I am constantly berating my children to get off their phones, but I have to say, I’ve been guilty of this myself lately. Normally, I am one of those annoying people who takes more time than usual to respond to a text or email, as I don’t always have my phone on me. But I’ve been a bit of a screen fanatic, all thanks to a little game called Word Calm.

     I’m an interpreter and a writer. To say I love words and meaning is an understatement, and this game gives me the opportunity to make and ponder words to my heart’s content. Take a look below.

     Cool, right? It’s kind of like a crossword puzzle without the clues. There are times when I’m on a roll. Use my coins to get a helpful clue? Hell no! I’ve got this! Last week I was in a tournament and was on such a good roll, I couldn’t get to bed on time. I stayed up until almost midnight. Not a good choice considering how tired I was the next day, but I placed 4th overall and was awarded 150 extra coins. Quick, call Mensa! 

    You’ll be happy to know I have curbed my Word Calm addiction, though of course, I have recognized a valuable life lesson along the way. I love how the little gems of life are couched in our everyday experiences, and if we pay attention, we get a little bit of joy and a whole lot of insight. Let me explain.

    There are times I am playing along, forming words and then, whammo! I am absolutely stumped. I’m staring at this puzzle, trying all different combinations of letters, completely at a loss to create a real word. What? Flok isn’t a word? Come on, phonetically it’s perfectly fine! In fact, a flok of geese just flew by. 

    So what does one do when stumped and at a loss? Well, I usually do a great big huffy breath, as Junie B. Jones would say, put down my phone, and engage in one of the tasks in my planner that I should have been doing all along.

     Now here’s where the gem comes in. When said task is finished, I reward myself with a little break and open up Word Calm. Looking at the puzzle, barely giving it a thought, words jump out at me and within minutes the puzzle is completed. Standing there “puzzled,” I wonder how on earth I couldn’t see these words the first time, as they were as plain as the nose on my face. I bet you all notice this too, even when doing something like a jigsaw puzzle. Walk away, come back, and voila, another piece goes in.

    Apparently, I needed some distance from it in order to get a new and clearer perspective. When things are too close, too confusing, and just too much, sometimes the best thing we can do is to step away from whatever is perplexing us.

     Nice deep breaths rather than a Junie B. huffy breath is a much better choice, and time spent doing or thinking about something else often helps to clear the cobwebs and give us a fresh outlook. 

     For me, a run, a good book, or time hanging with the kids is a welcome distraction, but I don’t usually have that luxury. As mentioned above, simply engaging in another task and directing my brain elsewhere gives me a reset. Upon returning to my puzzle or dilemma, I have a new mindset and whatever solution may have been eluding me before, is now conspicuous. In times when it’s still not clear, I have the benefit of a different perspective, seeing things in a new way, and perhaps even an untraveled path to meander down. Sometimes, when you can’t figure things out, you just need some time to let it be.

     Well, I’ve completed this task of writing, so what do you think? A little bit of Word Calm for me? If I get stuck I’ll put the floking phone down and come back to it. Who knows what I’ll discover when I return to it?

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