Couldn’t BE More Random

Process-focused thinking and rambling thoughts about dating in Utah

I watched a YouTube vid yesterday about outcome-focused thinking versus process-focused thinking. I was watching it for some research for a writing assignment, but it related to other thoughts that have been swirling around in my head for the last week or so.

A little background on my thoughts…

A dear friend of mine sent me an email and in it, she mentioned her personal frustrations with dating and being single. She couldn’t pinpoint why they seemed to be more poignant and at the front of her mind recently, but she didn’t want them to crowd her thoughts and skew her focus away from things that were so good in her life.

She asked me how I “got through being single in a culture/environment that is predominantly married and places a lot of emphasis on being married.”

I live in Utah. The culture here is family focused and a lot of people marry at a young age.

When I finally married, I was 30 years old. I know. Crrrrazy old.

The focus of dating in this state is on getting married. There’s even specific advice that once you’ve reached a certain age, you should be going out on dates that are paired off, planned, and paid forIf you’re not dating with the intent of hunting down your eternal companion, you’re doing it wrong.

This brings me back to the video I watched. Dating with the target being to get married is an outcome-focused attitude. The video pointed out these two reasons that this thinking can hurt:

  1. You lose sight of the growth and progress along the way
  2. You neglect to create a strategic system or process that will lead to success

Those are the “two main problems”. Do they relate to dating?

For me, I would often beat myself up over being single, wondering, “What’s wrong with me that I’m alone?” I couldn’t step back and see all of the growth and progress I’d made as an individual in my life. Instead, I focused on the ways that I saw myself as broken: mental health, awkwardness, yellowish teeth, little boobs, too pale, too quiet, too somber, really bad at getting up in the mornings, etc. We’re really good at finding our own faults.

I didn’t focus on all that I had accomplished (college degrees, career, saving money, incredible relationships with friends and family, etc.), or the ways in which I had learned to find the best partner for me based on plenty of dating experience.

That’s the first point as I relate it to dating: worrying too much about still being single put my focus on the wrong thing.

As far the second point, and a “strategic system”, when I was focused on still being alone, I created a stormy cloud around me in regards to dating. Who wants to go out with a girl who isn’t having fun?

Bob Costas interviewed Michael Phelps in 2016 and asked him how he would feel if he only earned a silver medal in one of his races. His question, as you can guess, was focused on the outcome.

“How would you feel if you did not achieve your desired outcome?” he was basically asking.

Phelps said, “I know I could look back at how I prepared and I’d know that I did whatever I could do to prepare myself to be the best… I’m willing to accept whatever results I would get. I’d be ticked off, but I’d know, deep down inside that it was the best I could do that day.”

When you are working towards a goal, all you can control is putting in the work you need to do to achieve your goals and trust that if you’re putting in the hard work, it will pay off.

After years of dating, I learned to change my mindset and instead of focusing on why I wasn’t married, I tried to identify what mattered most to me: how could I feel fulfilled and satisfied in life in an area that is under my control?

I said yes to opportunities. I got to know a lot of new people. I focused on bettering existing relationships as well. My job mattered to me and I worked hard to be competent and do well.

And my values mattered to me. Terry Patten wrote, “Practice is about waking up again and again, choosing to show up in life in alignment with one’s highest intelligence.” That was hard for me, but each day I tried to do better at living my life according to my personal values: being honest, loving others, working hard, helping, being happy, and improving myself.

About a month before my 33rd birthday, my Aunt Natalie passed away from cancer. She never married although we talked often about how much she wanted, that she wanted to have a family, that she wanted companionship. At the funeral, it was the first time I realized her impact on each of her nieces and nephews. My cousins all felt like Nat had been their biggest fan, devoting time and love into their relationship.

She never got her marriage outcome, but the way she lived her life showed me how to focus on the process instead. I knew what motivated her. We spent time together, talking about how to define that and put it into action in how we lived. She was a favorite life coach of mine.

She lived her core values everyday. She brought joy to the people around her. She did this through music, through her smile, and through her genuine emotions. I could be real and raw with her and she was the same with me.

If I was feeling down, I could simply spend time around Natalie and feel her infectious happiness. And she did all this even while struggling with depression her entire life. At Christmas time, I miss her.

That time I swiped an Amazon package off of my neighbor’s front porch

I left the car running, Gabbi and Dom waiting for me, and ran up the steps to my neighbors’ front door. I rang the doorbell. I waited. The dog barked inside. The wind blew their fake cobwebs around. I stood sideways. I always stand sideways on doorsteps. I was trained that way. Thanks, door-to-door sales. Nobody answered. The dog stopped barking. I grabbed the box from the porch, carried it down the steps, opened the back of the car and put it in.

It had my name on it, after all. UPS messed up and I knew they did. Earlier in the day, my phone had buzzed, telling me that my Amazon package had been delivered. I opened the front door to grab the box, but the porch was empty. I walked down the long deck to check by the garage. No box. I glanced at neighbors’ porches: not at the Koller’s; not the Richburg’s; not Barbara’s. Nobody stole my box. I knew that. If anybody walks up our deck, we can hear it inside. We don’t need the doorbell fixed because you can’t sneak up that deck.

