Friday, December 28, 2007

So this is Christmas...

...and what have you done?

I originally began this post on Christmas Eve, but in the spirit of the holiday season I was in a rush and did not have time to finish it. Now that the big day is over and the "after Christmas let-down" has set in, I've had the opportunity to think about the season and how it has changed for me throughout the years. As a self-professed "Scrooge", what better way to reflect upon this time than in 3 parts: Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future.

Christmas Past
I'll be the first to admit that as a child, I absolutely loved all things Christmas. As soon as the Sears and JC Penney "Wish Books" arrived in the mail, I would begin the careful and deliberate process of narrowing down the possibilities before composing my annual letter to Santa. I had an advent calendar that I looked forward to getting out each year and decorating the tree was oh so much fun. Well, once Mom finally got all the lights on it...that was a process in and of itself because she would start at the trunk of the tree and move outward around each branch. My favorite ornament was (and still is to this day) a ceramic Hallmark angel named KatyBeth and each year she is hung in her place of honor. I listened to the Cabbage Patch Kids Christmas record over and over until Mom and Dad finally had enough of it. Then it was time for The Living Voices and Elvis Christmas albums. I thought that I would absolutely burst if I had to wait just one more day for the festivities. Christmas Eve is almost as big as Christmas in my family. This is because we (Mom's side of the family...aunts, uncles, cousins) spend Christmas Eve at my grandparents', MuMu and PawPaw, house. We have dinner which in the mind of a child is such a waste of time. Finally once all the dishes were cleaned and put up, there was only one more hurdle between me and those presents awaiting under the tree: the reading of Twas The Night Before Christmas. Agh. Absolute torture. My aunt insisted upon reading it every single year as my cousins and I danced with anticipation until finally we heard "and Happy Christmas to all and to all, a good night." Let the games begin! It was inevitable, my grandmother would always give us clothes in which we then had to have a "fashion show". I especially liked the year of the matching sweatsuits... Around 11:15, I would start watching the clock because every child knows that in order for Santa to come, all good girls and boys have to be tucked soundly into bed by midnight. Fortunately, we lived close to Mu and Pop's and I usually made it home and into bed just in the knick of time. Now on the subject of Santa, I was not a fan of the fat man in a red suit. My poor parents have only one picture of me with him when I was about two...and I was screaming in it. Besides, I knew that the Santa at the mall wasn't the real Santa. He was simply one of his helpers, and I preferred to communicate directly with the real deal...hence the annual letter. On Christmas morning, I would wake up long before the sun even thought about rising and drag my parents out of bed to see what toys were waiting for me in the living room. Each Christmas was always "the best one ever" but looking back, the years when I got my "real baby", Cindy, or when I got not one but two Cabbage Patch Kid Clown Kids are especially memorable for some reason. Mu and Pop would always come over to see what I had gotten and then it was time for the mad dashing to begin because we had to travel to Snellville for Christmas lunch with my dad's side of the family. Now Christmas at Nanny and Papa's was just as big (or sometimes bigger) in terms of stuff as Christmas morning at my house. They are the grandparents that kept me in Guess jeans and it was guaranteed that my cousin Atalie and I would always get the coolest and newest toys from them. After we had been excessively spoiled, the day came to an end when my parents and I finally headed back home. And even though I was so tired I couldn't stand myself, I would force myself to stay awake to look at all the lights just one more time before they were put away until the next year.

