Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Stuff

As part of an attempt to cure my ADHD and rid myself of some annoying habits, I deactivated my Facebook account for a time. I think this is healthy to do periodically, and I am going to see what it does for me. So maybe I'll be blogging more now... who knows?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Who could ask for anything more?


I had a thought during Relief Society and it has been weighing on me all day. So I decided to write it down in a way that would allow me to focus and spend some time with it.

Yesterday’s lesson was on relationships. I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships lately. About six months ago, I decided to try something.  I had been thinking about my interpersonal relationships and I decided that I wanted to take some steps to enhance the quality of them. I wanted to make friends with people who had been acquaintances. I wanted to turn strangers into loved ones. And I wanted to know and love my existing loved ones more.

I set out trying to be friendlier to people. I tried to reach out and stretched myself a bit out of my comfort zone. Something remarkable happened: I started making friends! It was wonderful.

The objective of this goal was to meet people and make more friends. I was primarily motivated by a desire to strengthen my own social circle. But along the way, an interesting byproduct occurred. As I was working on enhancing my relationships with others, I started to unconsciously work to strengthen my relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus. This was not what I had set out to do. I am coming to realize that my enhanced relationships have brought me closer to the Godhead.

I believe this is because the people who have come into my life inspire me.  They are transparent enough that I can see the light of Christ through them! In my interactions with people who I have come to know and love, I have noted the many gifts they have offered me. I spend much time focusing on what I have to offer the world, but I have been a recipient of many people’s offerings, especially these past few months. Relationships are important not just because we have something to offer the world, but also because there are valuable tools we must receive from others in our world.

I am grateful to have spent some time working on my interpersonal relationships. I never thought that by doing so, these people would inspire me to higher levels of greatness. I never thought that I would grow closer to God by coming to know more of His children. Now that I think about it, it seems so obvious. All I wanted six months ago was a more interesting social life. Now I have that plus a greater connection with deity.  What more could a girl ask for?   

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I'm turning 30

Well, not today. But soon. I have exactly 18 months before the big 3-0 and I don’t know what to do with myself. Where exactly did the last 10 years go!? I have no idea. I wonder if we will ever really know those things.

Today I want to speak with you all about resolutions. My resolutions, to be exact. I want to speak with you about the fact that my new years resolutions have largely gone down the toilet thus far this year.

I blame my new job and my inability to focus on anything but said new job on this downfall. I did well on my resolutions for about a month, then I started my new job and moved and have not really had the motivation to work on my resolutions since then. This whole “working full time” thing is for the birds, I tell you. I keep waiting for someone to call me up and tell me they want to pay me money to just hang out around the office and color with my markers. But for some reason, that doesn’t seem to happen. So until then, I guess I will work a real job. Humph. Oh well.

So January 23, 2012 was my Chinese New Years Resolution date. April 15, 2012 is becoming my New-Chinese New Years Resolution date. As of today, I am recommitting myself to these suckers, and by golly; I’m going to accomplish them. No job stress will get in my way any longer.

I’m presenting my resolutions to the blogging world for your sustaining vote: Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Watch all 9 sessions of General Conference live (Already partially failed at this one, but that is what repentence is for)

2. Run a race for charity (I do have a couple in mind)

3. Train for a ½ marathon (SO I haven’t started yet, but I did buy the book)

4. Compete in two triathlons (I may have run out of time on this one)

5. Go to the dentist (I now have dental insurance, which is a step in the right direction)

6. Talk to 4-5 (non-work-related) strangers a day (I need to develop a tracking system for this one... any ideas?)

7. Volunteer 3-4 hours a month (Training starts tomorrow! Whoopee!!)

8. Write something for 250 words a day (I did good on this one for awhile; time to get back on track)

9. Exercise 3 hours a week (It’s too hot!!! I need to buy a gym membership!!)

10. Go on a trip to Nashville with Emma (I have my Nashville Savings fund started)

11. Read all of the standard works (This is a particularly lofty goal, but I’m going to do my best)

12. No sugary junk food all year long (Bah!! Miserable failure thus far! I’m starting over tonight… well, maybe tomorrow)

13. No fast food burgers and fries (So far, so good)

14. Pray every night (does it count if I’m half asleep?)

15. No shopping on Sunday (unless the ox is in the mire… whatever that means)

16. No yelling at cars (was probably a more realistic goal before I moved to a place that has this thing called rush hour)

