Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Last night, as my ovarian cyst started wreaking havoc on my intestines, I wished briefly that I were at home, putting my kids in bed and talking to my husband. I knew I could count on him for a back rub while the discomfort lasted. Then I paused and realized I was in Santa Monica, wishing I were at home. That thought was comforting. It's good to remember how much I love my family.
This morning, I am grateful to be exactly where I am. I am feeling a bit uneasy about how my kids are doing while I'm away from them--I always feel that way--but the peaceful, slow-moving morning is refreshing and delicious to my normally-overloaded nervous system.
I realized that while I'm on vacation, I live more deliberately. Since I am not in a normal routine, I put careful thought into how I spend my time and what I eat. Routine at home is the backbone of sanity, but it is also somewhat threatening to my New Year's Resolution, which is to seek out joy rather than simply hope it finds me. I need to live more deliberately if I want to become the person I want to be. That is what I love about vacation: I feel that I have a choice to discover who I am and what I will be during this brief time while I am not being defined by the needs of my affectionate children and husband.
As I lay awake this morning, wondering what time it was, I felt completely peaceful reclining with my soft bamboo blanket over me. I pondered on why it is that I can feel completely at ease lying in the same place with nothing to entertain me. I've had trouble sleeping lately, and sometimes I lie in bed awake for hours, willing Morpheus to overcome me. This morning, I realized that, though it was daytime and I could easily pick up a book or go hop in the shower, I was content to simply rest and be.
Why? The answer came to me easily: because I'm a storyteller. My brain is always at work, analyzing past events or imagining life as it could be or could have been. I play act in my mind what the coming day will be, how others will sound and what we will say to each other. This is thanks to my tendency toward anxiety disorder--my brain obsesses over things and analyzes them. It is also the wellspring of my creativity--the ability to see things in a hundred different lights and myriad ways.
I have a personal theory that the greatest creative minds the world has ever known all had a tendency toward anxiety or mood disorders. They just go hand in hand. And while my anxiety is minor and very easy to manage, I adore the creative processes that are constantly at play internally. I wouldn't trade it away for anything.
So I started thinking about this idea that I'm a natural storyteller. I wondered if there was other evidence that this is true. I immediately started writing this blog entry in my mind and realized that perhaps, that itself is proof of the hypothesis. Who else would tell a story about lying in bed?
I thought about the good night stories I tell to the twins. This bit of inspiration hit me one night as I was praying for patience with my jack-in-the-box twins who refused to stay in bed. The thought came to me that when it was just Joseph, I would lie down next to him and read until his body relaxed and he was able to start feeling drowsy. With the twins, they sit next to me on the floor during story time and then have to climb into their bunkbed. "Tell them a story after they're in bed," came the thought.
So I tried it out. I told them to lie down in bed with their heads on their pillows and their feet under their blankets (I have to be extremely specific with my children) and I would tell them a story. It worked like a charm. The jack-in-the-box syndrome has all but disappeared when I employ this technique.
The trouble is that I have to come up with a unique story every single time. And the children seem to want me to expand on the same themes over and over. It becomes tedious after a while to think of a new adventures for "100 frogs and rabbits." However, I always do it. I come up with a story on the spot that is engaging for them (and for my husband, who likes to secretly sit on the other side of the door and listen).
So I have decided that I am a storyteller. Whether on my blog or sitting on the floor of the twins room at nightfall or as I lie in bed at night, laughing at my own idiosyncrasies, that is who I am. I need to embrace it and become good at what I love to do. If only I could learn to spend every morning with deliberate intention like I did today. Some day ...
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
So tomorrow I fly to LAX with my nephew and Wednesday we get to see the inner workings of Disney Animation Studios. The studio happens to also be in the same city as that icon of baked goods: Portos Bakery. So we'll enjoy a few chocolate croissants, cheese rolls (cream cheese filling wrapped with flaky layers of pastry, aka the most heavenly baked good I've ever tasted... you have to try one to understand... ), and a mountainous slice of pecan coffee cake. Then we'll head back to my sister's condo in the middle of Santa Monica, where we can relax and play Pixel Junk Monsters, dine out or enjoy some fresh food from the Whole Foods Market a couple blocks away, while soaking in the 72 degree sunshine.
Which brings me back to my thesis: my nephews are lucky to have an aunt as altruistic as myself, sacrificing two days of the activities I love better than life itself: potty training a stubborn three-year-old, wiping wet noses, preparing meals that nobody appreciates, slipping around the ice and snow and folding mountains of laundry.
I hope I've set an example of Christian Charity for those of you reading. If you haven't set your heart on following these high ideals, I hope I've inspired you to rethink your life.
Friday, January 23, 2009
An Ode to Throwing Conventional Wisdom Out the Window ... Or ... An Ode to Liquid Fabric Softener and Fluffy Towels
You dry the water from my cheeks
I relax into you
I breathe you in
The smell of your closeness brings a smile to my lips
Your scent intoxicates me
Makes me dizzy with pleasure
I could wrap myself in you for hours
I'll miss you
I'll return to you
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
An excuse to post U2 videos? Well... okay.
U2 was my favorite band all during late elementary school and junior high. I loved watching these today along with the "I Have a Dream" speech and talking about civil rights with Joseph. Happy Martin Luther King day, everyone.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Thursday, January 08, 2009
I was sick to my stomach two nights ago and extremely tired and dizzy and achy all day yesterday. I was, in a word, miserable. Today I felt completely rejuvenated and joyous. It felt so amazingly good to not be sick. If I hadn't been sick yesterday, I wouldn't have felt so happy and grateful today. My contentment with an improvement in health motivated me to achieve new levels of domesticity. (I actually washed the laundry and folded it in the same day. All this and a clean kitchen, vacuumed carpets and home-cooked dinner. My husband was dumbfounded.)
What would life be without the lows? The highs would just be mediocre bumps in the landscape of life, instead of soaring triumphs. Instead of vivid contrasts of light and dark, life would just be beige.
I admit that when life seems to be all dark, I would readily agree to a life of beige. That, however, would be extremely short-sighted. I don't want to live a beige life. I want to live a life filled with all the spectrums of circumstance: joy, pain, triumph, and sorrow. That's what makes life worth living. That's what makes life challenging and fulfilling. That's what pushes me to new levels of humanity and divinity, hopefully.
If your life starts feeling beige, go step out into the snow. Barefoot. Run around your yard barefoot, like I did with my nephew on New Year's Eve. Then go into your home and wrap your toes up in warmth and be grateful.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
At least when my stomach started hurting a few minutes ago, I wasn't too surprised. I know what to expect. I just don't know when.
See you in 24 hours, world.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Saturday, January 03, 2009
This year, I no longer qualify to enter the novice division (three years or fewer of voice lessons) and there is no intermediate division for the adult group so I have to enter the advanced division. Since that includes all the voice majors from BYU and people who actually know how to sing, I'm going to enter the event non-competitively.
It'll be fun to have something prepare for and to get some feedback from the judges. Even better: none of the stress of having to sing in front of the recital hall! I think I may even perform in both the "Classical" and "Musical Theater" divisions so I can have even more fun.
Who am I? This is fun to spend months preparing for something where I know I'll be the worst singer in my division?
Bring it on!
Thursday, January 01, 2009
I understand the concept of this. I get it. But my sarcastic side MUST ask: what are your other pizzas made out of? Synthetic plastic? Some compounds created in laboraties? I mean, what is NON-natural tomato sauce? Or non-natural mozzarela cheese? Ugh. I don't want to know.
All I know is that this advertising campaign is a definite FAIL because it made me wary of their other products, rather than tempting me to try the new one.