Christmas Present
Christmas as an adult is quite different from the Christmases of my childhood. This year I woke up on Christmas Eve morning at my apartment in Athens. The only signs of Christmas at my home sweet home were the just wrapped the night before presents (that were just purchased the week before) stacked neatly in my dining room, Christmas cards on the bar that I had received from family and friends, and the Christmas Wreath scented Yankee Candle that I had just gotten from a co-worker on Friday. I did experience a twinge of regret over not decorating my apartment when I had to dig into the Christmas boxes to find ribbons and gift tags and saw all of my cute seasonal decorations. I made a mental note to display them next year if for no one's enjoyment but my own. But I digress... I began Christmas Eve by packing for the journey home before meeting a dear friend for breakfast at Panera. Those two hours spent with her were one of the highlights of the holiday for me. Over our bagels and hot chocolate we talked about how the realities/worries of everyday life can make even the most special and magical of days seem a bit tarnished. I think this is actually a fact that I learned pretty early in life. Well, I say "pretty early" because I was 13, and I was blessed with a pretty carefree childhood in comparison to so many others. Stepping back into "Christmas Past" for just a moment... First of all, for those of us who survived thirteen, we can all remember what an unpleasant time in adolescence this can be. This was Christmas of 1992, and I had recently learned that my only-child world was going to be rocked the following June with the arrival of a new brother or sister. So needless to say I was trying to make the most of my "last Christmas" before life as I had always known it vanished forever. This would also be the last Christmas in the only home that I had ever known because this new baby was so special that my parents decided we needed a new house. Ok, in reality we needed more space which was fine considering I was already going to have to share my parents - I sure didn't want to share a bathroom. But all of those woes became immediately insignificant when the phone rang that morning. Even though I don't really talk about it all that much, I can still remember everything so clearly. All three of us were standing in the kitchen, and dad was the one who answered the phone. After just a second he handed the phone to mom and told her that it was my aunt Janie. From the expression on mom's face I knew that something was very wrong. My cousin Kevin had gone to visit my great-grandfather (who was actually more like a grandfather to me) and he found him lying across his bed with a gun next to him. He committed suicide on Christmas Eve. Nothing bad is supposed to happen on Christmas Eve! My first thought was: "now we're going to be one of those families at the funeral home on Christmas". I thought this because each year as we drove from my grandparents' house in Snellville we passed a funeral home and inevitably there were always cars in the parking lot. Even as a little girl I would think how terrible it must be to have to spend one's Christmas there of all places. It just didn't make sense to me that if Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birthday and if Jesus is God's son and if God is the God of the entire universe and is in charge, then why did He allow people to experience such sadness on the day we should all be at "birthday parties" to honor His son? Couldn't He grant us a reprieve for the love of all things Christmas? Apparently not, because even after my own first-hand experience 15 years ago, I asked a very similar question this year upon learning that a co-worker's father had lost his battle with cancer on Christmas Day. I have such sadness for her because now there will always be this ache and hurt that no one but she really understands and feels associated with Christmas. Learning this news brought me back to the conversation over Christmas Eve breakfast about how life continues to happen even though essentially everything other than hospitals, police and fire stations, and grills at Waffle Houses shuts down in honor of this celebrated day. Even though it probably doesn't sound like it from this post, I think that we were both a little refreshed after meeting that morning. It's always reassuring to know that you're not alone when you feel a particular way about something. We were able to encourage each other with pep talks and share laughs in spite of those realities of every day life! I am so thankful for those laughs. So after breakfast, I headed off to the gym for one last pre-holiday workout considering the only other exercise I would get for the remainder of the week would be to walk from the fridge to the couch and those multiple curls of my left arm as I transported food from the plate to my mouth. While there, I issued a challenge to myself to look for things that made this Christmas special and great and one worth remembering. And you know what?...I did. Sure, the traditional reading of "'Twas the night before Christmas" didn't happen on Christmas Eve nor did MuMu make her Red Velvet cake like she always does, but once again our entire family was able to gather together and spend time with each other. After this year, I've learned that these opportunities aren't guaranteed. We even have one more addition to our Garrett who is full of joy. Seeing Emma's excitement as she opened her Sleeping Beauty doll and horse and the hug she gave me because she likes it so much is something that I will not soon forget. Staying up until 4:30 in the morning to help mom wrap presents as dad slept in the recliner only to be woken up by the boys after what seemed like only minutes after going to bed. Their excitement and the smiles on their faces (well, I think they were smiles, I couldn't really see through the sleep in my eyes) was well worth the lost hours of beauty sleep though. And even though it shouldn't be about the gifts, it brings me great joy when I am able to give my parents something really nice that they would not buy for themselves because they continue to put the wants and needs of their children ahead of their own. We haven't traveled to Snellville for Christmas in about nine years so I have even grown to love staying home all day long on Christmas. This year I especially loved my Christmas morning nap (all that excitement can really wear a girl out!). I didn't even bother to change out of my pj's all day long because it turns out that a sweatshirt and flannel pants are the perfect attire for laying on the couch and reading all day. How relaxing. Fortunately, I didn't suffer from eye-strain from all the reading (I read Atonement on Christmas day so when I say I read all day, I mean it) either because we had visitors in the afternoon and early evening when family dropped in to see what Santa had brought to the Page household. All-in-all, I would say that my Christmas this year was about as perfect as it could be. The only things lacking were pizza for dinner (of course I would get an insatiable craving for Domino's when I can't have it) and Prince Charming and his white horse under the tree. But mom is right...they are dirty and require so much work that I just don't have time for right now. So next year I'm just asking for the white horse. Ha! As usual, somewhere along the way I became so engrossed in checking names off my list and rushing here and there that it wasn't until I went to bed on Christmas night that I dug my Bible out of the bottom of my suitcase and turned to Luke 2 to read the story that is so familiar. And because the star of the story loves me more than my mind can ever comprehend and my sinful little self can ever deserve, this quiet time at the end of a good day was one more thing that made my Christmas special and great and worth remembering.

