Monday, January 26, 2009

Gratitude

Last night I got mad at my husband. Real mad. Like the most angry I have been in I don't know how long. I was hurt, I was wronged, I was shocked, all the classic symptoms of self-righteous anger. So of course I kept it to myself. All night. I lay awake just steaming, feeling justified in my behavior, nursing the feelings of betrayal and wounded trust. In the morning, I gave him a slight cold shoulder, not too intense, I wanted to show him that I was above acting childishly, but still let him know that we were not cool. It's a delicate balance, a dance really.



He came home during the day and brought me flowers. Ah HAH! Amazing what a guilty conscience will do. He really thought flowers would clear this up? Does he think I am that easily bought? I opened the card, expecting an apology. It said "Heather, These are long overdue. I love you. Darron" What? I was seething at this point. No remorse, no guilt? Even after my little dance this morning? Oh ho ho, this was going to be harder than I thought...



I sat down in the afternoon to read the scriptures. I try to pray before so I can get my mind in the right frame to study, but I did not want to today. For obvious reasons. It's always a little embarrassing to pray to the one who can see right through you and your posturing and justifying when you're behaving like, well, like I was. But following the adage "Pray 'til you feel like praying" I began. I described the situation, I expressed my hurt and outrage, how I was so in the right on this one. And that I was angry, but I didn't want to be. That I was ashamed to be wallowing in these negative feelings and even more ashamed that it felt kind of good. That things were going so well between us and it was hurting my heart to feel like this. That I was frustrated at myself for choosing anger instead of sense, instead of rationality. That I was mad at myself for not having enough self-control to just talk out the problem with the person involved, instead of bringing in a third party. That I realized that Darron was human, only a man after all, and that sometimes he makes mistakes. I understood this, as I've made a few as well. So there it all was. Out on the line. All of my absurd, foolish human emotions, nothing held back. I've just admitted to being an idiot. Again. So why do I feel so much better?



Ok, I began again, a little bit humbled, what do I do now?



Well, answered God, what would happen if you confronted him with these accusations in your usual way? (Sarcastic and insulting, he means.)



We'd have a fight. I'd hurt him. I'd say mean things and I'd feel awful about them later. But in the moment they'd sure feel good. They always do, even though I know they shouldn't.



So is that your choice then? Feel good for a few minutes, attack your husband, and tear down your relationship?



I didn't say that was my choice. Just that it feels kind of good. I'm an idiot. I don't know why I say and feel such stupid things sometimes.


You're not an idiot. You're actually getting lots better. Remember last time? Now that was rough. Things are so much easier to take care of when you just come to me first.


I can see that. I'll remember this. But you might have to remind me.


I will. That's why it's so good to write these things down.


I talked to Darron tonight about our "problem". Turns out it was just a misunderstanding. A simple, actually humorous, misunderstanding that took all of 30 seconds to clear up. Did I mention that I was the most angry I'd been in I don't know how long? One of the greatest gifts we have been given is the ability to pray to a Father in Heaven who knows us and loves us beyond anything we could comprehend. It's one of my personal favorite blessings, one that I get a lot of use out of, which makes it even more precious. And it's why I feel gratitude tonight.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Record Series


American Idol. Some things just MUST be blogged about.


I am a superfan. I don't care if it's the number one rated show in America. I don't care if I said before that I don't like things just because everyone else does. I don't care if it is hosted by the world's most achingly obnoxious man. I just don't care. I love it so much. I'm close to tearing up right now. Just as I did when David Cook sang his crippingly beautiful rendition of Billy Jean last season. And don't give me crap about how it was stolen, blah blah, he's not a real rocker, blah, took credit for someone else's music, blah!!! If I were in a play right now where I had to cry on cue, I would sing that song to myself in my head.


A few caveats to my superlove:


-Hate Ryan Seacrest, as already mentioned. Don't understand why he is on the show. Don't understand why he is on E! which I now can no longer watch. Don't understand why the entertainment world and interviewing industry has clutched him to their collective bosom making it nearly impossible to avoid seeing his face and hearing his jokes and.... he's everywhere!

-I don't actually vote. Come on. I'm 32 years old. I Tivo the show. And I go to bed when I'm done watching it. And however invested I was during the season, as soon as it's over, so is my superfan-ness. I don't buy the albums, I don't download the ringtones.

