September 19, 2016

Belay Certified!

Guess who has turned into a rock climbing chick lately?

Here's a hint: it's the same person who got belay certified a week ago today.

Here's another hint: it's ME!

Belay certified!

I def had never imagined myself as the sort of girl who rock climbs, but I am now a member of a rock climbing club, and I have my own harness, belay device, locking carabiner, and climbing shoes. Who am I?? 

Good thing it's been really fun! And thanks to Stephen and his friends for teaching me!

PS Here is a bonus fun photo of us about three decades ago 😂: 


Baby pictures :)

Happy Monday, everyone!

September 07, 2016

Just Some Thoughts on Vulnerability and Legitimate Needs vs Neediness

Wow, I can't believe it's been three months since I last posted! Unfortunately, I'm going to write about the same topic as last time: vulnerability in dating. I've given this topic a lot of thought in the last few months, and especially so in the last few weeks.

As a 31-year old, unmarried, professional, LDS woman, I've grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle. One in which I am my own boss. Where I don't account to anyone else for my time, my money, or my day-to-day choices. If I want to spend my whole evening sitting on the couch, painting my nails, and binge-watching The Mindy Project, I do it. If I want to drop more money than I should on a purse or new shoes, I can. If I decide to go out of town spur of the moment with friends, who's to say I can't? I've been taking care of myself for so long, and I know I can keep taking care of myself for many years yet.

I've grown so accustomed to my independence, it's been a bit of an adjustment to factor in another person. Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Or at least I'm trying to not let it be a bad thing. It's been humbling to go through the experience of letting another person into my life. I think I'm still working out where the balance is. Where do I let go of my "I'm an independent woman; hear me roar!" mentality and let someone else be a part of my life equation? Is it when I can't reach for something on the top shelf and it's easy to get someone taller to just do it? Or when I need to go to Instacare and could totally go on my own, but wouldn't it be nice to let him take me instead?

I worry that instead of communicating, "I love you, and I want you to be an important part of my life," I'll communicate an "I am needy" or "I am high maintenance" message, which is counter-productive and untrue. How do you balance asking for what you need, with what they need, all without appearing needy?

And yet... Shouldn't we grow to the point where we need another person, at least a little bit? Part of me is concerned with needing a boyfriend/partner/husband too much, not just for his sake, but also for my own. I'm afraid of hurting his feelings if I don't need him enough. But I'm also afraid of overwhelming him if I need him too much. Where is the right balance in all this?

I have many other thoughts related to this, but I will let this suffice for now. And if anyone has advice or suggestions on this topic, I welcome feedback and comments!

June 08, 2016

Running With Boys

Before I delve into the title of this post, please let it be noted – and let the whole world celebrate – that I am a runner once more! After so much time not being able to RUN, of visiting chiropractors, physical therapists, even an orthopedist at one point, I AM RUNNING!! Slowly, but surely. And I am grateful for it!

Now, about running with boys... I have never been an athletic person. This is one of the many reasons I love running. I am slow, but I am dedicated. If I start a run, I will keep running until I am done. That might mean slowing down to a painfully turtle-y pace, but dangitt, I keep running! Needless to say, my slowness means me whilst running does not = me at my finest. So a few weeks ago, when, gasp, a boy, wanted to run with me, I was really hesitant to let him! A- I'm just getting back into running, so I'm extra, extra out of shape... B- This is a boy who is athletic and in much better shape than I am. A boy who rock climbs and plays squash and soccer and such nearly every day. And generally, boys seem to be more athletic than I am, and this one was especially so.

But I had recently read this article (so good!) and remembered this part in particular:

When we first date somebody, we may try to mask our faults and make ourselves as appealing as possible. To develop an honest relationship, however, we must move beyond superficial appearances and allow our true selves to emerge. 

And I was like, awww, crap. My true self in this case = me red-faced, breathless, and sweaty, whilst trudging slowly up the Salt Lake hills, trying desperately to look cool whilst also improving my health. Too soon, I thought... Too soon! But I did it anyway. We went running, and probably due to being so intimidated to run with him, I actually ended up running faster than I normally do. I was red-faced, breathless, and sweaty, but he still seemed to like me at the end, and it was actually kind of fun! Plus, we played on our tire swing afterwards, so that was a win.

I guess what this experience taught me is that it is important to be vulnerable, even in things that might seem trivial. It's scary to open up and let someone see your weaknesses and insecurities, your flaws and all the things you're trying to improve. But how else will they get to know the real you? Odds are, just as you don't completely disregard someone for having a minor flaw, they won't do that to you either, and you'll feel closer to the other person and you'll feel validated, all because you were able to just be you. :)

Running with Boys
A word of advice: if you're going to take a photo, take it BEFORE you go on the run, not AFTER. #fail

April 30, 2016

Concussion

concussed
My bedroom walls were my view for a whole week while I recovered from a concussion. At least my walls have pretty things?

A few weeks ago, I was in a car accident. No blood, nothing broken, but I did have to relinquish my car for two weeks to get it fixed, and I had what turned out to be a concussion.

To be honest, post-car accident, my back was sore, and I was shaky, mostly from shock. When my car was hit, my head hit the driver's side window (it was just me in the car). My cell phone had been resting in a holster on the dash, and it went flying when I got hit. I'm ashamed to admit that my first thought after the impact was, "Nooooo! Not my phone!" Never mind my head or my CAR... (I am pleased to announce my phone survived!)

After we took care of the police report, paperwork, etc. (the other driver was incredibly kind!), I felt too shaken up to go home, so I took refuge at Steven, Miles, and Coby's house. Miles was the only one home, and he let me wash my face (I'd cried off most of my makeup anyway) and fed me ice cream to help me feel better while I dealt with my insurance on the phone. :( I briefly considered popping in to Instacare, but I figured I was probably fine. I mean, my back hurt, and I had a headache but NBD, right? (wrong.)