Christmas Future

I do not know what is in store for Christmas Future. I have ideas of how I would like for it to be, but I've learned not to make plans regarding things that I cannot control. However I have decided to not be such a Scrooge in the future. After all, I really have no reason to be one. This doesn't mean that I'll start listening to Christmas music in November or anything crazy like that, and I'm sure I'll still roll my eyes when I walk into Target and see the Christmas decorations directly across from the Halloween candy. But that nonsense is worthy of an eyeroll. Of course I'll still do all of my shopping the week before Christmas as some things are hard-wired into my being. Most importantly though, I want to become aware of the good and wonderful things associated with this time of year. The magic of Christmas still exists into adulthood I just comes in different forms than it did when we were kids.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What I've learned from Garden Eels

Earlier this year, I visited the Georgia Aquarium for the first time. Sure, the beluga whales were fun to watch as were many of the other sea creatures. However I was most intrigued with the garden eels. And apparently I still am. They aren't very sophisticated at all and they really don't do much of anything, but I was absolutely amazed to learn that they live in the same exact place their entire lives. At first when I saw them I remember having the conversation with my friend Allison as to whether it was some sort of seagrass or an animal (or whatever things that live in the ocean are called). It was a little hard to tell. That was when the volunteer working at the aquarium informed us that garden eels find their spot and very seldom leave. They live in colonies among other garden eels. The part above the sand is only about a quarter of their total length and when they are frightened or sense danger they retreat into their burrow until the danger has passed. What a boring and static life these little critters lead, I remember thinking.
Recently though I've been thinking about how our lives aren't all that different from theirs. Ok, I probably shouldn't generalize and assume that everyone else is like me, so I'll just speak for myself. I am the kind of person who loves routine and structure. With a few exceptions, each day is basically a carbon copy of the previous one and the one that is to follow. During the week, I wake up, fix my carnation instant breakfast (chocolate), go to work, eat a banana at 10:00 a.m., work work work, eat a peanut butter and honey (or jelly) sandwich for lunch, work work work some more, go home, go to the gym to workout, go back home, eat dinner, watch tv, fall asleep, only to do it again the next day. Every Friday and Sunday afternoon, I take a nap. If something occurs that requires me to deviate from this pattern, it makes me a little grumpy to be quite honest. Basically once I fall into a routine that I am comfortable with, I stick to it. Bor-ing. Seriously. But my routine is one that is "safe" and human nature tends to cling to things that are safe. Just like the garden eels...if we sense danger (and by danger I don't necessarily mean imminent bodily harm), we retreat into our safety net that we have created for ourselves.
Here lately I've found myself more and more restless in my routine which is a little odd considering I have only been in Athens for about 5 months or so. I'm still adjusting to the town but in my mind, I have already decided that I am not here for the long haul by any means so maybe that's why I'm restless...I don't really want to settle in or get too comfortable. Frankly, I am not so gung-ho about asking "ok, God what is it that you want me to do?" because of my love for the familiar. However if I am being led to something that isn't "safe" and "comfortable" then I must be willing to get out of the boat so to speak. We are not here on our own agendas (and this is something that I struggle with daily) so it's high time I stop acting like it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Well...what are You waiting on?