-I really like Paula. Definitely more than Randy. Much more than Simon. Now wait a minute, let me explain. Randy, as we all know, is useless. What he says matters not at all. I can't figure out why he is there, except to rip on Simon's seemingly incomprehensible "British-ese". Come on, what do YOU think "brilliant" means? Good singing? Or bad singing? Now I was a big fan of our favorite Brit during the first seasons I watched, but last season began a turning of the tide for me. I think Simon's arrogance has been getting in the way of his generally spot on critique. If a contestant rubs him the wrong way, does anything other than grovel and kowtow, Simon will hold it against him. You've seen it. And I'm getting a little tired of it. I love to hear his cruel, painful, and completely accurate criticism, not to see him behave like a spoiled child who got his feelings hurt and now is taking all his toys home and never playing with you again. Anyway, back to Paula. Say what you will about her. She does comment an awful lot on how the contestants look tonight. We all know that means the kiss of death, if she can't think of anything else but that to praise. That's her thing. So what. What I love about her is she is not afraid to say what she thinks, even if it is certain to garner rolled eyes and insults to her intellect, womanhood, and jewelry line. She is not waived by what Randy thinks (that's the best word I could come up with), what Simon says (ooh, inadvertant pun :)), or that she said the same thing to the last 5 contestants. I say, hooray Paula! Keep up with the sweetness, the showstopping, sometimes puzzling outfits, the rockin' hair and eyelash extensions, all of it. LOVE it. Now, a word about Kara/Kahra. My husband of course doesn't like her. I don't think he's a misogynist, but he does hate most female public figures. Not sure why. He thinks she is spineless and won't stand on her own feet. I'm reserving my judgement. You can't tell much from the first audition episodes, which I don't even watch completely. I'm uncomfortable watching freaks with bad teeth and social impairments. My husband also used to hate Paula. I say "used to" because he gave her his first compliment EVER when comparing her to Kara. "At least Paula isn't afraid to disagree with the others," he said. Deep--I know, grudging--yes, but a big breakthrough in our AI relationship. If Kara is what it takes to get him over to the Paula side with me, well... collateral damage.

-I pretend I am a contestant. No biggie here. You all do the same. I pick which song I would do out of the genre given and work on my version that week. If a contestant does a really spectacular job, I choose that one. If I have a favorite I KNOW I would ROCK on, I choose that. And I never have a bad week, which sets me apart from most contestants. But what's so truly amazing about me is it's always a surprise. For everyone! I never get old. The judges are so surprised and blown away and I'm so darned humble (I see a lot of David A. and Melinda in me) that the praise is profuse, sincere, and well-deserved. Now I'm well aware this is fantasy. I could never actually BE on the show. The age cutoff is 28. *Sigh*


I began this post with the good intentions of making it a short, snappy little commentary. All my posts are soooo long and preachy, I fear I may bore away anyone who isn't related to me. And perhaps them. I need to try blogging about things that don't have deep emotional roots into my soul, like .... people who ride scooters (good for them), or variable rate mortgages (don't understand), or marathons (why?), or alternative medicine (worth a shot)....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Meet Darron


I was tagged on my friend Annette's blog and as this is the first time this has happened, I will do it. Plus, it's a good tag. It's all about my husband, Darron. And of the four people who read this, none of you really know him, some not at all, so here we go!
Wait! Disclaimer! I am not a mushy or demonstrative person and neither is he. I will try to make this as un-detached sounding as possible, but there will be no references to "Sir Hots-a-Lot" or "El Love Machina". Not because I don't love him but because it would creep him out and he would take away my computer.


5 Favorite Things

1. Chocolate cake with cherry frosting. Yes. He gets it once a year on his birthday. I think one of the reasons he picks it is he knows I won't eat a bite. Not many things he can say that about.
2. Theme Park a.k.a. Thrillville. He enjoys XBox on occasion, but these building games are his personal siren song. They are responsible for his failing eyesight, some failed college classes, and a mild case of carpal tunnel. There's also a game about worms-- digging holes or making gymnasiums for them or something as inconceivable, but I can't remember the name. That's right, I said worms.

