Every Connection Counts (Today’s Moment of Gratitude)

In a recent post, I shared about a really negative interaction I had a few days ago. Since then, I’ve been able to talk in person (at a safe social distance) as well as virtually with a few friends and acquaintances. I’m feeling a lot of gratitude for the social support I’ve received.

I’ve also given in to peer pressure and ordered a gaming device so that I will be able to play video games with my friends. I feel like even something as silly and lighthearted as inviting a friend to see my decorations in Animal Crossing might be what I need to make it through all of this. Is there someone in your life with whom you’d like to check in? How are you finding ways to connect despite the need for distance?

A Good Distraction (Today’s Simple Pleasure)

With national and global events heading into a tailspin, I’m finding myself seeking out ways to engage my mind that do not involve worrying, planning or taking action. Although I am taking events seriously and have created several posts recently that speak to the deliberations and reactions I’m having, staying in a gloom and doom state for extended periods of time will only lead me to respond in unhealthy ways. So, I’ve found myself “gaming” more than I have in a long time.

I put gaming in quotes because I do not even own a television, much less a gaming system. I’m basically one step removed from a paper-and-pencil crossword in terms of what I find enjoyable. Too many bells and whistles overstimulates my mind and I get a headache. I dislike most board games as well and find myself immensely bored by the rigidity of the schema under which they operate. In general, I prefer games that are either entirely word-based or that involve abstract, image-based strategy.

My current favorites include the NY Times Tiles and Mini-Crossword games. I’ve also downloaded the apps Word Search and Tiny Bubbles. I’ve yet to venture into games that involve communicating with other players; I suspect, based on how much I’ve hated board game-themed parties, that I would not be a fan. I find it fascinating to consider how our brains approach human-made puzzles in different ways, with some of us enthralled and others of us wanting more nature-based experiences. To what extent do you consider yourself a gamer? What types of games, if any, do you enjoy? How does your brain respond to mental puzzles and challenges?