Friday, October 25, 2013

Hopscotch Through Life

I loved hopscotch when I was a little girl. My favorite hopscotch didn't follow the usual pattern. It had a

block in the middle with triangles so small they required us to tiptoe even as small children.

I loved it. Throw or roll the stone to the right block and then hop according to the lay of the stone, one square at a time starting at one and going to ten. If time permitted, we returned from ten back down to one. 

We sometimes switched the game up and did a "random roll" where we had to skip whichever square we landed on instead of rolling to the squares in order. Sometimes we played a random roll version where we didn't pick our stones on the return and we had to skip every square with a stone. Or we had to hop the number of times of each square. One hop on square one, two hops on square two, three on three, nine on the four/five combo (or we took these individually and did the number on the square) and so on.

I never bored of hopscotch even when I pretended like I did because my friends decided it was no longer cool.

The other night I watched a commercial (I forget for what product) but the question it asked was what if we designed our lives based on children? One of the examples was a marble hopscotch game built into the floor of a home.The commercial seemed to be pointing out that it wasn't practical to design a home around children, but all I could think was I'd love to have a hopscotch grid built into the floor of my home. I'd hopscotch across it every time I passed it. Imagine you stop, toss the stone, hop across, go do whatever needs doing, and when you return do your return hop picking up the stone. Then wait until the next time, it's time to pass the grid for one's next turn. How cool would that be?

Life often resembles a game of hopscotch. We wake up each morning, look at all the demands on our attention, toss a metaphorical stone or two or ten, decide which thing(s) get skipped, focus on balancing ourselves to accomplish the others, pick up the stone as we retire for the night, and set it aside to toss again the next morning. This idea inspired me to write a poem and now this post.

My perspective shifted when I thought of life as a game of hopscotch. When I wake up in the morning, I keep asking myself what will today's hopscotch bring? Which squares will I skip? Which squares will leave me teetering on tiptoes? Which squares will I land on fully grounded? Which squares will force me out of bounds? Which squares will send me back to the beginning?

As I look at each of life's responsibilities, I see that most of them have their own subset of hopscotch squares... So even as I roll the stone for my major group, each subgroup requires me to decide which item(s) will be skipped within the group leaving me with a whole hopscotch of hopscotch grids to pull my attention this way and that teetering and tottering to balance the important things in life.

How's your game of hopscotch going? Did you skip any squares today? Did you teeter on tiptoes? Did you land fully on any squares?

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