Snakes and ladders

snakes and laddersSometimes it feels like my life is a game of snakes and ladders. Each time I have spare time, I can choose how to spend it.  I can spend it productively – by which I don’t mean by working, I mean by spending it some way that makes me feel good, which could be working, or could be doing housework, or could simply be sitting sketching or writing.  Or I can choose to waste it, to fritter it away so that nothing is achieved other than another level in a game, or another TV programme watched.

The odd thing is that the better I feel about myself, the more likely I am to choose the productive route rather than the timewasting route.  And each time I choose a productive route, I feel a little better about myself and a little more likely to choose that route again next time.

Just like snakes and ladders – constantly trying to get somewhere, and sometimes you get to use a shortcut and sometimes you get knocked right back down.

But unlike snakes and ladders, I do have some say in the moves I make.  So I can deliberately choose the better route, or I can allow myself to slump down and take the poor choice.

I can also arrange things so that the good choice is easier: I can develop a habit of being creative.  I can seek out ways to make myself feel better.  I can give myself a pat on the back whenever I choose wisely, and celebrate the good feeling it brings.

This blog has helped: it helps me to think about what I feel, what I enjoy doing, and to put things down in words.  I wrote a short story today.  Only 100 words – but hey, that was hard!  I started off with nearer 300, and had to trim it down.  But I really enjoyed the process. I’ve now ordered a book on daily writing prompts – it’s available on kindle, but somehow it seemed like the sort of book that’s better to physically hold and flip through.  What do you do when the book starts at January and you start in June, though?  Guess I’ll have a look at whether you can pick it up any time or have to start at the beginning.

I can also remember that the choice of move is up to me.  Sure, people can try to push me one way or the other, deliberately or unknowingly, but it’s down to me to accept that push or reject it and push back.  At the end of the day, I’m the one living my life, and I have to make decisions to choose my own path.  Right now I’m choosing the positive way, and I have as much right as anyone else does to enjoy what I do and be in control.


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