Friday, February 21, 2014

One year!

It was one year ago today that I was sealed to my sweetheart for time and all eternity. Without a doubt that day will forever be engrained in my memory. I remember the feeling I had when I saw him in the Washington DC temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I, of course, arrived several minutes early and had time to contemplate what we were about to do. My heart was full of peace and light. Then, he walked in with a huge smile on his face. We embraced and held each other for a long time. We were then escorted to the room where we made promises to God and to each other. 

The ordinance was short and sweet. It was perfect. We looked around our sealing room, and though some of our family was missing, we were surrounded by people who love us, all with tears in their eyes. We did it. We were married....FOREVER. The Spirit of our decision was confirmed. We were at peace, together.

As we entered the temple lobby, we both held our breaths as we saw our amazing family members and friends who came to support us. Having them there meant a lot to us. We choked back tears, well, he did at least. And I let mine flow. We went around hugging everyone with big smiles. It was amazing to feel that what we had done was right. It was confirmed to us again and again.

I will forever cherish the day Adam and I were sealed. Yes, times have been rough this past year. But, there is no one I would rather do this with. It is amazing to think it has only been one year. I heave learned so much in such a short amount of time. I hesitate to say I am excited for what the future holds, because you know how I am about 'not knowing.' Regardless, I am glad I am with someone who, while still 'getting to know me,' is willing to share this adventure called life.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Getting Out of Bad Habits

I wake up every morning and do the same routine to get ready to go to work in my home office. I wake up before the alarm (thank you body), roll out of bed cautiously because when I am tired I bump into things, make my side of the bed, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and my hair, sometimes shower, but mostly I stay in my pajamas, turn on the computer, read articles from the BBC, and get to work. I work for about an hour until I am ready to eat breakfast, and then, the day goes on in similar fashion.

It has only been 3 weeks, and I have grown fond of my routine. I can't help but wonder, "What happens when the monotony of doing the same thing every morning prevents me from being an effective morning worker?" That's when I realized the routine will most likely become disturbed and frustrated.

I find that being stuck in the same routine morning after morning has created a very interesting cushion to my comfortable life, which is interesting because I also firmly believe how important it is not to remain in the same comfortable spot if I am going to progress. Comfort provides a false sense of stability and can breed bad habits.

I used to live in a large city where I would often gripe that I couldn't get everything done that I needed/wanted to because it took me forever to get from point A to point B. At the time, I made the resolve that if I ever had 'more time' to spare, that I would get so much more done. I would workout, and cook dinner, and complete visiting sisters in my church, and would call everyone I loved, and work out, and would finally finish that Snapfish project I have been working on, and would blog at every opportunity, and would deep clean my house. 

Now having moved to a slower pace environment, where I could REALLY do all those things, when I stop working, I turn on movies until I have to go to sleep. There was one week where I made dinner, cleaned my house, called people I knew, completed unpacking my house, made arrangements to hang all my art, worked out everyday, etc. And now, I am comfortable sitting around at the end of my working hours and watching all the shows I put off for 3 years because I was 'too busy.' Do you see the issue? "Comfortable" in this case, is a bad thing. Comfortable has become a bad habit.

My sweetheart is attending school where there are a ton of fun activities that we can be a part of and/or go to. Every evening he brings home a flier of something awesome that is FREE and going on at the University that is literally 4 minutes from our apartment. Every night I say, "We should go!" Then I get into this space that if he doesn't make the move to go, I won't either. It is weird....and I know it is based on those bad habits I formed in Virginia. When we lived in a place surrounded by super cool things to do all the time, there was always the hope that we would be able to do this and that, but because we were occupied with trying to defeat IT (depression), we never really did anything.We got comfortable...well, not really comfortable because I resented that we never did anything, but you catch my drift.

I find that my sweetheart has defeated some of his bad habits, but now I am the one stuck and preventing him from doing things...particularly things that contribute to an incredibly well-rounded educational experience. Do I have IT? Or I am just at a 'comfortable space?' How long should I stay in this comfortable space before it becomes unhealthy? 

I think this also goes back to the fact that I am constantly on the go. Virginia was good for me in that I always had something to do, but it left me unfulfilled at the end of the day. I could always pass it off saying, "I did the best I could today". Honestly, Virginia was also bad for me in that I never rested. Since having moved here, I have been sick three good right? Or is it? Maybe illness is what it takes to slow me down. Maybe my body is trying to catch up from all the running I did when I lived out east. Who knows?

