Like you've missed me...

6:35 PM Posted In Edit This 2 Comments »
I haven't blogged in FOREVER, meaning anyone who checks my blog has probably checked enough times without an update that they've probably given up on me. The truth is, I just haven't felt like there was anything blog about! Every time someone asks me the innocuous "what's up?" all I can say is "same old, same old." Boring! I'm aching for something new, but it's just not showing up. Tonight at the dinner table, my mom said "you know what your problem is? You haven't had a good long break." First, I didn't know I had a problem. Second, maybe that is my problem! I like my job well enough, but I find that I have more fun with my 2 hours a week side-job than I do with my real job. Is that bad? Luckily, some change is gon' come. My ultra intimidating regional director told me that this week I'm going to have an interview for a promotion that I'm hoping for. The woman's awesome, but anyone who watches over your work that closely is going to be scary. So that would be cool... I'd go from Behaviorist to Behavior Consultant, basically a position of more leadership, and instead of solely implementing behavior programs, I'd be helping to create them. Pretty cool.
I've also been thinking a lot about graduate school. I'm not positive as yet if the job I have now (which is awesome, and definitely has opportunities for advancement) is a life-job, though I guess nowadays that concept has all but vanished. Even if it is my calling and my end-point, I might still want to do graduate work to supplement what I've already done, for the sheer joy of learning. I'm interested in getting a Masters+Credential in education, or a Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis, or something along those lines. I just don't know what to do! And it can be very frustrating to have these big life decisions in front of me, and I'm just avoiding making them. Luckily I've missed grad school app deadlines for the fall, so I bought myself more time to mull over the possibilities. If only I didn't have to make big decisions ever again... but I know it's good for me. I'll figure it out.

Endurance and Invigoration

6:40 PM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »
About a month ago I started exercising to supplement my diet in my attempts to get healthier so I can live to see hover crafts replace cars. Or at least to a ripe old age like 80. It definitely started slow... It took some major mental strength to get out the door to have a leisurely walk with my dog down the street. Now I wake up at 5:30am on weekdays so that I can get my hour of exercise in before I have to shower and eat breakfast. As time has gone on, my workouts have gotten more and more intense, with more weight per repetition and higher speeds or inclines or resistances on cardio machines. Only on weekends can I make my workouts longer, and I often do. I've also started doing incidental workouts... I was at Universal Studios last night and a few of my friends and I decided to run up the stairs instead of take the escalator. This is a feat I never would have attempted or let alone have thought enticing a few weeks ago, but we ran up it and giggled at the top feeling each others' pulses and enjoying a rest before everyone else made it up on the escalator. I wanted to look up how many stories tall it is to brag, and I found out that the escalator we ran up is the second longest in the world.
The picture above shows less than a quarter of the whole escalator.
Anyway, that's the endurance segment of our program. To discuss invigoration, I've also noticed with my newfound physical fitness that I feel much more energetic and peppy on days that I work out in the guten morgan. On days that I don't, I feel lethargic and it takes a lot longer for me to become fully awake---I don't feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed until 9ish, as opposed to 6ish on days I work out. Furthermore, after a workout I feel ready to take on the world, ready to go. It's a great feeling.
Now there's a hidden agenda to my thoughts in this post, that is, to share some of my intensely personal and real feelings about the gospel. As I was sitting in church this morning contemplating the things of the soul, my mind made the connection between physical fitness and spiritual fitness. Just like I have made great strides in my cardiovascular and muscular endurance, so too have I come leaps and bounds in my spiritual endurance from where I was just a few months ago. I had a fabulous spiritual experience in July while mentoring teenage girls at a summer camp in Idaho away from technology and temptation that made me understand that one of the most important things for my salvation will be to read the Scriptures every day for the rest of my life. Now, I don't have a perfect track record, but my commitment to this goal has steadily increased and it's that much easier for me to crack open the good book every morning at 5:30 before I hop on the weight machine. I've also been given an assignment at church that makes it so that I'm in a church building for at least 5 hours every Sunday, sometimes up to 12. Today it was 10. At first I couldn't hack it, I'd skip some of my meetings to go home and take my Sunday nap, I'd complain, and I'd feel dead by the time I got home. Now I don't need that Sunday nap... I've been functioning just fine without it. And while it used to be hard to stay for my second and third meetings of the day, now I can make it to my sixth with no problem and I feel almost giddy throughout it all. Now, going to church is how it should be, and how it long has been for people much better than me--it energizes me and reboots my system for the week to come. I'm thrilled to be there, and I feel like I'm in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. With the increase in endurance came the increase in invigoration, just like with my physical fitness. There is no doubt in my mind that the gospel is true if that's the case. If it weren't, someone as imperfect and nap-loving as me would never make it through.
I know that the Lord loves us, I see it in countless ways everyday. From the children that I work with that are blessings from God, to the opportunities and mercy that I see in my life, there is no doubt in my mind that he is constantly aware of us and intricately involved, if we let him, in the inner-workings of our lives. I'm so grateful for that. Thank goodness for running shoes, and thank goodness for church pews.