Why I Love Angry Birds

Paralysis over.

I’m so glad it’s over. Glad the idea of putting pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – doesn’t leave me clammy and nauseated.

Now onto super important things, like, uh, well… I do have a ton of important things on my mind, of course. I only think important things. I never numbly play Angry Birds, avoiding reality. Never.

What kind of loser would do that?

Okay, me.

By the way, I rock at Angry Birds. I’m thinking of taking my talent all the way to the bank. Who wants to pay me to play Angry Birds? Anyone?

As for that reality avoidance, it used to fill me with guilt. I am also a professional at guilt. If only I could take that to the bank, as well. I’d be Richard Branson rich. My bird-launching finger would be numb, and I’d have a big, guilty pit in my stomach at all times, but dang if I wouldn’t be rolling in the dough. Or at least gainfully employed.

So far, in nearly four decades of life, I’ve found only a handful of things at which I excel. And none of them lend themselves to a career. Yet. It’s looking like I’m onto something with this guilt-ridden Angry Birds champ thing. I never could parlay professional Law and Order watcher into a full time gig.

Obviously, I’m kidding. Sort of. I know I have skills, or as my two-year-old says, “I got skillzzz.” {We claim to have no idea where he picked that up.} I know I have talents and I’m grateful for them all. I am not only aware of the talents I was blessed with, but I’m also finally okay with not being completely productive at all times.

Let me explain.

I believe that, like Peter Parker’s grandmother says on her death bed, with great power comes great responsibility. I believe that we are not to squander our gifts. But I also believe that our lives have an ebb and flow. There are seasons for being industrious. And there are seasons for transition.

This season, this one of transitioning to a new school schedule and making sure my kids are happy and healthy, is/was a relatively short season. During this time, though, instead of giving myself some grace, I have been beating the crap out of myself. There’s been mostly negative talk. I have always talked to myself, almost always silently, inside my head. Anyway, lately when I chatter with me, it’s all been mean. Lots of talk about being lazy, ineffective, ungrateful.

And then it clicked – I don’t know why or how, just that it did. My brain needed a break. There was a lot of emotional energy required for this new phase of our lives.

As beautiful as it is, there is heartbreak in watching my firstborn start to detach. He may still look like all backpack, with a head and skinny legs, as he walks down the hall to his kindergarten class, but he’s so much more than that. He’s a big kid, with big plans, and although he still needs me it’s not the same. It’s the beginning of some enormous changes.

I don’t like to get all sentimental and sappy, because it hurts. It makes me cry. Which makes it really hard to focus on smashing tiny pigs with tiny birds. So even though I hold a lot of my emotion inside, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. It doesn’t mean I’m not feeling the weight. Feeling some bizarre combo of exhilaration and exhaustion that comes from watching a child grow.

So I realized that this is going to happen periodically in my life. I’m going to have seasons of transition, and I may not always be 100% productive during those seasons. I may put aside some of my goals to help foster the talents of the people I love.

And when it’s all said and done? I’m putting all my money on this: there will be more to write, more to say, and more to dream about, because I will have lived. I will have felt thrilled and depressed and excited and overwhelmed. And I probably will have checked out to spend time blowing up obnoxious, Wilford Brimley-esque pigs.

I hope this made some sense. I feel like I’ve rambled, but this is a blog and not a school essay, so I’m allowing myself some lack of structure. Cool? The English major in me wants to summarize, though. She wants to wrap this up in a bow. So here goes:

  • I was kind of busy, completely overwhelmed, and very unproductive all at once.
  • I didn’t write or work a lot during that time.
  • I felt really guilty and played too much Angry Birds.
  • I now believe that it was okay to be unproductive in my work for a couple weeks, and have let go of the guilt.
  • I now believe that periodically checking out is extremely beneficial.

Oh, I do love a bulleted list.

I wonder…

:: Do you ever check out of certain parts of your life?

:: What kinds of results do you have when you allow yourself some down time?

