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An Honest "About" Page

10 July 2018
We're all under construction

I've always enjoyed reading "About" pages on blogs. It seems that everyone attempts to put their best foot forward, while being creative enough to make them stand out from the crowd.

While I enjoy reading "About" pages, I really hate writing an "About" page. 

I don't have the type of story that would get me casted on any reality tv show. I haven't done a lot of exciting travelling. I'm very much a homebody who enjoys board games and reading. I'm not convinced that there is anything in particular that would set me apart from everyone and their grandma.

I recently stumbled across a blog's "about" page where I found the following words, "under construction" followed by the blogger's name. Now I know she is likely just in the process of rewriting, but if that isn't actually the most accurate about page for just about anyone then I don't know what is.

Aren't most of us continuously in the process of reinventing ourselves? Aren't we all just a little bit under construction?

I know it can be so hard to remember that no one is really as put together as their social media makes them appear, but for the sake of our sanity we need to. 

In those moments when we feel intimidated just remember we're all kind of faking it to some extent. 

In those moments when you elect to let someone else make the first move, reexamine. 

In those moments when you find yourself frustrated by someone else, remind yourself that they may be experiencing some serious internal construction that you know nothing about. 

May your internal construction help shape you into the most spectacular palace! 

It's Okay to Change Your Mind

09 July 2018

One of the many things I have always hated about politics is the inevitable moment found in just about any debate when one of the candidates will call out someone for being a flip-flopper. As if it's a bad thing to change as you continue to learn and grow. 

As if it is untrustworthy when one is able to see and potentially understand many different sides of an issue. If it were any other sort of situation, wouldn't we be inclined to think of such a person as empathetic?

Granted, there are times when it becomes apparent that something like money may have resulted in a change in opinion. That's a different ballgame that I do not support.

This month marks 10 years of Utah residency. As I've been reflecting on who I was when I arrived and who I am at this moment I've realized that the way I see the world has changed.

My opinions on some subjects have been strengthened. My beliefs in others have morphed and in some cases have dissolved entirely. I am not the same person, but all of those original beliefs have definitely played a role in shaping my journey and where I am in that.

All in all, I no longer fully believe that all leopards are incapable of changing their spots. Despite what others may say, you are allowed to change your mind and so is everybody else. 

I think that danger comes when we refuse to question and examine our thoughts and beliefs. When we refuse to evolve or refuse to allow that evolution for organizations and others around us. 

Maybe we spend less time name calling and feeling defensive and more time listening. Maybe we try spending more time meeting others where they are in an attempt to really understand where they are coming from. Maybe we try to be open to the possibility that we don't really know anything, so that we can remain open to learning. 

Things I Am Bad At

06 July 2018
I'm Bad at Riding a Bike. . . Now You Know

I haven't been on a ton of job interviews, but I have been on enough to be asked the classic "What are your weaknesses" question at least a handful of times.

The answer is obviously chocolate and free food. Did you really have to ask?

I always strive to channel a politician, aiming to skirt my way around the issue. Spinning the weakness into an asset. Attempting to turn it back to the interviewer. Maybe I'll try an insightful question to wrap it up. 

By the end I find myself almost convinced that maybe this weakness isn't such a bad thing after all. Maybe I'm actually kind of awesome, which never really lasts very long. The self-talk over here can be truly brutal at times, but that's not unique. Aren't we all our own worst critics? Besides the truly narcissistic among us. You likely don't know who you are, but we do. 

With that said, I'm not trying to spew negative self-talk all over this post, but I do want to take some time to acknowledge some of the things that I'm just not awesome at. 

Some of these things I want to improve upon and I hope that my public acknowledgment will prompt me to make some changes. Some of these things just do not matter to me and I hope that my acknowledgement of that will help me move on to things that I actually want to spend some time on.

Things I Am Bad At That I Do Not Care to Improve


Running


I hate running. It's so boring. It hurts my knees and I wish that Doctor would have taken me seriously and written me a doctor's note saying that I am only to run in the event that mine or my children's lives are in danger. 

Painting Rooms


Again, boring. Also messy. I almost always end up with paint on the ceiling, even when I take forever with the taping step. Whenever I paint a room I always find myself wishing that life could be just a little bit more like Sims.

Networking


When I am consciously attempting to network or watch others really network it just makes me cringe. It almost always feels insincere and slightly sleazy. How can we use one another to further ourselves? I will say though that I would like to improve upon my ability to have worthwhile, memorable conversations with others with no strings attached.


Things I am Bad at That I Would Like to Improve

Follow Through


I have all of these ideas of things that I want to do. I'll be super gung-ho about them and then I just kind of fizzle out. I think it's a combination of laziness and not being realistic enough about time and my current capacity of what I can handle. I think the key to this is to start being more realistic. Start scheduling my time better. Stop wasting time scrolling through the lives of others via social media.

Being Thoughtful


Growing up I moved a pretty decent amount and back then when you moved it was a lot harder to stay in touch with others. I just elected to not do that, but now I truly suck at keeping in touch even with people who are fairly close by. 

I find myself thinking about people and then let it slide on out without doing anything about it. I really want to work harder to stay in touch with others and make time for them. Maybe I need a spreadsheet or something. 

