My 3 year old has a new love – board games. Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, strip poker, you know…the usual. Ok, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, right?
She has not yet developed that ol American competitive spirit yet. In fact, when we play chutes and ladders every time she spins the spinner…instead of continually advancing, she keeps going back to start and moves the amount of spaces for the new “spin”. So while I keep climbing up (and sliding down) she just keeps going back to start and stays within the same 1-6 spaces over and over again. This could potentially make for an eternally long game, but after awhile she miraculously wins by somehow, magically and instantaneously making it to the winning square. How does she do it?
I have stopped trying to explain the object of the game to her, because I know she knows. She just chooses to do it “her way”. I know this is just a phase and that she will grow out of it soon, so I don’t push it because at this age it is so darn cute. I know that she will soon tire of this, and she will want the challenge.
But I do wonder…is it stubborness? Is it the comfort of the familiar? Is it the fear of making progress only to fall backwards?
Maybe I am overanalyzing it, but I can’t help but see myself in the allegory of it all. I used to also be stuck in the same familiar spaces of my life…afraid of taking risks, afraid of the unknown, unsure how to even get beyond my own invisible prison walls. So I kept going back to square one instead of continually advancing. If I didn’t climb…then I couldn’t fall. If I didn’t fight for the winning position…I could never really “lose”.
But at some point I needed the challenge. At some point, the risk of falling was greater than the risk of staying put and becoming stagnant, dormant…more dead than alive. I had to break out of my little spaces that I had kept myself in for too long. I had to venture out into the unknown. I had to start living by faith. I needed to excercise real faith and attempt to make progress…reach for a goal…even if it meant falling down. Even if it meant…”losing”.
It’s a big girl decision and one that I don’t regret. Since I moved beyond my invisible prison I have climbed really high, and fallen really low. But I feel alive. I would never want to go back to my childish way of living…always playing it safe and never going beyond my comfort zone. I mean – don’t get me wrong. I am still as immature as ever, just not confined or controlled by fear.
I still have moments of second guessing myself, doubting my capabilities, decisions, self worth, etc. If I allow myself to dwell on those things too long I can still find myself in a holding pattern. I have to push myself beyond the obstacle…beyond the comfort zone…and challenge myself. At those moments I have to remind myself, it’s ok to have child like faith, but it’s not ok to get stuck in child like traps.
Which makes me think about another old favorite game…Mouse trap! Now THERE’s a cool game right there. As I digress from pure exhaustion, I realize it’s way past my bedtime and time to blog off. Gotta go brush my teefers, jump into my footed jammies and snuggle up with Mr. Fuzzy Munches. Nighty night.