17. No computer in the mornings (not too difficult considering my internet rarely works)

18. Monthly temple attendance (so far, so good)

19. Take guitar lessons (hopefully this fall)

20. Pass an institute class (I moved halfway through the semester, so maybe this next semester)

21. Conquer my fear of the OBGYN (‘nuff said…)

So, there you have it (because of course, you needed to know all that). I hope to turn this blog into a place where I can have some degree of accountability over my goals. Pretty much, I want to change my life. A lot. And since I am 18 months shy of 30, now seems to be a pretty good time to start. Don’t you think?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My life is boring


I’ve been at my new job, house, etc for 2.5 weeks now. I haven’t seen my sister and her babies in 2.5 weeks. I’m starting to go through withdrawals. Sally the Car squeaks whenever I turn her on. I think it’s because she misses Becky and the kids. Or maybe it is because tomorrow is her 240,000th birthday and she has been on hospice for the last year. Who knows?

I tried to give my co-workers some time before I let them in on my craziness. After spending our lunch break today explaining to them the wonders of a certain Fluffy the Turtle, I think I’ve officially became the grief counselor who is “a little quirky.” Oh well. I’m sure there’s a therapeutic benefit to being a little quirky.

Anyway, in other news, I am still afraid of getting fired, but I am trying not to let that hold me back from putting a major effort into succeeding at my job. We’ll see how that goes. To be safe though, I am still sending out my resume, and I am trying to quickly build up an emergency fund to prepare for the worst. We’ll see how that goes.

Once I get settled, I want to start doing something enriching and non-work related during my spare time. I maybe want to start taking a class of some sort. I am thinking either guitar or Spanish or maybe some sort of craft class. I haven’t decided yet. But I figure that I will need something to enhance my own mental health. I’m going to wait a few months though, until I get settled with the job thing (and make sure that they like me enough to keep me).

Here’s some good news: I have health insurance now! After 4 years of not taking any chances, I now can engage in reckless activities without fear of the catastrophic implications of hospitalization. Here’s some other good news: I am going to UTAH for Easter! Now, what is to love about Easter, one might ask? Mom and Dad and Grandmas!!! Yay! I was thinking about not going because I don’t really have time off at my new job yet, and tickets are pricey. But I am honestly afraid of the negative implications that missing Easter in Utah will have on my mental health. And my mental health is worth much more than an airplane ticket (even a super-expensive one). I may be eating rice and beans for the next six months to make up for it, but I don’t mind. Yay, UTAH!!

That’s all for now folks. Sorry about how boring this blog is becoming. One of these days, I’m going to take me a creative writing class and hopefully come up with interesting things to write about. Until then, God be with you.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New


New Post

New Job

New City

New Home

New Life

All in one week.

And what a glorious week it has been. In the past 7 days, I have relocated across the state, moved into a new house, got a new roommate, joined a new ward, lost and found my phone, and started a new job.

The months of job hunting have finally paid off, and last month I was offered a great position doing grief counseling for a non-profit hospice agency. It pays more than I've ever even hoped to make, and it is for an agency that does an unbelievable amount of good in this community.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Right.

I've always had an interest in bereavement, but counseling people scares me. Who am I to provide guidance to others? This was not my plan when I went into social work, but here I am now, and this is what I am doing with my time. I can't do much more than pray, and work to make myself as good as I can possibly be at this job for which I do not feel adequate.

You want to know a secret? I have an irrational fear of getting fire, and I'm scared that all that is happening to me right now is too good to be true. I'm scared that I won't be cut out for all that they are going to ask me to do. I'm scared that any minute now, someone will pull me into their office and inform me that it has all been a mistake. Or worse, that three months from now someone will pull me into their office and inform me that it just isn't working out. Blah.

Just to be safe, I'm gonna keep sending out resumes. I remember how bad it was trying to find a job after my bachelors degree, and I really don't want to experience that again. Although I guess that might jinx myself. Hmmmm... now I don't know what to do.

I think I'm going to go and curl up in a ball and hide somewhere.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Update time!




I know that you are all on pins and needles!

Well, when I last checked in with this blog thingie, I was having anxiety

through the roof about all of the crazy stuff that was going on in my life. I'm pleased to announce that Sally the Car made it through graduation and is still rolling forward. She had her oil changed today. Dad seems to think that there is not as much wrong

with her as I seem to think, and I trust his judgement, which has given me a little bit of confidence.

