My favourite board game is Scrabble. Maybe it’s because I like words and writing. Often I’ll almost have a brilliant word – if only I had one particular letter, or if only I had somewhere to put my word on the board.
When I had some, but not all, of the letters needed to make a good word, I used to try and save them. I’d play a turn making any word I could, whilst saving those letters and hoping that I would get the letters I need for my next turn. I found that this wasn’t a particularly good tactic most of the time. The chances of me picking out the exact letters I need to make a specific word, and there being somewhere suitable to place them on the board, are usually slim. Because you never know what letters you’ll pick out next time. You also don’t know what letters the other players have, or if they might place their tiles where you planned to place yours. There are too many unknowns.
It occurred to me recently that there could be some similarities between playing Scrabble and living with Parkinson’s.
Some days, I may feel rubbish in the morning and struggle to get ready. But then suddenly, my meds kick in and I feel better. I usually struggle to write, but occasionally I find myself unexpectedly able to write more easily and more clearly. I can’t predict when these moments will arise. So I just try to make the most of what I am able to do at any given moment.
Likewise in Scrabble, my new strategy is not to wish for letters I haven’t got, but to make the best word I can at each turn, with the letters I have.