Personality Profile

There’s no real forgiveness on the internet


I couldn’t delete all traces of the post I accidentally published late last night (well, technically, early this morning). That’s how the internet rolls. You can’t delete things entirely. No matter how much you pray and cry and confess your sins and try to satisfy the demands of justice by doing anything anything in your power to erase them.

The internet doesn’t care.

I came home late last night from an indoor soccer game and while I was showering, had some ideas for a blog post. Once in bed, I used my phone to jot down what those ideas were. It was filled with typos (thanks autocorrect), and sentence fragments, and incomplete ideas. I told myself I would flesh it out the next day and create a real, legitimate post. The thing is, I don’t compose blog posts on my phone. Ever, really. Phones equate to stupid typos… like “in” instead of “on” and “out” instead of “our”. I hate that I have those errors constantly because I don’t review my phone texts and comments closely before hitting send.

Last night, I wanted to find the spot on my phone where I could click “save draft” for the post. I ended hitting “publish” instead. I’m so tech savvy.

I quickly deleted it from this site.

But then, there’s the auto publicizing that I’ve set up. My typoed post had also gone out to Facebook and Twitter, as well as email. For a moment, my heart paused its beating, but then I figured… oh well. I went and deleted the posts created on Facebook and Twitter.

For those of you who received my email… lucky you?

This is just to tell you that I still know how to spell words correctly; I can write in complete sentences; I can put together coherent ideas; and I didn’t go crazy at 1:00 a.m. last night.

Even if the internet doesn’t forgive, I’m sure you will!

You’ve never done something like this, right?

 

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My 2018 hashtag (better than a list of resolutions)


This year, my hashtag of choice is #becausehappiness. Instead of writing a list of resolutions, I’m going to learn about and share things related to happiness. I like this way of doing things. It works for me.

Granted, for my hashtag last year, #yearofbeautiful, I didn’t put together as many posts as I envisioned in January, but, hey! I made it through the year with it and that’s far better than most resolutions I’ve made.

I’ll go more in depth on my plan for this year below, but first, a brief tangent about resolutions.

Ann Cannon wrote her last Wednesday column for the SLTrib recently. She wrote about resolutions she wrote when she was ten. Ten-year-old Ann wrote a nice, short list:

  1. Be patient.
  2. Don’t talk on the telephone too long.
  3. Be nice to all my friends.
  4. Be a good student.
  5. Don’t show off like …name deleted.
  6. Don’t swear or spit.

Did you record any of your resolutions from when you were a kid? The first list I put down in a journal was when I was 12-years old. It is not a short list. It’s a list that, for some reason, is embarrassing for me to share with others, but whatevs. Here it is… my resolutions for the year 1993 and for my lifetime (because I came up with those, too). The actual journal entry is several pages. I turned it into a much-abbreviated list. You’re welcome.

1993:

  1. Read the Book of Mormon.
  2. Play another [piano] piece by [Edward MacDowell].
  3. Practice doing Keorver (sic) methods in [soccer] games.
  4. Write in journal monthly.
  5. Draw 50 Natey cartoons.
  6. Sculpt a head or body.
  7. Complete the Everglades.
  8. Find a penpal.
  9. Complete a photo album.
  10. Complete some Personal Progress thing.

Lifetime (as decided by 12-year-old me):

  1. Play the violin.
  2. Draw blueprints for my own house.
  3. Marry and have kids.
  4. Play piano in concert.
  5. Compose piano song.
  6. Design daughter’s room.
  7. Live to the year 2050.
  8. Have a real garden.
  9. Own a wildcat.
  10. Build a dollhouse.

Interesting lists, huh?

Okay, on to this year’s plan. I dub 2018 my year for #becausehappiness. I created a reading list. I’m really very talented at starting and not finishing books. I’ve given myself permission to substitute or ditch a book once I get into it. Some of these books, I’ve read before (partially or complete), others I only have a vague idea of the content. Have you read any?

I made a #becausehappiness reading list on Amazon if any of these pique your interest.

I also wrote up my little plan in my journal. As the year goes on, I may substitute for a different book. We’ll see how it goes. Today, I started reading Happier, which is a book-version of one of the most popular classes at Harvard. In other words, for January, I’m enrolled in a Harvard class (at a discount!). Anyone want to read it with me?

My #yearofbeautiful summarized


At the beginning of this year, I decided to have a theme instead of creating New Year’s Resolutions. I called it my #yearofbeautiful. This is my summation post of that year, in blogs. As children, work, and life have become busier, I let this blog slip and I didn’t post frequently. However, I feel like the posts I did publish were quality. For me. Whether anyone else found something beautiful in them, I don’t know. If you did, feel free to comment and tell me!

I organized my #yearofbeautiful into three areas: feeling competent, living authentically, and connecting with others.

