An Update on Me or The One in Which I Write a Novel

First off- thank you all so much for your heartfelt and concerned emails about my back. It’s been a trying week, to say the least. I have felt all sorts of emotions- from very low and discouraged, to hopeful and thankful. This week has served to remind me how precious every day is. You realize that fact when you literally can’t move and enjoy any of it. I actually prayed that I might have the physical capability to do the laundry today. Now that’s sayin’ something. It’s interesting what kind of perspective on life you can get when not only can you not enjoy a fall drive through the canyon, but you can’t even enjoy doing the mundane tasks like loading the dishwasher.

I have been extremely grateful to my husband this week who has been such a trooper. He’s handled dinner every night, emptied the liter box, massaged my aching back, and many other tasks–all with no complaint. On top of it all, he’s been home sick himself a couple of days this week. Poor guy has been coughing and sniffling and sounding miserable for several days now. I think we are both ready to get back to normal.

During the course of this week I was surprised that several of you revealed that you’ve been suffering from a similar back pain and wanted to know about my progress. So if you’re interested, here’s a run down.

I first experienced this pain exactly a year ago at the end of September 2011. It came on gradually throughout the course of a day and then when I woke up the next morning, I was in excruciating pain. Andy had to lift me out of bed and I cried big crocodile tears. I took some time off work, visited the campus doctor and took pain meds and muscle relaxers. After about 5 days it went away as gradually as it came on. The pain was in the left side of my back, mid way up around my shoulder blade, close to my spine. I had no idea what brought it on—in hindsight, I think I have an idea. The muscle relaxers helped me sleep at night. I slept with an ergonomic pillow only to be told later that that was a big mistake, as it actually tweaked my neck in the wrong direction.

I consider myself a fairly active person. I’m strong and healthy and young. So when I first had this happen, I assumed I’d done something to injure my back and that it would heal, and that would be that. I didn’t think I could have this kind of severe pain when I took good care of my body. I was shocked when it happened again. 

The second time I experienced this was in June of 2012. It was bad enough this time that I did some research online about my symptoms and ended up making an appointment at a spine, sports and rehabilitation center. I really didn’t know what kind of doctor to go to or who could help me, but their website told me that they specialized in the kind of pain I thought I was experiencing.

My doctor did some physical tests on me and felt the muscles in my back. He noted that I probably had trigger points that periodically flared up. Trigger points are “classified as potential, active/latent and also as key/satellites and primary/secondary. There are a few more than 620 potential trigger points possible in human muscles.”  In my research I have found that this is in connection with myofascial pain syndrome. “Myofascial pain is associated with muscle tenderness that arises from trigger points.” This pain is not initially caused by trauma or injury and often there is no explanation for the pain. However, stress and repetitive motion that irritates these spots can make them much worse.

I was sent to physical therapy for a few weeks. I learned some at home stretched and exercises I could do which helped a little. The physical therapist told me that the muscles in my back were too stretched out. This can be caused by sitting at a computer or desk either in an awkward position or with my arms stretched out in front of me at the keyboard and my shoulders hunched. I often sat like this when working at the library digitizing collections. Also, my scanner was placed in a difficult to reach place and I’d stretch awkwardly over and over again when scanning large collections of photographs or other documents.

This last time, the pain has been on the left side of my back and has radiated tightness and pain throughout my upper back, shoulders, and neck. It is much, much worse than any of the two previous times. I’ve had some time to think about what might have caused the trigger points to flare up and then what may have aggravated them even further. 

The first time the trigger points in my back acted up was last fall. I was taking 20 credit hours, teaching dance, working full time, and getting ready to organize the annual book sale at the library, To say I was tense and stressed is an understatement. I was stretched very thin and very, very busy. Hence, back pain appeared which was made worse by the repetitive motion of lifting hundreds of boxes of books for the sale.

The second time the trigger points acted up was in June. My job environment had become unbearable, my boss was going out of town and everything rested on me- in a time when I wasn’t really enjoying what I was doing in the first place. I was stressing myself out with questions of where to go next and what to do. I took full charge of Gift in Kind donations at the library and single handedly picked up over 20 donations in a 4 week period, amounting to over 1000 boxes of books. I picked these books up at people’s homes all over northern Utah, transported them by van and then hauled them in to the library where I sorted, counted and moved them all again to a holding room. As you can see, all this is a major reason why I no longer work there. 

