Your Life is Your Story Go To Your Life is Your Story Home Page

Let Us Play
Article by Tom Gilbert
(written and © October, 2005)

"Work to live or live to work" – no doubt, you’ve heard that before. Here’s another well-worn cliché: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

There’s plenty of truth in both those statements. You really can’t enjoy life, at least not fully, if all you do is work. Unfortunately, for too many of us we have to work more than we want. It’s tough making a living and it’s hard to make enough money to pay the bills. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

There are times when it is crunch time with work. If you have a project with a deadline then you’ve got to get it done or suffer the consequences. The key is good planning, discipline and also knowing when to say, “enough is enough”. The last thing any of us needs to do is drop dead from the stress of working too much.

All that being said, I’ve been faced with an incredible load lately. Through it all I’ve had good days when a lot has been accomplished and I’ve had those days when I just want to throw my hands in the air. It’s been making me think. I don’t want to work all the time. But, I also enjoy work when it is something I find worthwhile. That is the key, isn’t it? If you can’t do work you love then it just becomes drudgery.

Whether or not you have a job you love you can always make time to play. I’ve been reflecting on the games and playtime I enjoy. I have a couple of kids and some of the times we all remember as the best are when we do something fun together. Sometimes we play board games. Other times we go out – to the park, a ball game or a concert. It sure beats just sitting in front of the television.

One of the games we really enjoy as a family is a card game we call "Okie Rummy". Many of our friends and our other relatives jump at a chance to play it when we get together. The game is a lot like gin rummy, but it has a few different nuances. Without explaining all the rules, the goal is each round to get the number of "books" (3 or 4 cards of a kind, like all fours, kings, etc) or "straights" (4 or 5 in a row of the same suit). Every round starts out with all the players getting dealt eleven cards and we have six different rounds where we have to get so many books and straights. You have to draw a card each time or pick up the discard of the player before you. If you don’t want the card the previous player discarded then it goes around in order to the other players who have the option of "buying" the card. We all get four pennies to start with and each penny can be used for a buy, but your purchase requires you to also take two more cards from the middle pile.

You strive to get what you need and put down your cards and get rid of any leftovers. You can put cards down on the other players’ books and straights when they lay down. The first to get rid of all their cards wins the round. When you win a round you get negative points and each round has more negative points than the one before. The first round winner gets minus 50, the next round minus 100 and so on. If you are caught with cards left when someone else wins a round those cards count against you. So, you don’t want a positive point count; you want the best negative number. And two’s and jokers are wild.

As I try to explain it here I realize it’s probably hard to follow. Don’t sweat it. The point I’m making is that we love to play this game. It even gets pretty competitive and we’ve played this game for years. I think part of the fun is that we’ve enjoyed this game for so long and it’s a great excuse to get together and socialize.

Have some fun in your life. Make the most of work, but more importantly, make the most of living and that means finding a good balance between work and play.

Back to the Articles Page

Return to the Home Page

Everybody has a story to tell!
Copyright © 2003 - 2017 All rights reserved
Email Tom Gilbert