According to Tom Petty, the waiting is the hardest part.

Yet it seems that we are all waiting for something...
John Mayer is waiting on the world to change.
Jack Johnson is sitting, waiting, wishing while The Beatles are crying, waiting, hoping.
Mick Jagger is waiting on a friend.
50 Cent is patiently waiting as Bob Marley is waiting in vain.
Diana Ross is still waiting.
Richard Marx is right here waiting.
Even Greenday, Prince, The Cure, Cake, Lenny Kravitz, Gwen Stefani and Madonna have had something to say about waiting over the years so obviously we are not the only ones who have ever experienced this phenomenon.

Currently, I'm waiting on a few things... Like payday so I can make the monthly big trips to the grocery store and Wal-Mart. (Side note: I make lists now and plan in advance what I am going to need for the entire month and make one big trip at the beginning. Then I make about 4 small trips throughout the month to get the perishables like fruit, milk and bread. It's fantastic. I digress.) I'm also waiting until I finish my papers (that are due, oh tomorrow) before I take the time to mop my floors for the week. And since I awoke this morning, I have been waiting for the ridiculous crick in my neck to go away. I could whine about this for hours...I have been actually. Of course I am waiting for much bigger things too which doesn't require a large amount of imagination to figure out what they may be.

The craziest thought occurred to me last night though as I was standing in front of my emptier than usual refrigerator. Now, this isn't a new thought by any means at all so no one rush to get a pen and piece of paper or anything. But...I could be doing so much while I wait. In fact, that's the very thing that we are supposed to do during waiting seasons. The goal is to not sing the same song our pal Bob Marley does. For example, instead of counting the days until I head to Kroger to purchase more cereal and cans of soup, I could actually cook the chicken and vegetables that are in my freezer. Sure, my bathroom is big enough for two people to hula hoop in at the same time, but there's only so much linoleum in a 1 BR/1 BA apartment. I could skip the email/Facebook check during a writing break and mop the floors relatively quick. Why let my neck continue to get more stiff and sore when I could easily massage the knot and stretch it out instead? Because that along with all of the other alternatives require one thing: work. And unfortunately it's just easier to put it off and continue waiting instead of doing it. When it comes right down to it though, it's work that is going to have to be done eventually so why not go ahead and do it?

As a privileged American, I live in a world of instant gratification. I realize this so I am the first one to grow rather impatient and grumble if I have to wait for something. However, I'm always so perplexed when I see people in the parking lot who will wait 10 minutes for the 82 year-old grandma to load her 17 bags of cat food and Ensure into her car (which is parked in first parking space of course) only to scowl at her for taking so long as she wheels her cart back to the corral. If they have two good legs and feet, I wonder why they don't park the 10 spaces farther back and walk into the store? It's actually quicker to do so. Plus, by burning those extra calories from a longer walk, they could enjoy a candy bar guilt free as they WAIT in the long check-out line.

So maybe the question should be...What are you doing while you wait?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

For these things I am thankful...

Before I go into my Thanksgiving song and dance, I should probably start by saying that I am shocked I even remembered the password to this little blog o'mine. Let's face it - I'm not a blogger. My life is not that exciting nor do I live under the illusion that people are constantly stopping in to see if I've posted anything new. However occasionally inspiration will strike and when it does, I'm here to share.

