Real Life Chutes and Ladders


Chutes and Ladders is not just a game; it’s a metaphor for life. Kind of heavy for a children’s board game, don’t yah think? Granted, it’s still a lot lighter than Monopoly, which makes a huge political statement about the economic concept of monopolies. So child-friendly.

For those of you who have never played Chutes and Ladders, it’s a board game that requires players to roll a single die and advance their token the rolled number of spaces across a square board. First player to arrive at the end of the board wins. On some of the squares there are ladders that advance the player forward a certain number of squares. There are also chutes that send the player back a certain number of squares.

Do you see how this game applies to real life? Don’t you ever feel like you’re progressing forward at a steady pace when, all of a sudden, you’re propelled forward on one success or set back by some stroke of bad luck?

Well, recently my life has reminded me of a game of Chutes and Ladders.

215-7353_PI_TPS1365060The Chutes:

  1. My favorite restaurant, Pepperwhistle Bakery and Cafe, closed last month. This is sad for me not only as a patron but also as an author because the owner of this restaurant was very supportive of local creators and had offered to let me promote my book there whenever I wanted.
  2. Last month, my mother started a new treatment to fight off six new tumors that had grown on her liver. Even though the side effects are more tolerable, she doesn’t feel that it’s working.
  3. My debut novel suffered a no-sales season. Is that even a real term? I might have just coined it.
  4. Kickboxing class was permanently cancelled at the YMCA due to schedule conflicts, which sucks because this was one of the few classes I could work into my schedule.

6foot_ladder_500xThe Ladders:

  1. I connected with a new local employer who has offered to let me host a booth at his store. If it goes well, I’m sure there will be potential for future events at his store.
  2. Because of the lesser side effects my mom has been able to enjoy several family outings, which she may not have had she stayed on the other treatment.
  3. Even though my entry in the Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing Contest didn’t win, it did make it to semi-finals, which is rather encouraging.
  4. And even though my debut novel has not sold well these past few months, my new release has had an excellent first week, ranking pretty high on the Amazon Best Sellers Rank.
  5. My sister and I were invited to speak to a local “geek club” about cosplaying for beginners. It was a ton of fun and so rewarding to inspire new cosplayers. This is exactly the kind of thing I imagined doing as an adult, and I’m loving it!

So looking at the lists, it’s clear I’ve had more ladders than chutes, which makes me optimistic that I’ll come out ahead in the end. Even if I land on a chute, I’ll stay positive and keep playing, because life isn’t a game you quit, and it’s not over any time soon.

How about you? Are you landing on a lot of chutes or ladders? Hopefully, you’re advancing across the board and heading for that coveted 100th square. Maybe, I’ll see you there!


22 thoughts on “Real Life Chutes and Ladders

  1. I think I have a habit of landing on #99 with that chute that goes all the way back to the beginning. Was that #99 or #98? At least this year with things seeming to always go wrong in the final hour. Congrats on your victories. I think every book gets a ‘no sale season’ at some point, so think of it is a milestone. 🙂

  2. amiegibbons15

    I’ve kind of ft that way this past year. Costly things piling up so I never really get ahead. But people in my life to help so I don’t fall behind either 🙂

  3. It has definitely been an up and down year for me, too. I’m sorry to hear about your mom. I hope the new treatment starts to work soon. I think it takes a long time for first books to garner much in the way of sales, unless you’re a celebrity or with a big publisher. Having another book out there should help with sales. Good luck with it! Here’s to 2015 ending on a high note!

    • Awe, thank you, Lori. I try to keep a positive attitude and realistic perspective. Mom’s been tough. I just want this treatment to work. It’s been tolerable. Crossing fingers she doesn’t get bad news tomorrow.

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