I contacted Amazon during afternoon nap/quiet time. The man with the accent told me (after I asked “what did you say?” half a dozen times) that he couldn’t take further action until the package was still missing for at least 24 hours. But I knew. I knew that UPS had messed up. I tried the UPS website. It said to contact the shipper. So it goes. I waited. I waited for Dom to come down from quiet time. I waited for him to play on his Kindle. I waited for Gabbi to finish her nap. I waited for her to pee on the potty. I waited for her to eat her snack. I waited for Dom to eat his snack. Then I loaded them up in the car with the enticement of buying snacks and toys to take with us on the airplane (when we fly to Texas). Once buckled in, I backed down the driveway, closing the garage behind us, and drove slowly down the hill, surveying front porches as we went, until I spotted it. There was a long, narrow shipping box sitting on the front porch of one of our new neighbors. I met them once when I was out walking around with my kids. Another day, I took a Starbucks gift card to a baby shower for the expecting wife. They live in Bountiful, but they don’t come to church on Sunday with 99.7654% of their neighbors. Of course UPS had left it on their porch. If anyone saw me, I was the mean Mormon neighbor stealing their packages.

Anyway, I had to tell somebody.

I found my Amazon package. It was on the neighbor’s front porch. I went and grabbed it so now, it has indeed, been safely delivered to my home. Somebody tell UPS that they messed things up. They should be held accountable.

Somehow, we then went on to Target to spend over 70 bucks on snacks and toys for upcoming flights.

Top ten words make your Pinterest post viral

pinterest_wordsLook, people. Now that I’m a stay-at-home mom, I am an expert Pinterester. I should get certified in it. I pin on the potty. I pin in the glider. I pin in bed. I pin in my sleep. And let me tell you what I’ve learned with all of my pinning experience. All you need to do is use the right words and your Pinterest post will show up on everybody’s feed. It doesn’t matter if the link leads to the actual image in the post. It doesn’t matter if it’s littered with ads when you get there. Just use these top ten words and everyone will pin your post, too:

  1. DIY
  2. The BEST
  3. Copycat
  4. Hack
  5. Easy
  6. Top 10
  7. Ultimate Guide
  8. Upcycle
  9. Detox
  10. Free printables!!!

See how it works? So here’s my VIRAL Pinterest post:

The top 10 BEST hacks to upcycle QTips: an ultimate DIY guide with free printables!!! #PotteryBarnCopycat

You don’t even know what the picture is, or how many ads are on the link, but YOU WANT TO PIN THIS!

It’s amazing.


Over the years: death by women’s fashions

A story on NPR yesterday warned about the health hazards of skinny jeans. You and your sexy, denimed legs are bad for your body parts, ladies! (Or men, if that’s your preference.)

After reading this article, I, of course, followed the logical path and started looking up other dangerous, deadly women’s fashions from our lovely history. And now, I shall share it with you. Lucky!

crinolineOnce upon a time, women wore the amazing crinoline so that their petticoats could sweep the entire kitchen floor in one twirl. Except, they should stay out of the kitchen wearing that thing because they would die since it was so flammable. In England, about 3,000 women were killed in crinoline-related fires within a decade in the 1900s.

corsetAnd what about the corset, you ask? Listen, people. Wide ribs just ain’t dainty and if you can’t pull off dainty, you ugly. Cramming your organs inwards must have been delightful, especially when it caused internal bleeding. Now THAT would attract the gentlemen suitors! One woman, in 1903, died when pieces of her corset steal became lodged in her heart. She was stabbed to death by her desire to be beautiful.

footbindingWhat else? Those extremely large feet of yours! So ugly. Bind those feet. For hundreds and hundreds of years (and I am NOT exaggerating the length of time, friends), Chinese women bound their feet to be tinier than cankles. If Dominic were a daughter, he would already have his foot bound by now because they started with two-year olds. Keep those toddler feet tiny. Fashion demands it. Bring on the gangrene and death by footwear.

fontangeThe French were all about one particular, deadly fashion: the fontange. The headdress was just too damn large. Mix in candle chandeliers and a soiree? Lethal. These, too, were made of very flammable materials. High fashion prefers things that light up easily, it seems.

leadmakeupLast, let’s finish this up with some lead makeup. Want to look whiter? Powder up with some easy, breezy, beautiful lead! Symptoms of lead poisoning: brain damage, nervous system wreckage, headaches, loss of appetite, anemia, paralysis, insomnia, a limp wrist (odd), and death. The fashion police are evil.

So what are they saying about skinny jeans, then? Are you going to die?

Warning: don’t squat.

According to the dangers-of-skinny-jeans report, “The wearing of ‘skinny’ jeans had likely potentiated the tibial neuropathies by causing a compartment syndrome as the lower leg swelled.”

Meaning? Nerve damage, swelling, muscle damage, or even amputation.

You look good in your skinny jeans, girl!

Some of my internet activity today

websurfingI signed up for an internet class on Managing My Investments. I’ve finished part of week 1 and so far, it is uninteresting.

Better than Bambi: a deer and a French bulldog face off.

