On new year, play ‘the Best of times, the worst of times’ with your partner

Each of you take a couple of sheets of paper.
On new year, play ‘the Best of times, the worst of times’ with your partner

BENGALURU : Tired of New Year Resolutions?
Here is a game you might want to consider playing with your partner, provided you have in some way, form or shape been together for significant periods or the year so quickly passing by. It is quite a simple game that we call “The Best of Times, The Worst of Times.”

Each of you take a couple of sheets of paper. If you want to be dramatic, take a sheet of white paper and write in blue ink for the best of times, and take a sheet of yellow paper and write in red for the worst – twist it about as you please, but the requirements are quite simple. You each write a letter to the other about your best time that year and the worst time.

There are no pre-conditions, and no constraints on what it is that you need to write. Put the letters in an envelope, and give it to each other to be opened in your new year. You could make a ceremony of it, open it together, open it separately – whatever suits you, but take some time to think over it, and see what happens for the two of you.

There are a number of possibilities. Either the best or the worst, or both could have you featuring prominently in it, or not at all. You might have known about it or maybe it was something that never registered for you and yet you see it means so much for your partner. It could be something you considered trivial at the time it happened. (“Your mother made me rotis, knowing very well that I prefer rice. I suffered for the whole week, and nobody even noticed” – for example) or something major that happened you think ought to have been noticed.

The point of it is to notice what happens to you both as you share what is written. Do you find yourself empathising with the other’s experience and feeling a warmth for them, or do you find yourself looking for you in your partner’s letter? In other words, is it about you or is it about your partner? In relationships, we want to ideally be able to love our partner as they experience themselves, and share what their life is like, but in reality, we are rarely able to achieve that ideal.

Most times, we look for simpler gratifications. We want our best times to be about each other and worst times about some body else, but where we played a supporting role (“I lost my best friend, and only having you with me helped,”) and we might hate it if the worst times was squarely about us and best times didn’t feature us at all. And that’s what makes this exercise quite powerful.It can be a simple sharing, but could also be deeply insightful in terms of how you love. In love, it truly is the best of times and the worst of times.

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