Sunday, October 30, 2011

All the Fun I Can Muster

My week has been an absolute blast. I've reveled in the full range of fall activities and really gotten a good fill of enjoyment.


Carving jack-o-lanterns with our Home Evening group.

The Haunted Mill (ok, so that was last week, but I'm still giddy).

Costume dance party Friday Night in the basement of the Hemming Village shopping plaza. It was super crowded and sauna hot, and the fire dept. showed up to enforce fire-code regulations (I guess we had too many people in there).

Costume dance party at the Legacy flight museum. This party was SO much fun! Afterwards, me and my friends Riley, Kat, and Alicia defied curfew (yes) and went to Denny's.

When life seems too good, something always happens to bring your head out of the clouds.
In this case, my head must've caught a cold up there in the clouds (not a huge surprise after all the close contact with a bunch of sweaty dancing college kids). I woke up this morning stuffy, congested, and with the unmistakable grogginess that can only mean one thing: it's a sick day.

I love and I hate sick days. I've never taken a sick day when I wasn't sick. Blame that on my genes. So while a sick day means a day full of dilly-dallying, lounging, eating whatever sounds good, and sleeping, it also means that you can't fully enjoy it because you are sick. I still try and make the positive aspects of it outweigh the awful symptoms (sniffle, blow, toss tissue, continue).
It's a warm enough day that I may just go take a walk in the park. Getting the blood circulating always seems to do some good. Plus, it gets me out of the house and the fresh air has to be good for me.

So what have I been doing on this day of sickness? Well, I ventured out all bundled in my coat and beanie (which I still haven't taken off) to WalMart where I bought some pills, some cough drops, and lotion-infused tissues.

Whenever I bring that combo of items to a cashier, I have to wonder if it scares them. I half expect them to pull out a respirator and latex gloves, and say a quick prayer that I'll pay with a card so they don't have to handle cash that I've touched.

If my cashier was apprehensive today, she did an amazing job not showing it. It makes me wonder about the bravery of ordinary, everyday people. Anyway...

I've also been downloading some songs I've been wanting, reading my sister's blog (that in itself is making me feel better), checking out people's pictures from the weekend, and contemplating checking out Pinterest.

I haven't yet started a movie. I usually stick to 3 choices when I'm sick: You've Got Mail, The Princess Bride, or Phantom of the Opera. I think it's Phantom for sure this time.

But after that I may venture beyond my usual choices in an attempt to fool myself into thinking I'm not really sick and that I'm just having a fun day at home. I'm feeling kind of "Clue" vibe.

What do you do when you're sick?

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I feel bad: not the weepy, remorseful, sickened, self-loathing sort of bad (though the Phantom get-up may give that impression). It's fairly mild, but present nonetheless so I'm writing about it.
I hope this makes sense as I divulge an explanation.
The reason for the feeling is that I have left some things undone. I have a tendency to focus on the here and now far too much, and anything remote or quiet or non-demanding gets shoved aside, even when I care about it. I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about, but deal with the tendency in a much better way.
I just checked my Yahoo mail. I had 136 unread emails. Talk about neglect. There were letters from friends and loved ones, loving notes from my mom and a letter from my sister who is in the MTC. I think I should probably close that account and have you all change to my gmail address, which I check nearly every day.
Along those same lines comes this lesson:
I had to go talk with my Calculus professor. He's an awesome guy, very cheerful, knowledgeable, approachable, and down-to-earth. Here's the situation: his class has no deadlines for homework. It's up to you to tackle class material in preparation for class discussion and exams. So there is no deadline to drive you to act; it's up to you to learn.
I like that, and at the same time, it's hard. My academic history has taught me to focus on the things that require work with deadlines attached. I hate that, but it's the hard reality. If I don't have a deadline, I let a task float in the back of my mind and bother me, not to the point of action, just a constant hum of mental nagging, "you really should get that done". Then I swat the idea away, as if it were a mosquito buzzing in my ear, and move on, working away to meet a deadline for something else.
Does anyone else see the flaw?
My instructor pointed it out for me:
Some of the most important things in life do not come with deadlines.
For example, children don't come with deadlines. There is no deadline saying that "by ____ date, by 6:00pm, you need to have taught your child the importance of honesty". Does that mean that your child will go through life never learning that important lesson? Let's hope not.
We have to learn how to prioritize those things without deadlines so that we devote ample time in their direction because they are important to us. Deadlines help us accomplish things and society wouldn't be driven to the level of efficiency that it maintains without that structure, but time-management requires some personal decisions and some real balancing and prioritizing.
For me, that means that I need to spend at least 6 (probably more, but I know that's not gonna happen) hours on Calculus each week. It also means that I should plan out times to take care of other important things, like talking to the people I care about, even if they live hundreds of miles away and I don't have to have it done by a certain time.
Has it taken me this long to realize this principle? No, it's a fairly simple fact. It has taken some real experience though for it to sink in and stick.
That being said, I'm excited about life. It's my favorite time of year right now (despite the Rexburg chill) and this weekend is sure to be filled with fun adventures. Halloween is Monday and I'll be writing about it soon-ish thereafter. (The picture above is a preview of coming distractions)
If I neglected your email, I'm really sorry. There's no valid excuse. The truth is that I let deadlines suck my attention away from things I care about. Let's hope that by the end of the semester I have satisfactory grades to end all deadlines pertaining to this school and come home for some quality time with you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It Feels Autumnal

