Followup

Last year I made resolutions. Not so this year. But, for kicks and giggles, let’s see how I did with my 2011 resolutions…

  • Eat more healthy food and less junk food. Compared to 2010, yes, I improved in 2011. And in December I went junk-food-and-sweets-free, which is pretty impressive considering how much sugary food is up for grabs at Christmastime. We did eat more fruits and vegetables. While the year as a whole may not have been a success, I think I’m on the right track with this, especially so far in 2012.
  • Be frugal. Hmm…I improved over the course of the year. Right now I’m being meticulous in budgeting. Have I mentioned I love spreadsheets?
  • Teach Evan. When I made these resolutions, I wasn’t in school. School ate up so much of my time that I didn’t spend nearly as much time as I wanted with Evan. He has started learning letters, opposites, and a few gospel principles, but I have a long way to go with my parenting efforts.
  • Go on a date with Jarom at least once per quarter. Done.
  • Write in my journal weekly. Not done, even a little bit. This year I’m doing a short line each day, and that’s working much better. I love keeping a journal but I’m exhausted at the end of the day, and there are so many other demands on my time throughout the day. It will take a lot of work for me to start keeping a regular journal again and right now, I don’t have the energy.
  • Develop patience by learning to think, even briefly, before speaking or acting. As I didn’t remember making this resolution, I can’t say I put much thought into carrying it out. I’ll let Jarom speak to whether I seemed more patient or not.
  • Be more disciplined about following a daily routine. If we are liberal about our definition of “routine,” then yes, done. I had a very vague daily routine. It involved breakfast, playtime, naptime, lunch, more naps, playtime, dinner, and bed. I probably meant a routine that enabled me to be productive. What I actually had enabled all of us to be fed and relatively happy. I’ll take it!

This year, I’m going to try being fulfilled. Read President Uchtdorf’s talk again. I want to learn to stop waiting for x to be fulfilled – to not want a Golden Ticket. There are things I’m waiting for, of course, but I can be happy even while I wait.

Do you have any goals for 2012?


Prior

School is a lot less demanding this semester, but I seem to be scheduling a lot of other activities because of my lighter school load…which just means that I’m extra busy, in another form. I feel pulled in a million directions – I want to do lots of projects and playing and little trips with the kids; I’d like to do as much family history research as I can while I’m near the Family History Library in Salt Lake; I’m still working on graduation announcements, which I’ll have letterpressed by local Rowley Press; I want to read more books; and I even want to clean our house, probably the most unrealistic thing on the list. On top of my poor housekeeping skills and natural untidiness, Evan and June are actually some sort of anti-cleaning sprites or brownies or something. (Is that a thing?)

But there are prior claims on my time. I got myself into this finish-your-degree stuff, and now I’m so so so very close, and I do have reading to do for classes. I have tests to take and papers to write. Prior to that, I have kids that need to be fed, clothed, attended to, played with, and disciplined. (Not necessarily in that order.) And let’s not forget that Jarom and I like to spend time with each other! We both have lighter loads this semester, but it still seems like a challenge to find time to do things other than homework, childcare, and cleaning together.

I am trying to find some balance…this week Jarom made cookies, we had friends come over, I took the kids to visit the pet store, some girls from the ward are coming to entertain Evan and June this afternoon, tomorrow June has a checkup and I get to go do safety & emissions for our car registration (wahoo!), Friday Jarom and I will go to the temple for a session (twice in two weeks! And another trip scheduled for next week!), and Saturday I’ll study for a test before we go to our friend’s first birthday party. Sound like enough fun + responsibility mixed together?

Sadly, I have two tests next week (both for independent study classes). But other than that, almost nothing on the calendar! Except, you know, going to class. Still! I’m looking forward to the magical time after school is over, we’ve settled in wherever we’ll end up, and there are a couple years left before Evan heads off to school. I’d like to have a whole week free of prior claims on my time.


Photogenic

You probably wish I put up more pictures of the kids. I do, too. But they are surprisingly uncooperative when it comes to taking pictures. Here’s one of my recent attempts:


I concede that part of the problem may be my lack of knowledge and experience taking pictures of kids. But dangit, they are terrible subjects. Then again, why would they listen to me about being photographed when they don’t listen to me about anything else?


