Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Moving Mountains

Most of you know how much of a teeny bopper movie fan I am. I even started getting into Disney flicks like Wizards of Waverly Place and Hannah Montana. I think Brendon was the only one I told about my fascination with Hannah. With all the interesting publicity surrounding Miley...I can't help but think that this wonderful chick has overcome a lot and come FAR!

One day, I was chatting with my roomy about life. She played this song for me...which still makes me tear up every time. It reminds me so much of is quite incredible.

The Climb Lyrics
Songwriters: Alexander, J., Mabe, J
I can almost see it

That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

Whoever Alexander, J and Mabe, J are...THANK YOU for such an inspirational song. You have captured the essence of what every person struggles with at least 10 times in their life. Sometimes it is hard for me to remember to enjoy the journey instead of freaking out about how in the world I am going to get to my destination, or what that destination looks like. That has always been tricky for me. I want so much to be on the other side of the mountain that I forget to enjoy the climb. Miley, for all the criticism that you get girl, you are rockin it! I am sincerely touched.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Family RULES!

I went to sleep semi-dreading the next day. I didn't dread the activities of the next day, but I dreaded that I would be one step closer to 30. I just finished reading a book that said that once you have hit 27, it is like you are 30 anyway, so you may as well get used to it. I do not recommend this book to any 26 year old turning 27! I haven't really cared about other years...26 seemed like the perfect age. Needless to say, I shed a tear or two thinking about all those people who would say, "Oh my word, she is 27, mormon and still single...something must be wrong." I had to get over this silly...YES, very silly notion that seemed to pop into my head at about 11:59 p.m. on May 15th. I was going to love 27...or so I kept telling myself!

I didn't make any huge plans. It's as if I didn't want people to know that I was leaving 26 behind. How rude of me, really ;) My friends were so sweet and planned a birthday dinner for me that night. We ate at my fave restaurant in SLC, The African Market. It was amazing to have some of my close friends come and share this experience. I remember my friends talking about having a party, but I just didn't want to, because I didn't want anyone to know about my dread, gloom and doom.

So, (on my actual birthday) I didn't make any super huge plans. The plans I made for myself were to wake up at 7:00 a.m. on May 16th and go garage sailing (sale-ing) with my sister. That was all. Then I would go to a co-birthday BBQ that night. But that was it. I was trying to conceal my new age as much as possible.

7:00 a.m. came around and I took my time getting ready for the day. I knew it would be hot outside and I knew that I needed a shower. I contemplated jumping in the shower for about 20 minutes too late. "Ah, I will just get sweaty from hopping in and out of the car anyway...." I thought. So I didn't shower. I searched for one particular shirt I wanted to wear, but in vain. I forgot to do my laundry. I think it has been 3 weeks. Oh well. I put on a shirt I bought my freshman year of college and got ready to sale and sale hard!

I heard a knock at my door and took my time answering. I was still groggy...

I opened the door to greet my sister and my breath was knocked out of me. There stood my parents, Bryan and Jamie. They all yelled 'Happy Birthday!' Tears formed in my eyes as I hugged each one of them. Probably the best birthday present ever, I was swept away with emotion. Even writi
ng this makes me tear up. I will never forget that my parents drove all the way from San Diego to be with me on my birthday.

Mom, Dad, Bryan, Jamie, Jordan and I went to breakfast near the Daybreak garage sales. I think I was in shock until after I finished my oh-so-healthy oatmeal. I just couldn't believe that
they knew. I mean, how did they know that I needed them so much? I did. The last couple weeks have been some of the most trying and emotional. I needed to feel accepted, wanted and loved. What a perfect day! What an inredible family I have!

Needless to say, we went sale-ing together all day. Even my dad!! He put up with us screaming 'right' no 'left' or 'what is over there, dad go over there,' and 'ooh, this is pretty, should I get it?' and all that jazz. My age it didn't even seem to matter anymore. To be honest, I kind of forgot. My family will be with me no matter what, all the time, forever...and that is all I needed to get over that silly little notion of 27 is the new 30.

Time seemed to fly by. We ate a late lunch and went to Gardner Village to look at the cute shops. Again, the boys were awesome letting us do it! Then my whole mom's side of the family got together for dinner to celebrate all the May birthday's. Apparently everyone knew that the family was coming except for me. I couldn't stop smiling!

Then, after dinner, my family had to leave. I was so sad they had to go so soon, but then I realized they had just driven 12 hours for one be with me...and I was grateful. I had a great chat about 'relationship' stuff with my parents...even my dad. I never quite tell him my relationship stuff, so it was amazing to hear what he had to say. All those things I have been wanting for my future seem so far away, but after talking with my dad, I realized there is no point in worrying so much about it. It was so refreshing to have his perspective on what dating is and how it should be. He told me I was doing the right thing, which is always nice to hear from him...!

