March 2022 SOLC–Day 28
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
I thought I was going to lose it yesterday. I mean, Wordle was hard! And I’ve got a streak of 75 wins going. With each word guess, as each tile was revealed in monotonous grey, I was getting progressively more concerned. I stopped and considered for a long while. I couldn’t even imagine what to guess next. I had a few dark thoughts about the NYT. Then, finally, luckily, I eked it out on the fifth guess. That’s cutting it a bit close for me.
But then I wondered…why did I get so concerned about this? Why did I care so much?
Duolingo daily sends me pointed reminders…Remember to play today! You don’t want to blow your streak do you?
I’m at 195 days in a row right now. (Ok, confession, I did use a couple of freezes along the way.) and I really want to get to 200.
But again, why? Who cares really? Sure it’s great to do something with regularity, but sometimes every day just isn’t a good option.
So, what’s up with streaks anyway?
I remember back in the 90s sports fans were wowed by Cal Ripken’s streak of attendance. He broke the consecutive games played record on September 6, 1995 in his 2,131st consecutive game. We lived in Baltimore at the time and it was big news locally and in the sports world.
I distinctly remember my husband being singularly unimpressed.
“Who cares?” he said. “What did he miss to do that? How many times did he choose continuing his streak over being with his family?”
He had a point.
So, now that I’ve gotten sucked into maintaining a couple of less impressive streaks of my own, I’m going to consider willfully breaking them or at least allowing them to fade away. There’s no real value to these streaks. No ultimate goal or end in sight. I’ve just fallen for marketing ploys which are manipulating me to play a game or visit a site. I want to get back to playing Wordle because I love word play and puzzling, not because I’ve got a streak going. And if I forget to go to Duolingo for a day or two, so what? The snail will still have its birthday and someone will still bring several bottles of red wine.**
Ultimately Cal Ripken ended his streak voluntarily after 2,632 games in a row. That’s a lot of games. I wonder what inspired him to make that choice. Will I end my game streaks by choice or by chance?
On a side note, sometimes streaks do have value. What makes the difference? I’m not sure, but I think it might be about meaningful purpose. There’s certainly one streak I’m on that I’m going to work hard to maintain for at least the next 3 days.
What streaks are you working on?
*If you were around during the seventies, you probably thought I was referring to the bizarre craze for dashing about in public venues sans clothing. Those were the days, right? lol
**Duolingo has some odd sentences to translate and snails and red wine feature frequently.
I so thought it was the song, right off the bat! And oh my gosh, what’s up with the snails and red wine translations? Hilarious self-reflection, though – and just the bright shot of perpective needed this morning.
Well, your teaser may be the winner of the month. I’m glad you wrote this. It’s been a tough thing for me to handle as well. I was really bummed when my stats from Wordle disappeared at the crossover to NYT. And that was silly. I also get annoyed when I miss closing my rings on my watch and blow a streak. I think it’s about seeing the number grow and feeling like I might not be motivated if I wasn’t on a streak. Like you said, better to do it because I love it.
I do Quordle and Octordle (and French Wordle) too, which I wouldn’t if I was worried about always getting it right! Might as well have fun.
Which language are you studying?
What does it matter? I ask myself this question often. I admire your streak, nevertheless. I have bad luck with Wordle so I refuse to play. That may reveal more about me than I want anyone to know.
I have yet to do a Wordle because I am afraid I would find it entertaining. I fear I may get sucked into the wanting my streak to keep going!
My streak of Wordle is now at 9. Ten days ago I had the choice of two words and chose unwisely. Ended my streak at 57. Initially, I was crushed, but in short order, figured I learned something valuable (i.e. after four words, choose a word for #5 that has none of the letters I’ve already guessed to find that one missing letter. I am not too proud to take a 6 in Wordle. I also learned that no one gives a sh*t about my streak. The sun rose they day after I missed Wordle.
OMG, your last line made me laugh! Yes, streaks used to have a whole different meaning! I love the connections you make between your various streaks and what they really mean both to you and to others.
My husband had an apple watch activity streak going last year (in 2021) of nearly a year–which ended anti-climatically on the day of my dad’s memorial when his watch didn’t charge overnight and it wasn’t noticed until we were too far away to go back for the charger and had not enough time to purchase one on the way. What is it about these streaks (but not streaking!) that make them heartbreaking to break? I’m trying to be casual about my “streaks” and try not to keep track. I Wordle each day–but have no idea how many days in a row. Have I missed and missed knowing?
This reflection on streaks is right up my alley. I love your husband’s reaction to Ripken’s streak – we so often forget what we choose not to do. Currently, I’m at 679 days in a row of walking. That streak matters to me because it gets me out every day. I think now it’s a habit, but the streak kept me going all winter. On the other hand, game streaks are more or less meaningless. Interesting.
This is a marvellous post, even though I was thinking about the wrong kind of streaking when I came to it. Everything you say about a streak and the importance is spot on, it is really between you and your streak that maybe has something to do with perseverance… My husband would say the same as yours…As a non-American Cal RIpkens is totally lost on me, I don’t even know which sport you’re referring to!!