Saturday, April 30, 2011

You know what would suck? Being compared to your beautiful now deceased Princess Mother-in-Law on your wedding day... and forevermore

Ya know what would be worse? Being the soon-to-be husband of the woman who keeps getting compared to your deceased Princess MOTHER who died tragically in a car accident... forever...

Yep... that'd be rough.


They still got a fairy tale wedding so I'm going to go ahead and say it all evened out (the evermore comparing part - clearly not the dying part - cause that would be pretty sick).  I will also say that I loved watching the ceremony. Those British - I love them. They've always done it "this way" and they will always do it "this way" and no one will ever make them do it any other way. The British are so constant. England has a timeless and magical soul I've always admired. I spent 6 weeks one year soaking in the wonders of London, Canterbury, some lovely English countryside, Bath, and New Castle and knew upon my arrival it would never quite be enough until I returned back to live there always. And I will live there. Mark my words. England is the place for me!

Thus, I hold, and have for sometime, the strong belief I should've been born British. Perhaps I will tell you about this sometime; but suffice it to say, America would never socially accept such an exuberant number of lovely ladies' hats. This, I feel, is one of our most egregious oversights. Alas.

Newly Married Royals Leave Westminster Abbey

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Each life that touches ours for good

I’ve not been to a funeral since my Grandma Cox passed away summer of 2003. In fact, her passing was very near the 4th of July, or perhaps it was the 24th. I know it was around that time because as I was driving back from the hospital, I recall seeing fireworks going off from the freeway. I remember that the last time I had been around my Grandma was when our family took her to see Les Miserables at the Capitol Theater the previous Fall. I remember regretting that I hadn’t spent more time with her, appreciating her boisterous laugh and smiling, happy face. I remember I was wrapped up in my own selfish world rather than being a more compassionate and caring granddaughter when she needed one most. That is one of my biggest regrets; ignoring away the sadness and not letting myself feel love so I didn’t have to feel the loss. But the feeling of loss would’ve been worth the showing of love. I’m sure as death visits us all, we harbor some regret of not being more, greater, better, or less selfish somehow. We regret not allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.

That memory is most vivid as funerals go. Before that, I attended my great Grandpa Moffits funeral in 1997ish. Being only 13 at the time, those memories are fuzzy as well. I remember my cousin Jamie and her dad singing from the pulpit. I remember the line of cares to the cemetery. I remember going to the luncheon and eventually forgetting why everyone was in black. That’s about it. That’s two funerals in the last 14 years. Most people would count that as very lucky. I do count it as very lucky. I feel I’ve done a very fine job of avoiding such affairs altogether. No one exceptionally close to me has passed that would warrant my attendance at a funeral, and any other funerals I’ve heard mention of I’d only known the individual very superficially; by random acquaintance or a name that may or may not ring a bell. Or perhaps only knew a family member of the deceased twice removed. Thus, I hadn’t felt a compelling need to attend such things as I consider funerals to be very intimate and personal affairs for those closest to the deceased.

Last night though, I attended a Memorial Service of a young woman my age who I didn’t know at all. She was a member of my singles ward and when her passing was announced on Sunday, I tried my best to remember if I had ever met, talked to, been introduced, or interacted with this girl throughout the last year of being in the same singles ward. I had vague memories of who she might have been, picturing her in possible groups of people or trying to determine if I would have even recognized her on the street. I didn’t know her – not really – but felt that as part of her singles ward, of her home away from home, of her Salt Lake family and a loyal ward member, I should attend her memorial service. I attended because I felt it was my duty. I attended, because for some reason I felt it was what I should do. I attended because when they announced she had passed, I felt a catch in my chest because she was a young woman my age, full of dreams, and life and hopes and disappointments and desires unrealized.

So, I attended for all those reasons and maybe some I didn’t know.

As the service began, I quickly began to get acquainted with someone I had never known. It was amazing to me that such a person, leading a unique and beautiful life very separate from my own, had existed around me. I didn’t know that she had liked bikram yoga or was a practicing midwife. I didn’t know that she was from California or that she cooked amazing and delicious meals for friends and family. I didn’t know she was the oldest child, just like me, and that she always smelled like something fresh and comforting. I didn’t know she was bossy and independent. No, I didn’t know anything about this person who now I would never know. And I felt a pang of regret. I wish I had known her. She seemed like someone everyone would want to know. Why hadn’t I gotten to know her? Where had I missed my chance?

