The Pebble Game

“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Who has ESP in the family? I do.

I schooled my daughter in the art of non-verbal communication last night. We played a game where she hid a glass pebble in one of her hands and asked me to identify the hand with the pebble. I went six for six until she got mad at me and quit.

At the point I was three for three, I hinted at how I was doing it by reading her eyes, facial expressions, and white knuckles around the pebble. However, revealing the magic didn’t help her fool me. And she did try to fool me by looking at the wrong hand on purpose, which told me to choose the other one.

It took awhile to get to six out of six because she threw little tantrums a couple of times and tried to fool me with no pebble in her hands, which I guessed she was doing, even though she fibbed she did have it in one hand. Then she got mad because I guessed she was fibbing.

Once she calmed down, I went through the techniques I used. I also explained to her that at the beginning of the game I said to myself  “I can do it. I can guess the correct hand each time.” I was confident of success. I also visualized in my mind being able to guess the correct hand. Zip, right over her head that last point went.

I’ve used the Henry Ford quote with her many times when she says “I can’t.” I reply, “I guess you’ll prove yourself right then,” which makes her blow a gasket. She tries to prove me wrong by doing it, which makes me the Reverse Psychology King. (It’s always good to be king of anything, even when you make up the title yourself.)

The pebble game made me think about how clairvoyant I am at guessing which hand a pebble is in but how bad I’ve been at predicting the future. In the past, I have thought, my lung function is screwed forever, or I’ll never make it off this plane alive, or my bacteria will never be sensitive again. I have been wrong so many times.

Why is it easier to visualize the worst case scenario and not the best case? I need to do a better job of practicing my own advice by saying “I can” more often. I can handle what CF has in store for me. Oh, how I’d like to prove myself right on that one. We’ll see.


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5 thoughts on “The Pebble Game

  1. In our family Jo is always the one who looks at things with the worst case scenario, she can’t help it, it’s just the way she is. I don’t really look and analysis things but tend to wait for things to happen then react to what’s put in front of me and deal with it the best way I can. I have learnt over 19yrs that trying to second guess what doctors are going to say or do just doesn’t work, they always come up with scenario D, when I’ve prepared for A,B&C! I think being in touch with the CF community more over the past few months has shown me that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it, PMA( positive mental attitude)We will be there by your side helping and encouraging you every step of the way, we will kick CF up the a**e!

    • I think you should wear bright yellow all the time because you’re like a sun walking around spreading sunshine and good vibes, my friend. You’re awesome. That’s one of the reasons I like you so much. Not all men step up like you do. My dad completely gave up and I can say that in the 16 years he was around I never had one conversation about CF with him. Strange. You continue to help your girls kick the ass of CF out of the park. (I can say ass on my site without the **, though I know you were saying arse, but I have no idea why it needed the **. In the future, you may type arse without them.) 🙂

      Anyway, as always, super comment from a role model parent who’s spirit will help us all conquer CF.

  2. I’m little pissed off at you too! I remember that game oh so well. My family used to play it with me all the time and, like your daughter, I knew the rules and tried my best to fool everyone. It NEVER happened. I’m pretty sure that even in my 30’s I would be terrible at the pebble game. That’s one reason why I never play poker. Too many tells in Joshland.

    The ‘I can’t syndrome’ has always be a hard thing for me to deal with. I’m a pretty positive person, but I’ve also learned that I have my strengths and weaknesses. There will always be things in my life that I can’t do. Despite those obstacles, I always try new things, challenge myself become a better person, and sometimes surprise myself in the end. However, most of the time I focus my energy on the things I’m best at because I find it far more productive and a better confidence booster.

    CF is different because I have little control over the variables around me unless I completely isolate myself, which would be a bullshit solution on so many levels. Like everything else in my life, I do the best with what I’ve got and push myself to make the most of my time here. I feel like it’s healthy to try to see the best and the worst case scenarios, so long as you don’t let one side consume your thoughts. Call me an optimistic realist, but I always prepare myself for both outcomes. Maybe that’s just life experience talking, but it’s worked pretty damn well for me so far.

    Thanks for firing me up this morning and making me write that redundant rant. I’d like to go back and edit it, but I CAN’T. 😉

    • You’re funny. I bet I could go 6 out of 6 on you, too. You’re too nice and I know I could tell which hand you had that pebble in. Lets try it. Put a pebble in your hand right now. Ready. I’m thinking, thinking, thinking. It’s in your left hand. I’m correct, aren’t I? See how I can do it miles away?

      Joking aside, I really like your comment. Not sure why you’d want to edit it. You should have thought about that before you hit the enter key because I’m not going to edit it for you. 🙂 Okay, joking wasn’t really aside yet. Now it is. Perhaps.

      I agree with you about both outcomes. That’s a really good point. I do that to. I think I am afraid to think of positive outcomes a lot of the time. It feels like if I do, it won’t come true, that if I look at the negative outcome, I will defeat it?

      I had the hardest time with the ending on this post. The first part came out easily, but the ending took me hours and didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted. I didn’t want to lecture and it kept sounding that way in drafts. I wish you’d written your comment ahead of time. Then I would have had a better ending. Damn, maybe I’m not clairvoyant. Now I’m a little pissed at you for making me feel human again. Argh. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your comment with me. Maybe I’ll do my own editing and copy and paste it in strange and wonderful ways. Or not.

      Best to you as always.

  3. Pingback: The Pebble Game « CF & Arthritis News

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