Tuesday, August 31, 2010
It's no secret. At least, I don't try to hide it. Because I know. I know I'm crazy. I mean, come on: -I find emotional solace in a stuffed turtle.
-I am a female who does not like chocolate. (Never mind the cravings--that's a completely different matter.)
-I have times when I long to be in a room full of people, but don't want to speak to them or have any of them speak to me.
-I delight in such combinations as pickles and applesauce; fried eggs and fresh peaches; or hot dogs, cheese, cinnamon, salsa, and oatmeal.
-I talk to myself. Out loud. A well-known fact among my co-workers.
Ah, well. It's all part of the joy of being me.
Today was no different as I was going through review journals and updating on the computer what I would like to order and how many copies. So when I was intending to mark "1" and kept typing "2," this was me chastising myself:
To which my co-worker walking by wondered aloud to me, "Did you just say Mormon?"
I laughed as I corrected her. Then she replied, "Good, 'cause I was thinking, well, we know you are."
It was a funny interlude--and probably funnier to those of us present.
But the inner smile that came from it was knowing that I'm doing at least something right in order for others around me to know who I am, and what I stand for.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I woke knowing I needed a boost for the day. So I wore The Birthday Dress. Immediate happiness. Should I be allowed to feel so pretty? And wow did it affect my day. Very happily.
I was fine being around people again. I enjoyed conversations with my co-workers. I took care of the little to-do's that came up from my superiors. My co-worker and I completed my YA display (focus: Banned books--yay!!). I began a preliminary count of the leftover SRP prizes. I cleared off the last of the piles at my desk. I was able to distract myself from the last little remnants of the headache, but still take things easy so I didn't make anything worse. I came to a completion of a weekend's work of accepting--and doing so happily and even with some good anticipation--a very big change that I only just learned about. This was huge and important for me.
But most importantly, I had a smile. All day long.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Strawberry cake with chocolate sauce. Mmmm.
But that's not what I wanted to write about of today's gratitude. I thought I should write something more of the spiritual nature--since this is my blog where I wanted to focus on many spiritual things.
In our 5th Sunday combined Relief Society and Priesthood meeting, we were asked to choose and briefly share our favorite scripture story from The Book of Mormon. Only so many people were able to share before the time was up. I was unable to share mine, but wanted to share it somewhere. This seemed a pretty good place, and a definite item of gratitude and joy!
First, I could never pick a favorite story. Or a favorite scripture. Are you kidding? The Book of Mormon is my favorite book, with countless parts that I love, adore, and cherish! I'm thinking that next year I may daily write of passages that bring me joy and gratitude.
But the one I had settled on, and what I had planned to say, was this:
In my current way of marking my scriptures, I am being a Pollyanna and marking the "happy texts" by underlining them in green. So as I flipped through the scriptures, I came across a chapter marked with a lot of green! It's Alma 26. To me, there is a lot of green for two main reasons. One, because of the joy that Ammon and his brethren feel from preaching the Gospel, and from seeing so many embrace the Gospel. But the second is why the scripture means much to me right now. It is verse 12, with my own emphases and pauses.
"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; [pause] therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, [pause] for in his strength I can do all things...."
I do know that I am nothing. But I know that all things--everything going on in my life--I can truly do with, through, and because of my God. And for that, I will most certainly boast.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I wasn't really ready to return to work today. And the hiding migraine made sure I did not forget it. As did the residual aches and soreness.
But on the bright side,
*I managed a walk that didn't leave me the worse for wear
*I've been breezing through my current book, and enjoying it
*my prescription went down one whole quarter in price.
That's 1/4 of a load of laundry to wash, or dry.
A penny saved is a penny earned, but a quarter saved is a smile earned!
Friday, August 27, 2010
I finished one good print book today, and began another.
Is it a break-through? A sign that my brain is able to slow down without immediately falling asleep?
I don't know.
But it is nice to read print (for longer than 5 minutes) again.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I got sick. Kind of. Not a contagious sick. But an I feel sore and terrible in pain and tired and with a really bad migraine sick.
