Sunday, January 19, 2014

2.6 Miles of Wisdom

Friends, as I was walking the 2.6 miles home from the Firestone shop the other day (this was before they left a hammer in my wheel well), I thought of some of the wisdom I've gleaned during my existence on this earth. For each .1 mile, I thought of 1 little nugget of knowledge. Some of these are a result of mistakes, some have been learned the hard way, and others through repeated observation. I hope this can help anyone in any small way. Which is why I choose to share it with you today (instead of doing the homework I've put off for 4 days).

1. Floss regularly.

2. Yes, you will regret staying up until 3 am.

3. If you think you should shower, you need to shower.

4. There is literally always something more entertaining to do instead of homework; filing taxes, watching paint dry, passing a kidney stone.

5. Don't ever say "this is the worst it could get!". It will get worse.

6. Salt makes you puffy.

7. It is extremely hazardous to try to go to the bathroom on the side of the road when there are high winds.

8. Costa Rican hot springs are riddled with parasites. Don't drink the water.

9. Otters are literally the most adorable creatures on the planet. Sorry babies, puppies, and kittens.

10. If someone says their dreams are more important than you, that's a red flag.

11. Don't ignore red flags.

12. Heavy painkillers, while occasionally necessary, can make you a crazy-person. Don't do drugs.

13. Let people merge if you're driving on the 15.

14. Always have some hand hotties within reach. You never know when temperatures will become unexpectedly freezing. Having regular hotties within reach isn't a bad thing either.

15. The worse something tastes, the better it is for you.

16. Forgiveness is more for your own sake than the other person's.

17. While occasionally irresponsible, well spaced fun trips are necessary for your mental sanity.

18. The sun is the most glorious thing. While snow and clouds are the most vile.

19. 95% of the time, school assignments will seem worthless. It's for the incredibly valuable 5% that you keep trying.

20. Ignoring a person is the cruelest thing to do.

21. Always be flexible, your life can change drastically in a few seconds.

22. Some iPhone updates will actually make your life harder.

23. Don't base your happiness on another person's choices. Especially if that person is a sports team.

24. You will never regret being kind.

25. You will always regret eating food too spicy for you to handle in order to make a point.

26. There are always people who are having a worse day than you.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tying Up Loose Ends (The Great 2013 Bucket List Reflection)

My dear former roommate and all around lady-idol Kellie asked me to reflect on the previous year and my bucket list. Now, I am not one to pass up an opportunity to procrastinate (and class tomorrow doesn't start until noon, Holla!). Also, looking at the insanity that is to await me these coming weeks in terms of school and work, I probably won't have any time to sleep, much less write a blog post, (which according to those schnazzy google statistics would be most likely to be enjoyed by readers in Latvia).

Also, I am highly manipulated by flattery, so here it is:


Let's take a look at those goals of mine.

#1 Eat Real Food
While Taco Bell is technically "real food", that is definitely not what I was referring to. Be it a lack of time, energy, or really desire I just never got to making much. I did stress bake a few times, but that doesn't really count. Yes, I know, I'll try to be better. Cancer, diabetes, I know.

#2 No More Casts, Braces, Crutches etc. 
Yeah, fail. Which my current roommate once inferred might be correlated with the first goal's failure. But I take daily Flintstones vitamins, so that can't possibly be it. Personally, I continue to blame the gypsy curse.

#3 No More Beyonce Nights
This is one of those titles which obnoxiously only has meaning to a small group of people. I apologize. Suffice it to say that history did not repeat itself in such a way.

#4 See The Grand Canyon
Donzies! And I have never felt more fulfilled! I can't tell you how immensely joyed I am that I didn't end up like that sad old blind lady from Paulie. If you haven't seen this movie, you need to. It shaped me into a sad little girl who was afraid of blindness and death. I consider that a clear win!

Photo Cred: Kelsi, who would probably like to be acknowledged
#5 Tube Down The Provo River
Accomplished with my ward this summer along with my sister and Traci. There was blood, there were tears, and there were also delicious Navajo tacos at the end.

#6 Get Into Grad School
Miracle of all miracles, I am in school! And now school owns my soul.

#7 Cancel This Damn Gym Membership
Clearly patience won out. This was also my first goal accomplished in 2013, just an hour and 15 minutes later.

