weeks 3-6ish :: time

[first off, random thought: there's nothing like some good live jazz music to get a day going right.]

i haven't been as faithful in reporting my time management as i was. mainly because of two reasons: 1. i started stinking at time management and 2. blogging about it would result in comparatively wasting my time.

BUUuuuut---i've been doing better the last week and a half!

and this is why:

sometimes i intentionally left my phone at home while i worked on my project

conversely, i left my laptop in the studio a couple times when i went home. got in bed in the 11 o'clock hour once or twice! i realized that my computer distracts me much more than my phone.

accepting that each day is new and some days will be good and others not so much

setting guidelines and rules for myself

deciding on three words that will describe my day, and always coming back to those, mentally repeating them over and over. this honestly helps so much. i'm not a huge proponent of writing on oneself, but i wanted to put them where i'd constantly see them.

so for a few days this week, mine were:

it took a few days, but i OWNED this to-do list, with the help of these words
also, here's an interesting article on the creativity of the wandering mind 

...as well as what successful people do for the first hour of their work day.

let me know what you think! lastly, you can check here for sporadic updates on my actual bfa project. :]


ten years later and still

i ran into my old journals today.

thanks to a challenge from my dad, i have a pretty good record of my life written by my own hand from 6th grade til college.

i picked up a journal just now, and rifled through a few pages. as my eyes skimmed, some of the words caught and held their attention. i ended up reading a good amount of my entries from when i was fourteen. 

it was so interesting; most sounded so naive and frivolous, and then all the sudden, there would be a profound little heartache in the middle. quickly mentioned but very precise and painful, like a puncture wound. then the frivolities of my superficial interactions with boys and school projects and how much i hated math would consume the next few entries. but here and there were little pricks of what i remember to be my real sorrows from that age. some which still affect me.

now, don't get me wrong: i was blessed to have an amazing childhood and adolescence. amazing.
especially understanding now what it could have been, i'm so grateful for what it was.
it was more fulfilling and wonderful than a lot of people have the opportunity to experience, and i feel nothing but gratitude. i have no right to complain. 

but like anyone else, there have been some difficult things i had to cope with, and as i read, my heart kind of broke for my younger self.
some entires were difficult to read, for no apparent reason.
a few times, my eyes glassed over with a couple of tears that didn't fall. 

just now as i was reading, i had the urge to go back in time and explain to my younger self a few things. so naturally, i figured i should write a letter. fourteen-year-old me is still in me somewhere; i'm sure she still needs to hear them.

dear 14, 

i've been reading your recent journal and have a few tidbits for you. i've listed them below. 

okay first off don't worry--literally, all the guys you're worried about now are gonna be married by the time you're 24, and not to you. so you won't have to worry about them anyway. 

eventually, you'll stop writing things like l8r and gr8 and g2g...and your writing will be much more palatable.

it appears that you have discovered and are now trudging through the awkward realm of interpersonal relationships and social interaction, especially with the guys. bravo. just so you know, awkward will always hover, but you'll learn to manage yourself better just by wading through it and learning from your mistakes. this is actually really good for you to learn now rather than later, though sometimes it kind of bites. i know.

pay attention to how you're hurting now, because those pains are a precursor to pains that you'll have later in life. pains that are deeper than what you feel now, but surprisingly of the exact same thread. it's really good that you're learning how to deal with them healthily now, so that you can deal with them in a similar manner when you're older and they're harder, but parallel in the intensity of how they affect you now.

it's good that dad told you to write one thing you're grateful for at the end of every day, because if you notice, there's a pattern. in between your observations of boys' hairstyles and the happenings of school assemblies, are the things you are most thankful for. those are the concepts that really explain how you are getting through this hard and often unspoken undercurrent. you frequently write how grateful you are for prayer, seminary, church, mom, friends.... this shows what's really going on, more than your daily account of life as a freshman in high school. though both the routine of daily life and the underlying values work hand in hand. always remember that. 

to ease your mind, i wish you could know this stuff now, but you'll learn it eventually. and you won't learn as easily if you think you already know it. 

