I thought this story was inspiring.
I thought this story was inspiring.
Okay, so he's Texan Indian. That is, he looks Indian, and has an Indian name, but I'm not certain how recent his actual Indian heritage is. Anyhow, he bought me ice cream in July during the all-staff meetings, and now we're friendly acquaintances. He was in town for some meetings last week and made a point of saying hi. I am all for tall, hot guys saying hi to me. And before any of you start dreaming big...no. He's just a friendly acquaintance.
What else? I'm checking off my Peru check list. KB provided me with an additional camera battery, a backpack, and another duffel bag. I bought a good fleece jacket. It's coming up very soon, and I'm pretty excited.
My home teacher came over tonight. We always have interesting conversations, rarely about anything home-teacherish.
I was at a dinner group tonight. There was some interesting conversation. But the most eventful part of the night was when the hostess' roommate came home, tripped on the bottom step, and broke her arm and her foot. It sort of put all the other conversation on hold as we got some ice, called the girl's parents....anyhow. Bummer way to end the night.
I got a text from one of the ward clerks this morning. I'm supposed to meet with a bishopric member next week. I'm a bit curious as to what it would be for. If it were just a talk, they'd just call me or talk to me at an activity. Which makes me wonder if its a different calling. But I don't know what it would be exactly, because I'm a guest service missionary, which sometimes makes me late to church or church events or makes me miss them all together. And I don't think they would release me from being a GSM for a different calling. Then it could be because I'm in trouble.... ;)
About a month ago I was driving home, and I found myself in the middle of a song I'd never heard before.
I'm finally holding what I've been hoping for....
Who knows we might go down in flames
But then again I might just change your name....
The song was "Could It Be," by Charlie Worsham. And essentially, it exactly reflected the way that I hoped and wished love would be, especially for people my age in the LDS church. I'm told so often that the reason most of us put off marriage or relationships is because of fear.
I am not one of those people, but I wish the people who are those people would sit down and have a little listen with Charlie Worsham. The song is hopeful and realistic at the same time, with no hint of fear. What's more, it embraces the happiness of being with someone you care about and dismisses all of our hang-ups.
A brief explication, if you please:
Could It Be
I'm finally holding
How are you all? Can I just say that this was the busiest week ever? All-day meetings at work and then something going on every night. And then, me being me, I sign up to help with things or bring food or....well, it just adds to all the everywhereness, and makes me crazy.
I'm not sure how that fits into today's good life post, except to say that while you are all out there changing the world with your amazing contributions, leave a little time for yourself and don't over-commit.
That said, I wanted to muse on a thought from General Conference. I finially finished watching all the talks this week. One of the thouughts that stuck out to me was one that suggested that we improve ourselves every day.
I am fascinated by this idea. But let's make it concrete for a moment. Say you own a house, and you had made a goal to improve your house every day. That would be a very measurable goal. You might start with the basic things; make sure there's a good foundation and that theroof is good and that the rest of the structure is solid. Then you might make sure that your house is secure; the doors all have good locks, you have a good alarm system, and a very large dog that bites any nefarious-looking visitors. Then you might weather-proof your house, add in windows that don't let out the heat, and a good fireplace, and maybe, if you really get into things, heated floors in the bathrooms.
Then you could move on to the not-so-essentials. The color of the paint. A new fridge. Knocking out a wall or two to make a room bigger. Maybe you would add a jacuzzi tub or a brick fireplace in the back yard.
All of these things are measurable. Today I don't have a jacuzzi tub. Tomorrow I will. But how does this apply to our lives? I ask this literally, not rhetorically. Some things are extremely measurable: paying a full tithe, losing weight, having a clean house. Other things are not so immediately measurable....being nice, honest, eating healthy, loving our fellow man, cooking the perfect loaf of bread.
