I assume that most of you know "Freecell", the solitaire game popularized as an add on with Windows. Initially it was justified as a way to improve mousing skills. In spite of that the Powers That Be at Satan Central banned it in our office.
Which may be why I developed a serious Freecell addiction early on. I play it here at home, in between visits to OS. In spite of numerous efforts to quit "cold turkey", just when I think I'm out, it pulls me back in. And in spite of thousands of games played, my mousing skills are still totally less than my cats'.
I take comfort however in not being a hard core addict. You know them. The three pack a day smokers who whine about wanting to quit even as they suck the last shards of tobacco onto their chapped lips, in the outside smoking area at 40 below (aka "where Celsius meets Fahrenheit"). Hard core addicts long ago gave up any justification for their habit beyond need.
Not me. I have at least 10 Things I've learned playing Freecell:
- Pattern recognition skills. I score high on every part of standardized tests other than spatial and pattern recognition. Apparently, people with my sort of brain defect enjoy "mapping difficulty". Play enough Freecell, I won't get lost a block from home any more.
- Patience. Sometimes staring at the screen really works.
- The merits of procrastination. Sometimes, putting a game aside and coming back to it later allows me to spot new moves. I am applying this to wasting the rest of my life as well.
- Going with the flow. If I'm on a roll, stopping to think usually leads to a loss.
- The value of being systematic. After the initial roll is over , if the game is not won, dig out the aces, to create new opportunities.
- Look before I click. See above re bad mousing skills.
- The value of the "undo" option. See 'look before I click' . If only life had an 'undo' option.
- The value of 'thinking outside the box'. When the game seems lost, it is time to be bold. What do I have to lose?
- Accept that losses are part of the game, but we live to play another day.
- Not quitting until its really over. I cannot count how often I think I have lost a game, only to come back later, or apply out of the box thinking, and go on to success. This is a life lesson I need , even though, given that I must have learned it as a child unable to walk or talk properly, I keep relearning it. Sometimes I think being stubborn is my defining personality trait. Freecell rewards this.