Here are the highlights of posts and quotes and things I’ve learned this last year.

Competency

  1. Daily Habit Tracker
    I spent the month of September bullet journaling. It’s a trend, yo. It was fun. I had pretty pages. I took it with me to a seminar on sex and stress. My notes look cool. I also used it to create a one-page habit tracker for the month. What did I learn? I learned what things I never did once. One of those things? Go to bed by 11:00. … Set reasonable goals, people.

    “Maybe by the end, it will be a gradient going from blank to lots and lots of turquoise. Bring on the turquoise!”

Authenticity

  1. Smothered mother
    I started out by saying I was going to learn more about what it means to be authentic. Based on the number of posts, this was the area I liked learning about the most.

    “Motherhood is beautiful, but there’s more to me than raising two small kids.”

  2. The transcendent mom
    What makes work meaningful? This post grew out of an article by from MIT and I applied it to work as a parent, instead of an office job. I think it worked. It’s a post I could revisit often and remind myself of the meaningful mom job I do.

    “I’m The Mom. I do things. I do transcendent things. I rock.”

  3. 3 ways to live authentically
    Learning to feel accomplished and appreciated as a mom is a struggle. There’s not a regularly-scheduled performance review with my supervisor. This post shared three things I’ve learned that help me to feel like I matter as a mom in the midst of raising little kids: doing something for me, creating the world for my kids, and modeling my life after the life of the Savior. It’s good wisdom from a therapist, my husband, and a friend.

    “…make a good list of things to do where your kids can see you alive. My list includes writing, doodling, and playing the piano.”

  4. Grit
    After posting this, Grandma DeeDee wanted me to know that she learned her grit from her mother. I wrote about the gritty, Carlquist culture. I should have focused more so on the gritty, Rich culture. Sarah Ethel Rich taught my centenarian grandmother her grit. She made my baby blanket. I keep it as a treasure.

    “Understanding both grit and authenticity feels like understanding the entirety of an iceberg to me.”

Connection

  1. Family Narrative
    This post is a subject I’ve talked about often with friends; I even shared some of my personal takeaways in the setting of my ward Relief Society class, as a participant. Also, it includes a gif of my son. You can’t go wrong with an animated gif. Didn’t we learn that with Geocities sites in the 90s? I thought so! If you haven’t read any of my thoughts from this year, read this one! Do you know your family narrative? Do you have kids and if so, do they know theirs? Teach them. Learn yours. Be strong because of it.

    “If you want to create strong, lasting family relationships, develop a strong, lasting family narrative.”

  2. “How do you spend most of your time?”
    I am often looking for ways to be better at socializing because it’s not an easy thing for me, although I thrive off of the right social situations (book club, soccer team, game night, etc). This post shared this question, which is a better way to get to know somebody than asking, “So what do you do?”

    “I am awkward. It’s not a feeling. It’s a state. I am in the state of awkward.”

Finally, I’ll finish by quoting my husband who wrote this as a comment on my post at the beginning of this year.

“Who invented the comma splice rule anyway? Certainly not James Joyce, that man did whatever he felt like and got applauded for it; he was like the Florence Foster Jenkins of writing.”

And with that, my #yearofbeautiful is coming to a close.

daily habit tracker to feel more confident – #yearofbeautiful


daily-habit-tracker

It’s time to get back on track with my #yearofbeautiful initiative, and this time, I’m working on my goal of FEELING more confident. To do this, I wanted a visual that shows areas where I rock. It will also show areas where I am skipping out so I’m hoping that means if I’m not feeling confident, I’ll get an idea of areas where I could spend a little more time. The visual I drew up today is in my bullet journal (a recent trend in organizing your life and journaling based on this website): Larrie’s daily habit tracker. There are many versions online of something similar or with varying ways to draw it up. In fact, you can even hit up Etsy and purchase designs done by really professional folks. Mine is simply sketched in my little journal with a number of things that I’d like to work on for myself. You can see them all on my rad picture above. I know. So rad. My items fall into four categories:

  1. Personal health: yoga, sleep, water, less sugar, and exercise
  2. Spiritual health: gratitude (#3goodthings tweets), reading, prayers, and temple
  3. Work: monthly projects, freelance projects
  4. Fun: instagram posts, sending birthday cards, doodling, and piano (is that fun?!)

I’m hoping that by the end of the month, there will be a good amount of the squares filled in, but I’m not demanding it. Certainly, some of those items are not daily necessities, though some, I really would like to become such. Maybe, by the end, it will be a gradient going from blank to lots and lots of turquoise. Bring on the turquoise!

