Friday, April 29, 2016

When You Can't Play

My twin sister and I have been enthusiastic Scrabble players for many years. That doesn’t mean we play as often as we’d like, but it means we have a love for the game. We are both writers; words are right up there as one of our favorite things.

Occasionally, the letters you’re dealt in Scrabble look something like this—XJBMPQR—a tray full of letters that make no sense. It doesn’t matter how often you look at them, they are not going to make a word.

The rules of the game say you can either play or pass. If you pass, you can exchange some or all of your letters for new ones, or you can keep your letters, hoping for a better opportunity to use them on the board. For example, using the letter Q or X with an available "I," if placed in a prime spot, could garner you at least 31 points. But if there is no such opportunity on the board, you're going to have to pass. The question is, do you pass and keep your jumble of letters, hoping for an opportunity to play next time around, or do you pass and exchange some or all of your letters for new ones? There are risks either way.

In life, there are times when you’re dealt a hand and the letters make no sense. No words will come, and no matter how long you wait, there is never an "I" anywhere in sight, if you know what I mean.

Maybe the best plan is to start fresh, to change the scenery, to shake things up a bit, to stop staring at the same mix of letters that will never make sense as they are.

To pass doesn’t mean you’ve given up. It could mean you’re about to begin again, with new letters, new words, new hope.

Joining the Five-minute Friday community, where today's prompt is "pass."


  1. I love Scrabble, too, and love the parable in this post, the "hand" with impossible letters, and the conclusion: "To pass doesn’t mean you’ve given up. It could mean you’re about to begin again, with new letters, new words, new hope." Yes! Great thought to keep in mind! Thanks for posting and sharing.

  2. Excellent, Dayle! I love the game and I love how you've related it to life here. I have a few letters I need to exchange. To pass will give me fresh perspective. Thanks!

  3. I love Scrabble, my friend...
    And love the connection you have made here.
    So very true.
    Have a cozy weekend, my friend!

  4. Good advice, for Scrabble and for life. When something doesn't work a time or two it may be time to try another way.

  5. Good lesson. I need to remember that :)

  6. A very inspiring post! I love Scrabble, too. Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. Great analogy about life! Sometimes it's good to start over.

  8. Sometimes you just need to know when it's time to cut your losses and start fresh.

  9. I'm a lover of Scrabble, too, and so I loved the parallel you drew here! Yes, sometimes starting over is not a sign of failure, or of giving up, but is truly only a new beginning!


  10. Oh, how I needed this post today! I really appreciate this perspective and encouragement.

  11. This message has laser-beamed its way to my heart and mind.
    So many crossroads and choices; yet, I'm overwhelmed with an exaggerated sense of responsibility. I trust an answer will present itself; and your words are, in fact, its precursor.


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle