Tuesday, June 25, 2013


So, I am finally getting around to working on my blog book for 2012.  I love doing these books for so many reasons.  First of all, they are so rewarding, they are simple to make but always turn out so beautiful and professional looking in the end, I have to admit, I do love showing them off! Secondly, and more importantly, they highlight all the GOOD that happened during the year and remind me of all the happy times and exciting accomplishments that year brought to my life.  At the end of 2012 I was emotionally exhausted, I had been hit harder then I ever imagined I would, and it hurt more then I could ever hope to express.  I talked about how I couldn't wait for that year to finally end so I could move on from all the hurt I was experiencing and hope for a clean, fresh start with a new year.  While I was hurting and waiting for the year to end, I didn't forget about all the wonderful travels I had been on that year, or some great memories I had made, or new friendships that had been forged, but the overall feeling of 2012 was sadness, frustration, and unbelievable, excruciating emotional pain.  Why is it that the bad can so often outshine all the of the good? 

 Fast forward to today, I just entered in my post about resolutions to my blog book.  Not to toot my own horn, but I thought this post was beautifully written, it is full of hope, motivation, anticipation, ambition and promise.  I found my own words inspiring.  Obviously, by the end of the year last year, I had been reduced to live on survival mode and had let all these resolutions go.  I am happy to report that things are much better, and I am in a much happier place, and am so unbelievably grateful to be rid of those negative influences that took a toll on my life, progress and happiness, life is so much more wonderful when you let go of those who pull you down. And now I am armed with all sorts of personal experience to help me and others through future trials. 

  I would like to republish these goals as a way to show I am formally picking them back up and getting back on the path to becoming a better, more wholesome person.  Guys, I know it's wordy but this is one of the few posts on my blog that reads more like a novel and not a picture book,  I did add some pictures of places or things that I thought were beautiful or inspiring, just to add a little more interest.  It was worth reading to me, but then again I wrote it, and all the words speak directly to me.  I am still dealing with all the same things I was dealing with back then (not that a year and a half a go is that long ago, but ya know) so I needed to remember this post, reread it and recommit to it all.

I love new beginnings and fresh starts, the possibilities always seem so e n d l e s s.  That is why I always love January 1st.  On that day you set the course for the coming year, you can make it anything you want!  I always think thoughts like this is the year of _______ (fill in the blank with something fun and exciting) or this year will be known as the year that I stopped _______ (some bad habit like drinking soda or something.  One of these years will be known as that year, but I don't think I am quite ready for that yet haha)  So with the fresh start of the new year I always love to make some resolutions to keep in the back of my mind, to always be striving to achieve, to make every year better then the last

 I have to admit I didn't make any goals last year and I often felt like I wasn't working towards anything, like I wasn't accomplishing anything, which lead to feelings of being lost and leading to a decline in ambition, motivation, and action.   I sometimes find it hard to stay motivated and excited about life when working a nine to five job.  The days seem to run together since you do the same thing everyday for the majority of the day.  It is one of the things that I have struggled with the most in the past year.  I miss my good old college days where everyday was different.  Sure you went to the same classes every other day but you were always learning something new, class was never the same as the class period before and only lasted an hour then I was off to learn something else new in some other class.  The days were filled with running around from class room to class room then to the library to do research then to a study hall to have a group meeting etc.  Now I just sit at the same desk every single day for 5-7 hours.  Don't get me wrong I don't hate my job, it's actually a great job and has a lot of great pros, such as zero homework to take home with me at the end of the day. 

 But since I won't be going back to school anytime soon I decided that this year I should make sure to make some resolutions that would enrich the quality of my nine to five job and the quality of my life in general.  I took a look at my life and noticed what needed changing and that is what I decided to focus my resolutions on.  My resolutions may not seem very life changing or monumental, but that may be because you don't fully understand what I am currently working through in my life or what I am striving to become.  Some of my goals aren't meant to be life changing either, some are just little tiny things that I would like to work on such as changing my posture.

I also realize that today is February 19th.  A month and a half of the new year is already gone and past.  I  dislike how fast the time seems to fly now a days, I wish it would take it easy every once in a while and just slow down, and maybe add on a couple of hours to each day.  But posting my resolutions a month and a half late is a good thing.  It shows that I am still thinking about them, refining them and working on them. It shows that I am still pondering them daily and thinking of new goals to add to the list.  There are some things that I wish I could just add to my resolution list and thus guarantee that they will happen this year.  But I also realize that many things are out of my control and that timing is, indeed, everything. Like Neal A. Maxwell taught "Faith in God, includes faith in His timing."  So while I can't add certain things to my list of "things to accomplish this year" I can make goals that will hopefully prepare me and put me on the path leading to those things that I wish dearly for but are out of my control.    And so, here is my list of things to work on this year.  Notice that I did not say accomplish, while I do truly wish to master all of these things, I think it is important to strive for progress, not perfection.  I am not using that expression as a way of settling for anything less then my personal best, but as a reminder to not be too hard on myself, or others.  Nothing and nobody are perfect.

