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Friday, June 15, 2012

A Most Wonderful Birthday

I didn't make very many plans for my birthday this year. I figured I would just go with the flow, fly by the seat of my pants, that sort of thing. And then it turned out to be one of my favorite birthdays yet.

I was on a spiritual high from going through the temple two days earlier, and the night before I got my hair cut and styled by my cousin Melanie - I love getting my hair cut by her, even when it takes six hours because my hair doesn't like to take color like it should. We watch movies and just laugh and laugh. And she and my cousin Heidi gave me my first official birthday present: a supere cute shirt and necklace. Those cousin girls of mine always have the best taste. My hair turned out really nicely, and I felt all new and special.

Then I went to work. Everyone at my work is SO NICE! They all wished me a happy birthday and sang to me and everything. Plus, I got called into the office of the head of my department, and...I got a promotion! What a birthday gift, right? (Leave aside the fact that now it makes my decision about grad school even harder to make) Really I'll be doing the same thing I was doing before, so no new responsibilities or anything, but I do get more money. That's awful nice. I am now a full-blown video editor - no more assistant!

My mummy, aunt Jorji, and cute cousins took me out to lunch at The Hungry Bear (inside the Quilted Bear store). They gave me cakes and gifts and wonderful things. And when I returned to work, on my desk were gifts from my coworkers: a bouquet of beautiful flowers, a box of cheddar bunnies, and - get this - a Captain America Lego set!!! Best coworkers ever, right?!? They know me too well. I built Captain America and his motorcycle and drove it around the office for the rest of the afternoon.

After work I drove to Provo to have dinner with Josh, then we headed back to the Springs for a small party with friends. I brought up all our old Legos and gave everyone half an hour to build anything they wanted. Then my dad judged the creations and we had three winners who got Lego mini figures as prizes. I have very creative friends. I know, it sounds like a 7 year old boy's party, but it was so fun! At least, I had fun. Hopefully everyone else did too.

All in all, a pretty awesome birthday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I went to the temple!

I feel like I was intellectually prepared for the temple. I knew enough about the covenants and the proceedings (thanks, in large part, to my mummy) to not feel anxious about those parts. I knew I was ready and worthy to go through the temple. What I was not prepared for was the personal doubt I would feel about the timing of my temple visit. Why now? That's what I kept asking myself. The idea that I couldn't go back once I had gone through made me anxious. What if I mess up later? With greater knowledge of the gospel and how I should be living, my mistakes and actions contrary to the gospel would be more serious. The higher on the ladder you climb, the farther there is to fall. I felt this unsettling fear about making promises in the temple that I doubted I could keep - doubting not based on past experience but based on future uncertainty.

I expressed my concerns to my mom, and she asked me this: "what do you do now when you make a mistake?"

"Repent," I answered simply. And therein lay the answer to my fears. I will be making big promises, yes, but haven't I already done that? With baptism and partaking of the sacrament each week? It's a greater commitment, but not one that is impossible to achieve or scary. I will be the same person after I go through the temple - and that person is a good person who is already living the way she should! Mostly. I mean, there's always stuff I can do better. Tons of stuff. But I am trying, and that's the important part. And the temple can help me get there. The pessimistic perfectionist in me was, as ever, telling me I couldn't do it. And she was right. Turns out that's why we have the Atonement. How grateful I am to know that!

Being in the temple with many of my family members was just wonderful. My mom was so happy to see us all there. I loved it, and I look forward to being able to return to visit the temple with my siblings who couldn't be there, as well as - God willing and stubbornness granting - my future husband. Because family, my friends, is what it is all about.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The past month

It's been about a month since I really posted, and here's why - the last four weeks were four weeks from hell.

I had ten videos due on Friday, May 18. These were hefty, hour-long videos of Utah classroom lessons. I honestly have a lot more respect for TV and movie editors now, especially TV editors. Turning out that much material that quickly? Crazy.

The weekend before they were due I took a wonderful trip to LA to see my brother Danny graduate from dental school - yay, Danny! Though the trip was tons of fun, it put me back a couple of days on my work. Then, as luck would have it, I caught the stomach flu and spent all Wednesday morning vomiting. Fun stuff. But I had to finish the videos, so I went in to work in the afternoon. Stupid, I know, but remember I'm the girl who has only ever gotten one B in my life. With the help of Jack, one of the other editors, and a really long Wednesday and Thursday at work, I had all of the videos ready by Friday morning - a miracle in itself. However, I had neglected to account for how long each would take to export (hey, I'm still a relatively inexperienced editor). Each program was going to take about 6 hours to export. So I was looking at 60+ hours of export time, and they needed to be done by 4:00 PM. It was completely my fault that I has underestimated the time it would take. I seriously almost passed out, i was so stressed and still reeling from my flu. I went out into my car and cried. I just felt so awful that we were going to miss the deadline. My wonderful co-workers calmed me down and some lent me their computers for the day - I had commandeered five by mid-morning and was exporting like a possessed fiend. But even with all the computers going, the videos wouldn't been done until Saturday morning. I sheepishly told my producer, and she talked to the client who then said he would be willing to pick them up Saturday - miracle of miracles! So Saturday morning I drove on down to work and delivered the videos. Then I went home and collapsed. Due to my diet of strictly oatmeal, the vomiting, and the stress, I lost 5 pounds that week.

Those videos were only the beginning. I had 12 - yes, 12 - more hour-long videos due the following Friday. Just five work days away. And I had not started on any of them. Insert panicked scream here. It felt like the worst finals week I have ever had. The worst part that it wasn't just me I was affecting - it was the entire company. Yikes. So I spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday pulling 12 hour days and exporting overnight. No more last minute exports this time. All I did was sleep and edit, and there wasn't much sleeping. I gained back all five ponds lost the previous week.

Thursday came and I felt pretty confident that, with Jack's help and a long day on Thursday, I would have them all done Friday. I mentioned this to my producer and she informed me that I needed them by Thursday...of the next week. Wow. I had a whole week left to finish the videos! I was actually even ahead! I wanted to laugh and cry, I was so happy. And actually I was frustrated too because I had spent all those long hours the days before. But mostly I was happy. Friday was a much more relaxed day, and I actually had a weekend. It was lovely.

I turned in the 12 videos on Thursday and asked for the day off on Friday because of all the extra hours I'd accumulated the week before. It was a good thing I stayed home on Friday too because I contracted a rather miserable cold. I would've preferred to spend my day off doing something more fun than lying in bed all day watching Alias (my new TV show I'm catching up on), but you take what you get. And I lost five ponds again with this latest illness. I've never been so sick so frequently in my life.

During these four weeks I was also trying to figure out loan stuff for school, register for classes (which I still haven't done and it's making me anxious), get back in shape, and prepare to go through the temple for my endowment. It's been a rough month. So I rewarded myself with an iPad, from which I am writing this post. Pretty great reward, I think. And yes, these weeks have been difficult. But seriously, my life is a cake walk compared to so many other people's lives. If all I have to worry about is meeting work deadlines and which classes to take, then I'm in pretty good shape. Sometimes it's hard to see that when you're in the midst of what feels like hell.