Sunday, April 17, 2011

Resisting Crazy

My attitude to being a neat-freak, uber-organized, clean-house-all-the-time was sort of relaxed in the past few years. I was already stressed about making sure I met school deadlines, got my practice hours in, and before I met my husband, making sure I made time socialize so that I might one day meet Mr. Right. I always heard about those perfectionist girls that would stay up until 3am cleaning the bathroom because they couldn't stand for the house to be messy or for their to-do list not to be accurate or for their clothes for the next day not picked out and laid out below their bed. I'm not making fun of these people. In fact, I admire their dedication. I've kind of fallen on the opposite end of the spectrum. I don't live like swine. Goodness knows that if I ever came close, my super clean husband would silently and lovingly clean up after me.

But now that my last semester of BYU has ended, and I am starting to feel like a more responsible adult, I have decided to become more organized.

Here are my books. These books scare me. However, I still have them, and I think they have potential to do some good for me, if they don't turn me crazy first.

Now, before I get too excited, I need to lay out the risks of keeping my life in 2 books. Well, really 3, but the third one is for weight lifting and I've already filled up 4 pages (writing small.) I am at risk of turning obsessive crazy and scary. I don't want to be that person that can't be OK with messing up every once in a while, at least messing up on trivial things. I want to be laid back and optimistic. I don't want to hold myself to an unrealistic standard, and always be the girl finding things to criticize about herself. That will. not. be. me. These books are simply to help me organize my life and to be more productive. No harm in that, huh?

Purple Book: Let me share with you my obsession with planners/to-do lists. It has become a problem. I've blogged about this before. I have an obsession with writing down my week plan, down to the half-hour. Every half-hour is planned out perfectly with no rest stops. Well, this started to become a problem because 1. Life isn't that way. There are changes that happen last minute and thinking on your feet is necessary. One needs to be what normal people would call, "flexible." Somehow I have a hard time with that concept. 2. Get. A. Grip. Your life is meant to have some fun in it every now and then, and sometimes that fun needs to be spontaneous. Stop trying to predict the future. 3. Even superhumans need to rest in the middle of the day to do stuff like, well, let's see....EAT LUNCH for crying out loud! So what's with the book, you might ask? Well, this is my to-do list/planner/daily inspiration notebook. I write down what I THINK is going to happen each day, and put a check by the stuff I do get done, and I add to it as I go. I also write down little spurts of inspiration that I might be feeling (I'm getting that a lot lately) so that I don't miss anything when I'm away from my computer. One key thing about keeping this notebook. I don't feel bad if I don't have a check by every single item! Some say that is setting yourself up for failure. To me, if I have just one check, then I'm still happy. I got something done! Also, since I'm not too good with the journal writing, I figure I'll have some document to go back to later and see what I did with my life when I was 21.

Green Book: This is going to sound a little more silly, but here goes. I have been trying out methods of improving the productivity of my practice time. I don't think its wise to be playing my flute, and getting little done, for hours and hours every day. So, this book is my flute practice record book. In this book, I write down the date, what I practiced, how long I practiced that item, and add up the time at the end of the day. That way, I'm not wasting any time, and I can look back and say, "Maybe I should spend more time on my scales," or "I shouldn't be spending that much time on my fill-in-the-blank." Anyway, so far its working miracles. I've learned like, 2 intensive pieces of flute repertoire in under 2 weeks, all because I'm taking responsibility for each minute I'm practicing by keeping a record of exactly what I do in those hours in the practice room.

I'm also keeping a relatively clean house. That has everythign to do with me not having any finals this semester. You're jealous.

Being organized is pretty fun, as long as it doesn't become a source of anxiety. I think of it as an opportunity, not a chore. I just have to make sure it stays that way. I have also come across two organization blogs that are fun to read. They have some great tips in them. Now, some of the things these women do are a little extreme for me, but they are great ideas!

With all my love, your semi-organized-yet-still-occasionally-spontaneous Ambrosia,

Friday, April 15, 2011

What You Say Means a Lot

Its amazing how when someone tells you that you are something, you become that person, even if what they said wasn't necessarily true. It might even be true, but maybe you didn't think it was. If someone compliments you on something that you are doing well, or about who you are, you become that person that they see in you.

I want to urge you to say out loud good things about the people around you. Make these remarks honest and sincere. Don't be the person who assumes that this girl "already knows she is pretty" or "talented" or "smart" or "nice" or "good with people." She may not know that she is, and once she hears it from someone, she will start to believe it, and become more of the person that you admire. And for those of you who are women, or know one really well, you will know that women do need reminding, because they tend to forget the good things about them every once in a while.

I recently had an experience like this. On more than one occasion, I was told something that boosted my self-confidence by a few different people. I had no reason not to believe it, especially since these different people didn't interact at all. "By the mouth of two or three witnesses...."

Since then, this particular trait that I apparently have has become a point of focus in my life, and I want to be that person even MORE. Because I am conscious of this trait, I am actively developing it, instead of it being accidental. I'm starting to like myself more, and be even more happy than I was before. (My life is so good that sometimes its hard to imagine being any happier.)
Ironically, I also have noticed that when my husband compliments me on something (which he so often does...thank you baby!) I am beginning to resort to what I would feel when my parents would compliment me on something; the whole they're-just-saying-that-because-they're-my-parents/husband. I'll tell Matt about something nice someone said to me and he's like, "I TOLD you!" So for those of you who have a husband or father or friend that you are close to, take it to heart when they say nice things about you. They are being honest about what they observe, and they want you to believe in yourself because they believe in you. Yes, you really ARE that beautiful/talented/smart/kind/good with people.
I guess my message to myself and to everyone is to be more vocal about your positive observations about people. It will build your relationship with that person, and it will help you feel good for making someone else happy. Also, take compliments with grace. Nobody likes to go out of their way to say something nice to someone and have them get all awkward and antsy, especially if that person loves you very much.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

T-T-Tech Savvy...that's me! (Not)

Sometimes I think my computer has a brain. Well, I know it has a hard drive, and RAM, and all that jazz.

But seriously, in physical science we talk about how light particles will behave like light particles (if originally a particle) if you observe them, and if you are not observing them, they will behave like waves. When I try to tell students, "Look, I don't know any more than that. If you want to learn more about why the heck it does this, take a higher level physics class and then you can come tell me ALL about it." I never understood why they always got so mad...until now.

You know those days when your computer runs slow regardless of that extra pack of RAM you installed, and there is this really funny website you really want to show your friend, but it's taking a long time to load? You've just talked up the website or youtube clip or blogpost or whatever, and then you are left with this really awkward moment where the anticipation is high, yet there is no delivery from the computer. So you have to hum and haw and make some disclaimers about your computer...and you see one picture on the page loading every 25 seconds.

When you click "refresh," you give the computer another shot. Well, EVERY time I click "refresh," the computer teases me by immediately LOADING the page right AFTER I hit "refresh" and then proceeds to start all over again, just as slow. Come on, computer. Did you really have to flip me off like that? Show me what I wanted to see for about 2 1/2 seconds and then start over? I always wonder if I would have just waited a half a second more to click "refresh," would it have loaded it like I wanted it to? Part of me thinks no. I am now convinced that my computer is conspiring against me. It sticks it's tongue out at me, sings "nah-nah-nah-boo-boo," and then goes even slower than before. It's as if it KNOWS when I'm going to hit refresh, so it will hold out until I give up and then show me what I'm missing out on.

Does anyone else go through this?! Or do I just have a mischievous computer?