Monday, October 29, 2012

Three G

Lately I've been thinking a lot about my Great Grandma Glenda (She sometimes went by Three G...or so I've been told.  Hence the title.)  Grandma Glenda was an amazing woman.  She was a fantastic artist (we have a couple of her paintings at home and they are absolutely breathtaking).  She was a lifelong teacher, and when she retired, her town had Glenda Bushman day to celebrate the fantastic job she had done.  She put herself through college, was never known to lose a game of Scrabble, and she always had lemon drops around (as a result, I really like lemon drops).
I mean, LOOK at them!  They're sunshiny sugary balls of JOY
So why have I been thinking a lot about my Great Grandma Glenda?  Because school is rough.  In high school I did study...ish.  I was just one of those kids who skimmed through the notes once and aced the test.  Problem is, everyone at BYU has that kind of a brain.  Hence, school is now much more difficult than it was before and there has been more than one occasion where I have felt like it just isn't worth it anymore and have seriously considered dropping out and living life as a hermit in the mountains...well, maybe the ARIZONA mountains as it is very cold here in Utah.
It's the difference between THIS
And THIS (and don't even TRY to tell me it's different seasons.  It's STILL COLD.

 Thing is, Grandma Glenda has had enough influence on my life (Yes, she died when I was about six, but I've heard stories!) to convince me that quitting school like that is most emphatically NOT the answer to my problems.

So in honor of Grandma Glenda and my continued pursuit of sanity, balance and ultimately, perfection (I doubt any of the above will actually happen in this lifetime)  I have come up with three Gs of not going (completely) crazy.

First off: Gratitude.
I am so incredibly blessed.  I was born in the United States to faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I spent most of my life completely healthy; no allergies, rarely sick (though granted, I was a total hypochondriac for a long time.)  I went to good schools, and the first sign of any trouble in my life (other than crippling and irrational shyness) was the usual awkwardness and bullying that come with Middle School (in my opinion the majority of 6th through 9th grade should be spent in a medically induced coma.  We can just pump information into the craniums of the little buggers!).

Now I'm not saying that my life has been a bed of roses.  There are a lot of things that are still far too painful for me to remember that I refuse to revisit in a public forum.  But the point is: compared to a majority of the people in the world, I have nothing to whine about.  (It makes me wonder if I was one of the wimpier spirits in the premortal life.  I can totally see that conversation.  "Well we love her, but she really couldn't handle this....or this....or this.  Better put her with the LDS family.")

And hey, I wasn't born in a time where I would need to pull a big ol' wagon full of everything my family owned though a wilderness full of scary spiders and snakes.  I have a lot to be grateful for and I try (emphasis) to remember that when discouragement threatens to drag me down.

Second: Generosity
I mentioned that Grandma Glenda always had Lemon Drops right?  Well she did.  And I liked them.  A lot.  That is just one small example of how generous she was. 

In my Book of Mormon class we were discussing the principle of tithing.  My professor was talking about the blessing that come as a result of paying a full tithe. (Brother Griffin--if any of you ever have a chance to take one of classes, TAKE IT.  He is an amazing teacher...not to mention extremely punny.)  Something he said stuck with me and I had to write it down:
"If you ever find yourself short on anything--time, talents, money--anything, try giving some of it away and just watch what the Lord helps you do with the rest."
Or, to in the wise words of President Gordon B Hinkley's father to his discouraged son: Forget yourself and go to work.

As a result, of these three stellar examples of selfless service, I try to take a step back and just SERVE when I feel down.  It may not help me right away, but at least someone else had their day brightened, right?

Finally: Gag
I might be alone in this, but sometimes I need a shoulder angel to gag me when I am about to say something particularly puerile.  I may just have a case of hero worship, but I doubt Grandma Glenda ever had that problem.  She may have been the most amazingly articulate woman ever to walk the face of the earth.  
....close enough.  You get the idea.

I am convinced that if I dropped out of school I would never be able to attain the phenomenal vocabulary that Grandma had and if I don't have that, then I will need that shoulder angel more than ever...and I think that it has better things to do than keep smacking me upside the head when I say something harsh or sarcastic without thinking first. 

Sorry about the long post, but hey, you are not required to read it all.  Its just the mad meanderings of my mind when I am discouraged.  Have a fantastic day y'all!  The Lord lives and he loves you!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Forgetting Food--It's a bad call...or so they tell me

I'm one of those strange people who just forgets to eat.  For hours, sometimes days at a time.  Usually, by the time I realize the reason I am so tired/cranky/nauseous is because (gasp!) I'm hungry, I either look like a crazed serial killer, or a zombie.  Like I said; not healthy...and not particularly attractive either.

