Monday, January 24, 2011

The Salt Lake Half Marathon. WHA?!


I signed up for a half marathon.

Who am I?

For the two of you out there who don't know that I am going to run the Salt Lake Half, I will tell you that I have already been training for 3 weeks. I made up my mind that I was going to do it around the new year, but there was this teeny, tiny, little (MASSIVE) part of me that wasn't ready to commit. I have never done anything like this before. I am not an athlete, I am not even athletic for heaven's sake. I mean, I can ride a bike and swim a couple of laps, but run 13 miles!? What if I got injured while I was training? What if I died trying? What if I was never made to do this in the first place!? I will admit to being a little scared. Ok, fine, A LOT SCARED. But I have spent the last three weeks running, swimming, and talking up my endeavors to anyone who will listen. Every day I have felt a little bit stronger, a little bit more capable, and as long as I kept talking and people believed that I could do it, I figured that eventually I would believe me too.

Well, today I decided that I believe me. I can do this. So, I signed up. I am in. April 19th. Do or die. Probably die. But that's ok. I can't wait. I'm gonna rock this race.

I will be updating my adventures in training frequently, so stay tuned to find out how the geeky little theater girl becomes a distance runner...

Wish me luck!

I Really Love My....

Remember My Buddy?

He had an awesome jingle that still gets stuck in my head 20 years later:

"My Buddy, My Buddy, Wherever I go, he goes. My Buddy, My Buddy, I’ll teach him everything that I know.

My Buddy and me, Like to climb up a tree. My buddy and me, We're the best friends that could be.

My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy and Me!"

I never had a My Buddy, or a Kid Sister for that matter, but I certainly wanted one. But the universe is kind and I have one now My buddy isn't really a doll that will climb trees with me, but it is certainly my constant companion is almost everything I do.

I really love my lappy.

Almost 3 years ago I bought myself a fancy schmancy laptop. I felt like a grown up for sure, but to be honest, my lappy went neglected for a long time. I already had a desktop and a laptop from work. If you also counted my work desktop, this was the 4th computer that I added to my collection.

Fast forward 2 1/2 years. I was all signed up and ready to go for grad school. I pulled out my little laptop and hoped for the best. I was a little worried that my old lappy would be out of date and hold me back in my academic pursuits. I was worried that I would be out of date and serious uncool. How wrong I was. This laptop is still chic, sexy, and ready to handle anything I throw at it. My laptop goes everywhere with me these days. Wherever I go, he goes.

I do my homework, take notes, watch TV, and even do my scripture study on my laptop. I communicate with my friends and family, organize my day, and write fancy little blogs on my laptop. I pay my bills, listen to my music, and even do some shopping on my laptop.

Lappy, I don't know what I would ever do without you!

I really love my laptop.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Only Thing Constant is Change

So, when I posted about my chucks I mentioned that last week was a little difficult – and it was. Times are a-changin’ and not in a very small way. Being the introspective, overly-analytic, intensely self-aware person that I am, I have taken a lot of time to think about all of this. I would like to share a few of those thoughts:

First, a disclaimer:

Over the last few months and especially the last few weeks, I have never felt more loved and supported by those around me. (Here is a special shout out for kidnapping me and taking me for a drive in the canyon, chicken and crystal light, and two really big valentine cupcakes.)

That being said, I have felt an incredible weight settle on me in the last week. It is not a weight of sadness, a weight of self-pity or of fear.

It is simply the weight of change.

I have the strongest feeling that things in my life are shifting and evolving in a way that will completely change my world as I know it. It is a little bit frightening, but I think that the Lord is making room for something new in my life - out with the old and in with the new.

Something is going to change.

I think I know what that something is.

I think that something is me.

I think that there is room being made in my life for me. Room is being made for who I am meant to be. (Believe it or not, I am not quite there yet.) There is still so much room to grow and the time for growth is now.

That is an exciting prospect, but it is also a painful one. It will mean pushing myself further than I ever have before, stepping out of comfort zones and into the unknown. It will be hard. It will be lonely. There are somethings that you just have to do on your own. They say that it is difficult to try to be someone you are not. I would submit that it is perhaps more difficult to be who you are – but, of course, it is infinitely more rewarding.

In his talk “Pathways to Perfection” President Thomas S. Monson said, “Some foolish persons turn their backs on the wisdom of God and follow the allurement of fickle fashion, the attraction of false popularity, and the thrill of the moment. Courage is required to think right, choose right, and do right, for such a course will rarely, if ever, be the easiest to follow.

The battle for self-discipline may leave you a bit bruised and battered but always a better person. Self-discipline is a rigorous process at best; too many of us want it to be effortless and painless. Should temporary setbacks afflict us, a very significant part of our struggle for self-discipline is the determination and the courage to try again.”

I have no doubt that one of the main purposes of life is to improve ourselves, to wear away the rough edges and discover who we are inherently as children of God. Wearing away rough edges is often just as uncomfortable as it seems, but that is as it should be. It is all a part of the process. If we can truly embrace change in all of it’s painful, awkward, destructive and then creative glory, we will find that we can be more than we ever dreamed possible.

So, here we go. The prize is worth the price. I may be far from perfect (and far is the understatement of the century, I am sure) but I am nothing if not a fighter. Let’s bring it on. I am a little nervous to be sure, but I am looking forward to the change. I am looking forward to this new adventure.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Really Love My....

...high top chucks.

Yesterday was not a good day. In fact, it was a bad day. It was an all-out-nuclear-fallout kind of bad day. When you wake up on days like that, you just know that something in the universe is out of whack. So, when I got dressed, I made sure to put on my chucks.

