I played the Game of Life with my two older daughters today: Olivia, age eight, and Anna, age almost-four.
Olivia was busy. She had to get a second car to fit all her kids. And she was a doctor, which I think was the highest paying salary in the deck. Still, she wanted to keep her money, so she chose the mobile home when it came to picking a house. She's a savvy kid. I have no doubt this game could mirror her life. (Except, maybe, the mobile home part.)
Anna, on the other hand, was playing this game with a three-year-old mentality. When choosing a career, she chose TEACHER because she wanted to be like Daddy. She turned down a higher paying job. She had a car full of kids. It was very important to her that the sexes of her children matched up so she could have a girl row and a boy row.
Most interesting, though, was that Anna wasn't bothered by the ups-and-downs of Life. She was the only one who kept landing on spaces where she had to pay up for this or that. She laid down $5000 for an LCD TV. She paid veterinary bills. And on a teacher's salary, it meant she came in last place when it came to counting up money. She couldn't afford a new house when she had the opportunity to buy one. I counseled her against taking out a loan.
Still, she was not bothered by any of it. When I gave her the option to switch careers (you get that option with this new version of Life), she said she was happy being a teacher like Daddy.
I hope I can go through real life with that same simple gratefulness. Being thankful I have enough money to pay for life's expenses. Not being wrapped up in how many one-hundred-thousand-dollar bills I can accumulate next to the board.
Anna was content with her condo and her car of children. I want to be like that, too.