Playing the Hand We’ve Been Dealt

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By Gretchen Clayton


It is an understatement to say that this whole coronavirus situation is difficult – for kids, adults, businesses – everyone is affected. In the hope that we can help each other through this situation, I thought we could start a blog where we could all add positive suggestions, observations, jokes, etc. so please jump in and add your two cents.

I will kick it off with two items. One an observation the other a suggestion.

As the parent of three teenagers who started online school yesterday, I have been in the same room for many on line classes. It dawns on me that all of this video education and video meetings for work may make us better listeners. I live in New York, where people interrupt each other all of the time with their own thoughts. Because the online video systems generally can only carry audio from one location at a time, i have observed that participants have to wait longer before jumping into the conversation than they might have done in person. In short, participants need to give the speaker more time to complete a thought before suggesting his/her own idea in order for the technology to work properly. Overall, maybe that means that we as a group will learn how to listen better and more fully to each other. Won’t it be ironic if social distancing helps us to be better communicators?

I’ve been thinking lots about the ‘I’m bored’ problem and ways to solve it. I come back all of the time to thinking about different games, but mostly about cards. As in playing cards. A deck of cards is so compact and so versatile. It has multiple entertainments built in. Solitaire, Spit, Gin, Go Fish, Crazy 8s, Hearts, Spades, Poker, Black Jack – you name it. There are fun games for every number of players and every age. In addition to games, cards are good for tricks. As a pre and young teen, I even loved to build with them, constructing multiple floored buildings with multiple decks (a carpet as a foundation works best). So, if your kids or spouse or you say you are bored, dust off a deck of cards and go for it.