In the Game of Life, there are winners and losers, but unlike in the board game of Life, who is a winner and who is a loser is more a matter of opinion than what number you land on or what career you choose. We all are born and we all will die, those are the two certainties we have. What happens between one’s birth and one’s death is truly a gamble.

Games, though. This is what I would like to reflect on. Around the holidays, I started thinking on this topic quite a lot. I am a lover of board games. Sitting with family and friends and playing them seems like a nostalgic way of spending time together and having fun. I feel like people don’t play board games enough these days. They are good old fashioned fun, aren’t they? But then you throw in competition and things can get crazy.

I’m all for a little competition, games wouldn’t be fun if you didn’t at least TRY to win, but I guess I’ve been a little naive all my life. You see, I had old fashioned parents who taught me at a young age that playing games are for fun and it’s “Not whether you win or lose, it’s HOW you play the game.” If you play a game, trying your best and not cheating and then you lose, you can be a good sport, congratulate the winner and move on, knowing you did your best and you had fun, right? I definitely was taught not to cheat, because who wants to be the winner when inside they knew it was because they cheated?

Well, there goes my naivety. I seem to have been caught in this la la happy land where everyone else has the same attitude about games. I was reminded that there are people who were taught that winning matters and losing makes you a failure, basically. My first thought at hearing this attitude is, “How sad!” I can’t imagine growing up and feeling like a failure every time I lost. I guess I got lucky, because heaven knows, I sucked at sports pretty much. When it comes to those kind of games, I would be numero uno at failing. Board games, I loved. I’ve always been book smart so brainy games were good for me and games of luck and chance make it equal for all! If you know anything about my childhood, you know I was bullied constantly though, so I already had the “feeling like a failure” thing down pat. Anymore of feeling like a failure and I can say with almost 100% certainty, I would probably not be here to blog today. Morbid? Yes, but honest.

So I experienced a hard core competitor for the first time. Ok, so I have obviously met people that were competitors but this was like the grand poobah of them all. Ugh, hard core competitor/king of the braggarts. NOT fun, not fun at all. So…what happens when a nice girl who just wants to have fun is paired with someone who just wants to win? Well, interesting results for sure.

At first, I kept my good spirits and overlooked the bragging, knowing I had fun, so who cares, right? Then, it started to get to me. You know how when someone yawns and then suddenly everyone does? Well, it was like that, the competitive spirit and the bragging got to me. I could feel it changing me and making me CARE about winning. I came up with a game I for sure could win and challenged the competitor. I won, but the competitor seemed to not even consider it a real game amongst all the other games. No surprise there, right?

As time went on, I could feel myself turning into a braggart back whenever I won something and trying to rub it back in his face. When I lost, the brags from the competitor got to me like never before and I found myself enraged and upset. But days after the games ended, cooler heads prevailed and I realized what had happened. I let someone make me feel inferior without my consent, basically. I had been taught about the true meaning of games, yet, I let someone make me blind to that truth. I hate this fact and I want it never to happen again.

Which, could be why, I have had such a strong reaction to sports fans lately. My husband is a huge sports fan with his favorite teams and I just root for whoever he roots for…but on the sidelines…in the other room…watching something else. I have friends that have their own favorite teams and some of them clash with my husbands. Men like to brag about their teams and bash the other teams and somehow, they can still laugh about it and remain friends. Maybe this is why I’m not good with sports. If my friends were constantly dogging my favorite shows and books, etc., I would be upset and hurt. My friends don’t have to like everything I like, but if they know I like something, the least they could do is show respect, right? Which is why I don’t get sports games and I don’t get how fans get mad when their team loses and bash the other teams to make up for it. As I recently remarked on my Facebook, it reminds me of the childish behavior I saw in elementary when a little girl would get upset and take it out on everyone else. It just seems immature to me.  But maybe it’s just a guy thing, who knows?