This last flare up has come on in a time when I’m a little worried about the lack of decent jobs out there, the decision to take on more debt to get my master’s degree–only to possibly not be able to find a good job afterward, and just other random little things. (I’m a chronic worry wart, what can I say?) But mostly, I think it’s more physical this time. Last Monday I tried a new Pilates class. I’ve complained on here before about people advertising their class as mat Pilates, only to go and find out that it’s nothing more than an aerobics class with very little classical Pilates involved. That’s what this class turned out to be. But I was there- I’d paid my money, so I stuck with it. We did some work that required contracting those sensitive back muscles over and over- way too much. At the time, I didn’t know this would have a major effect on me. I should have stopped, I know. But hindsight is 20/20. Then I taught three hours of dance to hyperactive kids on Thursday night and came home utterly exhausted. It’s only the third week of dance this year and I’ve had the whole summer off- my body wasn’t ready for toe touches and c-jumps. But I’m the teacher and I teach beginners who have absolutely no idea how to do anything without seeing a demonstration- I can’t fake it.

I went to the doctor on Tuesday morning and he gave me some injections to numb the pain. It didn’t help me at all. I still may try acupuncture or dry needle injections as I’ve read that it can help. I would get the injections again just to see if they really don’t help me. He’s ordered an MRI for me as well. He gave me a prescription for muscle relaxers which haven’t dulled the pain either. It just seems that this time around, it’s too severe and the only thing to do is to persist with ice packs, heating pads, soaks in the hot tub, massages from Andy, and the exercises my physical therapist taught me and wait it out. I think these things help to relax me rather than dull the pain. When I’m relaxed I can better endure the pain. When you have this much pain, you end up getting even more tense, which just makes it worse.

In the future I will be much more selective about the Pilates classes I attend. I’ve said before that they are a God send- but only when they’re taught correctly. I need traditional mat Pilates in a serene and quiet environment. Pilates focuses on core and spine strength- it’s very beneficial to me. Also, I’ll rely on my assistant teacher at dance more. Last night she was able to lead the warmups and demonstrate a lot of the skills we were working on so I could let my body rest. She’s a wonderful teacher and I’m going to allow her to step in where I can’t. It’s hard though, to curb my enthusiasm for helping the kids in class. I often get excited and carried away in class just trying to help the kids have a good experience. I’ll have to reevaluate my teaching methods so I can demonstrate enthusiasm but tone it down too.

Also, I’m a naturally tense person. I’m not sure why this is. For instance, I will be sitting at dinner and realize that I’ve got my shoulders tightened up and I will have to remind myself to physically relax them. I’m not sure why I do this. Stress is an interesting problem for me too. I think of stress more in the form of having an extremely overactive mind- it’s always going, thinking, analyzing, wondering, worrying—active. My mind is never at rest. So when I add more to that pot then I liken it to a person being ‘stressed.’ I’m not frantic or anything- there’s just a lot going on up there and sometimes my brain gets overloaded with mental lists, ideas, plans, etc.

The problem is, I don’t often know when my ‘stress’ level is at the point that it might cause a back flare up. This is because I’ve done a very good job my whole life of refusing to recognize when there’s too much going on up in my head. (I plan on giving meditation a try in the hopes that it will quiet my mind for a little bit each day.) I am excellent at ignoring it, pretending I’m fine, and pushing right through- sometimes to the point of really wearing myself down. I usually have to be talked out of taking more on, even though I know I’m already doing too much. Both Andy and my mom have become very good at recognizing when I’m at my limit and telling me so. I need this at times. For example, I have the opportunity to take on one more dance class each week. I know I shouldn’t, but I can so my brain is telling me I should just do it. These are the times when I remind myself that just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.

So the next few months for me are going to be about trying a few different things- muscle relaxation techniques including some deep tissue massages from a specialist, I’ll be getting an MRI just to rule out something more serious, perhaps morning meditation is in order, more self awareness and being okay with not doing everything, and also some extremely light Pilates and weight training to strengthen the weak parts of my back. I’ll be working on getting to a more balanced state in both mind and body.

So that’s where I’m at right now. I’m gradually regaining my mobility and my pain is lessening just a little each day. I am hopeful that, while these active trigger points will never go away, I will be able to manage them with a little daily diligence. I’m good at diligence :)

Here’s some sources that helped me if you want more information:

Trigger Point Therapy
Myofascial Pain Syndrome


Permission Granted: It’s Okay to Want Less

*something I wrote a while ago when I was trying to sort out my thoughts…

I’d worked my way up in the library. I’d worked my way up in the university.  I thought, “Why shouldn’t I be grateful to move to salary. A contract position! So glamorous. Somebody actually thought I was good at what I did and that I deserved to be rewarded by that. Man, I should jump at that- just because it’s there!

