Did you ever play hopscotch as a child? It was one of those activities that required very little: a piece of chalk, a flat stone and a couple of other “ready to play a game” children.
1. First, we’d draw the blocks (“the court”) with a piece of chalk, and number the squares.
2. Next, the kid who got to go first would throw the stone onto the first square, making sure it was inside the chalk lines. If the first player was successful getting the stone in the right space he or she would jump over that stone and starting with square #2 move over the rest of one of the court.
3. This was important: Single blocks were hopped on with once foot; side-by-side squares were hopped on with both feet.
4. On the last block, you could hop around any way you wanted—it was penalty free.
5. Then we’d have to turn around and make our way back home, stopping on square two and picking up the stone in the first block, while standing on one foot. And (drum roll), if we were successful with that, we’d get the chance to start over again with block 2.
Your turn was over if you:
stepped on a line
missed a square
hopped on the block with your stone
touched the ground with your hands or
had two feet in a single block
So, for some random reason (or maybe not so random reason), I started thinking about childhood hopscotch as an analogy for life.
1. We create our “courts”—the parameters we choose to hop forward and back in. Some of us create really intricate hopscotch games with lots of blocks and beautiful numbers adorning each square (possibly even a rainbow at the end of the run). And, some of us create maybe six blocks at the most, with a simple “1,2,3,4,5,6” labeling them. That doesn’t mean they’re not at as valuable or creative; they’re just different—just like the ways we choose to hop through life are different.
2. Next, we start deciding what energy (the flat stone) we’re going to through at our list of things to accomplish (the blocks). What happens when we throw our proverbial stones forward? Do we always land in the next “acceptable” block easily? What happens if it’s not inside the “appropriate lines?” Do we keep “missing the mark” and have to keep throwing that darned stone over and over until we get it right? Sometimes, we take it step-by-step, and sometimes the stone lands on a block we didn’t expect to reach for a very long time. And, sometimes, we just throw the stone into the woods thinking, “I’m walking away from the game!”
3. It can be awfully tough to jump on all the single blocks if we’re only using part of our abilities (jumping on one foot). If we’re smart, we build into our court some side-by-side blocks—spaces or activities that allow us a break from jumping up and down on one leg on the single-focused blocks. They’re a sort of resting place.
4. When we get to the last block—where we’ve accomplished making it to the end of the “court” we originally drew, the optimal outcome would be dancing for joy (hopping around any way you’d like).
5. Then, is that what we really do or is the choice to go back and play round two never resting on our laurels or being proud of ourselves for what we actually accomplished?
Today’s food for thought:
How many times do we decide “my turn is over” or “I’ve lost”? How many times do we not give ourselves a pass for stepping on lines, missing squares, or needing to have both feet on the ground?
What steps do you want to take with the time you have left?
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