Blessing

Recently I’ve started to panic about life after graduation. Who knows where we’ll be? Who knows if Jarom will be able to find a job at all? I play out unlikely but worrisome scenarios in my head, growing more and more desperate as I go on.

Last night I went to bed at 8. Well, at 8 I laid down in bed and cried because I was worried about being broke and hopeless later this year. Then I prayed and pleaded for things to somehow work out. Then I went to sleep.

Today we got Jarom’s W-2 in the mail and I sat down to file our taxes. And it turns out we should be getting a hefty refund, enough to see us through at least 5 months with no other income. It’s a perfect safety net. Perfect timing. And really, an answer to a prayer.


Lousy

I think I said this before, I woke up with a bad cold on the first day of school. It’s been 2 weeks and things are not much better. I vaguely remember that I felt ok for the few days we spent at home at the end of vacation…but the idea of having energy and motivation is now foreign. Yesterday I got a splitting headache in the afternoon, so I took some Excedrin. Its effects last a long time for me. My headache was gone for the rest of the day, but I was awake (despite being exhausted) until at least 3am. Tossing and turning. Every time I started falling asleep I got violent chills. Yuck. So this week probably won’t have exciting posts…I just want to catch up on sleep!


Semester

Can you believe this is my last semester of school? Ever? (Probably.) Jarom has no finals, but he does have a 30-page paper to write and then The Bar. (Yes. In capitals.) This is what my semester looks like…

Soc 339, Theories of Social Change. For whatever reason, this course was previously called Soc 429, and it still fills the requirement for 400-level courses. But it has no final exam, is taught by a really laid-back professor I’ve had before, and looks like it will be a good end-of-school-career class. I have it Tuesdays and Thursdays right around lunchtime. Downside: I’m usually busy getting the kids ready to go to the sitter’s house before I go, and although I pack lunch for them, I don’t get something for myself. Today I grabbed some honey roasted peanuts and a Jack Link’s beef steak (like a Slim Jim but more real) from the little store in the Wilk, but when I got to class I found out that “peppered” beef steak means PEPPERED. I took one bite and my mouth is still burning, 10 minutes later. (That’s right – I’m in class right now. The professor is out of the country until next week, so we’ve been having guest speakers tell us all about international internships and field studies, none of which I can do. So don’t blame me for being distracted.)

Soc 490R, Sociology of Suffering. I’m taking this from my favorite professor, the one who teaches the core theory courses. Total: 4 classes from him. This class is official titled “Sociology of Suffering: Nietzsche, Weber, Suffering, and the Moral Order of Modernity.” So far, fascinating. I have this Mondays and Wednesdays in the afternoon. Which means…no class on Fridays!

Soc 350, Introduction to Social Psychology. My very last required sociology class. I couldn’t get in to the section I wanted, so I’m taking this through independent study. Don’t worry, I have everything planned out so I’ll definitely finish it on time and graduate in April. (Hooray!!)

The big question, of course, is what happens after graduation? So far, we don’t know. I’d love if the answer is “Jarom gets a decent-paying job in or near Provo so we can just stay put instead of having to move,” unless of course it is decent-paying enough that we can move out of the basement. Finally.

Whatever happens, I can hardly wait until the semester is over!


The Unnamed

by Joshua Ferris | 320 pages, published 2010

The main character in The Unnamed, Tim Someone, is on his third relapse of a strange compulsion: he walks. He walks until he collapses from exhaustion. He walks out of meetings, out of buildings, across towns, in the dead of winter. Despite seeing numerous doctors, having tests of every sort done, visiting psychiatrists, no one can explain what it is or why it happens. The compulsion is “the unnamed,” of course.

It’s an interesting premise, and it was carried out nicely. I liked how Ferris depicted Tim’s gradual descent into madness (sorry, spoiler) and how the compulsion takes over so completely. There was a little too much swearing for me, and I felt like several potentially interesting storylines were brought up but not adequately addressed.

Big spoiler: you never find out what the unnamed really is. I suppose that’s fair, but as Americans don’t we desperately need closure? Even (especially) in our entertainment?

Also, I’m pretty sure that one of my ancestors actually did walk compulsively. I vaguely recall hearing stories like that. Anyone want to confirm or deny?

Buy The Unnamed on Amazon