I think it’s fair to say that most people would describe me as a type A personality. I really like to be right. I really like to win. I have a small issue with perfectionism. I’m almost a cliche – unmarried woman in her mid/late 30s (that was for you, Dad!), nice house, big job, crazy career ahead of me (if I want it). I’m a winner, and I like it.

Except, I’m not really. Over the years, I have become an expert in the art of losing. My boyfriend is way more competitive than I am – he hates to lose. He hates it so much that when he lost a lot after I taught him to play cribbage, he played several thousand games online to get a better feel for the game. He wins all the time now, and you know what? I’m okay with that.

Ten years ago, I would rather lose a pinky than a game of Trivial Pursuit or Scattergories. Now, I’m happy if I don’t come in last in whatever game we’re playing and if I do, meh. In a multi-player game, I never win. I’ll win maybe 1/15 games that are two player. And I play a lot of board and card games (I’m a cheap date and most of my friends are parents – games are cheap and can be played while kids are asleep). Also, I continue to play the same squash partner, three times a week, even though she beats me about 95% of the time.

G (the dude) told me I’m not a type A because I really don’t care if I lose. I think he’s wrong – I think I have a perfectly bifurcated life – I’m a type A extrovert at work, and a pretty chill introvert in my personal life. In my personal life, I’ve found the joy of losing. I’m a great loser. I find a lot of joy in just participating in the game, in the trash talk and good times that go along with playing.

The thing about losing is that it doesn’t matter. There’s always another game. There’s always something to learn from the experience. It’s the journey – it’s not about getting there fast or killing yourself to out strategize the next guy. It’s about enjoying your own journey.

It took a lot of work to get here, and I wish I knew what exactly happened to change me. Maybe it’s because I’m a pathetic athlete, but I love to play. Maybe it’s because I am successful in one major area of my life that I feel like I can afford to not be a winner in every area. Maybe it’s the massive amounts of anti-depressants I take.  I don’t really care. My life is a lot more pleasant now.

Losing, or not winning, at everything lets you savour the things that happen around you. When you’re not always striving to be the best, you can enjoy the other interactions along the way. It’s not a reflection of your ability in anything but that one thing.

It’s all about your context.

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