I don't know what it is, but there is something about wearing high top converse that makes me feel like I can do anything. I think it is because I feel like I am bucking the trends when I wear them. Yes, I am 28 and in grad school and wearing these shoes. Wanna make something of it? (Yes, these shoes really do make me more sassy) No cardigan and flats for me today, friends. No suit jackets or flowery headbands. It is my day today - and I am wearing chucks.

I really love my chucks.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sandwich Monday: Twilight Zone Edition

Today is Monday, and I have already posted once on this blog today. Obviously January 10th is an epic day for blog posting and not such an epic day for schooling. Oh, well. January 10th also happens to be the day before my unopened tub of yogurt that is sitting in my fridge expires. Tub. Tub of anything. Yuck. Maybe that is why I haven't opened it yet.

Anyway, the reason that I am bringing to you two posts in one day is this:

Remember Sandwich Tuesday? I professed my love for Ian Chillag and made a ham and macaroni and cheese sandwich. It was not very delicious, but the name was very witty. How could you forget? Well, today I log on to the NPR site to read the Sandwich Monday blog and WHAT DO I BEHOLD?

The Philly Mac and Cheesesteak!

I won't post a picture, because I know that a few of you have weak stomachs, but I just had to brag to the world that I really could quit my current life and work for NPR - or just come up with gross sandwiches that they could eat on Mondays and then publish funny blogs.

Yay me!

I Really Love My....

On there is a section of the website that is dedicated to things that celebrities really love. I believe they define the things they love by whether or not a celebrity will be seen wearing the same thing twice. If they do, you know they really love it.

Now, I do not claim to be any kind of a celebrity, but I do claim to really love a couple few things. Today I would like to dedicate this post to my new water bottle.

I can be seen carrying this water bottle every day. I LOVE it. I saw it on the interwebs months ago, but it was being sold on a super hip indie site that charged about 1 million dollars.
Happily, Boarders started selling it for a sweet $15. BAM. That water bottle purchase didn't even require a second thought. That toothy little whale warms my heart and hydrates my soul.

I really love my water bottle.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Chivalry is not dead...yet.

"I'm not dead yet!"
Last night I went to visit a dear friend whom I rarely visit. I see him a lot, but I can count on one hand the number of times I have been to his house. Last night I was on my way home and I decided to stop by and pay my friend a long overdue visit. We chatted for a long time about school and life and talked with his roommates for awhile. I left around midnight and when I got up to leave, he also got up and grabbed his coat. "Hmm, I thought, he must be walking out with me because he has somewhere to go, too." We walked out and I just took off about 10 feet ahead of him. We chatted back and forth across the distance and then I realized...he was walking me home. I had come to visit him, imposed on him, I hadn't asked for an escort, and without a word, he braved the dark cold world and walked me home. He didn't have anywhere else to go at midnight - he was just walking me home. Just because.

I think that what shocked me about this more than anything was that it took me so long to pick up on what was going on. Courtesy has been so completely erased from my world that I don't even notice it has gone missing. I mean, sometimes boys still open the door for me,(and I am grateful when they do) but even that isn't constant and I can't help but think that they do it because girls yell at them when they don't. Has chivalry has become a burden? Are men worried that they will offend? Or that if they are kind we will fall hopelessly in love with them? Or are women thankless and not very courteous themselves? It's a mystery, and a rather tragic one at that. Honestly, my guess is just that the point has become moot. We are becoming more and more isolated in this world and courtesy and kindness are merely casualties of a changing world. Now (in the history of the world) more than ever, we need one other, but it is kind of uncool to really care. Don't get too involved, don't care too much, don't try too hard. Cause what do you get out of it? What are you going to get back? I don't know if people really think this way, but I think it is sad that we don't feel (for whatever reason) that we can truly take care of one another, especially because we really do need each other so desperately.

If nothing else, I am inspired to try harder to be kinder and more grateful. And to not forget to be mindful of those who care so much about me.

And PS Thank you friend! Chivalry is not dead...yet!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Surprise Yourself

I am not the biggest fan of New Year's resolutions. Like most of America, I usually make lists and then promptly overwhelm myself with too many unrealistic goals, abandoning all annual aspirations by February. Resolutions are no good for me.

However, I am no Scrooge when it comes to the New Year. I will never get over the hopeful promise of a new year. I often feel like I am scrambling for a clean slate in life and I really appreciate that there is one time a year when the vast majority of the world hits the reset button on life. We all stop, take stock of where we are, and think about how we can do more, be more - become something better. One of my favorite phrases in the scriptures refers to "becoming a new creature in Christ." I love to think about the possibility of becoming a new creature.

It is a slow process, to become entirely new. It suggests effort and care. As Adlai E. Stevenson once said, It takes..."the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." This is why the whole New Year's resolutions thing just doesn't work for me.I can't just make goals once a year and watch my life magically transform before my eyes. I'm just gonna have to make do as I go along, tweak the problem spots and iron out the wrinkles as I find them. Throw in an adventure or two, and you have a pretty good year ahead of you.

So, farewell to lists and hello to life! My New Year's plan? Keep doing what works. To be quite honest I have been fighting and striving to improve everyday of the last 4 months - (It's amazing what jumping feet first into grad school can do to kick up your motivation to improve)and I have seen some fairly amazing results over the last few weeks. So, I will just keep pressing forward, unwilling to mess with the delicate balance of the universe that has me in such an amazing place right now. I am grateful for good friends, high adventure, higher education, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I'm just going to roll with that for now.

2011 is going to be a good year.

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."
-Neil Gaiman