Dale Cargnegie said that one of the habits of successful people is taking daily stock of their lives. Taking a few moments at the end of each day to assess what they did well and what they could do better. Growing up, I always scoffed at the idea of writing down goals and figured agoal was a goal whether I wrote it down or not. As an adult, I see that goals are much more easily accomplished (for me) if I commit to them by writing them down and then am able to measure my progress by checking them off when I have completed them.
Maybe this is how you improve yourself every day. Imagine, though, if we had endless resources, still using the example of the house, how amazing our houses could be. I will throw in the rule that all changes are incremental and that we have to do the bulk of the work ourselves. Improvement wouldn't be an immediate change, from a hovel to a palace. But it would, day by day be a gradual progress toward perfection.
Now imagine if every person in the whole world committed to improving themselves every day. If only one person did this, their life would be remarkable at the very least, but if everyone did this...wowza.
Tomorrow, before I go to bed, I am going to make goals for Monday. I am going to make one goal that will help me improve me for one day. Then on Monday, I will do the same for Tuesday.......you get the drift. If any of you all want to join in, I'd love to hear your reports.
Today I give you...my award-winning Halloween story that I wrote for our work Scary Story contest! I won first prize and got a $15 gift card to Olive Garden. So, with no further ado, here you go:
It had been a long time since I’d been home. My headlights cut through the fog that always seemed to blanket Mae Valley in the fall. My car made its way down the winding road, and I was careful not to go too much above the speed limit; everyone knew that Westshore Drive was a speed trap, and there was nothing cops liked more than to ticket rebellious drivers speeding at a dangerous 37 mph.
I pulled into the gravel driveway. My parents’ place was neither large nor fancy, but it had been home for about ten years now, and I breathed in the heavy, spicy air as I made my way to the front porch. My mom beat me to the door, though, and I was greeted with a big hug that smelled of homemade bread. My dad followed shortly after. His hug was whiskery, and I stood on my tip-toes so he wouldn’t have to lean down so much.
We went in, and I dodged the duck wind chime that hung next to the door. My mom loved ducks. In fact, just that spring she’d gone to the local Ranch and Feed store to buy three pet ducks for the backyard. They were all male, the store clerk had told her, but he was proven wrong a month or two later when my mom’s small flock expanded quickly to twenty-one.
It was already late, and though I wanted to stay up chatting, I could tell my folks were tired. I said good night to my parents and went to the kitchen. I hadn’t really had dinner, so I cut myself a thick slice of bread, slathered it with butter, and poured myself a tall glass of milk.
The kitchen and dining room faced my parents’ backyard. The house sat on two acres of property, surrounded by poplars, with a row of pines making a line across the halfway point. In the daytime, it made for a good place to walk and play, but as I stared out at it tonight, my mind recalled the large dogs down the street and the house one street over that had been broken into and robbed the year before.
“This is ridiculous,” I thought, and went to put my plate in the sink. Then, in the bedroom, I stowed my suitcase at the end of the bed and grabbed a romance novel from the bookshelf. There were about 20 of them there, 1930s and 40s romances that my sister and I had grown up on. All the heroes were returned war heroes, and all the heroines were beautiful heiresses in reduced circumstances. Just the sort of brain candy I needed to read myself to sleep.
I flipped on the lamp and turned out the light, burying myself under the covers. The world became very small in my dark bedroom. An hour passed. I turned a page as the heroine ran out into the woods, wearing an evening dress and high heels. As usual, she had received an anonymous note that if she wanted to find the information she was looking for, she needed to meet at the rendezvous point at midnight, but not tell anyone where she was going.
The hero was about to realize the heroine was missing when I heard a rustling outside the window.
“It’s nothing,” I thought, and tried to go back to my book, huddling closer to the lamp.
But there it was again. A steady tap, tap, tap. A presence outside my window. I quickly turned out the lamp and pulled the covers over my head. As though that would help if there was really a bad guy.
I waited for several minutes, in the dark, under my covers. It seemed like forever, but the tapping stopped, and I peeked out from under my covers. No shadowy outline from behind the curtains; I was once again safe.