My Resolutions for 2012 A Better Life

Strive to strengthen relationships with those around me.  Greet people by name, ask them about their lives, be more then just a coworker, neighbor or ward member.  Be a genuine friend. Be excited for people instead of being jealous of them. Offer/ sign up to bring things to gatherings.  Be more involved in my various groups.  Such as moderating book club and not just attending (check!) Be more sincere with everyone ranging from clerks at stores to room mates, to family members to ward members etc.

Don't let circumstances shape my attitude, strive for my attitude to shape the outcomes of those circumstances.  Far too often I have a bad day just because I let myself, self esteem and happiness be torn apart by silly little things that happen throughout the day.  By the end of those days I don't want to see or talk to anyone and become a negative nancy, silent sally, a debbie downer, or mean milly.  I hate being those things, so while some days it is extremely hard to not let things get me down, since I can't change what people say and do, I can and will change my attitude and the way things affect me.

Always have a race to be training for.  Every year I have some goal about being more active, or healthy or losing weight.  This year it is taking the form of participating in races.  I have already participated in one, The Frigid 5k, such a fun experience.  I am now signed up for and am looking forward to riding 50 miles in the Little Red Riding Hood bike race and am thinking about signing up for the Century Ride as well.  Races are fun and they keep me active, which is something I always definitely need to work on.

Be more spiritual. I know it is broad, but this is one goal that I am constantly working on since there is always more I can and am happy to do.  The things I wish to focus on are the primary fundamentals of a personal testimony, reading my scriptures, saying my prayers, going to church and attending the temple once a week.  I feel like it is mentioned all the time that reading the scriptures does impact your life in a very undeniable way.  When I am not reading my scriptures and I hear that over and over again I tend to tune it out.  But in the past couple of days I have had some amazing scripture related instances that have helped me when I needed it. My trails didn't disappear and are still in full swing, tearing at me from every angle, but the small things I have learned from the scriptures have made those trials ever so slightly easier to bear.  If at the very least they have strengthened my hope for my future. The scriptures have an amazing power that truly blesses my life and I take that for granted way too much.  The gospel is so wonderful.  When I go through the periods of my life where I take it for granted or have my doubts about different aspects of the church I realize those stem from my drifting away from Heavenly Father and His teachings, not because the His marvelous gospel isn't true.  It is unchanging.    My testimony is built largely on past blessings and past prayers that were answered in ways that I didn't even know were possible.  They have saved me in numerous times of trouble.  So thus, I aim to be worthy to gain more experiences that will build my testimony and help my future self in times of trail and doubt.

Be more giving and be more grateful for what has been given to me.  So many times I catch myself complaining about something small someone has asked of me.  So many times I get so caught up in my own troubles that I sometimes get offended when people ask me to do small and simple things.  When really what would help me the most is to not think of my own troubles and to help other people so I am not constantly dwelling on the negative things in my life when really, I have too many things to be grateful for.

Cook everything that is on my "Cooking Corner" board on Pinterest.  How nerdy am I.   The word Pinterest in on my resolution list.  But I find it to be a worthy goal, to be honest I got the idea from my sister Bethy.  I have already tried a few of the recipes on there and it is so rewarding when a new recipe comes out perfectly or you get numerous compliments on something you cooked.  Cooking is a goal that will help me my whole life through, thus, I think it is  important to start developing this skill.  Or at least improving it more and more with each delicious recipe.

Have better posture.  As I mentioned above, this goal isn't life changing or monumental but it seriously needs some work.  I have awful posture, and it can't look good. And it is probably having more effect on my body then I realize, so even though it is small and simple, it is something I want to work on.

So there you have it.  The main things I would like to change/ work on this year.  There are many other things I am interested in being better at or accomplishing but aren't my main focus.  I will list those here

Get better at photography (make it to the spiral jetty!)
Travel as much as possible, trips planned include: San Antonio, Alaska and possibly Michigan. (2013 addition: This year I have already been to NOLA for Mardi Gras, Vegas X2, I am going to South America in two weeks, and going to Montreal and New York in the Fall, I am hitting this resolution HARD thanks to my amazing parents who invite me on unbelievable vacations, being the only single on in the family certainly has it's perks ...)
snowboard more
make sure to enjoy sunny days and not just spend them inside 
Read more books, there are so many great ones out there

I will probably be adding to and refining both lists throughout the year.  But one bonus of posting about my goals a month and a half into the year is, I can report on how it has been going.  Some days it is really hard to keep some of my goals in mind.  Some days, I just don't want to fight against my frustration and feel it would be easier to just let it consume me and give up on not just one or two goals, but every and all goals and just watch TV shows all day.  And that is why I think making goals, writing them down, publishing them to a blog for the world to see etc. is so important.  It gives you something to work for.  So while I do have super challenging days, and I am on my way to a bad mood I think of my attitude goal.  Sometimes I annoy myself because the last thing I want to do is change my attitude when I am already grumpy.   I often see myself as a helpless victim that is constantly being taken advantage.  And tell myself I am the victim here!  When really all I need to do is rise above that nonsense and just adjust my attitude.  But all in all things have been going pretty well as far as goal achieving goes!  Lets hope it gets easier as the year goes on because, yes, it's hard.  But anything hard is worth doing, right?!  

Cheers to a new year me, full of promise and potential!