3. Being with his family. I should move this up to number one. It doesn't matter what he is doing, playing a game, going to Disneyland, getting karate chopped by 4 tiny ninjas, he just likes to be with us. I should mention that this is one of my favorite things about him. He is an (stronger adjective than) awesome dad and a sensitive and solicitous husband.

4. 24. He has a man-crush on Jack Bauer. I know, I know. Get in line.

5. Coaching all our son's sports teams. And I'm sure our daughter's too whenever she gets over her fear of being hit by a ball. He loves to be there in the middle of all the kids having fun and messing around with them. He's a great coach and his kids (and their parents) love him.

5 Things On His To-Do List

1. Go to Disneyland. Always. Even if we are on our way home from the last trip.

2. Get that pile of junk on the counter out of sight. (And don't try to tell him it's the "junk counter". Just open up the "junk drawer" below and slide it right in. )
3. Be the best, most knowledgeable insurance agent you've ever seen. He's close. I'll tell you. He loves what he does (that would be insurance) and is really really good at it.

4. Shave his head. He has to do it every week, as this is his hairstyle. He has luscious silky Pantene curls, but you'd never know it.

5. Let's be frank. Get lucky.


5 Snacks He Loves

1. Anything I'm eating.

2. All the super-flavor-explosion-type Doritos. Spicy Chili Nacho Chipotle Kickin' Fuego Ranch.

3. Sobe drinks--citrus flavor.

4. NO BAKE COOKIES!!! I can't believe I waited until #4. This is how I get what I want around here! When I make a batch he will hide them from EVERYone. Including me. He is like a very desperate squirrel. I believe he has secret stashes he's forgotten about and are now lost forever. Good thing we get sprayed for ants.

5. Nyquil. He looks forward to catching colds so that he can take this in good conscience.


5 Facts You May Not Know

1. He is shy. He can talk a lot, but only when he feels completely comfortable. Or when BYU football is the topic.

2. He starred as Milo in his grade school's production of "The Phantom TollBooth". But that doesn't mean he likes Drama geeks. Apparently they all wore black, rode dirt bikes, and smoked pot at Viewmont High.

3. He likes to speak in public. I know! Truly enjoys speaking in church, teaching, lecturing, etc. As this is completely unfathomable to me, I still am not sure I believe it, but all the signs indicate it is indeed true.

4. His feet are abnormally soft. Like baby skin. Soles, heels, tops, everywhere. Hair-covered, yes. Hammerhead toes, yes. But smooth, satiny, just-been-paraffin-dipped soft. He won't go barefoot, which may explain a little.

5. He's (nearly) always right. Not like me thinking I am --he actually is. Completely obnoxious, right? But he always helps me sort out my woes with cool and pragmatic sense. And the few times he has been proven wrong, he will admit it. Just like me.


5 Places He's Lived

1. Bountiful, Utah. Born and raised.

2. Tokyo, Japan. 2 years, LDS church proselyting mission.
3. Easley, South Carolina. For a year after his mission. Lived with his aunt and went to school.

4. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Worked here with me for a year before the kids, living out of a hotel, handling insurance claims. Fun times. No really. It sounds like a joke, but it's not. We loved it.

5. Lehi, Utah. Our current town of residence. For the last 7 years.


Top 5 Quirky Things About Him

This is just begging for a countdown....

5. Germaphobe. Let's just start there, as it explains most of the others. Not all germs. Your germs. More like cooties.

4. Can't eat food prepared by other people. Which explains why my friends don't bring me meals after I have a baby. He tells them not to. A clean restaurant is fine, BTW.

3. Would rather not come in contact with children, other than his own. Which actually makes a lot of sense of course; we'd all be a lot healthier if we did this. Well, babies are fine. --Sorry. Cute babies.

2. Likes order in his world. I hesitate to call it OCD, he's never been diagnosed, and if he were it would be a mild case. He just likes peace, cleanliness, well-behaved children, everything in its place. Which just aren't bad things.

1. He does not, can not, WILL NOT dance. Ever. Any kind. No addendums, exceptions, excuses. There will be no dancing. Can't watch other people do it either. He would rather find a half-eaten Big Mac in the parking lot, take it to a gas station, go into the mens room, sit down and eat it off of the floor, than dance. If he were being tortured and his captors began to get down to some funky grooves, he would sing like a canary. Jack would be so disappointed.


