Thursday, June 19, 2008

I know so very little

As I go to work and am surrounded by great literary minds and grammar geniuses, I feel pretty darn stupid.

I know how to use technology, yes. I know how to design publications on InDesign and how to manipulate photos in Photoshop. I also can make my own cool texts in Illustrator.

But I still only have a Bachelor's degree, and I still can't remember what the 10 basic sentence structures are, and I can't even remember offhand what an indirect object is (which was made clear to me in my Spanish 101 class).

There's so much to learn, and I feel unable to grasp much at all. For instance, I have started reading about seven books; I haven't finished any of them. I am interested in so many things and want to have a hand in each, but never really get anywhere because I don't have seven hands.

I want to know everything, yet I don't have the discipline to really learn one thing.

Perhaps this desire to know it all provides yet another motivation to gain exaltation so I can have a perfect knowledge. I guess I'll just have to settle with my imperfect brain and have patience for the life I have ahead of me to read lots of good books and learn lots of new things . . .

. . . like how to clean spit up thoroughly out of any fabric.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I decided I didn't like my blog layout again. I want to change it. It's like when I was younger and trying to name my stuffed animals: I would pick and name, and then later decide I didn't like it. I soon realized that continuously changing their names defeated the purpose of having a name all together, so I stopped naming them because I couldn't stand the thought of having to stick with the name I picked forever.

I'm scared for the time when I have to name my own children . . .


Why am I so good at it?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Brought back to reality

I recently wrote an article for a local magazine focused on two stroke survivors and increasing awareness about strokes and their symptoms. I was currently wrapped up in the current events surrounding my own life, probably complaining about something, when it hit me: it can all change in a second.

This man was a successful, relatively young, doctor when he had his stroke. His entire left side was initially paralyzed, but he got his movement back. However, he is still struggling to put words together. Suffering from general aphasia, he lost all communication skills. Sometimes struggling to find the right words, he told me he'd rather have an arm and a leg paralyzed than to have lost all speech and writing skills.

Humbled by this experience, I want to try harder to appreciate all the small things I can do everyday, and all the wonderful people in my life. I take my husband, parents, and siblings for granted much of the time, but I want to think about, serve, and show my love more. It sure is comforting to know that I have eternity to spend with them and if something happened to one of them, I could see him or her again. But showing love now sure goes a long way.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Expect things to go wrong

I wish I could call myself an optimist, but I don't think I can call myself a pessimist. I am disloyal to both categories, I waffle about my position, and change my argument.

Anyway, it may sound that living by the adage to expect things to go wrong, or to expect things to not go right, is living negatively or pessimistically; but I think it's a good way to cope with the fact that life isn't perfect.

I am one that likes to plan: I make lists of things to do everyday, lists including laundry, cooking dinner, cleaning the toilet, and sending an email I keep putting off. Being able to check them off gives me a sense of completion and satisfaction. So with that in mind, I like things orderly and to go the way I planned. But of course, life never seems to work out that way.

This is true in both major life plans and small, day-to-day events. For instance, I was going to go on a mission, and I got married instead; I was going to go to graduate school, but for now I'm an adjunct professor living in Rexburg; I was going to finish my senior basketball season and enjoy several sports in college, but I tore both my ACLs. Now, although all that seems bad, when I look back, it was meant to be, even if it wasn't in my initial game plan.

Dealing with day-to-day events not going right are oddly harder to cope with sometimes. Like today--I was planning on conducting a telephone interview for an article I'm writing, then going out, doing errands, and swimming. However, my interviewee didn't answer at the appointed time, and then I was left waiting around for the call. Then I get a call telling me he'll call back in half an hour. Now an hour later, I'm writing a blog, not getting my errands done because he might call. Frustrating?

Or sometimes I make plans for a weekend and then find out my husband made other plans; sometimes these plans are even worse than not being mine--they don't include me.

The list can go on. But what bugs me more than all those little misadventures now is that I let them get to me.

Going through big trials and derailments, like my knee surgeries, eventually became this noble thing that was meant to help me grow and find meaning in life. It was hard, but somehow I eventually was ok with it. But those stupid little annoyances don't seem to have a purpose but to make my life miserable.

For the record, my life is not miserable.

Anyway, my goal from now on is to just expect for things to turn out differently than I planned them. (My advice on weddings: "Expect the unexpected" is never truer. My experience: I dropped red lipstick on my skirt! Everyone tried to wipe it off, thinking it was a dropped rose petal. I was devastated, but to my credit, I handled it pretty well. My poor mom though . . . )

So, good luck to us all to find a way to plan and find purpose in our lives while taking the unexpected in stride.

Reporting Back

Exactly one month later I am here to say that yes, saying "thank you" made my day better. Unfortunately, I haven't thought about it much since March 19.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Saying "Thank You"

I checked out a book from the library yesterday on the benefits of saying "thank you." Apparently this habit is declining, because apparently you can write a whole book about it.

I do have to agree with what she said in the introduction at least--being grateful and saying "thank you" are almost guaranteed to make you a happier, more productive person, and certainly more pleasant to be around.

President Henry B. Eyring, first counser to the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave a talk last General Conference about the importance of taking the time to notice the gifts God has given you and your family. He suggested recording those blessings in some way as a way to remember them ourselves and as a physical sign to God that we are taking the time to notice and be thankful.

So, it's my goal to focus on the good things that happen to me today, be thankful for them, and perhaps even find a way to be thankful for the bad things that happen as well.

I'll report back.