But the truth is, I was happy to punch the clock and put in my measly 25 hours a week. I was happy to do my work (and do it well) and then go home and not worry about it. I was happy not to have to be the person to make decisions or come up with new ideas or plan events. But I felt guilty and lazy about that. I started thinking what a terrible person I was and what a lazy person I was, not to desire to do more at my job. I knew I could plan a killer new project-I just didn’t want to.

Don’t get me wrong- I love the library. I love what goes on there. I love the programs implemented by the library. I love supporting the library. I just didn’t want to plan those programs or be in charge of anything. At least, not now. I could see myself getting amped up about that kind of work in the future– but not right now. I can’t explain it, but I just felt like I didn’t want a job that required too much brain power at this time.

Being the creative-new idea-event and display implementing person was a lot of pressure. I don’t want pressure right now. I want easy and relaxing. I know what pressure like that does to an otherwise enjoyable job: It sucks all the happiness and joy out of it. It makes it stressful.

So there I was with a shiny new salary position and an important title and I just wanted to give it all back. I felt ungrateful. A lot of people would kill for the opportunities that I had. But I’m not interested in climbing the ladder right now. I want to be a mom. I want to do volunteer work. I want to craft and sell my crafts. I want to practice Pilates and get my Pilates certification. I want to finally choose a grad school program and get started on it. Minus the grad school part, I feel guilty about wanting all that. It seems that in this day and age I should want to be a career woman. Don’t get me wrong, I do want to further my career. But right now I want other things more.

At one point my boss had to get surgery and would be out two months. We talked about what this meant for me. Being ‘next in line’ I would essentially have to be her for two months. As I sat there in the chair listening to her chatter off all the meetings I would need to attend in her absence, I could literally feel the dread creeping up from my stomach to my throat. But I nodded, smiled, and said, ‘No problem, I got this.’ And I did have it. I could do it. I just didn’t want to. I didn’t want the anxiety that came with all that. The anxiety that comes with anything that you subconsciously realize you don’t want, but are too afraid to admit it.

I didn’t want to be important or in charge. I’d been important and in charge for a lot of years as the owner of my own dance studio and head coach of a high school drill team, and I stepped away from it in an effort to cut the stress. Now I found myself back in that position. But I just wanted to be little old me, sitting in my corner, working on my little projects, and never being called on to step up. Honestly I beat myself up about this for months. I felt so guilty for not wanting to do it all. It’s not that I was a half-ass employee. I did my tasks to the fullest- I just didn’t want to be the all important go-to person.

I started looking back at the hourlies who seemed so stress free. They did their work, they went home, and forgot about it until the next day. I did more work (which never seemed to be enough) and then went home and obsessively checked my work email all night long, just to make sure that I was prepared for whatever would hit me the next morning. I busted my ass to get to work before anyone else and stayed after everyone left. I ate my lunch at my desk, while I kept working. I didn’t stop working while my coworkers talked about Once Upon A Time and Dancing with the Stars. I listened and interjected my thoughts- but I kept typing all the while. I wanted to keep up appearances. I felt obligated to do all this.

I convinced myself to stick with the new salary position and new responsibilities, even though I knew I was unhappy. Afterall- I was damn good at my job. I should want more opportunity to show what I could really do, right? But I never wanted to be a slave to my job, and that’s exactly what I was. I was at my boss’s beck and call. I came running any time she instant messaged me and summoned me to her office. I did everything she asked and more, even though it left me stressed, exhausted, and in a bad mood by the time I went home each night. I didn’t want my life to revolve around my job (and I still don’t.) I wanted want to put in my hours and then go home and enjoy my life with my husband. 

It thought that if I went in to my boss and was just honest with her and told her that I wasn’t happy in the new position, then she would look down on me and be disappointed in me. That she would tell everyone else that I just couldn’t handle it. Then I realized, just because I can handle something and I am good at something, doesn’t mean I have to do it or should want to do it. It’s okay to want less responsibility at times in your life.

It’s okay to want simplicity and peace.

It’s okay to want your life to revolve around your family, rather than your job.

