Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dumb Goals

Am I the only one who does this? Sets some random goal, like completing 100 Sudoku puzzles for no reason, and then drives myself crazy until I accomplish it? Please tell me other people do this. Of all the goals I should have and all the things I should be doing with my days...

It started last week at my in-laws' cabin (that almost burned down recently, see how pretty it is with all the new grass poking through?). We took the kids up there for fall break and I thought it would be super fun to play games (insert enthusiastic mom-voice here) as a family. We're not really game-playing people, and by that I mean, we never try. So I dug out a few brand new, dust-covered games and was determined to teach my kids to play something. It went great. 

We started with Monopoly. The boys LOVED it. We had several all-out battles and they couldn't get enough. I felt so successful. We got so wrapped up in Monopoly we didn't even take a crack at the other games I brought.

Then one afternoon while the kids were out fishing with Jason and I had the place to myself (insert choirs of angels here), I decided to try my skills at our never-opened game of Sudoku. You will notice it spread out on the floor to the right of the crazy six-year-old who is NOT jumping on the couch (sorry Grandpa). The game is organized with puzzles from 1 to 100 from super easy to super hard. I learned how to do Sudoku puzzles years ago but well, I was a little rusty. I am "super worried" that my brain is atrophying as I age. What could be a more perfect brain exercise than number logic puzzles? 

Except then I got addicted.

And I made it my goal to complete all 100 puzzles.

See the little spider hanging from his web, watching me play? I was so excited to have company!
He's the only one who understands me.
But it's so fun! I have it spread out on the dresser in my bedroom and it's perfect for a quick little diversion when I'm passing through. Or when I need to waste an hour or two and I should be doing something else.

Or when I have a mad baby on my hip who doesn't want to me to sit down and I'm tired of trying to do anything productive with only one arm. Liv-Town, seriously, how do you know when I'm sitting down or standing? I really wish babies weren't built with radar.

The other day I thought, "This is ridiculous. I'm only on puzzle 14. It's going to take me 14 years to get through all these. I'm just going to skip to #100 and be done." So I did. Puzzle 100 took me a while, but it wasn't THAT hard. I mean, I finished it... eventually. And I kind of loved it. I was too sad to give up my goal, so now I'm back on track, on puzzle 16 and I can't stop thinking about it. 

The thing about Sudoku is, after a while you get to the point where you can just look at a column and know, hey it needs a 7, without even counting through the numbers. Or glance at the whole thing and think, hey, almost every box has a 5, so it will be easy to find the last few fives. Kind of like when Solitaire was the only computer game and you got to the point where you could click through mindlessly for hours and know exactly what to do with out thinking. And you felt amazing when the cards started jumping around and you didn't even remember how you got there.

So maybe what I really need is just a mindless diversion. Hey, it's better than online shopping. This is free, convenient, and I feel like I'm getting smarter every time I play. It's like I'm doing math without actually doing math. Did I mention I hate math? So I can work with numbers and feel smart, while actually I'm just zoning and figuring out where things go.

Now I just wish I knew how to pronounce it (Su-do-KU? Su-DO-ku? Sud-OKU? Sudok-U?). Everything Asian confuses me. For example, how are Asians so fashionable? Every time I see them walking around the mall in moon-shoes and totally rocking it, I feel so inadequate. How do they do that? And make it cool?

I think it confuses him, too.

Other dumb goals I have are keeping my house perfectly clean (ha ha), giving away everything I own (then I just keep buying new stuff), and only going to Costco once a week (good luck with that one, lady). See how all my goals contradict each other? And make no sense? Why can't I set some meaningful goals and stick to them, like exercising daily or becoming a better person. I don't know. My new goal is to set some meaningful goals. I will think about it while I work on puzzle 17.


Emily said...

I've decided not setting goals is the way to go--then I'm never disappointed. ;)

Unknown said...

I had a Japanese roommate in college and I would get so mad at her for being good at everything...especially sudoku. I had a dance pad game with my xbox and it took me like a year to get past one level. She was so good at it the first time her tiny asian foot hit that pad. Made me so mad.

Anyway, goal time!

emily barlocker scott said...

Who says Costco addiction is not a meaningful goal?!?!

Unknown said...

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