P.S. - I have almost 400 unread emails and heaven only knows how many posts in my reader. I am deleting them all. So if there’s something important or funny or beautiful that you want me to read, please email me a link. Or tweet it to me. I look forward to catching up on blogs next week!

12 Comments

  1. It bubbles up in me from time to time and then I walk away from the computer too. Sometimes life just needs to be the focus. Actually, all the time it does, but sometimes it needs to be the only thing in your days.

    Glad you’re back, and that you’re dealing with the school transition as best you can. I know it’s tough!

  2. Because I never check-out or get lazy, all of my posts are perfection. So please be sure not to miss a one when you purge your INBOX.

    Oh wait.

    That’s not right.

    Yeah. I actually feel like I’m almost always in a state of transition and if I learned how to play Angry Birds, I’d probably never clean a toilet again.

    (I’m not sure if those things relate, but.)

    I think it is great that you’re giving yourself permission to do/feel/shift/change…to ebb and flow.

    When it comes to writing, there is no switch you can flip (flip you can switch?) to bring on the flood of words. For better or worse, creativity is an elusive sucker. It has to be nurtured with thought and downtime and peace. And sometimes potato chips.

    So good luck riding the tides, my friend.

    p.s. Law & Order Prime Time in the Day Time is the handiwork of the devil. I’m sure of it.

  3. p.s. Your description of you kindergartner killed me. With love.

  4. I read this post a couple days ago and am just now commenting… because (from one Angry Birds champ to another!) sometimes you just can’t do it all and you HAVE to check out.

    And it is way easier said than done to not let yourself feel guilty about it… but: DON’T LET YOURSELF FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT :)

    Every once in a while you have to hit “Mark All Read” in your Google Reader.
    Every once in a while you WILL have to take a break from twitter, and facebook and all social media.
    And every once in a while you just don’t want or need or care to write.

    At least that is how I am.

    I totally understand. And really saw a lot of my self in this post (And not just in our similar Angry Bird skillzzz – LOL)

    Glad your doing better :)

  5. You know, I started playing Angry Birds and then one day i introduced my husband and he was all “This shizz blows mah mind”…one night i caught him playing the game underneath the covers. Yea, he’s 33 and he was hiding his game playing under the covers. Psha…who does that? Please tell me you don’t.

    I took a mini break in the summer and surprisingly, I didn’t do a damn thing. But it was glorious. Now I’m not focusing so much on the computer. My boy is more important ;)

    Welcome back. PS. Surely you didn’t delete me? If you did, that’s ok. I still love you

  6. I love Angry Birds as well. And, I don’t believe in buying Eagles or what have you. You must trudge through your own victories and feel glorious with each successful level on that damn game.

  7. I love angry birds. Love. Love. Love. My love is fresh and new and brilliant. It shines through the darkness. Clearly, I might have a problem.

    p.s. I would totally include a link but sadly I love my posts like children and other than the older ones (losers) I can’t possibly decide between them.

  8. I have absolutely done this, sometimes I just need my mind to numb from certain parts of life that take too much mental work so that I have room to work through other things. I’m glad you found the time you needed and are feeling restored.

  9. I think its great that you took a time out. Its something I struggle to do, trying constantly to catch up to my reader or my email or all these expectations I’ve placed on myself.

    I’m an excellent Law and Order watcher. We need to make that into a career.

  10. I do it often too…. right down to marking everything in my reader as read! Sometimes it’s just to hard to keep up with everything in life.

    Glad you’re back though!

  11. I am experiencing such a transition currently. I cannot manage to write. I sit around most days accomplishing next to nothing and then berate myself for being such a slug.

    I am so glad you had an ephiphany for me! It may have taken me weeks to figure it all out. I’m not sure I’m ready to snap out of it, but this does aussage my guilt just a touch!

  12. I’ve been there…I go and go and then I just need to take a break. Some weeks I just say I can’t work crazy hours anymore…I need to enjoy life and like you said what would I write about if I didnt live in these moments. P.S. there is an Angry Birds board game out now…my 5 yr old went crazy over it when he saw it. Guess what’s on his Christmas list!?!? :)

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