UnknownA regular part of our morning routine, Mike’s and mine, is a game of Cribbage over breakfast. As we were playing the other day, I mused over the ways the game is a microcosm or metaphor… for what?  Might I even say life?  Let’s play with that a little.

First of all, and I quote: “Cribbage affords players both the anticipation of the luck of the deal as well as ample opportunity to exercise their skills in discarding and play.”  Sound familiar?

You are dealt a hand.  How you(I) handle it is up to you (me).  I can get out-of-joint about not being able to keep some really stellar cards (or that Mike is having all the luck today, or that I’m so far ahead it’s embarrassing, or…..)

As we play, I can breathe, look out the window, notice how the leaves on the magnificent beech tree out our window are touched by the wind or the rain.  I can be with my experience, be present in a conscious way, gently aware as the combination of luck and skill plays itself out.

Or I can be simply ordinary, even completely unconscious, and just play at a what-you-see-is-what-you-get, habitual level.  Which sometimes is just fine, thank you very much!  The choice is mine, and I make it each day, moment-to-moment.

The outcome is not known, of course.  “Lady Luck” can jump from one person to another, sometimes back and forth many times in a given game.   I am absolutely not in control.  Except of my responses to what happens — which is no small matter indeed.  images-1

But then there is also the matter of skill: it helps to know the odds, be able to learn from experience.

There are therapeutic dimensions as well.  Sometimes we curse and swear, and sometimes not wholly in jest!  Our faces curl up in frowns and agitation and there is a lively energy that comes from the jousting.  It’s interesting and fun to watch the mix of real and play emotions if the game is close or exciting.  Observing ourselves and each other is quite entertaining!

Travelling with a good friend one time, I suggested that we do the Cribbage routine in the morning, and my buddy was game (pun intended). He got quite into the morning Cribbage too, and observed that it’s a great way to get out all the wrinkles, frustrations, anger, have some uproar.  Then you get on with your day, with all that out of your system.

imagesMy grandson knows we play regularly, and even found this cool board for us.

Try it, maybe you’ll like it too 🙂

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)


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