I recall the post where I said, "I always feel the most content during the holidays with my family. During this time though, I get super, super lazy. I don't help out around the house, I laze around for hours on end. I only help when asked. Because for me, I am trying to gather strength to run fast when the holidays are over. I am realizing that this mentality is not very healthy." 

I am back with that same mentality, but this time I am not on vacation. This is my everyday life we are talking about here. And I need to get back in the game. But how? How do I do it? I don't want to overdo it the way I always do! Do I take it one step at a time, like get dressed in the morning for starters? Here are some things I thought of:
  • Cooking: Instead of trying to cook every night, attempt to cook 4 of 7 nights and make enough for leftovers so I am not cooking every night and won't burn out.
  • Health: Work out even if I am sick, even if it is a walk around the block. I promised myself that I would start working out daily. Because I have been sick almost the entire time I lived here, this has really put a damper on my plan to be healthy. Funny how that works. Because I want to get better, I have been sleeping most of the time, and/or watching movies and 'resting.' BAD HABIT.
  • Going out: Attend one or two free events with my sweetheart a week. Saturday, my sweetheart mentioned at least 4 things he wanted to do in addition to our trip to Idaho Falls to go shopping. He forgot that he agreed to meet up with a friend after our shopping excursion. I tried to be supportive of all these other things he wanted to do, but knowing we take forever to get groceries and knowing we were trying to meet up with a friend, we both ended up being super frustrated with one another. He has since stopped making suggestions about things for us to do. That makes me sad. I too, don't follow through when he tells me about doing things because we have so often not followed through. Now I have a chance to say, "That was then, this is now."
  • Budget: Just complete the darn thing. When my sweetheart and I tried doing this the first couple of times, we ended up fighting and going to bed several nights super angry with one another. That was then, this is now. Bite the bullet and do it.
Maybe if I focus on these four things, I can start creating new and better habits. I need to remember that things that happened and defined my relationship with my sweetheart in the past can always be altered given the right attitude and help from God.  I know that as I conquer these 'much too comfortable, bad habits' that I will be happier.

Maybe while I am trying to be better, you can tell me, what things have you done to get out of your bad habits?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Not Everyone Can Be As Witty....

Not everyone can be as witty as those super cool people who create amazing, dry sense of humor cards. One thing you should know about me. I am one of those people who loves going to the card section of the grocery store and looking to see if anyone is as witty as I am. *Wink. 

Seriously though, my friend and I wanted to start a 'hallmark card' business making up ridiculous cards that only really super cool, dry-humored people would buy. Sure, maybe the market isn't that big, but I tell could be. People just need to lighten up, right? 

Today I saw these amazing Valentine's cards that I just had to share because it is inspiring to me to know there are people out there who get it.

Thank you Huffington Post for your due diligence in writing 21 Awkward Valentine's Day Cards for Your Confusing Modern Relationship

Hope you enjoy two of my faves! PS: Creative people with innovation and humor sure make me happy!

Monday, February 10, 2014

November Happiness Resolutions: Finally!

At long last, I am writing about my progress for the Happiness Project, which was put on hold during the month's of December and January. I have been reluctant to bring it up again, but things in my life have completely changed, to the point where my goals have somewhat shifted. 

I feel like I was doing a lot of great things in Virginia, but it took a lot of work. Here, I don't feel like I have to try so hard....something I am actually grateful for. I tend to have more time to concentrate on other things besides trying to make ends meat. I am very blessed. 

Needless to say, my goals for November were not met with as much vigor as the goals I set in September and October. At first, I was ashamed that I didn't accomplish what I set out to do. Then I had to remember my 10th commandment, Don't Be So Hard on Yourself.

Spirituality: Start attending the family history center

This did not happen. I was told that Rexburg has free family history services that are one of the best in the country. That makes me so happy. I am looking forward to dedicating one night to family history, and better do it before my schedule starts filling up.

Marriage: Sing the words to my sweetheart when I am stressed. Come up with slogans or funny liners to help diffuse the tension when annoying habits enter the room.

It's true. We do this now. When we are starting to get irritated, all we have to do is sing to each other and all of a sudden, we don't remember why we are arguing anymore. Of course this isn't a sure fire thing either. Sometimes when we try it, it just makes things worse. I think if anything though, it helps us realize what the super important things are that we need to discuss. Anything other than "super important", is most likely to be diffused with a couple measures of song.

Finances: Combine and join accounts. Start living out of one account.

We took this step as I entered into my new job. We have yet to budget and discuss a savings plan, but I am excited to stop living on two separate accounts and stop having conversations of 'yours' and 'my' money. It creates unnecessary tension that makes marriage even harder. 