Thank you for reading thus far into all my self-indulgence. Make some goals for yourself. And we'll laugh about not getting them done in 2015!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Last Blog Post Before School Starts Again (Or how to not feel sorry for yourself)

I recently stumbled upon my friend Ashley's blog, and found this amazing post right here: She is one of those incredible people who always has a kind or encouraging word, especially when you're not feeling so great. Like everyone else on this planet, I can feel worthless, directionless, or unimportant. Especially if I have failed at something, gone through a breakup, made a mistake, or received a parking ticket. What I liked so much about this post of hers is that it implies something proactive. Yes, we are all unique and beautiful. But we can be so much more, and that is through the impact we make on the world.

Her post posits the central question of "what would the world be like if you weren't here?". I can definitively say in the case of everyone I know, a much darker place. So, you spent the day in your snuggie onsie watching episodes of Vampire Diaries on netflix? You can go out there right now and change the world. Most of us will never be famous beyond our own little group of friends. So what? Think back on those you love the most, who have made the most impact on your life. Are their names Kim Kardashian or Kanye West? Probably not.

I've had friends ask me before why I am becoming an Occupational Therapist. Apart from the more selfish things like financial security and benefits typically associated with that career, I have always wanted to do something to genuinely improve the lives of others. Because sitting around in my snuggie onsie watching hours of netflix only feels great for about 2 hours. But that is an almost easy way out for me. It doesn't really matter what our career is. You can make a difference as a bagger at Wal Mart. You can genuinely improve the lives of others by being a good mother or a father.

At the risk of pontificating, I just want to say that we can choose to leave a positive mark at any point. It doesn't matter if you have never done a kind thing in your life or slaughtered a village of people (please, please don't do that); any living person can make the choice to make a difference in a good way at any time. What's a more hopeful thing than that?

I promise that whatever your life may be like, it is worth so much. The most incredible people I've ever known are those who lose themselves in the service of others. I am far too selfish and lazy to ever reach their standard, but I can say that the times I have felt best were the times I was helping someone. Kindness goes a long way. No matter how low you're feeling, no matter how you may have been wronged, you will always feel best when you are considerate and compassionate. Unless you are a sociopath. But, then that's not really your fault is it?

Treat others with love and over time you will love them and yourself. It's just that simple. Don't let people take advantage of you (because sometimes they will), but don't ever let yourself hate either. As we start this new year and new semester (for some of us), we can choose to be our best selves. And if we fall short, just try again.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bucket List 2014

On New Year's Eve, I found myself in the backseat of the minivan with the rest of my family driving to the Bass Pro shop in Manteca to return a few camouflaged shirts gifted to us in the wrong size. As we were trapped for a good hour, my dad took this as an opportunity to have everyone list where they'd want their lives to be in one year. I wasn't in the best mood, so I begrudgingly thought of a couple snarky things like to "not get fired, and not fail out of school". Being the middle child, naturally we got to me last. I said my piece but my dad wasn't satisfied, unfortunately, he knows me too well. There were a few more items on my list.

Exactly one year ago I made a bucket list of things I wanted to do before the year was out. I accomplished many of those things, and made many improvements. What I found most fascinating was that almost everything from that list I actually accomplished was due to the actions and support of others. Yes, there were many difficult and sad things this last year, but I am on the right track. None of that time was a waste and I have no regrets.

So, here two days later (you're welcome dad) is my real list of goals for this next year.

1. Not Get Fired or Fail Out of School

This actually wasn't just my grumpy sarcasm. I really need to get these things accomplished. 

2. Go Scuba Diving

I've been Scuba certified since I was 12 years old. When I was younger I went on dives in all sorts of amazing places like Molokai, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii, the Bahamas, Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen, and Cancun. I haven't been since 2006. I don't need to be whisked off to some exotic location. I could even go in Utah. I just need to take the time, effort, and money and just do it. I love the water, and I love diving. It has been far, far too long.

3. See Jimmer Play for the Kings

I love Jimmer and I have loved the Sacramento Kings from birth. I slept in tents over night and waited for hours in the snow for tickets to wait for hours in the cold to see Jimmer play at BYU. But I have never seen Jimmer play for the Kings in person. I know the Kings are terrible and Jimmer never gets to play, but I have to see this happen before he's traded.

4. Read Through the Entire Book of Mormon in Spanish

I've done it in English, and once got as far as Alma 46 in Spanish. I tried listening to the audio version, but the guy that reads it has such a soothing dulcet voice that I'm always lulled into a deep slumber within minutes. If you don't know what this Book of Mormon thing is that I'm talking about, here ya go.

5. Find Mr. Right

2014, Baby!