The object of the game

blogIMG_1444The assignment:  Object

The challenge:  WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The questions:  Should this week’s challenge depict the object of my affection?  Maybe it should accompany a post including an object lesson?  Or perhaps it should define the object of the game? Or maybe I should just wander around and photograph some random thing, but what would be the object of that?

Those are the objects occupying my thoughts this week. I’ve often posted about the objects of my affection – my husband, my family, my faith, my home – so those will not be the objects of my post today.  I do have to admit I’m terribly fond of object lessons and I use them often.  In my last job and years ago when my husband and I were church youth group leaders, object lessons seemed to resonate with teens and they remembered them.  The reason I think I’m partial to those kind of lessons is probably because I’m a visual learner.  Often times when I’m typing or spelling a word, I actually picture the letters in my head.  So show me a prop, an object,  to reinforce what you’re trying to teach me and that will work well.  Or give me a photo of the object because I will remember it better.

That may be why I enjoy photography so very much.   It’s visual and you focus on an object.  When I peer through my camera lens, I find so many objects to entice me.  They cause me to think deeply and often prompt a post full of words to erupt as quickly and forcefully as lava from a volcano.   But lately, the volcano is dormant.  I’m struggling to find my words.  They’re eluding me.  Oh, I know they’re in there building up pressure to suddenly gush forth.  They hide in the recesses of my mind until a picture lures them into the forefront.

And lately, there’s not a lot of luring going on.  Call it lack of motivation.  Call it the winter doldrums.  Call it the ‘why can’t I find a job blues?’   I don’t know what to call it but the object is this:  maybe there needs to be a little dose of fun in Mama’s Empty Nest.

When my family gathers together one of the things we do to inject fun into our day is playing games.  You name it, we’ve probably played it.  We’ve Monopoly-ized, we’ve Quelf-ed, we’ve ridden the Mexican Train, racked our Cranium, and we’ve upset our Apples to Apples cart.  We all get excited if one of us discovers a new and interesting game and we can’t wait to play it.  It’s just how we roll.

Last weekend, a couple of friends came to our home and we spent an evening playing a game.  Yep, four senior citizens mature adults seated around the table, playing Apples to Apples, laughing until we almost cried, and having our cake and eating it too.  Not exactly a night on the town, but that wasn’t the object of the evening.  The object was to just have some good old plain fun and enjoy each other’s company.  We did.  Success!

And that reminds me – here comes the object lesson – that playing games is a lot like life.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  Sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you fail. But no matter what, the game is worth the experience and so is life.

Too many times we chase after objects thinking that will make us happy, successful, fulfilled…you fill in the blank with whatever word fits.  We may obtain all the objects we can possibly acquire but those things don’t bring us happiness, success, whatever.   Simple things, simple times, simply enjoying time with family and friends, those are the things that give me pleasure and maybe it’s the same for you.  So haul out the dominoes, call a couple of friends, and you have the makings of a memorable time and that is worth the effort.  At least at our house.

“Objects we ardently pursue bring little happiness when gained; most of our pleasures come from unexpected sources.”  ~ Herbert Spencer (British social Philosopher, 1820-1903)

©2014 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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8 responses

  1. I know the writer’s block will soon disappear and you will be back in full force! Try looking back through your old photos. I find that always triggers something for a blog post. Meanwhile, this one on objects and games is grand. I love it when visitors come and we play Scrabble.

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  2. I enjoyed your post today very much, especially about object lessons, to which I totally relate. That is also why I love photography, too. You said it beautifully! 😉 I can also relate to those periods of writer’s block and “photography” block, too. Due to recent life events, I’ve not had the time for either lately, it seems. Naturally, there is actually much that I would like to write about right now, too. Doesn’t it often seem to happen that way? I’ve even taken my laptop over to the rehab place to try to get some drafts down while Mom is resting. But, first things first right now, and hopefully the time will avail itself to thoughtful writing and photography again soon. I also think that having the convenience of my cell phone camera and some pretty good mobile editing apps (especially Aviary) has taken me away from grabbing the big camera too many times, and I really want to break that (sometimes bad) habit. On the topic of playing games with family, we actually have to avoid playing games with a few family members, unfortunately, as they take it all very seriously and get upset if they lose. That is only two or three of them, thank goodness, but we’ve definitely learned our lesson about some playing games with them over the years. Whew!

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    • Glad you enjoyed my post. Hopefully, you’ll get the time to get back to writing more. I don’t use my cell phone camera since I don’t have internet access on it (that would be just another distraction for me!!). So I always resort to my ‘big’ camera. And I love it. I’ve heard from other folks about not enjoying games because people get too serious about winning. Guess we’re blessed in that category! And I’m glad!

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  3. Lovely! Sounds like a perfect night. I am a visual learner as well, and when I read things, I see them so fully in my mind. That’s what I enjoyed about your post, this description, “Yep, four (senior citizens) mature adults seated around the table, playing Apples to Apples, laughing until we almost cried, and having our cake and eating it too.” There is so much happy in that sentence! So much thankfulness. I think you found the perfect object, and have captured a wonderful memory.

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    • For us visual learners, words really do paint pictures don’t they? It was a happy moment in more ways than one. One of our friends is a young widow and she said she hasn’t laughed that hard or had that much fun in quite some time. So yes, it was a wonderful memory captured and not just for me. 🙂

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