And at the end of the game, there was this little bit about Jeopardy actually using Sean Connery’s favorite category in one of their Celebrity Jeopardy’s on TV recently: “The Pen is Mightier.”

It was an important day in random web surfing.

the blogs I read


Two weeks ago, sitting in a writer’s conference, Ann Cannon talked about blogs, asking people to share which ones they read. I didn’t raise my hand. My list is very long and they weren’t the same kinds of blogs that all of the other conference attenders were sharing. As I sat there, pondering over the quirkiness of “my” blogs, I tallied up in my head that I read or scan over 100-200 blog posts a day.

Blame work.

Most of those, I scan the headline and the first line or two and move on. These are a few of my “scanning blogs”:

  1. lifehacker
  2. mashable
  3. seth’s blog
  4. failblog
  5. the consumerist
  6. agile zone
  7. leadingagile
  8. design mom
  9. the oatmeal

Blogs that matter more are in separate sections in my Feedly and I read through those because the bloggers are friends and family. Some of those:

  1. internal conversations & ramblings of aimee heffernan
  2. life of laina
  3. the cudger chronicles
  4. the writer’s corner (and also what I ate today)
  5. the chattering crow
  6. to our survival
  7. words and a window seat
  8. my so-called life
  9. life according to me…
  10. bethletard
  11. marcus lane
  12. shanny’s life
  13. sometimes I write sentences

I wonder what other good blogs are out there I have never read. What am I missing out on?

I will not be in Brazil for the world cup

Four years ago, I made a remark that I would save up and go to Brazil for the World Cup.

I’m still here.

I’m not sad about this. Life is different. Four years ago, I was single. Four years ago, I was not a mom. Four years ago, I was playing a hundred soccer games a month because, well, it kept me busy.

So, are you excited for the World Cup? Do you even know which cup we’re talking about here?

It’s now been 20 years since the U.S. hosted. Twenty years since Roberto Baggio (Italy’s young hero), launched his PK sky high and lost the final game to Brazil. Twenty years since each of my siblings and I chose another country to cheer for because we knew that, really, the U.S. wasn’t going to win much. Twenty years since they thought soccer had finally arrived in the U.S. and promised to start a professional soccer league. Twenty years since we re-purposed NFL stadiums to host the Cup games. Twenty years since I began cheering for the Dutch team.

Do you remember the 1994 World Cup?

World Cups since then have been memorable in their own way. I never hinted at going to Korea in 2002. I was only 18 for France hosting in 1998. Germany hosted in 2006 and I thought, briefly, I might make that trip happen. I didn’t actually set up a savings specifically for my dream World Cup vacation, though. Perhaps in 32 years, I can talk about such things again. Perhaps in 32 years, they will pick a better host than Qatar (see video below).

Until then, I will likely have my World Cup standings to track online or on a piece of paper. When the women’s Cup was hosted in the US in 1999, I always carried the standings, printed up, in my back pocket. And then I went to that final and watched Brandi Chastain whip off her shirt when they won after penalty kicks. A few rows above me, President Clinton was cheering as well.

Will you watch any of the World Cup games this year? Will you cheer for the U.S. team?

When to worry

This is just to say:

It’s been a worrying kind of day here at work. I have to step back and analyze what type of problems are really within my circle of influence and therefore worth worrying about.

I’ll leave all the politics at the office and instead worry about what I should dig up for dinner for myself and Dominic tonight. It’s just so difficult when Nathan’s not around to cook for us: first world problem.

Happy Pi Day


Did you celebrate pi day?

I was teleworking so I thought it would be “fun” to use my lunch break and make a pie for 3.14.

Turns out, pie making is mighty work. The kind of work where you end up ghosted in flour by the time something is in the oven. As I was “baking” I thought about my past roommate, Ruth.

Ruth was one of my freshman roommates at BYU. There were six of us living together in the dorms, sharing one bathroom. You read that right: six women; one bathroom. Do your best to NOT think of the shower drain. Thankfully, these dorms included a kitchen so we fought over who didn’t clean up their dirty dishes. There were a number of roommate meetings over that and notes left taped to the wall. These are the memories that create life-long relationships.

Ruth was an excellent cook. We all decided it would be nice to eat Sundays dinner together and that if you cooked, you didn’t have to do dishes. I believe it was more like, “if you don’t help cook, you have to do the dishes.” Turns out, some roommates said that they’d rather do dishes than cook so Ruth and I often made Sunday dinner. I was usually on mashed potato duty and Ruth assigned me other tasks to help her. That was the first time I made a pie. Under Ruth’s tutelage, it was excellent.

Today’s pie was more of a struggle. But, I did take some pictures to show you (as seen above and more below). The pie is filled with apples and butter. Because I don’t have pastry cutter thingamajigs I just stuck the top on, cut a few holes, and forked around the edges to crimp it. Per the recipe, I painted it with egg wash then sprinkled cinnamon and sugar over the top.

Either the sugar on top or the oven was my downfall. Unless you prefer your pies to be toasty and black. Then it was a total success. The parts that weren’t black were still tasty.

Would you eat some? We have leftovers so come on over!