How it works (for those that would like a brief explanation):

  1. I have one page in my bullet journal dedicated to September’s daily habits and I’ve entered it on my index page.
  2. I have a list, going down the page, of the items from each of my four areas above.
  3. I have the numbers going across the page for each day of the month.
  4. Using a ruler (let’s look neat here, folks), I drew the outline of my grid.
  5. The dots in my journal create the rest of the grid.
  6. I fill in each square for the item I did on the corresponding day of the month.

What items would you put on your daily habits list? Would you feel motivated by something like this, or overwhelmed?

And as a reminder, here are the past thoughts and posts about my #yearofbeautiful efforts:

Writing, then forgetting, then finding it again…


I have found my own words, in writing, without memory of writing them.

The first time I can remember this happening was when I was first home from a summer of door-to-door sales. I opened up a tape recorder (because it was the year 2000, yo) to replace the batteries and found a tiny, folded note inside. It was my handwriting. I didn’t remember writing the note.

A few years later, I found a folded up note in my bedroom, tucked under my PC keyboard. I unfolded it to find a poem inside. It was my handwriting. I didn’t remember writing the poem.

This evening, I noticed that there was a draft sitting in my blog posts, unpublished.

“Hmm, what’s this?” I thought.

I opened it. I began reading.

Obviously, I can’t tell if it’s my handwriting, but as I have not given anybody else access nor told anyone the password to my blog dashboard, who else could be composing drafts in The Sciolist?

Was it you?!

Anyway, the draft post is below.

What do you make of it?

I don’t remember writing it. I don’t remember its purpose. It doesn’t seem to have a direction.

Have you ever had an experience like this (or perhaps, multiple experiences?!)?

Do you find record of your past self that you don’t recall?


“Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts, but they keep their butt in the chair. That’s the secretive way. That’s probably the main difference between you and them. They just do it. They do it by prearrangement with themselves. They do it as a debt of honor. They tell stories that come through them, one day at a time, little by little.”

“Just take it bird by bird.” (referencing her dad teaching her brother how to

“If you don’t know where to start, remember that every single thing that happened to you is yours and you get to tell it. If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

“You’re going to feel like hell if you wake up some day and you never wrote the stuff that is tugging at the sleeves of your heart: your stories, memories, visions, and songs; your truth, your version of things, in your own voice. That’s really all you have to offer us and that’s also why you were born.”

Families

Families are hard hard hard no matter how cherished and astonishing they may be.

In all cases that any of us, specifically, were conceived and born. Earth is forgiveness school. It begins with forgiving yourself and then you might as well start at the dinner table.

3 mom myths that fuel my “mommy guilt”


Fake news.

Do you see that phrase often enough these days? I think it’s an outcome of one of the biggest issues we face today: misinformation.

“Beware of the person who can’t be bothered by details,” said William Feather. (Cool name, huh? Bill Feather.)

I’m sure each industry is ripe with misconceptions that are upheld by emotions, personal beliefs, and misinformation. Well, I want to argue that the SAHM industry is also ripe with such misinformation. We don’t know (or care to know) the facts sometimes.

I totally did that with sleep. Initially, I read the baby sleep books, but do you know what happened? My kid did not cooperate with what the book said he should be doing. How rude! Eventually, I had to stop reading the books. I only wanted to read the books that told me exactly what I wanted to hear. If there are facts and statistics about raising kids, I only want to hear the ones that support the things I’m already doing. I only want to hear: “you’re doing this perfectly; you go girl.”

Even with my attempts to ignore literature about the things I don’t do for my kids, my own brain more than makes up for it. My brain likes to remind me of all of my short comings and when it does, I create “mommy guilt” about it. These are based off of emotions, personal belief, and misinformation, instead of something concrete.

With that in mind, here is my list of three things I’ve realized I create “mommy guilt” around. Sometimes, writing them down is good help, or at least good therapy!

