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Spelling Bee

Like many, I played Wordle every day. And then suddenly I was bored with it. Too much luck involved. I started playing Spelling Bee, another New York Times word game.

What a colossal waste of time! Oh, sure, I have loved it, loved the challenge. I thought it was probably good for my brain, too. Is it, though? Where’s the research? Does it really behoove me to spend all that time on a word game when I have very many other things I want to do? I have been close to addicted to the game. For a little while I set a 20-minute timer and only allowed myself those few minutes. That did not last long. If you play, you know it is possible to use up a whole hour of your day (life) on the game.

I could be taking another turn around the lake.

See, when I say “life,” that gives you pause, doesn’t it? It does me. This is my life we’re talking about! Do I want to look back and see how many hours I spent playing Spelling Bee? No.

Being a word person, of course I enjoy the challenge. I’m happy to get to Genius, but not Genius without the pangram, which is sometimes possible. I have to get the pangram. There is certainly satisfaction in it. And then a friend told me that she and her husband reach Queen Bee every day. Every single day. So I wanted to do that, too. Aiyiyi!! Thank God I reined that in pretty quickly. But if I’ve already gotten all but 2 or 3 of the possible words, I might carry on far too long trying to get those last ones. Ugh. Not worth it. “You have things to do!” I yell at myself. “YES! I HAVE THINGS TO DO!!” I yell back.

I could be walking on one of our beautiful trails.

People my age are always talking about what’s good for our brains. Well, what about our hearts? This (previously) fun diversion can be a stressor, depending upon the letters of the day. Decidedly NOT good for my heart. Irritating. Bad mood-inducing. I’m not playing today. There might be good letters, though . . . No, I’m not playing. Of course I think about it. But I’m not going to. I’m writing. I’m painting. I went on a brisk walk in the cool, breezy morning, under the shade of many trees on our beautiful trail. Much more rewarding, in every sense.

I have THINGS TO DO. I will not play. They can’t make me.

“It may be that all games are silly. But then, so are humans. ”― Robert Lynd

“This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us . . . to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves, to act in such a way that some part of us lives on.” ― Oswald Spengler

“Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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