Friday, March 11, 2016


When my mom used to visit us after our respective divorces, I could not help but notice how much time she spent playing solitaire. 

 I did not understand it then. 

I did know that when my dad divorced her (to marry his secretary) after 36 years of marriage, Mom almost committed suicide and almost certainly, lost her raison d’être. Or most of it. 

Although she could be funny and charming and graced my life and the lives of my kids with laughter, there was a bone-deep sadness about her that was almost palpable. 

She’s been dead more than 20 years. So why do I think about her – and her games of solitaire now? 

Because I’ve hit my own low ebb recently – saddened and hurt (and angry) about a recent personal experience. 

 And I have become keenly aware of how much computer solitaire I have been playing. 

It used to be a ‘break’ – a quick distraction from whatever I was working on. Then it got to be a bad habit – almost an obsession. Then when I hit an emotional bottom, it almost took over my life. 

At least I was aware enough to stop long enough to try to figure out what was going on. 

 I play four simple games and my computer tells me how many games I have played. Suspecting the worst, I added up the totals. And the total was more than 7,000. That’s over an extended period of time – certainly well over a year, maybe two. But still. 

If an average game takes about five minutes, then I have wasted the equivalent of 24 days of my life. And I don’t have that many days to waste. Indeed, who does? 

Have I become my mother, drifting in a morass of self-pity and loneliness? I don’t think so. Having become aware of what I was doing, I can stop. I will stop. And I will pull myself out of this particular hole. I’ve been in holes before. I know how to do this. 

And I will.

1 comment:

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