What do you mean that’s not a word???

Last Friday I talked about transitioning, and since I hate to transition, I may just keep talking about it now that I’m on the topic.

Oh, wait. On Monday I talked about Anxiety. I guess I already transitioned.

And now I’m transitioning back … to transitioning.

But today I also want to touch on how Hyper-focus, or perseverance, play a role in our issues with transitioning.

I play a version of Scrabble with a friend of mine. We play it online, so there’s no cheating possible. We can’t make fake words, and we can’t cherry pick the good tiles when no one is looking, not that I would do that in real life.

But because we can be miles apart and continue to play, games can often go on for long periods of time. And when one finishes, another can start.

Long pause for effect …

Also, because of the convenience of the game being on a screen, no one can knock the board and make a mess of it if we take a break from the game for some trivial reason such as work.

So sometimes there are long pauses in the game.

And during that pause …

Often, during the pauses, it’s my friends turn. (She’s one of those people who has the inconvenience of a real job).

So I end up looking at the board and pondering my next move.

And I often have a plan

And it’s usually a good one. It’s usually a “really great word!” And I’m often excited about it. I mean, the whole point of the game is to get “really great words” and that’s something I can often do.

And then, she plays. And when I update my screen, it turns out that she’s played where I wanted to play, and ruins it all for me.

And it’s completely understandable, if the spot I wanted to play in was a good one, it was probably just as good for her.

And then?

I’m still playing the game, right? I’m not quitting. So there is no transitioning to be done, right?

Well, the problem is that I will have my letters arranged on the rack and the “really great word” is still obvious, and I will not be able to get my mind to turn away from it.

And every time I try to see something else, my mind will swing back to the “really great word” like an old dog on a chain who runs out to bark at something new and gets hauled up short at the worn ring in the dirt around his doghouse. Hyper-focus. Perseverance!

But then …

Sometimes we’ll be playing in the same room, each of us on our phone. Don’t grumble, we often have three other conversations going on, we’re not ignoring each other while staring at our phones any more than we would be while staring at a real scrabble board.

And I’ll refresh my screen and see what she did. And I’ll grumble. And she’ll glance over at my screen and say …

“What about that?”

And I will continue to grumble as I try out the new option she has suggested, continue to expound the magnificent virtues of the word I was going to make, and even still be speaking in a grumbling tone as I announce that the word she has suggested is barely twice the score of the one I had in mind.

Yes, I spend a lot of time feeling sheepish. But it turns out that playing with someone who has learned to understand me and my quirks is pretty fun.

And I’m learning to be able to micro-transition as surely as I’m learning to transition.

Let’s see if I can switch to another topic on Friday, shall we?