©Viga Boland, author, blogger, book reviewer, podcaster

Vianvi Podcast #7

Snakes and ladders!

canstockphoto1878852Do you remember it? It was my favorite childhood boardgame.

Oh how I loved rolling the dice. I’d shut my eyes tight and wish with all my might: “Please, please let me roll a five so I can get to the bottom of that ladder and climb up!”

I’d open my eyes! Yes! Yes! A five! I’d push my plastic marker over 5 spots and scoot up the ladder! I was so proud of myself. You’d think I had something to do with how the dice rolled.

But then there were those snakes! My heart would pound when I’d realize the dice roll had landed me on top of a snake’s head. NO! NO! The little snakes weren’t so bad. But those big ones…the long ones that took you all the way back to the beginning of the game. I’d sit there in a huff, arms folded, breathing fire and ire. Or I’d say “I don’t want to play this game anymore!”

Were you like that?

The other day, I attended my grand-daughter’s Grade 8 graduation. Proud parents, family, and teachers, some silently breathing a sigh of relief to see the last of some of the grads sat in the audience. Newly nubile young women strutted across the stage in stilettos in which some had a lot of trouble walking. Pimple faced boys wearing white shirts and ties and looking like young Mormon men out on their first door knocking mission tried grinning through their embarrassment.

The school principal delivered one of those wonderfully motivational speeches about how they had successfully climbed the ladder from kindergarten to Grade 8. She reminded them a whole new wonderful world was opening up for them and everyone applauded. Of course, she didn’t breathe a word about how come September, entering Grade 9 would make them feel like they had rolled the dice and landed on the biggest snake’s head on the board.  Down they’d slide…all the way to the bottom. Start all over again.

Life is like that, isn’t it. These smiling grads will spend the next 4 years climbing up that ladder to Grade 12, moving their markers across the board and getting that diploma.  Then life hands them the dice to roll again. Some will start climbing ladders at University. Others will slide down snake after snake and quit. Some will move into and out of jobs, relationships, marriages for next 40 or so years, depending on how the dice rolls. Or is it how they roll the dice?

Up the ladders, down the snakes. Up another ladder, down another snake. And more than one will scream at some point: “I don’t want to play this game anymore!”

Life: a game of snakes and ladders. Full of challenges. But oh how boring would life be without them!

Pass me the dice. It’s my turn again. Roll ‘em! Come on 6! I need a 6.

Another 6 years at least.

Please pretty please!

©Viga Boland


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