And then I thought…

How many people do I have the opportunity to get to know weekly, even daily, and I don’t take it because I’m too distracted by all the “me me me” in my life? Is it possible to truly appreciate and love each person uniquely and individually when we, as very self-centered mortals, barely have time to construct and organize our own existence? How many opportunities are lost to interact with amazing people like this young woman, and we miss it because of our self-limited tunnel vision? How many people do we not give a chance because of superficial judgements or stereotypes? As I listened to the many memories and tender feelings shared by family members, friends, colleagues, and the mothers she had helped, I felt their loss and even a small loss of my own for not having gotten to know this rather extraordinary person more. This person that until tonight, I could barely remember having seen once a week here or there as we both attended the same ward and even interacted with some of the same people.

Walking away from the memorial service, I found myself in awe of truly how many lives were touched so profoundly by a single individual simply being who she was and doing what she did. I don’t think we can ever truly comprehend how many lives we touch in even the subtlest way. I don’t think we can comprehend the worth of our own souls, our own experiences, our charity and love for others, and our uniqueness on those around us. Can we calculate the worth of a soul in an instant? Are we guilty of weighing and measuring people so quickly that we metaphorically “pass by on the other side?” Many times when attending such functions, we are given a new lens of appreciation for the lives we have or, on the other hand, are inspired to live a life more fully dedicated to those things that matter most; the relationships we cultivate, the hope we can give to others, the hearts we truly touch, and the lives we change, for good or for bad. Last night I was profoundly touched, I was humbled, and I was reminded of the importance of loving those around me to my fullest capacity; of allowing myself to be vulnerable enough to love and to be loved. There is not sweet without the bitter. We risk the heartache for the hope of pure joy. Sometimes we can’t appreciate a life fully lived until that life suddenly ends.

Even in death, this young woman touched my life briefly for the better. Even in death, we can still touch each others lives for good.

Thanks Brianna.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Of course the white dress wins..

Alright everyone. I agree, the white dress below IS gorgeous, perfect, beautiful.. and $200. $200!! I'll probably still go try it on and pine over how much I want to buy it while thinking about all the other sensible things I could use $200 for... like food, a car payment, and another 20 rounds of Boxing is for Girls.

It's a hard life.

In other news, I did buy THIS number from Banana Republic at 40% off. WIN!

Alright. Back to work all of you!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Good Use of Time

Instead of paying attention in class - which is arguably POINTLESS at this point - I have decided to peruse beautiful Spring dresses online. Naturally, I will justify my purchasing such dresses for the following reasons:

1. I cannot very well wear Winter dresses in the Spring; what would people THINK?
2. I need a new dress for graduation. Plain and simple. Feeling the new expensive fabric under my graduation robes will give me an extra thrill when accepting that degree cover on May 6th.
3. I haven't been shopping for awhile and feel a compelling need to spend money on frivolous pursuits.

and finally...

4. I want to feel pretty... oh so pretty...

So here are some options. Enjoy! Vote! Comment! Induuuuulge.

Found Here.

I think a thick brown belt would really pull this little number together... and maybe these too

And this one... oh yes this one...
Naturally with a bright yellow cardy... which I just so happen to already own.

Well! Thanks for joining me on that good use of class time. I easily killed about 30 minutes... and now my weak laptop is telling me it's going to die soon; leaving me with an entire hour of torture left. Oh the humanity!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Almost there... so close

A little something for those of you who are sick of my school laments. LAMENT! LAMENT! But I'm close. So very close. That's why this little video is appropriate. It illustrates how close I am!

Though I must add... I keep forgetting I still have two classes in the summer to take before being "officially" graduated. Psh. Details. I mean, I'm walking in graduation this Spring, AND I'm handing in my MRP (Major Research Paper - it's a "thesis" in disguise) AND... one of my classes is literally only 3 weekends long. Those two classes will be a walk in the PARK after this semester. The Park I tell you! A walk! In IT!

View the Video... and join in the hope of being almost there.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Let us talk about LIFE...

