excuse me: i have some diem to carpe

two weeks ago in relief society, one of my amazing friends taught the lesson.
{via here}
she challenged us to make 2012 the "year of no regrets".
she said, if you've always wanted to do something, now's the time to do it!
     have you ever wanted to learn to sew? do it!
     have you ever wanted to take that trip? do it!
     have you ever wanted to be more outgoing? do it!

my ears had perked up. permission to be awesome, is what i heard.
and then carpe diem! is what she said.

hearing her encouragement kind of freed me, in some ways. so i made a new year's resolutions list. well, sort of.

i know we're often told to just focus on a few goals at a time, so that we don't get overwhelmed, but i've always felt limited by that, so my perfectionistic tendencies would generally put off "resolutions" because my indecisiveness kicked in and i couldn't decide on what to resolve.  strange phenomenon, i know.

so, i didn't try to put limits on my list this time. i decided to go with that old phrase along the lines of, if you shoot for the moon and miss, at least you'll hit the stars. and the stars are a pretty great place to be, right? --as long as i don't let myself get overwhelmed by this or disappointed when i can't fulfill everything or complacent after i've hit only a few stars. granted, this list could be about a billion pages longer, which is why i didn't think too terribly hard; i just wrote down things i've been thinking about lately.


the week after the "carpe diem" lesson, i taught a lesson based off of elder george albert smith's personal creed. this wonderful man made a creed at age 35 to follow for his whole life.

i asked the relief society gals, "if we find it so difficult to follow through with our new years resolutions, which are generally only for a year, then how do you think he did these for his whole life, without getting overwhelmed?" there were lots of good answers. but i think the bottom line is, he just decided to make that list who he wanted to be, not just what he wanted to accomplish.

aaaand that's why i've been thinking a lot about this talk lately. as elder robbins puts it, "to be and to do are inseparable."

elder robbins also says,
Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s. 
i really liked that. so on my list, i made a "to do" section, a "to be" section, a "to avoid" section and a "remember..." section. so:

-to do's are obvious, but take work.
-to be's are harder, but help the "to do's" get done and add to overall character.
-to avoid's are essential, but i don't want to focus on what i don't want to become; i want to focus on what i DO want to become. so i kept those at a minimum.
-and the to remember section is how i will get to where i want to be (and thus, fulfill what i want to do).
-then i left white space...for when i think of others or when things change. changing my goals is okay too, even necessary, i've decided. and i feel the whole list is a little too self-centered; i'm planning on using that white space for goals to be more others-centric. i just want to observe myself in various surroundings these next few days to figure out in what ways i serve most genuinely. i want to use that extra bit of space in the best possible way. :)

so i'll see what jives with me this year and try hard to do/become/avoid these in manageable bites. i'm going to be happy with my success and i'm also going to be okay when i fail. and i have the rest of my life to work on everything else.

clear as mud? then my list probably is, too. but there it is, and it makes perfect sense to me.

there. now i'm accountable.
step one: check.


[we'd like to interrupt your regularly scheduled program]

well. it is 1:37 am and this post brought to you from the far corners of my hard-tiled bathroom floor (because it is debatably the warmest room in my house). lest you think i'm a nocturnal internet junkie, i'm here because i am sick and can't sleep. i promise, i'm usually asleep by now. in my bed. not in my bathroom.

sickness of any kind is overrated and i highly suggest you don't trifle with it. even if everyone else is doing it. currently, mine is just a weird stomach sickness episode. one that prevents me from sleeping. or functioning. and will likely only last a day or so. but tends to be make itself known in very amusing ways when writing important emails to english professors. or maybe that's just because it's almost 2am.

so i suppose i'm blogging to get my wit out here so i can write a civil and respectful email to my English teacher asking a simple question without wasting her time. not that the one i wrote (still hovering in another tab as a clever draft) is disrespectful in any way; i just don't know if she knows me well enough yet to get the tongue-in-cheek tone. 

perhaps one reason why i feel sick is that i saw brian regan perform tonight in abravanel hall. erm, that sounds terrible. hear me out: i laughed hard. well, pretty hard. i don't remember the last time i laughed consistently for an extended time period. apparently, i need to work out my laughy muscles more because now i feel all sortsa sick and maybe my body just wasn't ready for that kind of concentrated joy. perhaps i'll have to take a sad day to recover or something. anyways. 

back to email writing. 

oh, and i just realized: ironically, i kind of felt exactly like this tonight. how very appropriate. maybe i'm just trying to apply what i learned from his encore.....

and the heater just came on. mmm.



and then to my dismay

on saturday afternoon, jeff put it perfectly: it's as if there are so many thoughts trying to crowd onto the stage of my mind, that they're all just crammed in the wings so none of them even stand a chance of debuting on stage.

i was planning on articulating some thoughts over chocolate, which usually works, but the words didn't form like they usually do. so it was a more silent, photography-filled chocolate this time around.

and the cazookie was ridiculously tasty.

but i left with still too many thoughts and not enough thought-space in my head, with no pensieve in sight.

that night i was still meh-feeling and made a last-minute decision to attend a concert. that's where things changed. it was as if i'd given these bands all of my unorganized thought fragments -- of confusion, joy, worry, ache, melancholy, excitement, grief, wonder -- and asked them to process and synthesize them for me. and then, if they would, to please spit them back out into something beautiful. 

and they did. without me even asking.

even now, i'm still reflecting upon and soaking in the after-goodness.

chocolate photos are unedited and were shot on jeff's amazing canon powershot s90, which is rad.
concert details to come later. be very excited. 


x and y

i was too preoccupied at work to focus today, so i got up in search of food, attempting to clear my head. as i detoured through a building on the way back to work, i passed a set of stairs leading from the basement to the floor i was walking on. my thoughts were interrupted by the sound of tiny feet scuttling quickly up the stairs, and a little boy's squeaky voice exclaim, completely triumphant: "yaaay! we found a way out of here!"

i felt a hint of a smile cross my otherwise concentrated face and i slowed my hurried pace to listen. a little girl was equally enthusiastic (and her voice was equally squeaky): "yeah! let's go!"

then i heard a pause, and the pitter-pattering of the adventurers' feet came to a halt. the obvious dismay in the small boy's inquiry made me grin.

"...which way should we go now?!"

i glanced behind me and saw the two of them, pint-sized explorers, right after they ascended the stairs. they were looking this way and that, presented with many more options: four directions leading outside, more stairs in front of them to the next level, and classroom doors all around. it's a confusing building to anyone; it must have looked extra ominous to little'uns who are three feet tall. their dad came up behind them and i assume he helped guide them out the doors, but my back was turned as i reluctantly passed through the other doors headed to my building.

funny how the excitement from conquering one adventure can be short-lived as it often leads to many more options (which can be equally confusing).

i don't know which way either, kid. just keep walkin, i guess. you'll figure it out eventually. at least, that's what i'm hoping.