That's my husband. He's a hard worker, a thoughtful husband, a loyal dad. My favorite thing about him is that he truly tries to do what he thinks is right--he has great personal integrity. He tries to improve himself and our lives with determination, and I just scramble to try and keep up. He gets better and better with age and I am amazed and grateful that I get to have him by my side.

As for tagging, I would love to hear from my sisters... It's always good to learn about the in-laws, I'm sure there's lots I don't know about them. Except Kurt. He's an open book. So if you want to... go for it! Or anyone else reading this for that matter. And let me know if you post!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Writing Thoughts

I like to blog, I've found. It's therapeutic, cathartic, and cleans out my brain. My mind is awash with jumbled, rambling, soul-searching thoughts and I find that blogging, combined with a personal pen-and-paper journal has been very helpful in organizing and calming the chaos up there. And I do enjoy calming chaos of any kind. This is old news to all of you who've been doing it forever, but it feels like a revelation to me.

I'm also finding out so much about people I know, it turns out, very little. It is easier for most of us to express ourselves on paper (computer) rather than in spoken word. Plus, under what other circumstances would you gather around while one person spoke of their musings on poo, or their search for an ancestor's grave, or their very complex fertility issues? The average conversation doesn't work that way, unless it is with a very close friend, I suppose. So I like this forum. I've been able to broaden my understanding of friends and family members (and spy on some perfect strangers-- heh heh).

One thing that has absolutely astounded me is to find out that like, ALL of my old friends are writers, aspiring or otherwise. Or just the ones that blog, I guess. Really, before my blogging baptism, I didn't know ANYone who wrote. And now everyone does except for the few who don't but should and that encompasses most everyone else. I don't think it ever even occurred to me that writing was an option. Which goes to show I guess that I don't have that bug. I did try to write a book/ short story/grand apology once. I based it on my childhood and tried to address my unkindness to one of my sisters, now that I could see it through the eyes of a remorseful adult. That was 8 years ago and I wrote for 1 1/2 pages before I ran out of steam and words. It was terrible. The experience AND the product. So it is very telling that hearing all these friends who do it has actually made me possibly consider thinking about if maybe one day down the road I could try again. Perhaps.

If I were a writer, I would want to write like Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote "Eat, Pray, Love". Have you read it? I just started reading it for the second time, which says a lot for the book because I don't read anything twice, not counting Jane Austen or the Harry Potters. I really love this book! And her. I think if you secretly want to be the heroine, it is true book love. In 4th grade, I wanted to be Stacy (well, Dawn too) from the "Babysitters' Club" books. Of course, Elizabeth Bennett is a given. Me and 2.5 other billion women on the planet. I wanted to be the 2nd fiddle girl in all of the early Agatha Christie books. You know, not the sparkling, glamorous one who either got killed, did the killing, or inspired the killing to be done, the other one. A little more plain, a lot more spunk, got to be friends with M. Poirot, you know the one. I also want to be Lucille Ball. Different genre but felt like mentioning.

Anway, this book is very fascinating because it's like a big ol' blog. She tells her own real life experiences in finding "everything". She is completely, but honestly and not proudly, neurotic. She is aware herself, but not annoyingly so. She is self-deprecating, but not with false humility or to garner pity. Just really likeable. And she says she has a gift for making friends, anywhere under any circumstance. That's the superpower I would most want. She describes people so well, which is one of my favorite things about books, meeting really interesting characters. She visits Italy, India, and Indonesia for an extended amount of time to find everything, fulfilling all of her soul desires and finding her strength again after a rough go in her life. In a very uncliched, personal way. I particularly enjoyed the detailed descriptions of all the food. And she eats a lot of it for the first third of the book. Equally as interesting to me was her struggles with meditation. As a (not very committed) dabbler in yoga, I have tried a bit of meditation myself and found her frustrations with it quite amusing, sometimes hilarious. So, I'm not telling you you HAVE to read it, because I don't want you to shun it out of principle. It is just a book I personally found intriguing and inspiring, thought-provoking and funny.

