The Game of Frustration
and How You Can Win When You’re Losing
I had a lot to do today; I felt a bit overwhelmed to be honest.
So I sat in a sunny spot on the carpet and played a game of frustration with my children.
Like most children they are very competitive, winning is important. I, these days, am not so bothered, although when I win it means that neither of them win and they can’t be frustrated with each other.
The game went like this:
My daughter couldn’t roll a six for ages, until I told her that this had happened to me once but I had still gone on to win. Then she rolled several sixes.
My son had two pieces home safe and two pieces round the board.
I had two pieces home safe and two pieces not yet on the board.
My son was about to win.
Then I rolled a six and had no option but to take his last piece out and put it back to the beginning. That was it, he had gone from surely winning to surely losing.
My daughter, with renewed enthusiasm, has two pieces home safe and the other two lined up nearby. She needs to roll a one or a two, but she keeps rolling higher numbers.
By this time my son has got his last piece out and is catching her up. She is still stuck, he rolls a six and has no option but to take her piece out and put it back to the beginning.
With a roll of the dice the game is turned on its head. My son won.
To the children, aged eight and ten, to be winning is sooo exciting, but to have it taken away seems sooo disappointing that to win from that place seems impossible to them. It makes it all the sweeter when they manage to come back and win. The impossible is always possible.
Sometimes everything seems like you will never roll that six and get your pieces out, you will be stuck on the sidelines forever but if you keep going, keep trying, your circumstances can change. If you don’t keep trying it is less likely.
If my son had, for example, thrown the board across the room and stormed off when I took his last piece out, he wouldn’t have won.
My son could only worry about his pieces, he had no control over what my daughter did with hers and vice versa.
So when it feels like you are pushing a rock up a hill, keep rolling your dice.
When you think you will always stay stuck, keep rolling your dice.
Don’t pay attention to what other people do with theirs, let them win.
Or let them think they have won.
Does winning look the same for each of us?
Everything can change in a second.
You can always roll a six.
Have a lovely week,
PS My Lockdown e-book is available to buy. £1.00 from every sale goes to charities helping people affected by the pandemic and lockdown. You can get your copy HERE.