“The Game of Life”
Over the Christmas holidays in Portland, Oregon, one day I played “The Game of Life” with my precious nine year old grandson, Simon, for five hours. Not only did we have a delightful sharing time, but it also got me to thinking about the REAL game of life.
Like the board game, our lives are a journey with lots of choices along the way and special “paydays” as well as obstacles to overcome. However, when the board game ends, as John Ortberg wrote, “It all goes back in the box!” Not so with our lives, yet we can always have a new beginning whether it be each moment, each day, or especially each new year. Since this is the beginning of a new year, I have been pondering my “game” and how I want to “play” it this new season.
First of all, I always choose a theme for my year. This year I have decided my theme will be SIMPLIFY. Not only am I feeling bombarded with communications and media, but my home is overflowing with paper and “stuff.” I am struggling to find quiet time, exercise each day, and eat right. And I find I am spending so much time on things like email and sorting piles that I am neglecting relationships that enrich my life and uplift my soul. I need to change the rules of the game!
One of my books a few years ago is titled, “Balancing Acts – More Than 250 Guiltfree, Creative Ideas to BLEND your Work and your Life.” In it I talk about my belief that we will never in our lives be in perfect balance, so we need to let go of the guilt and think about ways we can blend areas of our lives into the place we may find ourselves at the moment.
Think about these six areas of your life: Work, Family, Friends, Health, Spirit and Service. Where are you spending the bulk of your time and energy today? For most of us, it is on our work, so how can we find ways to “blend” other areas into our work lives. And for me, at the same time, to SIMPLIFY my life so that I have time to enjoy each moment of the game.
Here is my game plan which I hope might encourage you, too:
WORK – I am going to do email ONLY three times a day and I am going to unsubscribe to most of the ongoing emails I receive daily. I am also going to commit to sorting one pile of papers each day for 15 minutes.
FAMILY – I am going to schedule a weekly facetime call with each of my children and grandchildren. Sometimes our calls are sporadic and I feel out of touch with their daily lives.
FRIENDS – I am going to call one person each day whom I miss or whom I would like to know better. These can be either work or personal relationships.
HEALTH – I am committing to forgoing wine with dinner ( at least until I lose 10 pounds! ;-), not eating things that taste good but are unhealthy, and at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
SPIRIT – I am scheduling a quiet time each day, either morning or evening, and renewing my meditation practice to find more focus and peace in my life.
SERVICE – I am going to begin to sing in my church choir as well as writing one encouraging note or card to someone at least three times a week.
In the meantime, I am committed to giving many things away, books, clothes, knickknacks, and other things that have brought me joy so that someone else may have that experience, too.
Please wish me well with this project of simplifying as I am a very sentimental person, so letting go is hard for me. Yet I know the PEACE it will bring to my life when I do not feel burdened by things around me and time spent on frivolous pastimes. Truly, relationships are the most important gift we have in this precious game of life before it all REALLY goes back in the box.
Now, LET THE NEW GAME BEGIN!
For more information on Barbara’s work, go to www.barbaraglanz.com