Life has slowed down in the last week or two. Largely because I finished school and my internship and the only thing troubling me now is my current job and what to do in terms of future jobs. That and writing my Chinese New Years resolutions- which are going to be Chinese New Years resolutions because I didn't prepare for them in time for American New Year (and yes, "stop procrastinating" will be included on my list).

In other news:



I have a Masters Degree in Social Work!!!!

Can you believe it? Me!? A master?! To all those people who thought I'd never graduate: ha ha!!

My mommy and daddy needed to see this to believe it, so they flew in for my graduation


It was a lovely graduation ceremony; very short and sweet. There were only 16 of us graduating, and it was nice. It felt very personal and intimate.



The advice that the speaker gave to us was something along the lines of: "When the going gets hard, and you don't feel like you are making a difference, think back and remember what motivated you to pursue social work in the first place." I thought that was particularly poignant. I was motivated to pursue social work while working at a summer camp in New York in 2004. It was an amazing experience, and I learned a great deal about the suffering and sadness that exists in the world and in our own country.

I learned a lot about people, and how I want to make changes that will make this world a better place, and a safer place for my children to grow up. Ultimately, I went into social work because of my belief that all children deserve happiness, and it is the children who suffer the most when the world has problems.

Mostly, I went into social work because I wanted to help people. And sometimes we get caught in the day-to-day actions that don't really seem to make that much of a difference. I will try to remember all of the reasons I did this when the going gets tough.

Now that I have a little bit more breathing room, I want to figure out what I want this blog to become. It has always just been my little space to write my thoughts, but I have a hard time keeping up with it. I wonder if I would be better at just writing in a journal the old fashioned way. What I really want is for my writing to have purpose and meaning, but what should the purpose be? I'm feeling compelled to take this blog in a new direction, but I am lacking the compass to help me decide which direction is best. Thoughts?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Anxious...


Lately I’ve been anxious. About everything. Literally everything. I’ve started to read catastrophic implications into minor occurrences in my life.  I blame the cast of Grey’s Anatomy.  That show is way too dramatic! It is addicting and I don’t even like it!

Example one: Sally the Car is going in for new part on Monday. After she got her oil changed last Saturday, the mechanic told me she needs a new part (something about a control arm). So ever since then, I‘ve been having visions of me and Sally plunging off a cliff because the control arm fails. The old me would have been mildly concerned, but driven as usual until I had time to get her in.  The current me is so anxious that I have refused to drive Sally for the last three days. I’ve started to wonder how I will be able to get to work without a car, and if I will lose my job because of it, or if I will not be able to make it to the last couple weeks of school because of it. The mechanic will see her on Monday at 8 am. He is 50 miles away. So let us all pray that Sally is able to make it those 50 miles.

Example two: I’ve also had a lot of people yell at me lately. Now, as my mother will attest to, my definition of “yell” does not actually imply a raised voice; it implies people using a forceful tone to tell me something that I don’t want/need to hear. But it still frustrates me. The old me would take it all in stride, but recently those things have made me anxious. Instead of blowing it off, the current me has started to worry about my job, my school, my success as a social worker, and a number of other things.

I used to be the most easygoing person in the world, but the last few weeks I’ve started to feel differently. What gives? Could it just be all the changes in my life right now? Will things calm down? Or will this just be the way it is?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

This is my fourth blog post with that title. I suppose it has become tradition. I still have to resist the urge to repeat the phrase “I live in a tree” after every time I say “Happy Birthday to me.” I’m still not sure where that urge comes from.

Let’s see, it has actually not been a very eventful year. Not as eventful as last year. Or the year before that. Slightly more eventful than the year before that.

So, without further adieu, let’s do this thing.

Since October 14, 2010, I have:

Survived what has been indisputably the most stressful year of my life without pulling my hair out, taking my life, or curling up into a ball and hiding under my bed. You might be rolling your eyes, but try going to graduate school while working 30 hours a week, interning another 20, and waking up at the crack of dawn to teach early morning seminary. No complaints, but it was definitely the most stressful year of my life.



Taken a road trip to Vegas in my grandma’s mini-van. Because nothing says “super fun road trip” like a Honda Odyssey.





Moved to North Carolina! Greensboro is a great place. Target is only a hop, skip, and a jump away. It is exactly halfway between my internship and school and work. Now if I can just convince my car to continue to function for a few more months. Every time I go to Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill, I think to myself: “I really want to live here!” If only I could convince the job gods to find me a position there.
Lived off of my food storage for 2.5 months and counting. Never again will I make fun of those provident living Relief Society lessons.


