I love games. I love playing them. I love learning about them. I even love reading about them. I love games so much that I have an Instagram page dedicated to nothing but games, @yardgamenation. I am always on the lookout for books about games in hopes that I will learn some nugget of information I haven’t come across before. In one of my nightly trips down a rabbit hole on the internet, I came across the book Bowling Across America by Mike Walsh. I thought a book about bowling all over the country sounded awesome and thought I would learn a ton about the game.
As I got into the book, I quickly realized that while the book was about going to a bunch of bowling alleys, the story was about a journey around the country and a person searching to find themselves. It was much more Travels with Charley than anything else. I hoped I would get some history on bowling and learn intriguing new facts. It’s not that Travels with Charley isn’t great, it is, but Mike Walsh is no John Steinbeck. I don’t know Mike, but I’m assuming he would agree.
I decided that while the book was not what I had expected, that didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy it. I just needed to switch my thinking about what I was going to get out of the book and what my purpose was for reading it. By making the mental switch, I was able to enjoy the book where I otherwise may have set it down and moved on to something else. I’m glad I made the switch because it was an interesting tale and inspirational that someone would go through the trouble to bowl in every state.
I think this lesson will serve me well as I make my way through life. Things aren’t always what we expect, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be enjoyable. We need to keep an open mind about situations and let them materialize for what they are. In many cases, I think we will be pleasantly surprised with the outcomes if, instead of forcing our preconceived notions on things, we simply enjoy them for what they are.