I hope someday to be able to read some works of my friends. I have great respect for those who do this. Who find they have a passion and follow it, but also who manage to run families and cultivate human relationships and remember to eat. Someone said (Jeffrey R. Holland?) that people have, as part of the spark of the divine, a desire to create. Families, art, music, order, beauty, whatever it may be, it is within each of us. I agree with him. It makes sense, doesn't it? Truth generally does.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Ikea Dream

Last night my husband took me out on a date and we decided to go to Ikea. I live in Utah County and about 2 (?) years ago an Ikea opened 20 minutes away from my house. And before me move on, let me tell you what a big deal this is. We don't get ANYTHING cool in Utah. We are the last place to get good restaurants, shopping, public transit, you name it. Although we are the first for every multilevel marketing company that ever was or ever will be. We are obsessed with getting rich quick. And don't talk to me about Cabela's. Cabela's is not cool. I don't hunt. Or fish. And you can only go see the "mountain" thing so many times. One, actually. And the food sucks. Take away 500 points for that. So when I heard news of this Ikea thing, I was ecstatic. As an avid HGTV watcher and home decorating mag reader, I was well aware of what awaited me. Even the highest frumpety-frump-frump designers always mention with casual we-the-people-ness "Oh yes and that table/lampshade/potholder is Ikea." "Really?" exclaims the interviewer in wide-eyed disbelief, "Among all of these expensive antique custom pieces?" "Oh, yes" replies f-f-f designer, "When you have to work within a budget, it's important to save money where you can. Ikea has some really well-designed pieces. And with all the money I saved on this potholder, I was able to splurge a little on solid, hand-crafted, inlaid Morrocan mahogany fretwork Louis XV everything." Ikea.... (heavenly choirs sing)....Ikea..... If only we had an Ikea, I thought. If only we didn't live in the land of no-name shopping. If only I could convince Darron to rent a trailer the next time we went to California and then convince him to spend a day at Ikea, and then also to give me lots of money for a shopping spree there. Life would be so awesome. I just know it would be a wonderland of affordable modern design and I could get something that was once on t.v. My ultimate dream. I would be so. cool.

So the day of our Ikea Grand Opening approached. Talk of it was everywhere-- church, the grocery store, selling parties-- word was on the street. But as the buzz heightened, my anticipation began to turn to dismay. See, part of my Ikea dream was that no one would know about it. It would be my little secret to home decorating fabulousness. "Oh Heather," they would all say--visitors to my house, "this potholder is divine! This must have cost you a fortune! Haven't I seen this very potholder in House Beautiful?" And I would just smile, because, yes, they had. But now it looked like everyone else was having the same visions of grandeur that I was having-- well, maybe not, but they were ruining mine, nonetheless. Here I need to tell you something about myself. I have an obnoxious personality trait. Just this one. If everyone is doing something, I won't do it. If everyone tells me I have to try something or see something or go somewhere, I won't. Which probably explains why I never got into Napoleon Dynamite. Too many people told me it was THEFUNNIESTMOVIEEVER! I did see it eventually, but just tried not to laugh. My official position on it is: it was okay. So as police had to be called in to manage the frenzied masses at the Grand Opening, the magic and joy was taken from my dream and it quietly died. I never went to see Ikea....

Fast forward two years. My husband innocently asks me if I want to go look around at Ikea. Having no idea of the inner turmoil I've faced regarding this store, (because it's really just too embarrassingly ridiculous to tell him. I cannot imagine the look on his face if I were to confess to this), he asks me to go because he likes to window shop and he likes me. (I need to find a way to block this post from him so he will continue to feel that way.) So I suck it up--you know, all my dumb angst-- and say yes. We pull into the parking lot and enter the building.

I was wearing some cute date boots (high-heeled, completely unsuitable for actual use) and a winter coat. Those who have been to Ikea (I know...all of you) can see where I am going with this. Ikea is like 16 Costcos all put together, but arranged in such a way with stairs and arrows that you have to walk throughout the whole labyrinthine thing to get out. Totally ingenious. So we were walking through all the twists and turns with Darron saying "This is so weird" and me thinking "This is so AWESOME!" That's right. Ikea is AWESOME! I fell in love with a bed and a sofa, and all the cabinets and the drawer organizational system... oh my gosh. Everything I saw. Granted, it all looks like it was made for mini-people, but still soooo cool. I realized I'd have to redo all my decorating plans. Oh yes, definitely. As I hobbled along the maze of displays, sweat began to emerge and I developed a slight sense of panic, but the anticipation of what I would find around the corner kept it at bay. We found a mirror for the kids' bathroom that I had picked out months earlier during my (secret) searches of the Ikea website, and lots and lots of new possibilities. I'm telling you, it was better than what I had imagined.

