Thursday, March 25, 2010

You Can Make Anything into a Game

You can make anything into a game--so said my dad. Dad spent years showing us how. He'd say, "Want to have some fun?" We never learned to run when he said that . . . maybe because he really did make things into a game.

No matter what your occupation, there are going to be times you want to scream, and things you'd really rather not do, and maybe some things that bore you to tears. I actually love my job, but everyone has "those days."

Part of my job is to cite check my attorneys' briefs. This means that each time the attorneys cite to a case or a statute in a brief, I must find that citation in Westlaw or LexisNexis. I make sure that the citation is right, and I check to make sure that anything they have quoted from is quoted properly word for word. Most days this is a piece of cake . . . but then there are those other days when I'm bored to tears. I had one of those "other" days today, and I found myself making a game out of it.

I pictured my sisters sitting on either side of me, and I pretended that I was showing them how to cite check as training to take over my job. Bear in mind that anything that the three of us do together ends up with laughter until there are tears. I had this mental image of my older sister's shaky hands as she tried to type in the citation. I could hear in my head my younger sister cracking witty jokes about my older sister's shaky hands. I could hear them both laughing, one in each of my ears. I would say to them (in my head, of course), "It's just not that difficult, guys!" And then we would all laugh and laugh! I had that silly brief cite checked likity split--and it was fun because I made a game out of it.

I left the office ten minutes later than normal because of a meeting, and to make matters worse, traffic was heavier than usual delaying my commute another ten minutes. It was one of those nights that I had a choice: (1) get frustrated and watch the clock to see how much time I wasted on the freeway, or (2) turn the music up, sing along, and play a mind game. My sisters had been so much fun cite checking, that I pretended they were in the car with me. I cranked up the music, and then pretended to show them my traffic theory: go until you hit traffic, and then turn right. Again, I heard their laughter in my head every time I turned right. I walked in the door twenty minutes late, but relaxed and smiling.

I'm tired of my sisters now. I think I'll go to bed. What games will I come up with tomorrow? Maybe I can count the number of times I have to get out of my chair. Maybe I can take a survey of how many people in the office participate in casual Friday--or better yet, break the rules on casual Friday. Hmmm. I'm sure I'll think of something to make tomorrow fun.


  1. Glad we had such a fun time! This was way better fun than gardening with Dad! He could make a game of stacking the wood pile into a "perfect square" clear to the ceiling, washing windows and writing backwards on them to annoy the nosy neighbor, or mowing the lawn in "plaid formation."

  2. Cheri, the plaid lawn formations just about killed me. I'm so short that pushing the lawnmower was hard enough without trying to make the perfect pattern!

  3. He was right about that. Remember he was the one person that could get 5 pre-teens to dig out a clogged leach line and have them laughing while they worked.

  4. You're right, Todd, your Grandfather could get any kid to do anything--and love it!