My life summed up by a deck of cards

My life summed up by a deck of cards


Part of my bedtime ritual includes playing solitaire.  Solitaire card games serve as a distraction from pain and the millions of thoughts rambling around my brain.  I have three favorite games; FreeCell, Pyramid, and Classic Solitaire.  The game I choose to play each night depends upon the type of day or week I am having.  Each game reveals my attitude, determination, and more. 

Freecelling days

In the game of FreeCell, each hand is a winning hand.  Sometimes the win is easy, I may not have to use the reset button or I may have to undo a few moves and go a different route.  Other times my path to winning is a complicated mess with numerous resets or changes of direction.  Whether my path is clear or barely visible, I continue until I win.  There are times when I can clearly see my intended end results for my blog posts, freelance writing, other projects, or personal tasks like bathing, getting dressed etc.  Sometimes I am able to quickly identify the path and execute my plan and conquer the project or task.  Other times the steps or path I need to take aren’t as clear and I need to rethink my plan of attack.  How long it takes me to figure out how to do something or to make the right move doesn’t matter, what does is that in the end I win because I conquered that project or task.    I have noticed that I feel confident when drawn to play FreeCell.  I am not afraid of hard work or learning from my mistakes.  Nor am I discouraged when I need to scrap my initial plans, restart, or when my plans require rerouting multiple times.  In regards to my chronic life, sometimes a reset or detour requires a nap or finding a different way to perform a task.  My FreeCell days are typically days when I set out to accomplish a few different things and actually accomplish them.


Climbing the pyramid

Not all hands in the game of Pyramid are winnable.  Sometimes I am able to quickly clear all the cards from the bottom to the top, other times when I find myself defeated halfway up the pyramid, and there are some games in which I never make it past the first two rows.  Because the ability to win a hand is unknown prior to playing, the path to winning isn’t always clear.  In regards to my chronic life I may set out to tackle a few projects or tasks yet be unsure if the end result is realistic or something that I will actually be able to accomplish. I may win some or none.  When drawn to Pyramid, I find that I am more accepting that I can’t do everything that I wish to.  I am more flexible than I am during a FreeCell spell.  Instead of stopping at nothing to reach a goal, I accept that maybe that project or task was not realistic.  I forgive my body when it trumps my will of wanting to do something.  It could be something that healthy people take for granted like taking a shower.  If I lift my head from my pillow and the house spins, I know that a shower is not in the cards for me that day.  And that is okay, because there is always tomorrow.  Pyramid days are days when I am thrilled with my wins and when I am willing to accept that an idea, project, or task is something that I am unable to do and can scrap it without regret before coming up with a new idea. 


Classically clueless

Like Pyramid, I never know if a Classic Solitaire hand is winnable or not.  Unlike Pyramid and FreeCell, I am unable to see the majority of the cards once dealt and have a harder time determining if there is even the slightest chance that I could win that hand.  I play with the understanding that I may not win at all.  Any win is an unexpected surprise.  In regards to my chronic life, I am drawn to this game when my only goal is to survive the day.  I may accomplish something and that something was most likely unplanned.  These are the kind of days when I take my blows with stride and cherish each win.  I never know what I will be able to or unable to do and find that it is necessary for me to have periods in life that are not filled with a list of things I wish to accomplish. What gets done gets done and what doesn’t can wait for another day. The joy that accompanies a win on a classic day is huge.  Not just because I finished or mastered something, but because it was not planned.  Personally, I find it pretty cool to discover I can do something that I hadn’t given any real thought to before that moment. 


No matter which type of day or period of time I am experiencing, they all have one thing in common: I never stop trying.  I don’t view my “losses” as failures, instead they are lessons in what not to do or when something can’t be done.  These lessons help me make better decisions in regards to my physical state.  Example, if I can’t walk the hallway from my bedroom to the living room without bumping into walls or tipping over it doesn’t mean I can’t go grocery shopping.  Instead on a day like that I know that going grocery shopping will require  having my husband drive me and using the store’s motorized shopping cart.  Does not being able to drive myself or walk through the store while pushing a cart take away from the end result or destroy it?  No, the end result is the same, no matter how I do it; we still end up with food in our refrigerator and pantry.

Are you willing to let the need to do things differently than your able bodied friends and family deter you from trying something new or reaching your goals?  I hope not.  Looking at my chronic life as a game of cards I am able to see that quite often there are often various paths that can lead to a win.  I may think I am on the right path one day and find myself having to start over or make a detour the next.  Is the path you’re on leading towards your goals or are you constantly flipping the cards of a losing hand?

Wishing you a day filled with many reasons to smile,

The Disabled Diva

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©2016 Cynthia Covert/ The Disabled Diva

Published by Cynthia Covert

Diagnosed in 2001 with psoriasis, followed by fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, endometriosis, and later a botched hysterectomy turned her world upside down. Cynthia shares her experience, advice, and tips for how to make life with chronic pain easier and less painful.

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