\ After Solitaire | Christina Brandt

After Solitaire

I made the leap from PC to an iMac recently, and I’m in love.  There are so many things to love about the iMac:  the user guide whose cover simply says “Hello,” the easy-to-carry box with a handle, the silent keyboard, the intuitive navigation…I could go on and on about my new love, but this post isn’t about that.

It’s about the changes that come when you give up Solitaire.

Lest you think I’m being metaphorical, I’m not.  My new iMac doesn’t have Solitaire or Spider Solitaire loaded onto it.  It’s the one thing that initially drove me mad about the conversion.  Why?  Because Solitaire was my distraction.  It was the thing I did in the morning when I didn’t want to start my chores.  It was the tool I used to procrastinate.  It was my crutch.  I probably played 30 games a day.  And now I can’t.  Oh, sure.  I could download some weird imitation, but it’s not the same.

So, now I’ve lost a time-killing crutch.  That should make me happy, right?

It does, mostly.  The Absence of Solitaire (yes, it felt “initial-caps-worthy”) meant that I found myself looking for other ways to kill time.  And then it hit me:  Why did I want to kill time?  What was I distracting myself from?  What was so boring or icky that I didn’t want to look at it?

I’m a staunch advocate for rest and play, and not full-bore, 24/7 intensity.  Time for play creates new connections and creative insights.  But my Solitaire playing habit wasn’t really play.  It was far more mindless.  Kind of like stuffing an entire bag of chips into your mouth while watching TV.

The distractions we create in our lives, although initially just a little diversion, can easily become the crutches that keep us from our right lives.  My 30 game a day habit took up a lot of time, and now I’ve got that time back.  I can figure out where I’m off track – looking at what led me to the need for a distraction in the first place – and get back on course, taking small steps that occupy about as much of my day as that Solitaire habit used to, with far more delicious results.  (Thanks, Apple.)

If you’re looking for more delicious results in your life, take a few minutes to honestly assess how you’re hiding.  Find the distractions that have crept into your routine, and then ask yourself what you’re avoiding.  As always, the key to a more delicious life is to stop ignoring (or tolerating) the parts that aren’t.




  1. Thank you for this message, Chris. I’m going through The Artist’s Way and about to kick off a month of sinking into rest and play (I’ll be blogging and inviting others to join me!) …and this is something I know but can’t hear too often! Just today my Artist’s Way task was to look at “rotten habits” and their payoffs. That payoff is SO often avoidance- for me, avoiding fear, avoiding feelings that might come up if I actually lived my life and pursued what I truly love doing.

    I’ll fess up, when I went Mac a year ago one of the first things I did was download a free solitaire game. 🙂 I uninstalled it a while ago. Not to say I don’t still have a gaming habit that could use taming!

  2. chris says:

    Hi Lesley,

    Good to hear that you uninstalled your game! The Artist’s Way is a fabulous book and a great way to spend August. Enjoy!


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