I'm grateful I was on vacation so I was already able to stay home and take care of myself.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Yep. I did all that I planned as my first day of my vacation. Well. Except one. I haven't cried. Yet. I've got a lot of tears just waiting to come. Maybe tomorrow.
However, I did have the missionaries over for another member lesson. And the Spirit was very strong and I am definitely inspired to "keep at it" in spite of the many disappointments I've had recently as well as over the years. I am determined to do my best and make my Heavenly Father proud that I'm going out of my comfort zone to share His love for and with His children.
I'm grateful for the additional spiritual element the missionaries brought to my first day off.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
I renewed my Passport this summer. I can't believe it has already been 10 years since I first got mine. That was an eventful year:
*received my YW Recognition Award
*I was pregnant (OK, OK. On stage I was pregnant.)
*Graduated high school
*Got my first full-time job
*Got my first passport
*Attended my last Girls' Camp (sadness!)
*Left the country for the first time
*Attended my first seminar
*Met my first niece
*Began studying Chinese at last
*Had my first birthday away from home
*Had my first Thanksgiving away from home
*Had my first (and only) boyfriend
*Suffered my first nervous breakdown
*Was struck by lightning (while in a plane)
So, it's not like all of those events were connected. But they connect in my mind because they stand out as what took place that year. And that year is now a whole decade ago.
Being my typically nostalgic and sentimental self, I've been thinking back on all of those events. Especially my one-month tour of Europe with the band and choir. I learned so much from that trip. I've often looked back on it as my official "launch" into adulthood, putting so much of my life up to that point in its realm of personal history where it belongs and anxiously and excitedly beginning all of the new adventures that lay in store.
One thing I learned from that trip was how truly proud I am to be a U.S. citizen. How much I love the history I'd studied and lived "near" to much of my life. How much this country thrives in my heart.
Today I received my renewed passport in the mail. It really is a thing of beauty. It's not a plain old book like my last one. It has pictures of my beloved native land. And quotes that remind me of the country I love. And it made me think of how the next time I journey away from my home country, not only will I appreciate it more as I visit other places, but I will carry a sweet reminder of home physically in my hand, symbolic of what I always carry in my heart.
I love other countries and cultures and histories, but I am so very proud and grateful for the Lord blessing me to call this country home.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
For a party that was cancelled because of lack of interest, it's rather impressive that 7 people showed up.
Thankfully the stress wasn't much as I enjoyed making cookies, enjoyed cleaning my apartment, and enjoyed having leftovers from our last Summer Reading event.
I am so glad it's all over.
Friday, August 20, 2010
I developed a spreadsheet that will help me in comparison shopping for groceries and will help me better in budgeting out my actual groceries instead of working around a general sum.
I love all of these changes and improvements in my financial choices and lifestyle.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Rough times today.
But my roommate just got her "new" Wii today. And added the Watch Instantly Netflix feature to it. And remembered something I'd forgotten and just put it on to play because I cannot find it in video or audio anywhere else:
Gordon McRae singing "I Only Have Eyes for You."
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
As I worried aloud over faults that I was either my worst critic of or extremely oblivious to, she said, "Honestly, the only thing that I could say about you is that your standards are extremely high."
In humbled sincerity I replied,
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Two things stand out in my mind today:
1.) How wonderful to see some of my books again! And to have them actually out in easy access on (make-shift) bookshelves.
2.) How wonderful to have co-workers willing to listen to me vent and/or ramble to help me ease out of the stress added to me over the weekend, as well as ward of the emotional breakdown that is threatening.
Little things truly do matter.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I spent all morning and afternoon...
OK. So you know I love to clean. But this was an organizational, put things in better places, I-forgot-I-owned-that, finally see my bedroom floor kind of cleaning. I knew it would be the whole summer before I could get to it. And how happy I am that I was able to get to it.
I love an organized, neat room that finally helps me feel a bit more settled in.
