels like to be responsible for another life that is almost completely helpless at that age.
But, I think what I’ll remember most from this brief respite from the day-to-day grind is playing a board game with my wife and oldest daughter that I hadn’t thought of for at least 25 years.
We played the game of Life.
As a kid, the game of Life seemed pretty easy to me. You spin the wheel, move forward, collect money, lose money, get kids and finish up at the end.
As an adult, the game of Life has way more rules than I could have imagined. Complicated rules. Details that the younger me glossed over. Long term investments? Share the wealth? Spin to win?
We played multiple times. As a lawyer in the game of Life, I accumulated the most wealth, had a few kids and defeated my wife and daughter fairly handily. (In your face!) As is the case in the real world, lawyers rule the game of Life.
As a veterinarian I chose to return to college, switch careers, and happened to become (wait for it…) a lawyer! I upgraded from my starter home but failed to have any kids during this play through. As is the case in the real world, kids aren’t for everyone.
The winner of the game of Life retires with the most wealth. This is where I disagree with the game of Life.
The winner of the “game of life” is the person who actually goes out there and lives it! The number associated with your lifelong income doesn’t scratch the surface of your actual worth. Yes, living life can hit you with a barrage of emotions. You may experience fear, frustration, even depression. What I can share with you is that you won’t feel better about yourself watching the “Duck Dynasty” marathon on A&E. (Don’t tell me about it, either. Like many things pop culture related, I’d like to remain blissfully ignorant on the topic.)
Take risks. Accept challenges. Live outside of your comfort zone. Meet new and interesting people.
You may have twins! You could help a charity! You might win the lottery! You may lose your job! You could buy a mansion! Maybe you’ll go back to college! You published a best-seller!
What I loved about playing the game of Life with my family is that it reminded me that life (cliche warning) is what we make it…To attack life without fear. Attack it with the knowledge that the only person who can stand in your way is most likely staring back at you in the mirror.
Life has its ups and downs. In my eyes, life’s champions are the people who’ve lived the most, regardless of how much play money they have at the finish line.
We spent the rest of our time off this week planning our adventures for the rest of the year. Will we travel overseas? Will we switch careers? Will we get sued? I can’t wait to make Life a reality.
Unless that reality includes a 3 year old tripping on the board scattering game pieces and funny money everywhere right before I decide to upgrade my home. That’s not fun for anyone involved.