Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Time passing

I've always loved starting new months. Even February isn't so bad for the first few days. It's rejuvenating to clear my whiteboard calendar and write in new stuff, delete all my texts, and pay the last of my bills. Flipping to a new pretty picture on my three calendars every month is another special treat.

But I have to wonder what is so celebratory about time passing, especially when I'm not counting down to a significant life event or trying to get through a rough patch. Is it the New Years-esque clean slate feeling? Is it the changing seasons? Is it the knowledge that I'm older and wiser than I was last month? Satisfaction that I'm one month closer to the high point of my life (whatever that is)?

I think it's a mixture of all of the above, in addition to one of modernity's mantras: I'm In a Hurry and Don't Know Why. We're all trying to get somewhere--passing time makes us feel like we're making progress. Unless, of course, you're stuck--then it just feels like time is passing you by.

I don't know if it's the cooler weather and changing leaves, the anticipation of a football/holiday weekend and a three-week break from school, Harry Potter warm fuzzies, or simply the eve of one of my favorite months of the year. Today I am content to celebrate time: the past, which I can look back on and grimace or smile; the present, where I can live fully in the moment; and the future, where I store my dreams.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

When it rains

I'm a firm believer that when inclement weather arrives on the scene, 95 percent of the time it doesn't foil your plans; it simply, shall we say, enhances the experience.

Yesterday was my company's summer party. One of my co-workers has been planning this event all month. That morning it was cloudy and 10 degrees cooler than the day before, but we moved forward with our plans nonetheless. 

At 11:00 a.m. the marketing team arrived at Big Cottonwood Park ladened down with raw meat, condiments, bags of ice, cake, coolers, and drinks. The wind was blowing approximately 50,000 miles an hour, so we anchored anything that weighed less than five pounds down with pickle jars, drinks, and plates of watermelon. Our hair blew in thousands of different directions at once, clothes threatened to part from our bodies, and the letter A on our ChartLogic cake peeled off.

But the rest of the employees arrived anyway, and became very adept at crouching over their plates while they ate to prevent the wind from whipping their burgers, chips, and cake balls away. Piling our plates with food was difficult, as we no longer had the option of putting our plates down while we loaded up. More than one of us upended our feasts that way.

Phase two of the event was a company kickball game. We were prepared to play despite the wind, but by the time everyone made it to the field the wind had finally died down. 

In its place was a light drizzle.

We divided into four teams. As the hour wore on, the rain got heavier and heavier, but the battle for 1st place only got more intense. It didn't matter that the ball was hard to catch because it was so slippery. It didn't matter that injuries were more likely due to the wet grass. We played on, and by the time the winning team put my team out of our misery (they scored at least 12 runs in the last inning), we were all thoroughly damp.

And thus I fulfilled one of my lifelong dreams; playing sports in the rain with no shoes on. Softball games are usually canceled the minute a blip of lightning appears 50 miles away, and most umpires require that athletes wear proper footwear for their own safety. But yesterday there was no thunder, no lightning, and no umpires. And, it turns out, it's kind of hard to kick with flip flops on, so I was one of four who played barefoot in the warm, summer rain.

In short, it was awesome.

Most of us returned to the office wet, exhausted, and frizzy-haired. But I would gladly relive that experience.

And today, I went grocery shopping right before the big rainstorm hit. As the cashier was ringing up my items, I watched in awe as floods of thick raindrops came pelting down on unprepared victims. I pulled out my Utah Jazz umbrella as I exited the store and walked calmly along to my car. Despite my attempts to keep both my hair and my groceries dry, each bag had taken in a lot of water by the time I finally got them in the car. My hair was still mostly dry, but my pants were making delightful galoshing noises as I put my cart away.

I felt like I had just climbed out of a swimming pool when I finally entered the welcoming arms of my apartment. I threw my clothes in the dryer, put pajamas on, and mopped up the puddles I had tracked in. I now have a full evening of Harry Potter, hot chocolate, and freshly dried clothes to look forward to.

Neither of these experiences would have made it to my blog if it had been a typical sunny, summer weekend. But when it rains, life becomes much more blog worthy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

To the extroverts

Dear extrovert,

First off, I want you to know that I admire, and often envy, your ability to instantly make friends, shine in the spotlight, and make decisions on the spot. You're a pretty great person, actually, and I'm glad to have you in my life.