Family/Friends: Schedule time to be with friends instead of going home to be on my own. Start a FB page with memorabilia.

Leaving Virginia was actually easy, except when it came to leaving my friends and acquaintances. That is always the hardest part for me. I feel like I did a lot of growing up in VA, and I know I had relationships that were meant for me at that time in life. I couldn't have gotten through joblessness without comfort and ease, and without my motivators, you know who you are.  I couldn't have learned that men are from mars and that some of the stuff they do is because they are men, without some of you. It would have been extremely rough not to have sounding boards for my joy, as well as my sorrow. I also wouldn't have grown so much without the opportunity to serve and mourn with some of you who mourned. I did a lot of growing up, and a lot of growing together with some of you over the past 3 years! Scheduling time to let you know is important to me. Therefore, this goal will continue on. 

I have been able to take pictures that remind me of some of you or something you said. I am bound to keep up this tradition.

Intellect: Start writing about behavioral issues on the blog to develop awareness and record understanding/growth on the subject.

This was put on hold as I had to deal with my own internal/behavioral issues, particularly around anxiety, finding joy in the journey, handing over the reigns, and having hope.

Health: Meditate at least 30 minutes per day.

I did this one night. It was hard to meditate in our 720 square foot apartment. I find that my peace comes when I am in the restroom. This is my dedicated private time. My sweetheart knows that if I am in there, I won't respond to him. It has taken several months for me to be clear about this, but when I have my restroom time to myself, I know it is going to be a good day. In other news, I now have an office where there is a lovely chair that I like to lounge in and read. I am going to use this as part of my meditation practices. While you might not consider meditation, reading, because in some ways it is active, I am going to use that time to gain knowledge, and think about what I am reading.

Time: Continue throwing things away. Scan unnecessary but wanted paperwork, photos, and memorabilia.

You would be so proud of me. I have gotten rid of a ton of stuff. Even now, I look and see that there is more I can do. So, if I keep it up, it is most likely that by this time next year, I will have less than I have now. As for paperwork scanning, that is most necessarily on hold as we have to troubleshoot our scanner and such. If only I had the scanner I used for my first project....thank you Bobbi. Maybe that is something worth looking into. I can say it has brought me a certain satisfaction knowing I don't have mounds of papers lying around. I am also very good at only keeping pertinent information. I don't like papers strewn about the house, and am very good about throwing away things that are unnecessary. I do have to caution others wanting to do the same: be careful not to throw away important documentation!! I was on such a throw-away binge that I ended up throwing away some of my sweetheart's important papers. In your hurry to get rid of unnecessaries, BE CAREFUL!

Passion: Go to the art museum. Go for a hike. Finish one book other than intellect studies.

Go to the art museum: I was able to go the National Art Museum before I left DC. It is by far my most favorite museum. I went on the same day my sweetheart and I attended the Botanical Gardens Christmas-themed exposition. At first, I thought that my sweetheart was going to be too tired to make it through. He surprised me though by thoroughly enjoying the art. I think my favorite moment was when we were looking at this Impressionist piece of a castle in ruins on a shore. In the painting, there were several sheep, two goats, and a shepherd watching his flock. My sweetheart continued to describe the landscape by saying something like "See these two goats, they are like androids. See the sheep, they are like Apple, and look there is Steve Jobs," he said pointing at the shepherd. I was laughing so hard. If any of you know my sweetheart, you know how much he likes to tell people that Apple is for people who don't want a challenge, yours truly included.

I was so happy to see my favorite pieces of art still displayed at the museum, including The Voyage of Life by Thomas Cole. I remember first seeing these pieces when I first visiting the art museum three years ago. I stood in front of the one of the four entitled Manhood. It depicts a man on his boat of life, standing, praying to the sky as his boat floats toward heavy rapids. The painting shows three demons and one angel accompanying him through this phase of life. The description is what touched me deeply: " In the painting, Manhood, the youth has grown into an adult and now faces the trials of life. The boat is damaged and the tiller is gone. The river has become a terrible rush of white water with menacing rocks, dangerous whirlpools, and surging currents. The warm sunlight of youth has been clouded over with dark and stormy skies and torrential rains. The trees have become wind-beaten, gnarled, leafless trunks. The fresh grass is gone, replaced by hard and unforgiving rock.
In the boat, the man no longer displays confidence or even control. The angel appears high in the sky, still watching over the man, who does not see the angel. Man must rely on his faith that the angel is there to help him. Cole states, "Trouble is characteristic of the period of Manhood. In childhood, there is no carking care: in youth, no despairing thought. It is only when experience has taught us the realities of the world, that we lift from our eyes the golden veil of early life; that we feel deep and abiding sorrow: and in the Picture, the gloomy, eclipse-like tone, the conflicting elements, the trees riven by tempest, are the allegory; and the Ocean, dimly seen, figures the end of life, which the Voyager is now approaching.""

