I’m a mathematician by trade and I love patterns. As a kid I could spend an hour organizing a box of dominoes into satisfyingly ordered arrays. I loved connect-the-dots puzzles, find the hidden objects puzzles, tracing out the maze puzzles…
I enjoyed crossword puzzles for years until my stalled cultural literacy stopped my understanding half the clues. Then I discovered Sudoku.
I moved online and began to seek out the videos that explained Candy Crush Saga goals and strategies…
But when I discovered Bejewelled Blitz it was all over.
I loved playing the changing boards again and again as many times as I wanted. I loved the explosions, the bonuses, the accumulation of coins to spend on options for bigger explosions. The first time I achieved a “blazing” level I was thrilled. I developed a feel for how to keep track of more of the board at once and to work out a bit of strategy.
Best of all, unlike with any of the other games, while playing, I could unwind parts of my mind and tap into creative mental space and work out strategies to apply to other goals.
But I had to face it. The ideas weaving themselves in imagination weren’t coming to fruition. Thinking about my plans and goals had become the background for the pursuit of more bonuses, more coins or higher levels. The relaxation provided by the game was no longer in service to honing my plans.
So I woke up and just said no. I stopped playing and deleted the apps from my devices. And I found….
Decluttered time! Time for Decluttering…
I cleaned up two of my email accounts.
I planned and started a new blog.
I thought through a work situation, wrote up my thoughts and sent them to the appropriate recipient.
I caught up on my grading.
I cleared a teetering mess of neglected papers and was rewarded by finding a forgotten bill in time to pay it before the penalty date had passed.
I baked a cake and sailed through a mountain of laundry.
I overheated my shredder, filled the recycle box and…
I wrote a letter to my father.