Friday, August 13, 2010
It is so lovely when one's brain has decided to take a break for an undetermined time, and yet one still needs to go to work, that there is a task at work that requires little brain power.
Ah, yes. I do love my job.
Making a music video of the pictures from our Summer Reading Program across the branch?
Not only was it little on the brain, it was a whole lot of fun, too!!!!
(And then to come home in the evening and make another one for a wedding present--what more fun!)
Thursday, August 12, 2010
[I'm cheating again, and borrowing from The Thursday Chronicles.]
The bigger stresses of the SRP--which thankfully comes to its official end this Saturday, but not its technical end until next Saturday--ended for me.
Yep. On a Thursday. And my brain and self immediately decided to just shut down once my last storytime of the summer ended. Which isn't good, since there are still things to get done before the technical end. And I worry about the after-major-stress effects, which never pan out well for me.
But for today, this Thursday, it's over.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I didn't care if it was over 100 degrees.
I didn't care that the heat index made the temperature higher.
I didn't care that there was thunder in the distance.
I didn't care that I saw lightning--it was actually very lovely.
I didn't care that my iPod had not been charged and was on its very last battery legs.
I didn't care that I was already tired and sore from...well, who knows? Stress?
I just didn't care.
And I finally went running.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I passed my probation!
Or, well, I suppose I passed my evaluation.
Actually, it's more that I passed my pre-evaluation of the evaluation of my probation.
But it all boils down to the facts that my supervisor told me I'm doing well, that she said I've grown a lot in many ways, and that we both seem to be on the same page as to progress I can make and goals to have.
Monday, August 9, 2010
I exuded cuteness in every possible way today. It was a lot of fun. And wow did it help in so much in spite of the headache that isn't going away and the down-to-the-wire responsibilities I have to take care of. Not only did I not feel the stress as strongly as I have been of late, but no one could tell from the outside either.
One day of good clothes is nice.
Two days of flattering clothes is wonderful.
But three days of amazing clothes? What an effect on the attitude and perspective!!!
Sunday, August 8, 2010
There are a few things I could choose for today:
*I finished 3/5 more of one of my goals for the year. I set so many, and yet changes (like work) will keep me from fulfilling quite a few (like yesterday's race that I'd been wanting to run again since I crossed the finish line last year). Still, my goal to complete 5 projects using my sewing machine is almost done. I hemmed 3 pairs of pants today.
*I hemmed 3 pairs of pants today, and didn't do a horrible job on them, considering my skill level. One reason I am so reluctant to ever hem pants is because it's really hard to measure them when you're wearing them. But I need pants quite badly. I'm down to 3 pairs--none of which really fit. One pair I've had for 8 years, and the another I've had for 10. So the acquisition of 3 pairs over the last year (2 from just this summer) has required the need to hem. And I did all 3. And now I have pants to wear--even though one already requires a belt. (And that's a whole different story there--me about to start wearing a belt. Wow.)
*Major vanity today. I wore what I have already started to call "My Birthday Dress," though occasionally think of it endearingly as "the Blood Clot Dress." I love this dress. I love how I was able to modify and it still looks good. I love how I feel in it. I love the fabric. I love the colors. I love the style. I love the dress. And I thought I looked good in it. I was too anxious to wait in wearing the dress. So I wore it today. And no one said a thing. Not. One. Thing. Not even a notice that I was wearing an actual new dress. OK, OK. So not everyone remembers my outfits as I may remember theirs. But I had hoped someone would say something about this dress that I already love so much. Then I began to worry that perhaps it wasn't modest, even though I'd tried. My roommate has told me it is, but I'm still wondering. I did get some looks from people from both family wards and the branch. I'm not the best at interpreting looks, so I don't know if they were anything, or if I'm paranoid. I don't know. It definitely was disheartening that no one said a thing. But then, the bright side was that I loved the dress so much and how I look and feel in it, that I (mostly) brushed that away. (Though I'm still a teensy about the modest factor.)
