Pandemic Pinball

My favorite uncle is eleven years older than me. When I was a kid my mom often had to work and this uncle would hang out with us after school and play games with us. As a seven-year-old, I remember him teaching us new board games, playing soccer, and showing us how to play video games on his old ATARI.

That’s right – one of the original consoles! There were amazing games to be found on that thing and as a small child it made for hours of entertainment.

One of the games he had was the ATARI Pinball game. This was not the same as playing pinball at an actual arcade but worked when we were stuck at home.

Pinball is a type of arcade game in which points are scored by a player manipulating one or more metallic balls on the playing field. On the TV, this was displayed on a simple screen. At an actual arcade it happens inside a glass-glowered cabinet. The objective of the game is to score as many points as possible.

Lately, when I sit down to write, I make myself a cup of tea. I sit down, take a deep breath, pray for you all, and begin to jot down some of my thoughts.

This week the first image that came to mind was a pinball machine.

This quarantine, social-distancing, homeschooling kids, working, being a mother, a partner, a friend makes me feel like I am in a real live pinball machine. I find myself juggling, maneuvering, and trying to manage things I have never had to do as much or in such a manner before. I am the ball inside the machine going from one thing, one person, one project to the next.

Sometimes I find it impossible and am so frustrated I end up in tears.

Other times, the ball falls into the goal. Sometimes, there are victories. Sometimes those victories happen right away, other times, it takes a long time zipping around the machine.

Yet, no matter how long it takes me, I am trying to remind myself that each victory is a victory.

This week, your victories might have been putting on pants with pockets when stretch pants are your best friend(I finally did that). Or it might have been submitting a project you’ve been trying to get done. Or it might have been finishing a season of your favorite show on Netflix.

No matter what, it’s a victory.

We are working, living, and loving in ways that we have never done before.

Sometimes, we are going to be amazing at it.

Sometimes, we are going to need time to not be amazing at it.

I remember when I was first learning pinball on that old Atari. As a young kid I was not any good at it. My uncle would come over and sit with me and teach me.

We need community to surround us and remind us that we are not aimless, but have purpose.

A community grows and strengthens over time because of a shared purpose that makes them faithful to one another. Community is what anchors us, encourages us, and centers us when we feel as though we are ricocheting from one thing to another.

We need to surround each other and celebrate all our victories – big and small!

One thought on “Pandemic Pinball

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