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The sudoku of life

Life has always been a puzzle for me. And not even one I’m planning to solve anytime soon. Mostly because the ‘how’, the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ of it oftentimes completely elude me. And also because I’m a lazy fuck.

It does kind of explain why I’ve always had a pull towards puzzle games though. From the dungeon-solving in Zelda and Mario in my early youth to the Professor Layton and Blockudoku addictions I’m currently catering to – puzzles have always made my brain happy. They say puzzles are a good way to keep the grey matter in the top of your dome active and improving, and since that kind of self-betterment takes a whole lot less (physical) effort that actual exercise…I’m much more willing to partake.

Yet, somehow, sudokus never really clicked with me. When I say that I have an addiction to blockudoku (which is tetris on a sudoku board) – I mean that I love the tetris part of that game enough to overlook the sudoku part. Because sudokus remind me a bit too much of how life can be, and in that way are a little bit too confronting for a simple puzzle to pass the time with.

The thing about sudokus, after all, is that they have this capacity to lul you into a false sense of safety. For anyone that’s ever sudoku’d: when you sit there filling those squares with the numbers 0-9, all you’re doing is boxing in your life just the way you’re expected to. Which is fine. HOWEVER. There’s a nasty element to pen-and-paper sudoku-ing. That puzzle doesn’t tell you when you’re doing it wrong.

And that’s what bugs me.

Because when you’re filling in a sudoku – you might think you’re doing just fine and dandy. You’ll sit there feeling happy each time you find a number that fits and you’ll rejoice at your progress as that board fills up more and more. Until you’re pretty much ALL DONE and discover that somewhere along the line…you’ve made a mistake.

You will not have spotted this mistake right away. You’ll not have seen it. You will not have adjusted your behavior to fix any caused problems and you’ll just have continued filling in that puzzle as if all is well and good. Because you don’t see the problem right up to the point that you’re filling that last square and the numbers just don’t….fit.

It’s a friggin’ blow to the brain – that. Because when it comes down to living…the same damn thing happens. You will be living your life, enjoying yourself, thinking you’re doing everything right and BAMMMMM. Suddenly everything comes tumbling down when you realize you’ve made a terrible mistake a decade ago that is impossible to fix anymore, but will still cost you pretty much everything you’ve built up after it.

Life, just like sudokus, doesn’t allow you to go back and correct the mistake. Hell. Oftentimes, you’ll not even see when and where you went wrong exactly. All you know is that you WERE wrong, and now nothing adds up anymore. Sure. You can invest in pencils instead of pens, so you can erase your mistakes and start over. Or play digitally, with an error message every time you fuck up.

But life? Life has no real do-overs. So when you mess up your number in a box and you don’t notice that straight away? You will mess up the rest of your choices as well, seeing as they’re founded on a bed of mistakes. And that is way more confronting than any puzzle game has any right to be. Fuck sudokus.

Although…when you do do everything RIGHT…it’s hella fucking satisfactory when all the numbers fit together just perfectly. And things just add up to a victory. That’s the sunny side of the sudoku darkness, I suppose.

25 thoughts on “The sudoku of life

  1. I love your metaphors about life.

    My brain frequently reminds me of past mistakes. But I’m now trying to let go… And one way I do that is to remind myself of my belief that free will does not exist, so the past could not have been any different. And that helps me to let go a little better.

    Also: fuck sudokus! Tetris 4 Life!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I concur that we need to work out domes but Soduku is beyond me. I do think it is also important to move away from screens during the day. My brain workout daily is my time learning a language, I am currently studying espanol.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. How do you eat an elephant? in digestible chunks! Same as learning something, a bit at a time. Getting started is the toughest part! What I used to do when I didn’t feel like doing something hard, like an hour run, I would give myself permission to stop after ten minutes if I still wasn’t into it. I almost always ran the whole hour, but if I didn’t, then I was ok with it. – Start your duolingo with ten minutes? Good luck. – David

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This pretty much sums up the bigger part of 33 years of my life:

    “You will be living your life, enjoying yourself, thinking you’re doing everything right and BAMMMMM. Suddenly everything comes tumbling down when you realize you’ve made a terrible mistake a decade ago that is impossible to fix anymore, but will still cost you pretty much everything you’ve built up after it.”

    Couldn’t have said it any better.

    Hard lesson to learn. Though to swallow. But it’s better this way.

    (Thanks. Every now and then I read this one word, sentence or paragraph in a blog of yours that just puts you on hold for a few moments and forces you re-Read and give attention to a feeling or emotion it induces. You ‘succeeded’ (again) today. Thanx you for sharing your thoughts and giving things ‘words.’

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Strikes Feel Better
    After Gutter Balls
    And Bowling Together
    Is “Supposed” To Feel


    Than Solo

    True Sudoko

    Of Life Will

    Make “A Day in
    A Life” Much Different

    Without Gutter-balls
    And No Together

    Moral oF A STory



    🎳 Bowling 🎳

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So well said. The obsessive in me tends to ruminate about the times I’ve turned my life upside down, and it’s always a slow decline than a defining moment. Just like you describe, heading down a wrong path, but don’t realize it until you’ve hit a dead end. Thank you!


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