IMG_8706

After getting advice from my mom and a few others, I decided I should probably pop over to the Instacare the next morning, juuust in case. Instacare is just a few blocks from my house, so it didn't matter that my car was out of commission.

I was still hesitant the next morning, in spite of having woken up with a headache + back and neck pain. Honestly, I figured I just hadn't gotten enough sleep and the sleep I had gotten had occurred in a weird sleeping position. And it's normal to have a headache after crying, right? I was fine! I decided to play it by ear, and I worked from home that morning. Unfortunately... I had left my laptop charger at the office and didn't have a way to get it since my car was out of commission. My boss and co-workers had a walk-through scheduled at the Salt Palace that morning in preparation for our State Convention, and they were kind enough to drop off my laptop charger and a few other necessities from my office on their way to the walk-through. When they got here, my boss asked me to look her in the eyes. I was surprised to find out my eyes were dilated (a sign of concussion). She insisted I go to Instacare ASAP, as did my mother, so I went.

And it's a good thing I did! I was referred to the emergency room for a CT scan. I was, indeed, concussed, and they wanted to make sure it wasn't anything worse. My dear friend Camille had the day off and was kind enough to drive me to the IHC hospital in Murray. But first, we made a pitstop at Even Stevens for lunch! #priorities

Even Stevens pitstop

The scan turned out fine, and I was sent home with prescriptions for pain and nausea and told to rest my brain. By which they meant... DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. No TV, no movies, no Netflix, no computer, no Internet, no social media, no reading, no books. They even told me to limit my socializing!

I had zero experience and very little knowledge about concussions before this experience, but here is the first important lesson I learned:

If you experience any sort of sharp blow to the head, go to the doctor! I didn't realize I had a concussion, but I did. They say the symptoms are worse on Day 2, and oh man, were they right! The headache did NOT go away, and my nausea got worse. It was so bad, even texting or looking at my cell phone made me feel nauseated, so even texting was a dilemma. Camille helped me get my prescriptions, then she took me home, and I slept the rest of the evening.

The next day was THE WORST. The nausea was at its most intense, my headache hadn't gone away, even with Lortab, and I kept making cognitive errors. Things that, if they'd happened once, might have been funny. But when there were so many of them, it just became frustrating. I got so, so bored of just lying in my bed at one point, I decided to check my work email. (Bad.) We had a big court case on Monday, and I had planned to attend. But since I was going to be in bed for several days, per the doctor, I couldn't make it, and no one else could either! I sort of freaked out a bit, because I'd gotten an email giving me a heads up that a certain reporter would be present. Who would talk to the reporter if none of us was there?? At this point, the nausea and headache got really bad, so I figured I'd deal with the issue later.

I went back to bed and tried to listen to the Saturday morning session of conference. That seemed to make my headache worse, so I decided to just... sleep. When I woke up, I was still concerned about the reporter. I was also already bored of being in bed, and I needed to figure out some things with my car. So I texted my brother for help. I told him I was bored. I asked him if he would come over to my house. And I asked him to help me with my car. Only... I didn't text my brother. I had texted the reporter who would be at the trial on Monday! 😱  I think the signals just got crossed in my brain somehow. I also put away a kitchen appliance in the fridge at one point, I sent Uber to the wrong address to pick up my brother despite three phone calls to make sure he had it right, etc etc etc. I felt so frustrated! I was tired, and exerting brain power only made me feel worse. So I went back to bed again and slept. :(

That night, my dad and my brother Spencer came by to pick up Jason for the Priesthood Session of conference. They brought me these pretty flowers:

concussed

and my dad brought me pupusas and gave me a priesthood blessing. I was grateful and can honestly say I started to get better from the moment I got that blessing.

Spending the next week in bed was SO. freaking. hard! I don't do well being still, and I struggle to have quiet time in my life. I always feel like I should be doing something, but I learned some very important things:

  1. Because there was basically nothing else I could do, I had a lot of time to think and to reflect on my life. I came to the conclusion that I NEED to make space for quiet time, and I was grateful for this forced pause in my life that helped me remember that. (I had actually reinstated my 2014-15 DC goal of weekly temple attendance, and this experience only served to reconfirm how much I need that! I know it's kind of a crazy goal to set during an election year, but I'm committed to making it happen.
  2. The world did not fall apart because I wasn't at work. I get stressed about work so easily. When you work in politics, time is the most precious resource, and being bed-ridden felt like the worst thing that could happen to me. (At least it wasn't in the fall, right?) And sure, I got behind on some projects, and our social media was mostly dead that week, but the world survived, and so did I. I need to remember this moving forward, especially as I work on creating boundaries between my work life and my personal life.
  3. Disconnecting from technology is wonderful, and I should do it more often! I was forced to limit my screen time, and while it was INSANELY hard (it's really embarrassing to admit that... I actually still checked Snapchat every day while I was concussed. 🙈), it was lovely to actually have time with my thoughts. I've realized technology is my BIGGEST distraction, whether it's the temptation to look at non-work social media or blogs at work, or wasting time looking at Snapchat stories or watching something on Hulu or Netflix at night. Think of how much more productive I would be and how much sooner I could reach my goals if I didn't waste so much time on technology!
concussed concussed concussed
I spent a loooot of time staring out my bedroom window. At least the view was pretty. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

So even though being concussed was very much a less than ideal scenario, I'm grateful A- that the accident wasn't worse for either the other driver or me, and B- that I was forced to have the quiet time I needed to learn some basic ways to make my life better.