Friday, August 27, 2010

Planning to Start Over

Well this is the last weekend I have until school starts again. I luckily have been able to get most of the major things accomplished so far and hopefully, just doing that will help me organize things and be able to relax for the rest of it. It has been a great way to finish off the summer. I went golfing a couple of times with my dad, my brother, and family friends. I was able to spend time with my niece and the rest of my brother's family. Read about a half dozen books, almost finishing a series. It has been a great summer, both relaxing and a lot of fun. Still, I think it is good to have a plan and to set some goals for these upcoming semesters.

I have never really been a big fan of goals but who knows? Maybe if I actually work on these and look back at them from time to time I might be able to reach them. Start small and work bigger. And how else am I supposed to know if I am being successful if there is nothing to measure my success against. So if I am going to be starting over, I might as well have a plan.

1. I figure the most important thing is my health. If you don't have that, then really what do you have? So I am making a goal to not only keep track of it but find a way to send any information that my doctors may require to them. Plus, I think it would be good if I set up some sort of exercise routine. Running is always good but I need to work my upper body and core more. So physically I am going to clean up my act and set better exercise habits.

2. Spiritually, I need to do a couple of things. I need to improve my temple attendance. I live in Utah now for heaven's sake. How hard could it be? Twice a month shouldn't be too hard. I also need to work on developing a habit of steady daily scripture reading and study. I think if I am able to do this, a lot of things would naturally begin to fall in place. If I am spiritually and physically balanced, I will be at the top of my game.

3. I need to make sure that school is a priority. I worked my tail off this summer so I wouldn't have to work during the semester and could concentrate fully on my studies. If this is to be something measurable, then what I am going to shoot for is that by next semester I will have applied for and have been given an academic scholarship. I had one as a Freshman and then I just forgot to reapply after I got back from my mission. I should get on that again.

4. When it comes to my family, I am going to miss them a lot and even though I consider myself pretty well connected and I feel like I talk to them a lot, I need to do better. I need to be consistent. I need to call not just my mother often but my dad too... just to talk, ask for advice, tell them I love and appreciate them, etc. I need to skype weekly on Sundays. I will also try to figure out a way to squeeze my grandparents in there too (phone call, message once in a while).

5. Lastly, I am not going to focus so much on dating. And by dating I mean trying to find or form a relationship. I need solid friendships first. I need to meet people, try to be natural, and just make the best of everything, and just have fun. I don't need to put pressure on myself because when I do, everyone notices. I need to be patient and just slow down. So this semester, the goal is friends... next semester, well we will see where we are when we get there and then who knows? Goals are meant to be flexible, right?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Beautiful Mind

"What truly is logic? Who decides reason? My quest has taken me to the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional, and back. I have made the most important discovery of my career - the most important discovery of my life. It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reason can be found. I am only here tonight because of you. You are the only reason I am. You are all my reasons. Thank you."

I wish I knew a girl like this... Still waiting. Amazing story that shows that love conquers all and that if you believe something, it can become real. You can overcome anything if you put your mind to it. I just wish that I met someone patient enough to see what I have to offer, someone that excites me and appreciates me as much as I can them, and if I ever meet this girl, I hope I will recognize her and have the courage to pursue her enough that she will open up and give me that one shot that I have been hoping for. It is one thing to have a beautiful mind, but I believe the best thing I have to offer is my heart.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Stage for the Imagination

For once in a really long time, I have been able to start relaxing in my long busy summer. And go figure but when I find free time and my family is off doing a thousand things... I read. I have read three books so far this summer and each and every one of them has been fantastic. I have to recommend them! The first two were The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. The Screwtape Letters presents a perspective on humanity through the communication between one man's guardian devil and that devil's experienced uncle, Screwtape. Yes, I said guardian devil. This short read presents the vices of the world and many of the reasons why we may forget who we are and this moment in eternity which we call life. Amazing book and an especially creative and unique viewpoint for sure.

Mere Christianity is equally interesting. I didn't know what to expect when I opened it up, I had heard of it before, and I was curious especially because of the title. What I found was that this book followed the logic and reasoning behind one man's journey from atheism to discovering the truths and doctrines within Christianity. This man being none other than C. S. Lewis himself. Fabulously written and it really opens a window to the mind of this amazingly persuasive writer.

The last book I read, I had actually heard before. Our family likes to travel and visit family and when I was younger we went on cross country drives-camping trips to the Mountain West from the East Coast. In any case, our family would read book series in the car or at night. After this long introduction, Gerald N. Lund's Kingdom and the Crown Series starts with the fantastic historical fiction novel, The Fishers of Men. This story introduces a few fictional families that lived during the time of Jesus Christ in the Galilee and in the Jerusalem area. It portrays a wide variety of characters their interactions and struggles as they hear and follow the ministry of the Savior. It brings to life the political, religious, and social strife of the time and for me was like reliving and watching these people find strength beyond their own as their hearts are changed while they come to know the Savior of the world.

Books are so much better than movies. I had almost forgotten the power of the imagination. In a film, you watch the emotion and drama and excitement unfold before your eyes. In a story, your mind opens up to all new possibilities. You create the look of the character, the way they walk, interact, move, but now you can even look inside them. You hear their thoughts, touch the feelings in their heart, and almost become a part of them, connecting to their conflicts with the ones that you yourself have experienced.

It enlightens and stretches your mind, opens you up to new ways of thinking, and as you fall in love with the characters good and bad, you find them in your own life and sometimes even within you. There really is nothing that is much better than a great book. It can become the stage for the wiles of your imagination.