Go hiking: We went up to the Shenendoah mountains and did two hikes in one day. Pretty intense...I loved it. We both love the outdoors so much, and are so excited we are in an area that will let us explore this avenue more! We are definitely outdoorsy people.

Finish one book other than intellect studies: I should first say that I haven't even gotten through the intellect studies material at all. I have finished several books though including some of my favorite youth reads like Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, by Judy Blume. 

I have to reiterate how excited I am to have more time to dedicate to reading. I have a bookcase full of books that I have read and some I haven't read, and am super excited to sit for a while and finish great stories that take me places I have never been. 


While I haven't been able to accomplish everything I set out to do, I really feel like I am at a place in life where I will be able to do so many more things that contribute to my overall happiness. This major life change and future life changes couldn't have been/are not possible without a loving Heavenly Father who is very aware of what will help me grow....and that is something I need to remember. I am grateful I am finally at a place where I have the ability to read, cook, sing, attend religious activities, grow in knowledge and understanding daily, and grow my little family without crazy distraction.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Anxiety or Awareness?

On the drive from Alexandria, VA to Rexburg, ID, I can't say that I followed my commandments super well. The drive itself was not necessarily terrible. Although looking back I can't believe how risky and crazy my mom and I were for driving through storms of ice, wind, and snow. I wasn't super patient when driving across the country. I just wanted to get where I was going. I feel like a month was a little long for me to wait and wait and wait on all these life changes, right!?

The anxiety to 'need to get there now' is not new for me. If you recall, my desire to have outcomes available RIGHT NOW has been something I have been dealing with my entire adult life. Proof: my posts about Patience, and Notwithstanding My Weakness.

Just yesterday when I was looking at our finances, I knew that we were going to be hit with a HUGE moving bill, and that it would be a struggle to gain what we lost for this move. All of a sudden everything I had been focused on, all the good stuff, went out the window, and I just want to be back to where we were financially RIGHT NOW!

The good stuff went like this:
  • My sweetheart is so happy here - it is a night and day difference
  • The air in this part of the country is so good for our lungs
  • We have more time with each other instead of commuting everyday
  • The grocery store is literally 2 minutes for our apartment
  • I have a wonderful job with so much responsibility, autonomy, and flexibility
  • I am grateful for my company for taking a chance on me and my BIG ideas!
  • I love our apartment!
  • I love the community!
  • Gas is $3.08 at Maverick....OMGoodness, that's awesome 
  • We have hot water
  • We have enough food in our fridge for several meals...which means I get to be creative on what we eat
  • I have time to cook, workout, make the bed, do laundry, read, and sleep ALL outside of my work schedule!

The bad stuff went like this:
  • Why haven't we earned enough over the past year to feel secure now? 
  • We are so valuable and haven't been paid jack for our services!
  • If only he/I had better negotiation skills, maybe we would be earning more
  • If I were still single, I wouldn't have had to pay $1270 for rent plus utilities in DC, I could have paid $500 plus some change and saved a bazillion dollars
  • We can't have a child right now!! 
  • If only he/I didn't buy that one thing that cost a bazillion dollars, we could afford meat at the grocery store
  • Why haven't you sold that thing you wanted to sell online yet?
  • Do you really have to get an oil change, again? 
  • Yes, I NEED the hot air to be at 70 during the day!
Needless to say, my sweetheart heard it all. One minute I was laughing, having a good time with him. The next, I was on the floor bawling saying, "How in the world are we going to make it and save what we spent when there are constantly things that we owe? What more do we have to eliminate before I feel financially secure?" I realized that I am one of those people that may never feel secure. My sweetheart commented that his faith has sustained him when he is hit with these anxieties. Lucky. 

Am I an anxious person, or am I just SUPER aware? Yup, you are right, I am anxious....and we all remember what happens when I get anxious: Anxiety is not Happiness. In remembering my 13 commandments my very first one says, " It is what it is, embrace it, be grateful for it." Quoting myself from my blog post mentioned above, I need to remember, "At the end of the day, I have to remember that God intends that I am happy - that if I do my best, and have an active faith in Him, that things will work, and not necessarily in any way that I could have imagined."