  1. Other moms always like their kids. When I look out my windows over to the homes where I know other moms are spending time with their kids, I picture perfect little meals, clean kitchens, organized play rooms, and not-smelling-like-diapers garbage cans. Those moms love and adore every moment with their sweet, little kiddies. Every. Moment. Even the moments when they refuse to nap or they wake during the night for mysterious reasons or they have the worst poopy diaper two minutes before you need to get out the door for an appointment. When I am frustrated about the emotional ups and downs or dealing with a toddler and preschooler all day, I guilt myself for not looking past it all because these small human beings carry my genes. I guilt myself for not living up to the mythical images in my head of my perfect neighbors. I also wonder how in the world those neighbors get the stinky smell out of the diaper garbage cans! Seriously.
  2. Other moms spend a lot of times with their kids–on the floor, even. As I type this, Gabs is taking her nap and Dom is playing on his Kindle. By his self. He watches shows on that without me. He plays games on his own. He tells me about them and I sometimes listen. Do you know what’s happening in my mythical images of the other moms? They’re sitting with their sweet offspring while watching one single episode of Daniel Tiger and they’re talking about the messages of the show. Also, they’ve somehow managed to clean up lunch, put away toys, and fold laundry without taking away from any bonding time. Then, when that one show is over, they get down on the floor with their kids to build trains, pretend with dolls, read stories, draw pictures, and make messes (which will be cleaned up together in a really fun clean up game where the kid learns to pick up after themselves). None of those moms are trying to come up with games that will convince their kids to walk on their back (massage!) or pretend it’s mommy’s nap time, or just play on their own so I can go to the bathroom. Actually, I’m honestly not sure when those other moms use the potty. Probably after bedtime. And only then.
  3. Other moms have it all perfectly balanced. Both of my above points already touched on this part of the mythical image: other moms manage to scrub their bathrooms with bleach, keep the floor under the dining table swept and mopped, workout so they’re back to pre-baby weight, teach their kids discipline while also playing their favorite games with them, and get their own jobs done (whether it’s work or a hobby or church stuff). I, on the other hand, choose to ignore all of the other options on the list each time I focus on one item. For instance: as I write to get some work done, there are probably mountains of Ritz-crack crumbs piled under the table, rings as many and varied as Saturn developing within the toilet bowls, fat cells growing and expanding (but only around my waist!) within my body, and a tablet/screen is raising my kid. But I wrote some blog posts about cyber security and risk management! Oooo.

What would you put on your list? What misinformation do you feed yourself about the mythical perfect moms (or dads) living around you?

Here’s what I’m trying to do to fight the SAHM fake news in my head: recognize my own limitations.

Also, I have some pretty good tribes around for support.

I just asked Dom what game he’s playing on his tablet: chess.

Ha!

3 new things I’ve learned to live authentically


live-authentically

The second item on my #yearofbeautiful list is to live authentically.

Something that I did for that was for a life coach session with the fabulous Julie de Azevedo Hanks. I have an entire page of thoughts and notes from Skyping with her. If you want your own page of notes, I think you should chat with her, too. We had an excellent hour. From all of it, there is a gem that I would like to share with you.

Also, my session sparked conversations with both a good neighbor of mine and also my husband. I have something to share with you from each of those, as well. Ready? Here my three things I have to help me live authentically. As a mom and as a woman.

Do something every day where you feel alive

This came from Julie.

Kids need to see you alive.

I spend a lot of energy caring for my kids. It feels exhausting day in and day out. I lose myself in their demands. I often forget to do something so that ME, MOM, THE MOTHER, feels alive, in FRONT OF THEM. My kids notice when I’m frustrated, exhausted, running low, or short-tempered. So, of course, it makes sense that they will notice when I am feeling happy, accomplished, and ALIVE.

What do you love to do? What are you good at?

By answering those questions, you can make a good list of things to do where you kids can see you alive. My list includes writing, doodling, and playing the piano.

You create their world

This came from Nathan.

So many days it feels mundane to make meals and snacks, clean up after meals and snacks, go through the routine of trying to keep naptimes consistent, struggle through the bedtime routines, and do all of the in-between things like potty training, cleaning up ALL THE TOYS, and consistently discovering new walls, furniture, or lamp shades with Sharpie on them.

This matters, though. My kids feel safe. They feel secure.

Kids that don’t have stability in their lives are forced to live in survival mode. Nathan has seen this a lot working at many of the schools he’s been in. When kids live that way their brain is on hyper alert, their world is a scary place, and they cannot thrive.

At the end of MY  day, I may not feel like I’ve realized any quantifiable accomplishments, but if I’m able to step back and see the day-to-day stability and predictability through the eyes of my toddler and preschooler, then I can see the environment I am creating for them wherein they can be well-nourished.

Your service models the life of our Savior

This came from my neighbor, Nora.

On the morning of my life coaching session, I told her about how I was really looking forward to my appointment and what kinds of things I might talk about it. She told me that she really wanted to hear how it went and I said, deal. Later that day, she emailed me with some of her thoughts. One of these was on how similar the role of a mom is to the life of Jesus Christ. I had not thought of this before. Or at least, not in a concrete way, so reading her thoughts was a big a-ha moment for me.

The Savior cares of each one of us.

I care for each one of my children.

He fed the 5000.

I feed my family.

He washed the feet of His disciples.

I wash hands, faces, snotty noses, and bathe my children.

He healed the sick.

Just last week, I was up in the night with sick kids, holding them, giving them medicine, and praying for their health.

He taught constantly.

I teach my kids constantly.

He gave His life for each one of us.

In a small way, I give my life as I sacrifice my sleep, time, and energy.

So this month, I feel I am doing better at living authentically because I better understand my divine role as a mom, how I’m creating a safe and nurturing world for my kids, and that it is important for them to see me doing things that make me feel alive.

So what things would you put on your “I’m Alive!” list?