It’s okay to want your job to be a small speck in a large life fulfilled by other things, like cooking dinner with your husband, and doing Pilates in your pajamas, and pulling weeds in your garden, while listening to audio books on your ipod.

It’s okay. I need and still need to convince myself that it’s okay to want and do less.

a little on me lately

Did you know that it’s possible to be happy and sad at the same time? It is. I know, because this is what I’ve been struggling with lately. You may have noticed the after effects of this spilling over onto Her Sunday. Posting has been lack luster the past couple of weeks and it may seem that I’ve lost my steam a little.


There is this one thing that has been dragging me down lately. It’s made me quite despondent over the past few months and has gotten worse this past month. I’ve been in this hopeless place where I felt that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t change anything. I’m never a person to be okay with being unhappy about something in my life. (Especially when I’m so happy with everything else in my life.) I decided to make it my mission to solve this problem.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been pouring all my energy into making choices that will put me on a better track. And it’s been hard. I wish I could be more specific, but a blog is not really the place. Let’s just say that it has to do with the way I spend my time between 9 and 5 every day.

Since all my energy has been put into this challenge, I haven’t had much extra energy to share on Her Sunday. But I think I have finally come to a resolution- at least for now.
So happily my energy can be spent on the things that I love, this blog being one of them.
As a way to keep my spirits up I’ve also been working on a couple of new ventures, ideas, projects-if you will. And I’m very excited to share them with you! But not just yet. Soon though, so stay tuned!

making it

I have nothing creative to share with you today. Although I will show you pictures of my new glasses.


Anyway, I have ten minutes before I need to clock in to work and I’m just sitting here trying to make a mental list of all the things I need to do today. But all I can really do is just reflect on the last couple of weeks. Sometimes life is just hard to deal with, you know? Sometimes it all seems to pile up at once. One thing I’m grateful for is the nice things that have been mixed in with the shitty stuff. They help to remind me that it’s all good- sometimes it’s just hard and you’ve just got to learn to deal with it.

One of those nice times came the other night as Andy and I sat across from each other at Wingers. We really didn’t have time to go out to dinner. There was homework to be done and housework to be done. But we both just said “F– it. We’re going out.” I think we were both just spent. It had been such a long, stressful couple of weeks and all we could hope for was to get over the hump soon. So we didn’t talk about any of that crap. We just ate our popcorn and sticky fingers and talked about nothing that mattered at all. And it felt good.

Sometimes just saying “F– it” and letting yourself enjoy an hour at Winger’s is all you need to be able to get up the next morning and keep clawing your way through all that other crap.

Quick visit

I thought I’d stop by and write a post. It seems like forever since I’ve written- only a week, but in blogging time, that is forever. Anyway, I had grand plans of posting pictures from our Memorial Day weekend, but that hasn’t happened. I don’t really have the time to sit down and edit photos right now. Let’s just say the weekend was nice and relaxing.

Remember all my jumbled thoughts from last week? Well, I negotiated with my employer to allow me this week off to sort it all out. I’ve cleared quite a bit of the brain clutter out in the last couple of days and have checked just about everything off my to do list- except for that damn research paper. But I’m working on the paper today. I think the most frustrating thing about it, is that all my source material can only be found in special collections. That means that I can’t take it home with me. So I can only work on my paper when I’m willing to sit in special collections for hours on end. That gets old real fast. In any case, it’s my ticket to graduation, so I guess I’ll suck it up and do it. Two thumbs down.

I had a nightmare the other night that I picked up my wedding dress from the alterations place only to find that they had “hemmed” it up to my thighs- essentially making it look like a lacy hooker dress. I woke up in a cold sweat. Needless to say, I’ll be very relieved when the day actually comes and things go off without a hitch. I’ll be even more relieved when we’re on our honeymoon enjoying some time away from life.

I’ve spent almost every night until 10 pm this week at the studio, working on last minute choreography for the recitals next week. I’m nursing a long term muscle injury (from Feb) in my right leg, so it’s been rough going. I’ve been forced to dance conservatively, which I hate because it just makes me feel lazy. But what can you do? I think I’m on the downside of the pain now, but it’s still not great.

That’s really about it. I need to get back to working on my paper now. I expect that posting will be spotty at best for awhile around here. I always toy with the idea of stopping blogging, because who really cares anyway? I’m pretty sure my bff, Heather is the only one that reads on a regular basis (or comments) and her and I talk so frequently that she already knows what’s going on in my life before I post it. Sometimes it just feels like a big waste of time and effort- like talking to air or something.