Acquired a niece. I kind of like it when people automatically assume she’s my daughter. She’s extremely cute.








Trained for my third triathlon. Okay, so it was the second triathlon I have actually trained for, but it will be the third one I will compete in. The tri begins in T-minus one day. Here’s to last place!

Gone for 286 days and counting without drinking anything other than water and milk.
Gone for 105 days and counting without eating sugary junk food and desserts. I am taking the day off for my birthday though.

So, here’s to me. Happy birthday to me! And for those of you who don’t know, I share a birthday with Dwight D. Eisenhower. And Usher. And Ralph Lauren. Good to know.

I hope that the next year will be even better than the last. It sure seems like it will. I have graduation to look forward to, and hopefully getting a full time job, which might mean I am able to save some money or something like that. As for concrete plans for the future after graduation… well, for the first time in a long time, the future feels like an empty book. The next few years of my life could take me in any number of different directions, and it will be interesting to see what happens.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bloggers

Even though I've kept this blog for over three years, I don't really consider myself "a blogger." Probably because few of my friends and family members blog themselves, and even fewer of them read my blog. I've never really blogged for the comments; I've mostly just blogged because I have things to say.

Lately though, I've been reading a great deal of personal blogs, and I have been starting to see blogging as a legitimate way to exercise my creativity. I find it somewhat inspiring to read blogs about the lives of people I've never met, but to see how much purpose and soul goes into their storytelling. I don't know if I can be that person who shares so much of her personal life with the general public. Yeah, I know that by posting the details of my life on the internet, anyone is free to read about it. But few enough people actually do that I hardly feel like an open book. But there's just something magical about reading people's stories. It gives me insight on humanity. It reminds me that I am not as strange as I sometimes think I am. It reminds me that of all of those little things that I struggle with, there is someone out there who has struggled before. I love those moments when I read someones blog and I think to myself: "You do that too!? I thought I was the only one!!"

I think I want to become a blogger. Rather than just having a blog, I think I want to be one of those people who helps to connect the world through the sharing of unique experiences. I'm not looking for more readers per se, but I am looking to improve my blog and improve my writing habits. I'm not entirely sure I have the discipline and the guts to take the time to share my stories, but I am going to try and see what happens.

In the meantime, here are a few links that have inspired my recent personal blog fetish. Do you have any that you would like to share with me?

HopefulLeigh, a blog about Christianity, singleness, and life in the south
Loralee's Looney Tunes, a blog about parenting, death, and raising boys
The Jacksons, a blog about grief and loss
The Nienie Dialogues, a blog about parenting, overcoming tragedy

Don't worry; I'm sure I'll find more.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sally the Car

This is not my actual car, but a stand-in.

Sally is my wonder car. Unfortunately, Sally has been feeling less than wonderful lately. In April, I found out that Sally had leaks in her radiator. A week later, one of my hospice patients backed into her and left her with a couple of nice gouges in the bumper. I, being the nice car owner that I am, decided to use the insurance payout that the hospice patient got me to pay the remainder of my summer tuition. That same spring, a tree fell down in front of her and knocked out her antannae. In August, my work supervisor broke her door handle.

I have known for several months now that Sally is a hospice patient. That means that she is receiving comfort measures only (including regular oil changes and basic maintenance), and no aggressive treatment (which would include a transmission replacement or something of the like). I have been praying that Sally will simply last through my graduation, which is in 81 days (not that anyone is counting). Alas, it is appearing that Sally the wonder car does not have 81 days of life in her. I'm no mechanic, but she seems to be knocking on death's door.

This puts me into a predicament. I finally, by the skin of my teeth and using every last penny of my savings, paid my tuition for this semester. And now I think I will be having to buy a new car. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but probably soon.

I'm trying not to be mad at Sally. She has lived a tough life and has had her fair share of challenges. She has been a great friend and companion. And she, like me, is from Utah. So of course we are tough. I'm trying not to be mad at Sally, but she picked an inopportune moment to die. I wish she could have died after tomorrow, so that I can go to presentaion I am doing at my internship. And take my trip to WV that was planned for this weekend. But sometimes people pick bad times to die. Cars do too.

Sally may not be completely dead. I'm still waiting for the official pronouncement. But even if she is not dead, I don't think she has 81 days left. Let us celebrate the life of Sally the Car.