To be honest, my attitude toward the holidays (for purposes of this post, "holidays" will be defined as the period of time from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day) for the past few years has been one of "are they over yet?" For a single gal in her late 20's this is one of the loneliest seasons of the year. I don't say this to evoke any sort of sympathy or pity, it's just the truth. At least for me it is anyway. When you add the fact that I am not at all content with my current circumstances together with the reality that I am 100% human, one may easily see why I often fall into the trap of focusing on what I don't have instead of what I have been given. Last night as I was counting sheep and trying to force sleep, the realization came crashing down that just because this hasn't been my best year and I'm not exactly happy with where I'm at in life at the present moment, I still have so so many reasons to be thankful. Sure, I've got my friends and family and job and that's well and good but if I just leave it at that, I think back to my English 101 class in college and how nearly every single paper I got back had the word "Trite" scribbled across certain passages in red ink. It's kind of like we rattle off those things just like we say "fine" when someone asks how we are doing. Are we really fine when we say that? Or is it just an involuntary response that the person asking the question is expecting to hear? So after some serious thinking, allow me to share a few of the things that I am thankful for this year...

1. Airplanes - During my senior year of college I set a goal to travel to at least one new place each year. Since last Thanksgiving, I've been to Las Vegas, Little Rock and St. Louis. Ok, two of the three were for work, but I still managed to have some fun...even in Little Rock. Any suggestions for 2008 destinations?

2. A new zip code - After living in Dahlonega for 9 years and 11 months, it was kind of a big deal for me to leave. Granted, it was time because I'm pretty sure I out lived the one horse that constituted its one-horse town status. Athens isn't exactly "home" yet nor do I intend to stay here after I finish school, but it's fine for now and I'm excited about the possibilities that may be in store here in the Classic City.

3. The University of Georgia - (things that I NEVER imagined that I would be thankful for) It's official, I'm back in school. I'm glad to be putting my brain to use again and it's something that I should have done years ago. However, just like I tell all the non-trad's who decide to start college for the very first time after being out of high school for years "the good thing about college is that it's never too late to go back". Perhaps I'm more thankful that I finally took the chance (taking the GRE and scoring well enough to get in, applying, getting accepted, etc...) because very rarely do I take a chance if there is the slightest possibility that I may not succeed.

4. Dad "kicking the habit" - I'm actually thankful for the whole experience that my family went through with Dad earlier this year. Yes, it's easy to say now because he's still with us (thank goodness!!), but I learned so much. Until Dad got sick, I have never had to deal with anything scary or uncertain in regards to my family's health or well-being. I'm thankful to know that I have the ability to hold it together when faced with the reality of losing someone I love very much. It doesn't mean that I wasn't scared and there are some days that I don't even remember, but I do know that I will make it and I will be ok. I'm thankful for the new perspective that I have as a result. I place more importance on my family now and I know not to take them for granted. Still now that things are back to "normal", I try take every opportunity that I have to tell them and show them that I love them. Even my daddy who is sometimes a hard man to love, but I'm thankful that he's still here to hear me tell him. And even though I would not have chosen this way for him to quit smoking, he hasn't smoked since April 1 which is something to be thankful for as well.

5. My memory - For whatever reason, I have the ability to remember the most random things. Sometimes a curse, more often a blessing though. While it's really not important that I can tell you what I wore the first day of kindergarten, high school and college or the last day of third grade, remembering some specific detail about a friend and asking about it later helps me build connections with them and I'm thankful for those connections.

6. New friends - I've made some new friends this year, and they are amazing individuals. I'm thankful to know them because I have learned so much from them in even a short period of time. While they are "silver" now, with any luck, they will one day be "gold".

7. Old friends - These people have stood by me and remained my friend when I haven't been much of a friend to them in return, and I am forever grateful for that. It's quite a humbling experience when people will be your friend without condition. I only hope that one day I can show the same kindness in return.

