Have you ever played Sudoku? It is my kind of game. It is challenging, mentally stimulating, and has numbers. (Also, you play alone, so I do not have to wait on anyone.. or drag someone else’s time out – I am sure there is some therapy work needed here, but we don’t have the time or bourbon for that right now.) I’m a numbers thinker… some people feel in color okay, so I say I think in numbers, don’t judge. I work with numbers, I notice how many there are of things, or groups, how many people etc. Maybe it’s a weird thing, maybe not. Something simple like pulling up to a red light and noticing that three out of five cars are blue or exactly how many pens I have on my desk at a time. No more than two is my norm.
Heck, it is probably just an extension of my OCD based on those examples, but the pen thing is so I am keenly aware if I have accidentally “borrowed” someone else’s and can promptly return it. My excuse and I am sticking to it!
Anywho, Sudoku is a game where you have to fit the numbers one through nine into nine rows, nine columns and nine boxes without two of the same number being in any of the three. You start with a certain number of prefilled boxes, depending on your skill level. The task is to fill in the rest. I cannot explain more here because it won’t make sense, I am sure of that, I have tried.
Years ago, in my old life, I discovered this game. I became immediately fascinated by it, and as with anything that challenges my mind, I enjoyed a little obsession with it. What I mean by an enjoyable obsession, is that being obsessed with something used to have a crazy connotation. Like, “omg that girl is so obsessed with him!”. And now, people use “OMG I am soooo obsessed!” to describe their random fling with a think, like a flavor of coffee… i.e. pumpkin. I have even been guilty of this kind of obsession, but not the pumpkin one because unlike most, I would pass on the pumpkin any day. “Who knows, maybe I just haven’t tried it the right way yet.” – says everyone ever. ::inserting eye rolls::
Crap, back on track, that one went a ways off… Reel a gal in!
So I was enjoyably obsessed meaning that in my old life, anything that distracted my mind from the chaos I was in, without creating any noticeable waves was an enjoyable obsession. It passed the time, it kept my mind occupied to some extent, and I love numbers. I became obsessed with where my mind could get away to, but I also enjoyed the simplicity and basics of it.
Here is where we insert the meanie from stage left, my ex decided after having to share attention with this book of numbers that it was childish, foolish, mind wasting, and I was even more stupid than he originally assessed because I was playing “games” as an adult. Funny thing, he was the master at mind games… imagine that.
And here is where we insert names like jerk, douche, asshat,
motherfuckinator, pos, narcissist, creep, etc. I lined through motherfuckinator because I actually enjoy the word, and did not want to waste it on him. You get the point, feel free to comment with your own fantastic name caller.
At the time, it was easier to give up what I wanted, needed, or liked/loved, than it was to fight him. So I put them in the trash and let him win. Again.
Fast forward to a year or so ago, I was on a flight and I got the new, new magazine from the seat back. Like the first of the month, not everyone and their disgusting hands, coughs, laps had been all over it. JACKPOT! So the Sudoku was just there and blank and I thought, “let me just see if I can even.” and I did! And, I enjoyed it immensely.
–So all of you wondering where the heck is this lame story going, hold on we are almost there–
To save trees and keep with the times, I decided to download the app instead of purchasing a book. There are some books, that must be paper books… a disposable like Sudoku is not one of them. (for all you bookworms who feel about online reading as I once did about 4-door jeeps, just not cool man! Until I drove one and fell. in. love.) (Also, don’t judge, I am saving the forests ya jerk!)
Okay, back on track, again, again.
So I am playing this app of Sudoku puzzles and I notice a “HINT” button. I think to myself… hint!? There are not HINTS in this game… what. the. shit. is this??? Needless to say, I do not use them. However, it posed the question in my mind the next time I got stuck on a puzzle, cue the real point of this post.
When you are stuck, in life in love, in work or a simple game, what do you do?
Do you hit the easy hint button?
Do you quit?
Do you set it down and try again later?
In the game, I have to admit that I have done all three. (Admittedly, in life too.)
I did use the hint button once in the game, and felt like such a cheater, that I decided I would. never. again. (not quite so dramatic, it is just a game) (but also seriously because this damn moral compass of mine points unwaveringly due North)
I have quit. Given up and thought, another game is just a click away.
I have closed the app and let my mind breathe for a bit, and come back to it at a later time.
Now, I am not trying to get all trippy on the real life stuff, but you can see how this plays out in that real life stuff. It is easy to cheat or lie or take whatever is the easy route. It is also just as simple to quit… walk away, back down and start over.
But if the game means anything to you, you must give it some time. Let things settle a bit and try again. Get back to the basics and remember how to play.
For what it is worth, as I am typing I am actually going “this is soooo cliché!!!” and it is, but how simple of a reminder, a game of numbers, to show us how to succeed, how to keep going, how to survive. It isn’t giving in or giving up. It is showing up and seeing it through because you decided, and maybe even said that’s what you would do.
I gave up the rights to my life for seven years. I handed over the keys to me to someone who never earned or deserved them. But, I stayed the course. I survived and I learned and I grew and I continue. This is not about him or then, and really it is not about Sudoku (but thanks for hangin in there). It is about life, and keepin on, keepin on.
Thanks for listening to my rambles – I hope you got it, if you needed it.