Games. I love games. Apples To Apples, Settlers of Cataan – name it, I will probably play it. On the subway, I’m a Minesweeper or Tetris kind of gal. And I just got my Super Nintendo back to working order – so games on that, too. But I also like the mind game variety too. It’s something I haven’t admitted before, but I do it constantly.
While running, I make a game out of it. “If you get to that tree, you can stop.” When the tree has been passed, its “when you get to that lamppost, you can stop.” It goes on and on, until I’m just done exercising.
There’s the list of housekeeping and other errands that I magically check off in my head. Sometimes, there is a treat lurking at the end – like an Americano from my local coffee shop or just the thrill of sitting and watching a favorite movie.
This all started when I was much younger. Bath time for me and my sister became this: We are princesses and locked in the bathtub by an evil queen until we are clean. I took the whole princess idea much further than it needed to with my sister and cousin, and cleaned family garages with brooms and other supplies while pretending that we were princesses locked in until our cleaning duty was done. My father and uncle loved this game I invented. I remember hearing, “Why don’t you guys go play princesses?” more than once.
So imagine my surprise (not) when I started mind-gaming the crap out of my walk to work in NYC. I walk to the PATH train station from my apartment, take the train to the World Trade Center, walk in the Financial District past the NY Stock Exchange to Battery Park. So many games, so much time. My first one is beat the clock. That’s obvious, since I try to minimize my commute time as much as possible.
The second is almost like a track relay. When I get off at the World Trade Center, so do hundreds of other people. It feels like I am trying to pass and maneuver through other commuters, much like I did when passing people in the 800 meter race. You make jerky moves trying to pass another and another, until you are near the front of the chaos. I almost get giddy and cheer when I’ve passed an astronomical amount of people. Sometimes it’s much more like passing the baton when you see another person doing the same moves as you. I almost nod my head in approval, as to say, “We are in this together.”
The one I’m most thrilled with is “Makeover/Makeunder.” It is super judgmental, but I’m not doing it to be mean. Just when I see women walking down the street, I ask myself, “What would I do differently?” How would I make this outfit pop or make it work? Many people wear too many accessories, too many bright colors or too much makeup (haha see last column, epic fail for me.) Other times, I’m just in awe of the different fashionistas surrounding me. And this game costs me a lot of money, because I silently make a list of items people are wearing and try to find them at the mall.
I’m sure I will invent more of these games for myself, subtract some and drive myself crazy with others. It keeps me sane, preoccupied, and I’ve done it for as long as I can remember. What kind of mind games do you play?