#IssaMoodMonday... Level Up Edition...

Grand Rising and Happy Mondaying, good people ☀️

It’s an especially good Monday because it’s Labor Day and I don’t have to work.

Anyway, I have a new obsession: Angry Birds Dream Blast.

I have thee hardest time finding game apps to play because I have so much on my mind that, if I feel that it’s too monotonous or boring... DELETE! I know whomever keeps track of my iPhone’s App Store downloads is constantly wondering what is wrong with me because I will download and delete something in less that 5 minutes. That’s how long something has to prove itself worthy but grabbing and holding my attention. 5 minutes.

First of all, when you open this app it assigns you a nickname. I was given “Abstract Dreamer”, which is hella accurate. My brain is all over the place and it’s not a recent change. I’ve been constantly thinking since I was old enough to think. But then, when you finally see the game’s home screen, the Angry Birds are sleeping. I’m talking about head back, mouth open, country snoring. The yellow one is on a cloud that he’s anchored to the ground with an actual anchor, the red one fell asleep with his Beats headphones on, and the black one fell asleep with the straw from his cup in his mouth, mid-drink.

Just like a nigga.

But this game has my attention in such a way that’s it’s on my phone AND my iPad. If I could play it on my watch it would probably be on there too. It’s not so much fun or entertaining as it is distracting. I have to focus my attention on the requirements needed to pass the level: I have to kill so many pigs, crack so many eggs, or gather so many colored game pieces and the requirements change for each level.

Honestly, I blew through the first 100 levels so fast it was crazy but after 101, the levels got crazy hard. Like, I’m using 4 or 5 lives to pass each level, but if I wait an hour, the lives recharge and I can try the level I previously failed again. It’s taking more concentration, more focus. I don't have time to think about what bill to pay next or what to cook for dinner.

I gotta figure out how to blow up 50 green pigs with on 28 moves right quick.

But this got me to thinking about my life. I blew through the first 18 years or so with little to no effort. Seriously. I did the bare minimum but I did it in such a way that I looked like an overachiever. Then I turned 19, had a baby and the levels started to get REAL interesting. Seems like I’ve used all my lives so many times that I had to take some time and regroup. Sometimes a couple of hours, most times a couple of days, on occasion a couple of weeks But eventually, I hop back up and keep killing pigs and cracking eggs.

Figuratively and literally. You know what I mean.

Angry Birds Dream Blast has taught me 3 lessons:

1. Watch the clock. You have time to make your way through but not a lot. Don't waste time on distractions that don't matter.

2. Utilize your power ups. Group what you can together, mix things up or just drop a shooting and blow up everything. Sometimes you have to come hard to get thorough certain obstacles.

3. Expect the unexpected. If you stay prepared you won't have to get prepared. Meditate, journal, and observe. You already have everything you need to get through everything that's coming.

As we get older, the tests and obstacles seem to get harder, but I honestly don’t think that they do. I believe they‘re more complicated because we’ve already been through so much that we’re used to attacking problems a certain way. But a more complicated situation doesn't mean hard; it just means different. if you are blessed to be getting older, the goal is to get wiser. We have to use the things that we’ve learned in the years we’ve completed to get through the things ahead. The odds might change but the reward gets more and more valuable.

Listen, you’ve been through a lot. So have I and so have so many other people in this realm. No 2 games are exactly the same so there is no use in comparing. The point is, you may have to rest for a while, evaluate and regroup, but you always come back strong. You always pass the level, even if it’s with only 1 move left. And you’re gonna keep going until you beat the game. As we keep living and the challenges get more and more difficult, don't think of it as "having a hard time". Consider it a promotion. You're leveling up and with new levels come more challenges but bigger rewards. You've come so far from where you started.

Even if you lose the level, you don’t quit til the game is over...

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