8. My broken heart - Ok, this is the one that I really had to search for some gratitude here. I'm thankful to know that I have the ability to really really care for someone with all of my heart and to care for another person more than I care about myself. And while the broken heart just sucks to be quite honest, I'm thankful for finally getting the closure that I had been waiting for in order to begin the process of mending this little ol' heart of mine.

9. My new computer speakers at work - This may seem trivial to some of you. I know that the people who have had to listen to me moan and groan for no less than 4 months about not having speakers are thankful that I will finally shut up now. However since moving to The OC to work, I have missed listening to the radio to get me through my work day. I love music. Seriously. All kinds. So when I get to spend my 9-5 tuned in to my radio station or CD of choice for the day I'm a much nicer person and the world is a happier place for everyone. I'm already looking forward to work on Monday!

10. God's Grace - I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the fact that God loves me unconditionally and continues to give me so much even when I act like an ungrateful little brat (typical only child behavior) at times. Because when it comes right down to it, grace is the only thing I need and with it, I have so much more than I could ever deserve.

...for these things (and so many more), I am thankful.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

When Crying Is Cleansing

I've been cleansed a great deal recently. For those of you who have discovered my blog...yay! I'm glad that you have. For those of you who have requested an update, here you go. Settle in because this episode in the series of my life could get a bit lengthy. Over the past week or so, there has been so much that I've had on my mind to write. I played the subject line of my "next blog post" in my mind over and over as these thoughts have taken shape. Along the way, I came up with several: "When Thinking Leads to Thanking", "HP = Huge Procrastinator" (i've been such a procrastinator that i haven't written, geez!), and just tonight I've been going back and forth between "Bruised But Not Broken" or "Ouch...That Stings!" But when my dad called (yes, he called which is kind of a big deal since he's only been able to talk since Sunday after 4 weeks of no talking) just a few minutes ago, everything that has been going on for the past month or so just built up and opened up the flood gates and made way for the tears to flow down. Hence the subject line I decided to go with. Crying is cleansing. It always has been for me anyway. Everyone handles things differently, but when I sit down and have a "good cry" I just feel so much better. I'm not saying everyone should spontaneously erupt into tears like I have been known to do for seemingly no apparent reason (that's the downside to having a good cry...the silliest things can trigger them), but I do think that everyone should figure out what makes him or her feel better when the stressors of everyday life build up. We can only walk around with this stuff for so long. Of course, the biggest stress relief is turning it all over to God because we can never make it own our own no matter how hard we try, but I believe that He also provides these coping mechanisms to us whether it be crying, running, laughing, cleaning (I would be a much more productive person had I been given that one) or listening to music. What is your's? The next time you feel a "meltdown" coming on, let it all out. You'll be amazed at just how cleansing it is.

Ok, so now for the "picked over" subject lines. I still have thoughts pertaining to them so I'm going to share some of those as well. Where to begin?...

"When Thinking Leads to Thanking"
I have so much to be thankful for and over the past month, I have become very well aware of this fact. But while I have been counting my blessings, in the past week, I also began to think about all of those families and individuals who have suffered from so much sorrow and loss. How do they handle it? What makes them able to go on in spite of it? Obviously for those who have a relationship with God, He is their source of strength, but I don't know how people who don't manage in those times. What about those poor families of the Virginia Tech students who were going about their normal daily routine but it suddenly turned into them being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Where is the fairness in that?, I wonder. How have I been so fortunate to escape tragedy when I'm no better than anyone else? Those who experience it did nothing to "deserve" it. As I mulled over all these questions that were in my mind, a few things became quite clear: No one is exempt from suffering. At some point in life, we will all experience it. We cannot live life anticipating when it will come because where is the quality in that life? This last thought is what opened my eyes the widest probably. If we knew what was just around the corner, many of us would choose to turn around and head back in the other direction. But that isn't what we are called to do. I can only hope and pray that when I encounter one of those times, I lean on God for strength and remember that He never gives us more than we can handle. Until recently, I always kind of wondered if that is really the case. I now believe it to be very true. So all of my thinking led me to be thankful for that which I have been given. Instead of worrying about something that could possibly come along and disrupt my little world, I am going to be thankful that I have been given the opportunity to live in it and experience all that it has to offer and hopefully show my appreciation and care for all the people who mean so much to me instead of taking all of these things for granted.