Through my 27 years of living - I feel I've had some choice opportunities to learn some valuable life lessons. For example I learned a little something yesterday whilst at the Dentist. SCOPE mouthwash is actually pointless and does not contain anything useful for teeth, enamel, whitening, NOTHIN! Rather, it is another money making gimmick made to sucker the unsuspecting customer into thinking they're being hygienically responsible. Thieves. Lesson: Stick with Listerine. Don't be a wuss; just endure the 30 seconds of quality mouth cleaning. I feel that's a valuable piece of consumer knowledge and one item of many I've added to my "good to know" stores. A choice opportunity if I've ever seen one!

Then there's other things like any movie with Johnny Depp is a win because it stars Johnny Depp and bright orange is a dreadful color on 95% of the population (so don't kid yourself). These are examples of personal experience through watching a lot of movies, particularly ones starring Johnny Depp, and the gagging sensation I get when I see anyone walking around in rainbow orange articles of clothing. These are things learned from longitudinal experiences - i.e. experiences over time. I've also learned how to utilize longitudinal in everyday jargon. What a great lesson! Many of these things can be learned the easy way... and some are learned the hard way (like using longitudinal in my everyday jargon took getting a Master's degree... just so you know what you're in for).

That brings me to more serious and dare I say legitimate life lessons as; picking your battles, finding patience among frustrating situations, cultivating faith and hope in otherwise hopeless situations, the strength of mind over matter, that breaking your heart is the surest way to appreciating the real thing, turning the other cheek, going with them twain, and that a loyal trustworthy friend is probably one of the greatest gifts you could ever receive. Clearly these lessons pack a little more significance than mouthwash brands and Johnny Depp (but only just ;)), and they also require a little more sacrifice and self-reflection. Thus, just as significant as the lessons learned is the experiences it takes to internalize these lessons. And most of those lessons are definitely (and necessarily) learned the hard way.

And I've learned A LOT of lessons the hard way.

However, this gives me hope they won't be "unlearned" anytime soon. It's the harder things that tend to stick the longest.

Thus, I've taken some time to self-reflect and recognize those "poisonous" situations, people, thoughts, actions and reactions, in my life that I could practice doing without or, practice handling just a little bit better. Just like life-lessons, the poisons in my life range from reducing my sugar intake thus not entering a Sugar Coma at 3:00pm every single day, to recognizing what battles are worth fighting... and which ones just aren't. Almost an acknowledgment of the greater good - letting sometimes trite, personal things go for the betterment of your overall environment It could ALWAYS be worse. And I don't want to be the reason they're worse. It's gauging the outcomes - and strategically selecting the one you have the most control over - which ultimately tends to be yourself. I think learning how to navigate hard situations with patience and pro-activity, making the internal, individual adjustments rather than rashly and reactively attempting to control external variables, is one of those lessons I'm truly cultivating this year. To truly pick the battles that are worth addressing and letting others lie - generally because they're petty and insignificant in the long run anyway. And maybe, that ability to reflect and navigate comes with maturity and "hard" experiences as well. Hello world! I'm growing up! I'm attempting to either remove the poison from my life or prevent it through my own choices. The rub is not everything is black and white... there's a lot of gray... there's a lot of "the lesser of two evils" type scenarios. But you do what you can with what you can. If it wasn't that way then it wouldn't be entirely worth it, I guess. No one appreciates things that come easy.

I hope I don't ever stop "growing up" and learning and cultivating and progressing. Stagnation is the first sign of character decline in my opinion, and I for one want to maintain enough of a grasp on my environment, the people I'm choosing to surround myself with, the situations I've created and more particularly those I can prevent through my ability to act or react,  to notice when I've stopped progressing and refining and instead, am stagnating. It's a long road... bumpy and arduous at times... not entirely free of poison... but it's one we all must take. Might as well try and learn something useful along the way.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I just want you to know...

FIRST - that I LIVE! I do. But you may not hear from me for awhile... a good long while... as school is in full blown heady massive harry gooey widespread roundhouse kick SWING and I will be buried in eye twitches, academic journals, bibliographies, and major research papers.

SECOND, I want you to know - that SCHOOL WILL NOT DEFEAT ME! As illustrated by this picture.

Carry on.

Look for me around May 7th. I'll be the one in CAP AND GOWN! GRADUATING! Well, I'll be walking... still have a little capstone class to round out. But that's kibbles and bits compared with the meaty wooley mammoths I'm chawing through now. What great imagery. Right? Hells ya.