The Art of the Game of “life”

  • Mike McCurry
  • 01/8/18
From Mike McCurry’s “Talk of the Town” column in The Clarendon Courier, January 4, 2018
You get an opportunity early on to decide your path in Life by either choosing the shorter road, which leads to a jump-start in business, or to take the longer one, and go to college in hopes of landing on a career. The college route will certainly involve student loans, but the salary might pay higher in the long run. As you travel along, there are important decisions to be made, like buying auto and life insurance, purchasing a home and buying stocks. There are plenty of babies to have, and sometimes an opportunity to adopt. There will be taxes to pay, and if you land on the right space, you might even have an aunt who leaves you a $150,000 inheritance.
This is the game of Life.
If your family is tied to the District 181 or District 86 calendars, you know that we’re currently on the tail-end of a two-and-a-half week break. For my family, the rest and recovery (“R&R”) is embraced, and well-needed.
On this vacation, we’ve had plenty of time to relax, and to play cards and a few board games too.
Sometimes we just need to hit the reset button, or simply slow down enough to pay no attention to the clock and the date on the calendar. Besides a work year that came to a close, there were plenty parenting and coaching obligations that took a lot of time and energy. I looked forward to getting away from the grind, and to start recalibrating for the new year. The cure—a good, long vacation where you have a closet full of board games.
While sitting around a table, it’s interesting to see the different personalities that come out, and how they interact with each other. You’ll discover who is conservative and who is a risk-taker, which players are sharks and which players don’t care at all about winning.
At one point on our vacation, I was able to sit back and observe all of these personalities while playing the banker for the game of Life.
With almost every roll of the dice, someone in my family had another baby or adopted one. It became a running joke that one of my daughters had more babies than her game-piece car would legally hold.
Landing on a “revenge space” gave a much-needed opportunity to set a sibling back ten steps, or to take a quick $100,000 from them, which also brought a chuckle from everyone—except of course, the one who suffered the loss.
They even “learned” how to be charitable. The game makes them pay $50,000 to an orphanage when landing on that dreaded space. The real learning actually happens when the players help each other navigate the game.
This game and others like it have helped us to relax and appreciate the time that we share, while enjoying each other.
While we were away, a fairly large group of our friends back home in Clarendon Hills got together with their families on New Year’s Eve to socialize, while playing paddle tennis and Euchre. It seems that this annual occasion is growing, and they, too, know the secret to relaxing.
I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and it included some “R&R” with family and friends—and maybe some board or card games too.
Mike is a Clarendon Hills resident; husband; Indian Princess; Indian Guide Dad;  a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker.  Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around the area.  It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlight a new business or announce school happenings.  He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting residents and even a little about history. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”.

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