Something that I've discovered is equally unattractive and unhealthy is the neglect of my spiritual health.  I'm very much not a perfect person.  (I know! Such a shocker to all of you who know me!)  I try as best I can and all, but I have this nasty habit of being sarcastic and mean when I am uncomfortable in any way, and I have a nastier habit of unleashing said spitefulness on the people I actually want to stick around in my life (close friends, family, know, the usual).  But something I have noticed is that if I am living so that I stay spiritually fed, I tend to react to awkward or unfamiliar situations with more patience and restraint.

Sure I still overreact.  Ask my roommates, the boys, or actually anyone who has seen me around oncoming traffic (in my defense, you'd be leery of cars too if you'd been hit TWICE already!) or spiders (I think they may, in fact, be demons sent from the devil to haunt me.  Don't even try to reason with me on this one.)  I am a MESS.  But the thing is, as long as I get my spiritual food: a weekly church meeting of some sort, daily scripture study, daily goals, and daily journal entries; I don't get as neurotic about things that don't really matter.

Conclusion:  My soul has serious blood sugar issues and may just need food more than my body does! (Note: I do try to get food...I just tend to forget.  I'm not starving myself to death and I am trying to improve.  Kind of like I'm trying to start getting to bed earlier.)


Friday, October 19, 2012

Chosing Your Love: Yes, I am weird.

A couple nights ago, I was over at the boys' apartment (you know, because I practically LIVE there!!) and we decided to watch The Incredibles.  I have this entire movie memorized.  No joke.  I also have a very hard time not dancing to the swanky fun soundtrack.  But I am proud to say that I restrained myself only danced a little.
Seriously, who can listen to this and NOT want to dance?  NOBODY that's who!

 When I was younger I always just thought the movie was pretty ridiculously amazing and didn't give a second thought to all the cool things that are hidden within it.

First off; Ethan pointed out that the name of the Island is 'Nomanisan'  Which is cool right?  Well look at it like one of those obnoxious Twitter hashtags.  You get #nomanisan or no man is an ____ fill in the blank.  No man is an Island.  That's something that Mr Incredible learns over the course of the movie, but Syndrome it seems, forgets this and explodes...when his cape snags on a jet turbine.  He obviously didn't have Edna Mode designing his suit.

In high school I RARELY had to ask for help.  So my 'Ask for help you idiot!' reflexes have atrophied to the point of non-existence.  That's a very dangerous thing for a college student.  I can't say I've gotten much better, but hey, you can't untrain all of middle and high school in a couple months....right?  If anyone has figured out how to do this, please let me know, because I will then use the techniques to become perfect and will be twinkled within a month.  Blasphemous?  I hope not!

Another thing that occurred to me whilst watching The Incredibles  was what an incredible scuzball Mr Incredible looks like for undervaluing his whole family because he isn't happy with his life (which, granted, does kind of stink on the work front).  This bugged me a lot more than it ever has before, and I wasn't the only one.  Harrison managed to sum up the general anti-adultury sentiment in the room quite nicely with a quote that I decided I like a lot: "Choose your love and love your choice."  (That's from our PROPHET Thomas S Monson, so you KNOW it's important.)

Like most things the prophets say, this quote is PERFECTLY applicable to the situation in the movie on one hand.  Mr I is looking an awful lot like a cheating slimebag for a lot of the movie.  But then I started thinking about that quote and had an epiphany!  It isn't just about choosing your EC (Eternal Companion), which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.  I'm too young to even consider marriage. (If I still think of THIS guy whenever I hear the word, I'm not ready.)
So no, it's not time for me to look at that quote in context.  Instead I started looking at my decision to come to BYU, as well as the decision I made as a six year old that I would serve a mission.  It isn't always easy to stick to these goals.  What with people telling me I'll be engaged before the year is out (BAHAHAHAHA right. No.) Or with the testing center scaring me witless and my inability to study efficiently (despite hours working on flashcards).  I have chosen what I will love: Schoolwork and the Lord.  Now I need to LOVE my choice despite the hardships it might bring.

And all this insight from 18 year old boys.  Who would have thought they could do it?  I see this as further proof that the Lord was right to lower the mission age.  Thank goodness for friends!