So now I guess I'd have to say I love Ikea. Just like everyone else. I do what they do. I follow the crowd. But what I didn't see before was sometimes the crowd gets it dead right. Pretentious snooty designers and Utah County housefraus alike love this place for good reason. And I am right there with them. Living my Ikea dream.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The holiday clutter is put away, I got matching Tupperware for Christmas, and I did yoga the last 2 days so I'm all zen. As I was lying in shavasana this morning, the hardest pose for a thinker like myself, my mind began its usual ramble, but in a more subdued tone than normal. (It's the Tupperware for sure, I was NOT like this before Christmas.) I began to think of New Year's resolutions, which I usually don't go in for, because I believe in a slower, more paced way of changing oneself, but my mind was turning on its own, so I let it go. There are several things I have been pondering of late and a few that just popped up recently, and I would like to use the power (and pressure) of declaration to state my areas of focus for the next little while. See how I really don't want to set "New Year's Resolutions"? I have some weird thing against them. I have weird things against a lot of things, but now is not the time. Om.

I am trying to put God first in my life.

Been working on this recently. For me it means my spirituality and relationship with God is first on my to do list. I want to take time to study scriptures and other teachings each day, pray with sincerity, and do the things God wants me to do. Simple, right? A wise woman told me that as long as you put God first on the list, even if you only get one thing done that day, it was a productive day.

Have more (warning: euphemism coming up...) alone time with my husband.

I'm getting a little personal here (its MY blog!) but this area has fallen into neglect recently. When things get cooking in my life, that's the first thing to get pushed off the stove. Terrible metaphor but you get it. The motto in our house is "When Daddy ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" and nothing could be more accurate. He does so much to keep our family on the right track and to show me he loves me and values what I do. But that can be difficult to do when you don't get the love back. So I hear. And for the record, I do NOT call him Daddy. It's just a motto. Eww.

Spruce up my house.

We moved into this house in June, after some renovations. It had been a rental for awhile and quite gross inside, so we painted, finished the basement, redid flooring, etc. And I was all gung ho to keep going, paint, refinish cabinets, sew curtains and cushions and pillows, landscape, decorate.... Six months later and it pretty much looks how it did when we moved in. I have decluttered, but that doesn't count because its super fun and anyway I couldn't sleep until it was done. Now I'm sleeping fine, but it looks like we just moved in. I guess I kept waiting for money to start rolling in from... I don't know, wherever money rolls in from...but that has not happened. So I'm going to do what the rest of the (responsible creative industrious) world does. Be responsible, creative, and industrious and do it a little at a time. I know, it sounds a little vague, but I know what I mean. Just do it instead of planning it, dreaming about it, and waiting for it to happen.

Be nicer to my kids.

Yes. I have to set a goal to do this. I am horrible. But there it is. I want to enjoy my kids while they are around me, indulge them when they want to do something with me, even though it slows me down or doesn't turn out perfectly. I want to hug them more and tease them more and make them glad they got me for a mom. Because I am very glad I got them.

That should keep me busy for awhile. I'll let you know how it goes. Happy New Year Everyone! And good luck with your own resolutions and life changes! Now is always the best time to change.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Color Test

So if you want to take the color test, go to http://www.thecolorcode.com/index.html
I just took the free version, so its not really in depth, but still fun.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Red, WHITE, and Blue

Unlike many women, I do not operate under a burden of guilt. This is quite a departure from most members of my family. I come from a long (Sonners) line of carefully cultivated remorse of conscience, but for some reason just didn't get the gene. I think it may be because I am all White (let me explain). Did you ever take the color personality test? It was all the rage 20-ish years ago, categorizing you into Red (ie bossy, dominant, what no one wanted to be), Blue (emotional, empathetic, this one was good), Yellow (fun-loving, charismatic, what I secretly wanted to be), and White (passive, nonconfrontational... boring, really). We all took it, you remember. At the time I took it (12-13) my score was out of maybe 200 questions, 99 blue, 99 white, 2 red, and ZERO yellow. When I tell people I am not fun, I do not exaggerate. As time has passed I have come to realize that all the Blue I had at the time was just hormones. I grew up with 3 sisters so there were plenty of those going around. I believe if I took the test today I would come off a big fat White, with nothing else to tone it down or round it out or liven it up. I am boring, unmotivated, wishy-washy, and I despise confrontation --which is something because whites daren't despise anything! I want everyone to like me and I always have something to worry about. But amazingly, no guilt. That is the domain of the Blues, and like I said, I've shed all my Blue.