Sorry about my lackluster blogging effort as of late. I actually have a lot to blog about, but it always seems that when I have a lot to say, I can’t seem to get anything out. That’s why the post is titled jumbled- because that’s how my brain feels right now. So much swimming around up there. Like:

*must write my bibliography
*really need my professor to email back (note to self- check email obsessively every five minutes until he does)
*need to spend 30-40 hours putting my 1st draft together (when am I going to do that, haha)
*need to get all the dead leaves out of the flower beds so they can breath
*why won’t it stop raining?
*crap, I forgot to rotate the laundry
*need to check my budget & make sure I’m on for the month
*Andy needs me to pick up apples & oranges for his lunches
*finally all the honeymoon plans are finalized, phew! so excited!
*there’s leftovers in the fridge that I don’t want to eat, but I hate wasting food
*it’s been a month since I wrote in my journal
*why won’t contentdm upload my stupid project, ugh!
*don’t want to have to call tech support, again, but I might have to
*I wish I could get my masters in library science plus an MBA plus a masters in art history
*dang it. I love school. Why am I 30 already? Dang it!
*that Iron Chef episode I watched yesterday was awesome. I love food so much.
*so excited about the wedding shoes I found in Vegas
*getting married in 30 days!! I love Andy so much. I’m so lucky.
*I need to scrub the bathtub. It’s so gross. I hate scrubbing the bathtub.
*what the heck am I going to make for dinner tonight?
*still need to take those photos for our county assessor project
*hmm…why did I buy those corn tortillas? I must have had a specific recipe in mind??
*I hope I don’t curse our kids with my pasty skin. I hope they get Andy’s tan skin.
*Our kids are going to be so cute, I just know it.
*Why are you thinking about kids? Stop it.
*Okay, fine. I wish I spoke french. or spanish. I think translators make good money?
*I really should work sometime today. I guess I’ll try uploading again….

And that’s typically what’s going on in my brain at any given moment of the day. Not just one of those thoughts, but all of them… the same time. It’s seriously a wonder I can even function somewhat normally. Imagine how bad it gets when I’m laying in bed at night trying to fall asleep. I wish my brain had an on/off switch.

Anyway, before I go…some quick photos of my time in Vegas.

Photobucketmmm…carrot cake pancakes with cream cheese syrup & a vegetarian omelet…mmm


Photobucketmmm…nutella crepes with strawberries…mmm

We also went to an amazingly delicious greek food restaurant & one night we got yummy take out Thai food. Yeah, I know. You’re thinking, “Those are the photos she took while she was in Vegas? Seriously?” Yep. I took photos of the food I ate. Because I love food. And we ate good food. And had good times. And ate more food. I love food. I love Vegas with Heather. The end.



Why do people style blog?

Taking pictures of yourself and your outfit and posting them on your blog. That’s style blogging. And frankly, I love it. My lovely gem of a cousin in law, Amy and I, have been discussing this topic. Her and I have heard some of the same things when it comes to style blogging- that people who post pictures of their outfits are vain and totally into themselves.

Photobucketfrom Kendi Everyday

That’s not what style blogging is about at all. I personally admire style bloggers for their courage to put their look out there for everyone to possibly criticize. I love, love, love fashion and seeing how other people interpret fashion is fun for me. What can I say? I’m a girly girl when it comes to clothing.

Photobucketfrom My Edit

I don’t consider myself the most fashionable person in the world, but I still have fun with my wardrobe. In fact, I was working on putting together a few style blogs for my own blog several months ago, when I was hit with the comment that style bloggers are self centered. That sincerely made me feel bad, because I’m not self centered. I just happen to love clothes. My clothes, and the way I put them together, are partially how I express my personality.

Photobucketfrom Fashion Chalet

So anyway, if you want to read mine and a few other blogger’s opinions on what we like about style blogging, then please visit miss Amy’s blog today. She makes some great points.

Photobucketfrom The Daybook

I think we can all learn to stop judging before we know the reasons why people do things in the first place. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who knock something just because it’s not something they’re interested in. Why can’t we let each other enjoy our own personal interests while we enjoy ours? To each his own.

Photobucketfrom A is for Ampersand


Happy Earth Day

Do we really need one designated day to care about our Earth? We should be doing what we can for our planet every single day. It’s hard sometimes, right? I know I have the best intentions, but I also have all sorts of excuses. Organic is expensive, recycling is a pain because my city won’t pick it up for me, I like long & hot showers, I forgot my reusable coffee mug, and on and on. But those are pathetic excuses.

