Friday, September 30, 2016

Breaking Out

This week has been one for the record books.  As Dickens once said, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."  The worst times occurred on Monday when I got news my boss was leaving.  I've had tons of bosses in my lifetime.  Some were great, some were not.  But this one was great, so personally I'm super sad.  Professionally, as they say on Broadway, the show must go on.  With that news, the week brought its own stressors, and the jockeying for position when this sort of thing happens - which has happened many times in my work life.  To add to the week, Thursday was the anniversary of my Mom's death.  Sixteen years ago I lost the woman who waited 18 long years for me, loved me, nurtured me and was my best friend.  I could have used an hour or 100 with her this week.

The best of times occurred because I turned another year older and felt the love from many friends far and wide.  Last year was my golden jubilee, so this was just a normal birthday year, but that little blip of love in the middle of the week was so needed.  Also in the midst of the worst was a great time on Thursday with my entire office enjoying some time away playing a competitive game of escape room.

If you haven't heard of this new gaming phenomenon, you go to a location and a team of people (up to 8) are locked in a room with a backstory.  Based on clues they have in the room, they have 1 hour to "break out."  Our office broke down into 3 teams participating in a Casino Royale, Museum Heist, and Island Escape.  My team did Island Escape.  If you like solving puzzles, cryptic riddles and mysteries, this game is for you.

The game starts with a short video and then once the timer starts you begin searching the room for clues.  There are multiple things locked with combination locks - both number and letter - and key locks.  Getting access to all of those is vital to getting out of the room.  To explain how we did it is way too complex.  I envy those that write these games because the detail is amazing.  We had exploding volcanoes with clues, maps that dropped things out, constellations on the wall, a black light flashlight, and special glasses to read computer screens.  It was a blast!

Our team broke out!  And did it in 53 minutes.  Sadly, the other two teams didn't break out, so at the hour mark, they were released.  I'm ready to take on the challenge of the other rooms and be able to say I broke out of all of them.  

In the midst of good and bad times, I'm grateful for things like escaping locked rooms to distract me from the harsh realities of life.  

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