So when talk show hosts, or women's magazines, or church leaders tell us women to not be so hard on ourselves, to make sure we appreciate how great we are, to not be afraid to say no, they are not talking to me. I am too easy on myself, I think I'm just great, and I, well, I can't say no, but that's not because I'd feel guilty if I did, just that I'd worry that the person wouldn't like me. Totally different. I appreciate a more vigorous approach to motivation, since the guilt thing doesn't do it. I need someone sternly telling me to get my act together, that I am capable of so much more than I am doing right now. One of the scriptures I like best for this reason is found in the Book of Mormon, spoken by the prophet Jacob. He says "Wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!" This is me he's talking to! I have the laws and commandments before me, I know why I am here and what I should be doing. I appreciate that he tells me to not waste my time because I will seriously regret it once my days on earth are over. Who in my life now talks to me like that? No one. Everyone is too afraid that I will feel overburdened, or worthless, or guilty. But I don't. And so I continue to waste my time.

A few years ago I made the painful realization that I was doing just that. Wasting time. I was a good kid, a few obnoxious tendencies, wasn't nice to my sisters, nothing out of the ordinary. As I grew into a teenager, those tendencies went unchecked and I got more sullen, disrespectful, emotional, and unkind to my family. When I started college, it just snowballed. I look back with serious regret over the person I allowed myself to become, mostly because I fooled myself into believing that I was a "good person". When I got married at 21, I was a real catch. I was moody, selfish, angry, and emotionally immature. Not to put myself alone in the corner, my husband was, too. We are still astounded that our marriage survived those rocky first years. Much to be said for the lifelong teachings we had that marriage is forever and the fine examples we had in our own parents. Things settled out a little and we began having our children. I rolled along through life, not really committing to anything, not improving myself, ignoring the possibility of allowing God into my life. Really into my life. I went to church, sort of fulfilled my assignments (so no one would be mad at me), prayed half-heartedly, read scriptures sporadically. And I thought this was fine. Really great, in fact. You see, no guilt like most people. Everyone was telling me to appreciate me, make time for me, yada yada, and I believed it.

I truly wish I could remember the moment in time when I finally woke up. It may have been just a gradual awakening, too slow to sense it was happening until all of a sudden I realized it had already happened. It was at some point after the birth of my second child that the question started forming in my mind, quietly at first, but slowly growing in persistence, "What on earth am I doing?!" And the painful answer was NOTHING! I had knowledge that few people would be blessed with in this life and was deliberately ignoring it. I knew the purpose of life. I knew why I was sent to earth. My pre-earth life spirit had come down to this probationary state so excited and anxious to prove herself and to grow and progress. How would I feel when it was all over and I looked back and saw all that I hadn't done. All the preparation and anticipation and hope would have been for nothing. I would have wasted the precious time I was given. Now I don't know much about guilt, but I am familiar with regret. And regret is very painful. It overshadows contentment and accomplishment and destroys joy. I was full of regret, and for that I am forever grateful. It takes feeling pain, but with the promise of hope up ahead, that drives us to make changes in our lives, and so it was with me.

To make a long story not quite as long, not wasting my time on earth has been kind of my mantra now. I try to check in with myself and with God regularly to make sure I am always on the move. Not moving is what gets you. There's a lot to work on after letting myself go for so long, so I either have to work very quickly or live a VERY long life. And not lose my mind, another dominant family trait. Yeah, definitely no time for that. Lest it sound like I think I am perfect now, I will definitely assure you I am FAR from it. Omigosh, you have no idea. Darron does, my kids do, God does, but you don't. Which is good, because then I worry you might not like me.

Heather

As a postscript, I don't always know where these posts are going to take me. I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head that what ends up on the screen is sort of a surprise to me. I hope you will be generous and not think I'm too obnoxious or self-involved. Ew, I'm so nervous to post this.