Recently I came across this quiz that you could take to see what type of ecological footprint your lifestyle was leaving. As I started going through the questions I slowly being to think, “uh oh, this is not looking good for me.” But I kept answering honestly. Here are my results:

Yikes!! I’ll just go hang my head now. I really can’t continue to let this happen. Andy and I always talk about living a more eco friendly, less waste lifestyle but then we get lazy and don’t do it. In honor of Earth Day, I’m vowing to step up our efforts. I’m going to take the quiz again at the end of the summer after we’ve made some changes around here. Hopefully it will show that I’m leaving much less of a negative impact on our planet.

I also wanted to share with you this inspiration video on the Johnson Family.

That is incredibly amazing to me and such an inspiration. Bea also writes a blog on zero waste. It’s important to me to live a life of less waste. It’s time to start making it a priority.

What will you do for your planet today?


on frustrations

I’m supposed to be preparing for a final that I have to take today. I came up on campus because I thought it would help me get in the academic mode. This past month has been hard and I’m not really sure why. I feel like I have a lot going on, but I really don’t. It’s not much more than what is normally going on. I feel overwhelmed but calm at the same time. Still, I just don’t want to face anything that I need to right now. I have decisions that need to be made and I don’t feel like making them. I have projects that need to be done and I don’t feel like doing them. And then there’s the studying. I really don’t feel like doing that.

Honestly, this entire semester has been rough. It’s like my mind has just decided to check out. I can’t retain information worth crap. I stare at my notes and nothing sticks. It’s been a frustrating semester to say the least and my grades are suffering for it. Because I can’t seem to perform at my normal academic level for the past three months, I check out completely. I’ve gone through this cycle of not caring, to stressing out and trying to cram, to feeling like a total failure because I can’t pull it together. I’ve faced lack of motivation before, but this just seems like something so much worse.

And now here I am, smack dab in the middle of finals week. I have my History of Africa final today. I have to take it sometime before 7 pm tonight. I feel just a little bit angry because I was excited to take this class. Yet, because of my inability to get any of the information I’ve been learning to stick, I feel as though the class has been a waste of time. As I sit here staring at my pages of notes, names, dates, and terms, I’m angry. Because memorizing this stuff has never been hard for me. Yet, I can’t recall a single thing from this entire semester. And I keep thinking, what’s wrong with me? Am I just completely distracted by  life and the upcoming months and events that I’m doing this to myself?

I don’t know. Because even when I do sit down with a feeling of determination and excitement to read and study and comprehend, those skills just won’t come. Even reading for pleasure and learning for pleasure, the last few months has been impossible for me. So here I sit becoming more and more frustrated. Knowing, that I have to at least pull a 90 on this exam.

“I miss you.”

“I’m right here.”

“I know. But even when we’re together, we’re not together.”

That’s how it’s been. Mentally we’re each in our own little worlds, just trying to get through with stupid school. It’s very frustrating and I’m tired of it. We’re coming up on what should be the most exciting time in our lives and we can’t even enjoy the ride. That also makes me angry.

Anyway, I can’t really sit here and blog all day-even though I wish I could. I really need to focus right now. It’s just that focusing is the last thing my mind wants to do. If only it would cooperate just for today. I just have to take this test and then maybe I can breath a little…and enjoy pizza with my grandparents on Saturday. Mmmmm… No! Think Africa, Brain! Please!

The game of life

Last night Andy and I sat on the couch together playing Angry Birds. As we sat there, we got into a rhythm of passing the controller back and forth- each taking a turn to play.While we played, we would give each other guidance and help each other.  And we would discuss…. “Do you think I should aim right there?” etc.

If I wasted all my birds before killing all the pigs, then Andy would take the controller next and give that level another try. It was always a celebration, with cheers for each other, no matter who completed the level. There was no competition between us- only partnership.


That hour of time meant so much to me, because it was more than just playing Angry Birds. It was working together for a common goal and having fun while we did it. It was being each others cheerleader and saying, “Don’t worry about it,” when someone messed up a shot. It was being silly together and enjoying each others company.

Andy never criticized me when I screwed the level up. He always cheered when I hit something dead on. He got up to take care of the ‘kids’ and let Henry out when I was playing so I didn’t have to be interrupted.

It made me realize that I’ve picked the perfect partner to have by my side in this crazy game of life.