*I got to play the piano today. I was asked to fill in in Sacrament, and then filled in for Relief Society, too. I love playing the hymns. And I miss being able to play for meetings. It adds an entirely different element to my worship on Sundays.
*I was released from my calling as Relief Society 2nd Counselor, over Education. And there wasn't a calling waiting for me. There won't be for at least one week. And as this is my last week of full-on Summer Reading and I've been sporting a slight headache for the last 2 weeks and I feel I'm going to pass out from exhaustion with any step--I'm thrilled to be calling free for one week! Don't worry. I'm not about to shirk any and all responsibilities. I'm just enjoying the one week of not having to stress so much in that particular area of my life.
*My lima bean concoction for dinner was marvelous.
*I now know how to dispose of the random giant toy that was "given" to me a few days ago.
*The headache did not worsen throughout the day.
*The Mormon Channel podcast of a conversation with Sister Beck and her daughters was wonderful and something I very much needed.
But what was most wonderful and joyous about today?
That I had all of those things to list.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
I had some clothes hanging around that needed exchanging. I didn't want them as soon as I left the store with them, and I've lost weight and inches since buying them 7 months ago. Unfortunately, I had thrown away the receipt. So exchange was the only option. But the whole thing was upsetting, and I put them out of sight to be out of mind. With the move and busy summer, I actually forgot about the clothes!
With that loss of weight, I've been needing clothes, but couldn't really afford them. Recently I started to want clothes, too. I've felt so ugly, unattractive, and sometimes gross in these clothes that are literally hanging on me. And finally I remembered the clothes I could exchange for others.
So, I went. I tried on all kinds of styles and sizes, because I didn't know what would fit or look good on me any more. And was it a shock to see some styles actually look all right on me--for once! Or to see some of the smaller sizes that I was fitting into. Sizes I never in my life thought I would ever be in.
I still had to be very selective, as I couldn't afford all that fit or looked nice on me. And I realized I could employ one of my tricks that I use to help me not buy many other (non-clothes) items. I took pictures. Yep. Had my phone with me, with which I can now take and retrieve pictures. So I took pictures of me in the clothes. A little silly, yes. But I can look at the pictures for a couple of months and see how well I looked. Then after a bit, I'll be past it and still be happy--without being out money I do not have.
However, I did manage to buy some clothes (that still make me smile to think about them), and all for under what I had planned. I can handle not having any new clothes for another year. Besides, at this rate, next year I'll be needing a whole lot more than just a few fitting items to stretch out the already-too-large wardrobe.
It feels fantastic to look good, feel good, fit in clothes, leave a store in smiles instead of dejected self-esteem, and know that I made wise financial decisions, stuck to a budget, and am thrilled with my (early) birthday present to me.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
From my post on The Thursday Chronicles today.
While we're on the fridge show-off kick, I'd like to add one of my own. Here is an article that came out this week in a community section of a local paper (the same day I was in a completely different paper for a completely different reason, that not only included a picture, but was onTHE front page!):
(I did not include the article, but for those of you who know my name, you can probably google it in some way or just email me and ask me to send you a link.)
Now, I know it was not a Thursday that the original event took place.
And I know it was not a Thursday that the article came out.
But it was a Thursday--namely today--that a librarian from Nova Scotia contacted me, asking me for more details about my mystery program. Talk about unexpected fame and honor!!! I'm completely aghast! I don't know what to do with myself except eat brown rice with broccoli and fresh basil and then look for something in the not-too-sweet sweet side--for they can be rewards as well as stress-easers!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
An act of service.
Very grateful recipients.
Not much beats that when you need a stress outlet that is not really involved with anything in your life (ie that is causing the stress).
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
This is the second time in the last 7 months--when things were not going well for me at all, and then I have to teach a lesson. And the Spirit speaks so much to me in the preparation, and the topic is one I've been needing. And I find more counsel and advice worded just how I needed. And then I have to think on it more deeply if I am to testify of such things while teaching.
I don't know how the others in the room felt, but I know of a surety that the lesson was meant for me.