Riding a Bike


I am really bad at riding a bike. Something about the two wheels and my lack of coordination just don't mesh all that well. I also flipped over my handlebars quite a lot as a child, so even a little dip in the road can be frightening. I would really like to get better at this though, because it's going to wound my precious ego when my kids can ride better than me. I mean, unless they are like BMX kids. In which case I never really stood a chance anyway, right?

Tell me about your most thoughtful friend.
Also, be honest, what are you really bad at?

My Top 6 Favorite Reads of the First Half of 2018

05 July 2018
My Favorite Reads of the First Half of 2018

I like to think of my reading in terms of March Madness brackets. I'm always trying to keep track of which books I enjoyed and stacking them up against each other until one emerges victorious.

If you're hoping to improve your reading life during the second half of 2018 then I highly recommend you check out one of the books below!

1st Quarter


11/22/63 by Stephen King - 

When you see the name Stephen King you probably conjure up images of terrifying tales. Some of us run to such books and others run as fast as possible in the opposite direction. For the record, I'm in that second group. This book is not a typical King book.

If you like historical fiction or have ever wanted to time travel then I promise you that you will devour this book. It's a long book, but one that I flew through in about a week. It's that good. I would even go so far as to say that this might actually be one of my favorite books of all time.

Still Me by Jojo Moyes  (Via NetGalley) -

Me Before You gave me a serious book hangover. I fell in love with Louisa and her bumblebee-striped tights. I was felt so invested in both her and Will's lives and I wanted more. I was so disappointed with After You, because it didn't feel like the right ending.

When I discovered that there was going to be a third book I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to see where Louisa would go. Still Me is a great addition to the series and now that I'm finished I suddenly understand why After You have had to happen.

If you two enjoyed Me Before You then you really need to finish the journey. It's so worth it.

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar -

My four-year-old and I have begun to venture into the world of chapter books and this was one of our first. It's a memoir of sorts about a girl who gets in a terrible car accident and has to have her lower body in a cast for many months. Despite her situation she manages to blossom and grow. It's an inspiring tale that will leave you feeling all the more grateful for the ordinary in your life.

2nd Quarter


A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman -

I've decided that if people want to get to know me, then they should read this book. I came into this world an Ove, essentially a grumpy old man, and if someone can't see the humor among these pages then they likely won't enjoy my company.

This book is not action packed, but is more a character and a community study, namely what happens when a community is thrust upon a man who has had none. 

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng -

It's official. Celeste Ng has solidified her spot on my "I Would Read Even a Cereal Box if it was Authored by this Person" list. This book is just so, so good and explores so many things that I think many of us deal with and can relate to. It's such a complex novel that will make you think about your own life, as all the best books do. If you are among the few who have read this book, then please change that this year!

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (Via Netgalley) -

This book was not at all what I had imagine it would be. It was SO. MUCH. BETTER! If you are looking for a book that will creep you out, keep you guessing, and flipping pages then look no further. I now plan on reading all of Simone St. James' backlist and everything she publishes in the future. It was that good.

Linking up with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books.

6 Books You Need on Your TBR

Accepting the Reader Within & A Six-Letter Word

06 April 2018
Meeting my inner reader and kicking one word to the curb.

I'm finished with the second category of the KonMari Method, books.

I've been experiencing a quarter-life crisis for a few years and I feel like I'm finally coming out the other side. All of this organizing is actually really helping with that. It's funny, I never thought that going through my stuff would tell me so much about myself.

My Book Cleansing Method 


The technical KonMari rule is to get rid of all the books you haven't read yet and only keep those books that are actually useful that you will refer to again. I'm a book lover, so that filled me with some serious rage and I knew that wouldn't work for me, so I tweaked it.

I made myself read the synopsis of and the first couple of pages of those books I haven't yet read. If I felt like I wanted to keep reading, then I kept it. If not, then away it went. As for the books I have already read, I've only kept those books that I loved enough to want to be able to lend them out to others who may also love them.

Meeting My Inner Reader


When I started my decluttering of all the books, I found myself feeling some guilt when I realized a trend among those books that didn't spark much joy for me. My undergraduate degree is in English. I really only picked the major because I love reading and discussing books and found myself gravitating towards those classes anyway. 

Because I spent so much time and money on literature courses, I have found myself being guilty of gravitating towards those books that I thought I should read. The thing is, I very rarely like those books. I don't want to read and re-read the classics, but I always thought that I should be that person. That it was expected of me. 

The Six-Letter Word I'm Trying to Kick


Last summer I had a handful of therapy sessions where I realized that a lot of the things I have done in life and a lot of the decisions I have made are a result of one word, should. I should do x,y, and z. I should be or like x,y, and z. All of the shoulds were clouding my vision of who I actually was and what I actually want to be, so we worked to eliminate the shoulds to get to what it is that I want.

Discovering What I WANT To Read

After going through all of my books, I have a better idea of what books I want to read. I want to read books that are fairly well-written. I prefer realistic fiction, but do enjoy some magical or science-fiction elements. I enjoy some chic-lit, but cringe and giggle like a schoolgirl at adult content. I really love when a writer can surprise me and throw me off course.

With that said, I do also want to occasionally step outside of my comfort-zone, because I think that sort of challenge helps keep me on my toes and provides me with the opportunity to grow. I want to be more mindful though when making selections like that and make sure that I don't feel like I have to finish it if I don't like it.

Do you struggle with the shoulds in your life too?