It's October. You know this, but it finally feels like October. The leaves are all changing, the wind is chilly, pumpkins are appearing on porches, and I updated the playlist on my blog.
I went to my second haunted attraction of the season on Saturday night: Dr. Slaughter's House of Terror in Idaho Falls. It was fun. It wasn't quite as good as people had made it out to be. I still like the Haunted Mill the most. I have yet to go, but I can't wait.
Idaho really has a lot of options when it comes to Haunted attractions. And most of them are really reasonably priced. I've discovered that I love to be scared. Not scared in general, just the kind of scared you experience when you're expecting it and know that what's scaring you is not really dangerous. I love the feeling of being frightened.

I really have the urge to go out and explore some of the little ghost-towns out in the outskirts of Rexburg. I don't know why I get so thrilled over that sort of thing, but I do.
I'm updating my iPhone's software right now. It's the big IOS5. It's supposed to be mind-blowing amazing. I should know by later tonight if that's really the case. I'm sure I'll love it. It's crazy what I can do with that phone.
In less than a month, I'll reach my third decade. That is so crazy to me. I told my friend I'd be 30 in November. He said, "You're OLD!" I don't feel old. I feel young. In fact, I don't think the number says much about my age. Old and young are matters of perspective. To students here, 30 is old. To those my parents' age, 30 is the prime of youth. I say that I feel young and nobody can convince me I'm not. One day I'll be old. But I don't know if I'll ever act like it.
So I am now completely excited that it's fall. I hope to have plenty more exciting fun things to write about all throughout this month. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Feeling at Home

I’m on a mini-sabbatical. I’m ditching out on a week of school and I’m okay with that.
I needed to be home. I needed to see my family in person. I needed to hear their voice, see their face, feel their arms around me. I needed to touch the hand of my new tiny nephew. I needed to spend some time with my Ju before she is gone to the island of Cebu for a year and a half.
Sometimes, when you are determined to do the things you need, other things, like school, are pushed to the back-burner. And you know what? That’s all right. When I get back from my trip, school will still be there, as stress-ridden and busy and wonderful as it always has been.
And now, a few other thoughts.
Here are a few little things I love:
-the warmth of candlelight
-the sound of trickling water
-the smells of autumn
-fresh soft towels
-rainy days
-a good book with a comfy chair and blanket
Once in a while, a list like this forms in my mind, and I just sweep it out onto the page.
It’s good to be home. It’s good to hear all the sounds I’m accustomed to. This morning, I woke up completely disoriented. I thought, where am I? This isn’t my bed. What is going on? It’s funny how your mind settles into a routine and when that routine is altered, it really throws you off. It took a good 20 seconds for me to realize where I was.
I feel refreshed. I’ve been able to stop and see the new baby calves in our herd, see our horses, taste the sweet corn my family raises, breathe in the scent of freshly-cut hay, and the approach of a rainstorm, and hear the sound of the tractor go by the house. These are the sensations that set things right. These are the feelings of home. This has been my therapy. (And Cat’s hot tub helps too)