I have decided that I may never understand this intense need to win above everything else OR the need to bash others because your team did bad, and I think that’s ok. Maybe I’m not meant to understand. I’m fine with the way I look at games….Board games, Video games, Sports games, etc. In the big scheme of life, it makes no difference whether you win or lose in games……it’s how you lived your life or played your game.

Did you live your life to the best of YOUR abilities? Did you stand up for yourself and your beliefs? Did you get by in life through hard work, dedication, and through your own merits or did you cheat your way through? Did you get through on some one else’s coat tails? Because when your time is up in the game of Life, it’s not how much money you have or how famous you are or even how smart or good looking you are…the only thing that really matters is HOW YOU PLAYED THE GAME.

So….How are you playing the game?


  1. Loved this!

    Like you, I’m a “have fun and play fair” type . . . with certain people, I pretend to be competitive (like with my boyfriend – we will jokingly brag, but we both know it’s in fun), but otherwise, I just enjoy the game.

    It’s a shame people have to be like that and I agree with your assessment that it must be a sad way to live to think yourself a failure every time you lose.

    And for life, if nothing else, I can definitely say that I’m proud of the way I played the game!


  2. I’ve never understood men (and some women) and the obsession for sports and picking winners. I always see them as losers for wasting hours of their time watching something completely unproductive, getting upset when their team loses. The whole thing seems so immature and I see so many better things to do in life.

    I think all kids get upset when they lose at a game and it takes skill to learn to enjoy the play itself, no matter who wins. Last week I played Pictionary with my girlfriends and I ended up one square away from winning, but for the life of me, I couldn’t draw a 1!!! I begged everybody to take me out of my misery and win quickly so I’d be done with the torturing. We had a lot of fun!


  3. I’m with you on not liking that competitiveness that makes people unhappy. I also don’t, and don’t want to, understand it. It is one of the things which puts me off games, at least any competitive ones, even if I’m good at them and win. I don’t want to beat people if it makes them feel bad. I don’t care myself, unless like you said, they make me. My favourite outcome is a draw 🙂 a win-win 🙂


  4. I guess I’m lucky…my husband HATES watching football, soccer, etc. games on TV. 🙂 He gets “chick-flicks” from the library and watches them with me…and we’ve been married over 44 years and he has always been like that. Of course, when I come home from work, it looks like 4 little boys have been playing in every room in the house…but you can’t have everything, right?

    I’m competitive…love to do my best and love to be the best…but I’m thrilled when the other person wins, whether it’s tennis or scrabble or any other game…crazy I guess.

    When I work with young childrfen, I try to encourage putting yourself in the other person’s place…sharing, helping each other, playing fair, working hard if you want something. But when I was a young parent and my children played a game, we always had a first winner, a second winner, a third winner and so on…depending on how many people were playing. Looking back, I would not do that, because in life, we don’t always get the gold medal…but we can certainly be proud of our effort and hard work…and get up and try again. I realize that it is important for children to experience failure as well as success.

    Beautiful post, Sharon. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to come and comment on your blog. You’ve been visiting and commenting on mine for quite a while. I’m following you now so I don’t miss a thing…sorry I didn’t do it sooner. 😦


    1. My husband loves “The Notebook” and WILL watch a romantic movie with me every once in awhile, but I actually love horror and comedies more than romantic ones anyways….I know what you mean about the messy house, though…my husband can make the biggest mess!

      I’ve noticed a lot of people like to make every kid feel like a winner nowadays so as to not hurt anyone’s feelings…and I think that’s a bad idea. Kids DO need to realize that you can’t ALWAYS win or when they get to be an adult and fail at something, they won’t know what to do….I’m thankful that my mom taught me the way she did. Yea, I had times as a kid that I cried over losing but it prepared me and I learned to be proud of how you played regardless and to just have fun! 🙂

      And it’s OK about visiting mine…I have been so bad since the holidays about staying up to date with anyone’s blogs…I really think my challenge for this next month is going to be to come up with some kind of schedule or plan for checking in to everyone’s blogs at least once or twice a week…


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