I was in my quiet place (the bathroom) during my private reflection period (playing a phone game on the toilet hiding from the family). The game I was playing is called Roller Ball. It is a puzzle game and to clear the level, you move the channel pieces around the screen to provide a clear path for the ball to roll from one square to another.
Sometimes when I complete the puzzle, I get all three stars but I do not use all of the available channel pieces. There is some fire iron pokey thing inside of me that pokes the embers of the ever achieving perfection and in this case, I started questioning if there was a way that I could complete puzzle using everyone of the pieces, every single time.
As I clear each level, I reevaluate my solution and the left over pieces. Could I have used them? Should I have used them? Where could I have used them? I do not see a point system on here, only the three stars. But still, would it some how be more of an achievement to use as many as possible? I do not want to just do the bare minimum and get by, right? I want to earn those stars! I want to really deserve them, without question.
And then in some moment of clarity, this question came booming forth – “What is the object of this game?”.
I actually left the board I was working on, to go and search for a help section or tutorial or anything that could clue me in on the pros/cons of using any and/or all the pieces or just some or….
What a waste of time! We certainly could go back and forth on the answer that is obvious. The object is to get the stars. The object is to maximize available choice to formulate the best path for the ball. The object is whatever you determine because WHO CARES?
But that booming question was a voice in my soul that kept on nagging at me. As I thought about all of the mental effort I wasted debating over this silly game, I became aware of this area and that area, where I have put this same type of fruitless effort into effect. It is exhausting. As I moved through the rest of the day, I kept asking myself that question – What is the object?
When the conversation that I am having is off topic, going on 20 minutes longer than planned and the sound of irritation is rising…what is the object of this call? When my level of patience is decreasing with the kid, take a deep breath, in this very moment, really, what is the object here? At the kitchen sink when I try to start a cup of coffee… while washing up those few things, while putting those spices back up in the cabinet , while putting the creamer back while…what was the object here? What did I come in here to do? What was that ONE thing?
Maybe, I could start making this my new practice as I move throughout the day. Maybe this one question could help me keep my focus where it needs to be, blurring the rest. Maybe this small change could provide some relief to that one throbbing muscle in my neck.
And, just a thought, I am thinking the object of my being on this earth may not to be a miracle worker after all. I wonder why I keep trying to be one?