24 (and no, that is not old)

i feel like i'll probably be writing a similar letter to my 24-year old self when i'm 44.
i'll probably laugh at my writing quirks then, too. 
some things just don't change.



about halfway through today, i started to feel badly that it's september 11, and i hadn't thought too much about what happened 11 years ago in the midst of being busy. i started reflecting on it, and about all that has transpired since. i read joe's post, which provided a solemn new perspective.

ground zero on my last day in new york, 2010.
i thought about where i was when i found out the news of september 11. my 8th grade history class was in the library researching stuff for a project and of course i was in charge of drawing things, and doing so diligently. eventually i realized the majority of the class had sauntered out into the main area of the library, where i could see them through the windows of the room in which i was working. their eyes were glued to the tv. i strained to see what they were looking at, but it looked like some action movie. bombs blowing stuff up. being the stalwart student i was, i turned my focus back to my project and continued to work.

of course it wasn't an action movie. it was the news.


i just found my journal from that day. apparently it was a tuesday, and i wrote at 11:18pm. it started with "AMERICA GOT ATTACKED TODAY!" in all caps and ended with "I am so thankful for our safety!"

but that's not the part that made me think. out of my journal fell an envelope entitled, "to my future kids" in bubble letters and in it was a letter to them, explaining my feelings about what happened. i'm grateful for my history teacher mr. chilcoat for making us write those letters*. my favorite part: "i didn't want to get all spiritual on you here, but i'm going to anyway." it's kind of interesting to hear my thoughts from then. i was 13. but more so, i'm glad that i was asked to document something that has turned out to be so meaningful.


tonight, upon hearing some other truly tragic news that happened only a few hours ago, i realized that it is so important to live every day to its fullest. life can be so resilient, yet so fragile. reflection today has made me want to surrender any hard feelings and hug my family members and friends a little more tightly.


*i'm also grateful to chilcoat, because he told us that day, "you'll never forget where you were today when you heard of this attack." i honestly would have forgotten a detail such as that had he not made that note. also, according to my journal he taught us about heros the next day, which i felt was a really appropriate way of helping us to understand what was going on.


timpfest II: in preparation

[written saturday night, sept 1, after the close of the storytelling festival. sort of an expansion of this post.]

so, saturday.

here's the thing.
i'm really good a multi-tasking.
don't applaud me; if anything you should wag your pointer finger in a scolding manner.
(don't do that though, cuz i've already done it to myself).

i can fit a ridiculous number of things into my day and i'm good at it.
but in the last few years, i've decided that there's a better way of doing things.

mainly, i think this sums it up best:
Have you ever been in an airplane and experienced turbulence? The most common cause of turbulence is a sudden change in air movement causing the aircraft to pitch, yaw, and roll. While planes are built to withstand far greater turbulence than anything you would encounter on a regular flight, it still may be disconcerting to passengers. 
What do you suppose pilots do when they encounter turbulence? A student pilot may think that increasing speed is a good strategy because it will get them through the turbulence faster. But that may be the wrong thing to do. Professional pilots understand that there is an optimum turbulence penetration speed that will minimize the negative effects of turbulence. And most of the time that would mean to reduce your speed. The same principle applies also to speed bumps on a road. 
Therefore, it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.
yes, airplane pilot deiter f. uchtdorf explained it best in that talk.

but i wasn't thinking about that last night before i went to bed.
because i'd carefully plotted out my day with overlapping events and impossible gaps of time from which to race between them.

i knew that it wouldn't work; i just decided i'd figure it out in the morning.

well. the morning came sooner than expecting.
5am brought with it lightning, lighting up my entire room every couple of seconds, accompanied by almost instantaneous raging, angry, ferocious clapping thunder.

sort of unnerving. quite exiting.
and very non-conducive to sleep.

i decided that i could do neither of the things i was planning on doing before yoga in this weather. so, with four outfits (covering all bases for the day's possible events), a bottle of water, and my trusty sketchpad, i headed out, late for my 8:30 yoga class.

yoga turned out to be super helpful
as it made me work physically and mentally very hard for most the class,
so that i could really physically and mentally rest for the rest of it.

because when i stretch my schedule out too thin, i feel like i do a half-baked job at enjoying and/or doing well the things which i've planned for myself.

and so after yoga, i decided to scratch everything on my schedule except for the festival. i figured it'd be better to just enjoy this one event.

because i had sort of successfully cleared my mind,
i was much more able to make mental space for the stories to settle in.

and because there was room to grow,
those stories could have somewhere to blossom in my imagination or my heart or my thoughts or wherever my mind appropriately catalogued each of them.

which will be incredibly helpful for when i want to cultivate my thought garden,
or just pluck a few out here or there.


two months left and it will be amazing.

week two of intensively working on my project went great for the first three days. here's why:

-i've been turning my phone on silent during the days.
-i've been clocking in and out, logging my time and my breaks. (thanks to my brilliant dad for that tip)
-i've also been using the pomodoro technique, thanks to chris thornock's suggestion.
-i've been utilizing the swanky calendars i made and have written what i need to accomplish each day. then i have a prize for myself at the end. most of these prizes are small personal creative projects. for example, one of the prizes was making the typography for my photo for this post.

on thursday i hit kind of a funk, though. don't really know why. i worked anyway, but it wasn't as productive.

friday i was in a bigger funk; i just couldn't get myself to do much of anything. so i went to the timpanogos storytelling festival and figured at least that was a creative event where i could maybe stir up some creative juices for this coming week. turns out that it did, so much that i wrote about four posts on it. the rest of those will probably be up by the end of the week, if ya wanna glean some inspiration, too.

my prize for getting stuff done today is to read this article. you know, since i already treated myself to jamba and great harvest bread and running and yoga and guitar already today. :)

also....i'm sort of trying not to panic that it's suddenly september.

[these time posts regarding my bfa project and my new goal of mastering my time are all under this tag.]


timpfest I: slo-cooker

for years, i've wanted to attend this event.

mainly because i was completely enamored with the painting on the poster, 
which i found out in later years was painted by james christensen,

"tales beneath timp" by james c. christensen
who initially stemmed my first love of art in 6th grade (or younger?), 
i believe, 
but that's a different story. 

this story is from this past weekend. 


two of my friends were hired to record the timpanogos storytelling festival and make a professional-grade cd so that people could re-live the stories from the comfort of their living rooms.

as such, each friend was given an extra weekend pass to the festival. they offered one to me, which i gladly accepted.

i'd grown up close by but had never been to the event; i was excited that the opportunity was practically handed to me. we couldn't find anyone who could take the second ticket.

i figured i'd still go.
i'd heard a lot about the festival and expected a lot out of it, which is risky, because when expectations are set high,
they are given extra distance to fall.

well, this weekend happened to be super packed with various opportunities, including not one but three concerts i wanted to attend, my bfa project, and other personal goals that i was really determined to conquer.

thursday came.
i sort of got in a funk with my project.
tried to work on it;
did a meh- sortofa job.
kinda felt a funk comin' on like a bad cold.
that started to spiral down a tad, other things got caught in the...funk-web, for lack of better term, and pulled down with the rest of it.
so i gave up and went to the festival.

luckily, the thursday event was just an introduction to the storytellers, so they each performed a short set. pretty good. it was interesting how i could tell who i thought i'd resonate with more than others.

friday came.
definitely in a funk.
tried to work;
went to the festival.

and glad i did. there were a few speakers that just captivated me and i started to just let the stories come over me like waves. in fact, i was really glad i went alone, just so i could soak it up and do my thing without worrying about if whoever i was with was enjoying it (a tendency i often have).

some stories were light and airy and i didn't try to derive any other sort of meaning out of them. i laughed when i felt like it and i didn't when i didn't.

others had more to them. there were obvious morals and lessons.

yet other stories carried substance in layers, and so i could choose to peel back as many as i wanted to, and delve as deeply as i needed.

i think that last kind of story is often how stories happen in real life: we are given the onion and we choose how deep we're going to go.

...don't feel guilty for thinking of donkey's onion analogy in shrek. go ahead and quote that line in your head; i just did.

anyway, i quite enjoyed the freedom of going wherever i wanted to go, but with just enough pressure of making it worth my free ticket and my expensive time.

i figured i'd work half a day saturday so that i'd make up for time i didn't spend on my project on friday.  but it was going to be an impossibly busy day.

saturday came.
still in a funk.
tried to be productive;
did yoga,
gave up productivity,
went to the festival.

well, turns out that's all i really needed to do.
...more about that in an upcoming post.

but in short (or, main thought, i guess)---
inspiration is to be found everywhere.

i think i was secretly hoping, maybe expecting--that festival to
absolutely douse me with inspiration-kerosene
so that i could strike up a match of action
and toss it onto that inspiration
which would ignite a brilliant flame of creativity and direction,
so that i'd know how to carry out an overwhelming and daunting task of, say, a bfa final project.

but nope.
didn't do that.
it was like a slo-cooker.
ideas were tossed in here and there from different stories,
different personalities,
different perspectives,
different worlds--
and there they started to simmer.
in my thought-pot.

some stories sort of let me take off the lid of that pot
so that i could smell and almost see what was cooking,
and then i'd put the lid back on.

by the end of tonight,
boooooy did that stew start to smell good.

i sort of think that slo-cooking is a better way to go.
no one likes charred veggies anyway.