"HP = Huge Procrastinator"
I'm a procrastinator by nature. I file my taxes on April 15, I renew my car tag on March 8. I never go past the deadline, but I will wait until the last minute. I'm not sure why I do this, but I always have. Maybe I inherited it. Yes, let's blame it on the parents...that's always the easy way out. I did this in school too. I started my Research Methods research paper the night before it was due. (Never start a 25 page paper the night before it's due) I do it at work. Right now, I've got at least 10 admissions files for prospective international students on my desk. They are just taking up space because I haven't gotten around to doing them yet. What is my problem? This is definitely one of my flaws which I have got to work on improving. It's one thing to wait until the last minute to pay my taxes, because at the end of the day, if I don't do it, I'm the only one who suffers the consequence of paying a penalty. However it's another to keep these poor students waiting when I could have had this done at least two weeks ago in some of their cases. Will I get them done in time for them to get their visas? Yes, I will. Could I do so in a more timely fashion? Yes, I could. My most recent procrastination was studying for the GRE. About 8 weeks ago, I scheduled the test for April 16. Plenty of time to review and study. I did ok the first week, got distracted and began the whole "I'll do it later" bit. Then Dad got sick, and studying went out the window. About a week before the test, I rescheduled it for May 1 because I needed more time to prepare. I should've known better. Of course I wasn't going to study anymore. This is what I do. When I'm unsure about how well I will do something, it's just easier to not prepare so I have that crutch of saying "well, I would've done better if I had...." I like to have reasons behind my anticipated failures. And yes, that psychology degree really paid off because I learned that this is something used often by perfectionists, which I am also one of those as well. Yesterday was May 1. April 29 is the first time I opened the study guide since late March. Who was I kidding? There was no way I could memorize all of those formulas for the math section, and if by some miracle I did...would I remember how to use them? I drove to Athens yesterday morning with a knot in my stomach. I was so ill-prepared and I knew better. If I was serious about starting grad school in the fall (by the way, I'm planning to start grad school in the fall), then why didn't I take preparing for this test more seriously. Because deep down, I knew that I would be fine. Would it be my best? No. But would I do well enough to get into the program I want to? Hopefully. Did I? Yes, I did. (I love learning my score instantly) Have I learned my lesson about procrastination? Unfortunately not. But I recognize that it's something that I need to work on. That's at least a start isn't it?

"Bruised, But Not Broken" / "Ouch...That Stings"
This will have to come another day. I'm sleepy so all of my ramblings are running together!

Good night!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

So I decided to start a blog

So...I was thinking about this anyway, but then my dear pal Donna encouraged me to start a blog. Why should I start a blog? I've no clue. I don't have any pictures of my cute babies to post (because I don't have any babies yet, not because I don't have a camera to take their picture), no endearing stories of my life with my prince charming (where IS he anyway?!?) nor have I recently taken on anything new and exciting in life that would inspire a blog. However in light of recent events (Dad's illness), one way that I have coped with all of this is to send out email updates to my friends, mom and dad's friends and our family. Writing is quite therapeutic and while I have no intentions of baring my soul for the whole world wide web, I believe that we all learn from each other. I would hate to think that I'm not playing my part in the learning process because I was so wrapped up in my own little world that I didn't look around to see if others could benefit from something that I've encountered or experienced along the way. My perspective on a few matters changed drastically after reading a blog of a young married couple who lost a child after he lived for only 99 days on this earth ( I have never met these people nor would I know them if I bumped into them on the street one day, and while my heart breaks for them and all that they have gone through, I am thankful for their willingness to share. So maybe somewhere in the back of my little optimistic mind, I'm hoping some of my ramblings will one day strike a chord with someone.