I am the luckiest girl ever to have such a wonderful family
and incredible friends who love and support me even when I am at my lows. I love you all so much and will never forget this birthday. I don't think anything is going to top this....but who knows...maybe 28 will be just as amazing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Little lessons learned

You haven't heard from me because I am working on the design for my major research paper that is due at the end of my two-year masters extravaganza. Despite the fact that I have been completely relishing in the theory I am proving/disproving/exploring, I have found out some pretty interesting things about myself.

1. I like to plan. I already knew this about myself...but I never knew why it was such a big deal. I have been reading some pretty interesting research about motivation lately. Intended specifically for what I am trying to define in my studies, I found it very useful when defining myself.

In a research paper, Motivation When Optimism Declines: Data on Temporal Dynamics, by Wicker et al., I found this very interesting: "People set goals to maximize probabilities of success, and chances of felt success may be greater if goal levels are lowered whenever likelihoods of success appear lower." Very interesting...I can relate to this. I like to plan to MAXIMIZE success.

But, I think one thing I discovered about my fanatic 'planning' is taken from Dr. Gary Chapman's book: The Five Love Languages.

One of the five love languages is quality time. Here is what the book says about it:

"Quality activities are a very important part of quality time. Many mates feel most loved when they spend physical time together, doing activities that they love to do. Spending time together will bring a couple closer, and, in the years to come, will fill up a memory bank that you can reminisce about in the future.

Whether it’s sitting on the couch and having a brief conversation or playing together in a tennis league, quality time is a love language that is shared by many. Setting aside focused time with your mate will ensure a happy marriage."

What I realized about myself is I LOVE focused time. Focused time is quality time. This is why I make the most out of my time that I can. Does it mean that I can't be spontaneous? No, certainly not....but it means that I have ability to focus my attention on things without distraction! I love not being distracted, so I can more fully appreciate and focus my attention on those I love, or the activities that I love.

2. I hate failing. I always knew this about myself too. BUT not to the extent that I have experienced lately. I am dating. Yes, I am. It is new, fun, adventurous and totally stressful. This time, I realized that my dumb insecurities of failure are what generally keep me from progressing. I blame my education ;)

In the article, Hypocrisy in College Grading Yields a Flood of Mediocrity by Judith Schlesinger that talks about student motivation decline and increase depending on the 'mood' of the student. She mentions two dismaying realities about education now including "
... a generation of students taught to believe that self-esteem is more important than real achievement."

My dad and I had a conversation once about entitlement. I can't remember the situation, but I remember telling my dad about how I felt in the workplace. Not out of inconsideration for my feelings, but to make a point, my dad said, "Lindsey, if you are expecting people to pat you on the back the whole time because you did your job, you are going to be thoroughly disappointed. You have to learn to fail, and fail well."

Even though his opinion in this matter could have been misconstrued as 'mean', he had a point. Our world has a huge sense of entitlement that prevents us from progressing. I think this in part has to do with our unwillingness to fail.

(On a tangent...this is also true of communications skills. We have not been taught how to work through problems. When in a relationship, the biggest 'out' for couples is when they don't know how to effectively communicate and work through their problems. I see this a lot with people dating and have noticed it in myself as well. Learning to communicate and realizing that setting unreal expectations prevents growth. Setting goals is part of growth, but unreal goals....hinders.)

Schlesinger had a very poignant theory (in talking about students): "With so little experience at surviving failure, they come to dread it."

This is also part of the article:

"In fact, Miles [researcher mentioned earlier in article] blames the lack of failure experience for the decline in curiosity, which he defines as "the willingness to learn despite the risk of embarrassment.

In the feel-good model that has dominated American education for the past 30 years, all efforts were equally worthy, and grading was either meaningless or eliminated altogether. This stunted students' ability to differentiate quality from sham, making them more vulnerable to every shiny come-on the world can throw at them.

And learners protected from honest judgment never learn to, as Miles says, 'recognize, accept, understand and learn from mistakes," critical abilities in our fast-changing world.'

Afraid to stretch and dare, many become passive and bored, doing just enough to get by and wheedling through when they haven't."

Lately, I realized that I fit into this mold a little bit. I hate failing because I don't know how to fail well.

I have had to break free of this mentality that I 'deserve' certain things. I am not saying that I don't have goals, and I know that I have to break free of unreasonable expectations. I have to learn how to fail well and pull back up again, learning from my failures and realizing that growth happens when we take our failures and turn them into something positive. I know I will probably have to work on this a little bit... it is not going to come easily for me ;)

Who knew that researching for my major research paper could be so AWESOME. These are some great insights....! I love school!