I turned on the lamp again to learn how the war hero would rescue his heiress. He was just about to pull out his revolver to defend her from the communist traitor when—there it was again.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
I looked around the room for something, anything I could use as a weapon. The pillows on the rocking chair were a less than satisfying option. I considered waking my parents up. But then….what if it was nothing? Mae Valley was windy in the fall, and maybe the tapping was just a stray branch tapping against the side of the house.
“That only taps when you turn the light on?” I asked myself. “Riiiight.”
I turned off the lamp again, determined to handle this on my own, as an adult. And as an adult, I slowly crawled off my bed and onto the floor, staying low as I made my way to the window.
Ever-so slowly, I used my finger to lift one of the blinds, to see who the stealthy tapper was. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. A dog? A fellow romance reader who also wanted to know the ending? But there was nothing there.
I gulped. I knew the only way to discover who the tapper was would be to lure them back with the light from my lamp. Hesitantly, I reached over and turned it on one more time, making sure that I was still hidden behind the blinds and below the sill.
And, as I had expected, hoped, and dreaded, the tapping came once more. Tap. Tap. Tap.
This was enough. I would not let the tapper win. I grabbed my cell phone, ready to call the cops, then turned on my bedroom light and opened the blinds to confront the tapper.
And there he was…or there they were, that is…standing in the darkness of the back porch, at the foot of my bedroom window. My mother’s ducks, all twenty-one of them, huddled around my window, fascinated by the one light coming from the house on a foggy fall night.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Is already going by so quickly.
Today: Church and family get-together, where I missed seeing KB and her family.
Tomorrow: I am being visit taught and then there's a fall carnival for FHE.
Tuesday: I have an all-day meeting, and directly afterward I am going to GSM for the 100 Years of Scouting celebration at the conference center, which I hear is going to be really good.
Wednesday: Violin lessons.
Friday: Ward Thanksgiving dinner and service auction, for which I have volunteered to make lots of mashed potatoes, a baked good to sell at the bake sale, and need to finish the nativity I am making to auction off at the silent auction. No biggie. Plenty of time, right?
The good news is that Grimm finally started again, and I am very excited. Also, Peru is less than 4 weeks away. Craziness! I am mostly prepared.
So....on to another week. Here we go. :)
I sneezed three times on Wednesday. Salud, dinero, amor. In all my life, except for Wednesday, I have only ever sneezed twice in a row, so I have only had health and money. But I sneezed three times in a row on Wednesday, so that means love is in my future. Hurah!
Anyhow, I never posted what I actually put for Assignment 2. Katie-Beth came pretty close. See her comment in the original post.
The assignment, as I stated before, was to identify and prioritize the top 7 qualities we are looking for in a spouse. Here are mine:
Today I give you.....
My frustration with country songs. it seems like lately that only the ones I hate are being played. There's this one that starts out "You make me want to write a song...." I've talked about this before. It's called metadiscourse. Talking about talking basically. It doesn't really say anything. It's like when people get up in sacrament meeting and talk for ten minutes about how the bishop asked them to give a talk....just give the talk already. Sing the song.
I am going to be a special for the big Halloween dance tonight. Only one of the ten or so people who've asked (aside from my mom and my sister) know what a special is, so if you don't know, they are essentially super-human agents who, if I remember correctly, go on secret missions for the government. Except in the book, Specials, Tally Youngblood, who was made a special against her will, rebels.
Specials, among other things, have tatoos that travel across their semi-computer faces, and dark, scary eyes. My brother designed a tattoo for me, and I bought blackout contacts too. I also dyed my hair jet black.
Not really. At least, not the hair part. But aside from the not-dark hair, I will look somewhat like this:
If you haven't read the books, starting with the first one, Uglies, you should. They are a rush the first time. Just ignore the overt environmentalism threaded through the stories, and you'll be fine.
Anyhoo, have a lovely weekend.