But I believe your knowledge regarding the inner workings of an introvert's mind is sorely lacking. This is not entirely your fault--you've been raised in an extroverted world that values being heard over being introspective, being friendly over being shy.

It is not my intention to lecture you on a centuries-long prejudice. But perhaps if you give me a few minutes of your time I can help you understand a significant portion of the human race a little better, and then maybe we'll be able to talk about something more interesting than my nonverbal habits.

An introvert is someone who re-energizes by being alone or meditating on various life happenings. Trust me, there's no need to look so concerned when I tell you that I spent my Friday night cuddling with a book instead of a human being. I may accept an invitation to a party every now and then, but if I decline please don't take offense. I often prefer my own company over that of others, but it's nothing personal. And please don't worry about my well-being the day after a party; I may be exhausted, but I'll recover. Eventually.

Introverts are often erroneously pegged as moody or depressed, probably because of the expression created by relaxed facial muscles. This is one of those situations where you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Facial expressions are unreliable personality meters, regardless of your genetic wiring.

And finally, introverts are silent because they preserve their vocal chords for opportune moments when they have something useful to say. They are not judging you, they do not think they are better than you, and they are not smarter than you (though you have our permission to assume this anyway). I should warn you, though, that stupid questions will be answered with scowls, glares, and excessive eye rolling. "Why don't you talk?" and "Have you ever had a conversation with anyone?" qualify as stupid questions. I, for one, have decided to stop trying to politely answer idiotic questions like these, and wholeheartedly believe that you deserve whatever damage is caused by my death glare.

As a common courtesy, I don't try to make you feel like a freak whenever you project yourself on everyone around you. I would appreciate the same treatment from you whenever I draw inward.


An introvert

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Carter Family Quote Board, 2009-2013

Every household should have a quote board. It took my family four years to fill ours up completely, but it has brought us many laughs. Just in case our quote board gets lost somehow, I thought I would preserve the essence of it in a more permanent form. Enjoy!

"You used to knew . . . phtb . . ." --Mom

"I only like to say hello to people when I know they can't hear me." --Angie

"I lost my train . . ." --Shannan

"This movie is rated PG for mild peril. By the way, what's peril?" --Tyrel

"You're sucking a dead dragon?" --Tyrel

"At my house there's nothing entertaining to eat." --Tiffany

"People don't just subconsciously start vibrating." --Kimberly

"I thought you said you were sleepy." --Tyrel
"Me . . ." --Mom

"Darrin made me tell me . . . huh?" --Mom

"I was just talking out loud." --Mom

"Ow, my foot hurts! I mean, my knee!" Kimberly

"I pretty much decided, that what I like most about building stuff . . . is the building part." --Tyrel

"I can't finish my game until it's done!" --Angie

"Machine gun . . . darn it." --Tyrel

"My armpit smells nice." --Kimberly

"Those people have noses!" --Tyrel

"Everyone is James in the end." --Kimberly

"I'm just a good dog." --Shannan

"Keep your butt away from me." --Kimberly

"Where's my liver!?!" --Shannan

"Hey! We don't want anyone breaking in on us while we're gone!" --Dad

"If it were between running around naked and being nice to the cat, we'd have to run around naked." --Bishop Searle

"I'm simpler than you." --Shannan

"I dissed myself with bad grammar." --Shannan

"It's a guy and they're both fat." --Tyrel

"KISS ME!" --Angie

"Listen to your little sister. She is wise." --Dad

"I'm clueless to when I'm unaware of what's going on." --Tiffany

"I'm funny! I love myself." --Tyrel

"All I need to do is double my score and I'll beat you." --Jeremy S.

"Because you left the lie, Jughead!" --Dad

"Well, when life is boring you should definitely film it." --Kimberly

"I'm almost positive I was still pregnant with Mom." --Tyrel

"When I sleep, I twitch and moan and groan, and I wake up and my shirt's gone." --Tyrel

"It even has theoretical trailers!" --Tyrel

"Men are that women might be." --Tyrel

"Well, his Mom's dead, but his isn't." --Shannan

"The throught cost my mind." --Tyrel

"Does anyone want a diagram of the ear--I mean, heart?" --Angie

"Wise man must inspirate." --Tyrel

"Are those tator tots?" --Tyrel (looking at Shannan's croutons)

"It feels good to have a wet butt at the end of a long day." --Tyrel

"You know, old gum tastes kind of like pickles." --Angie

"I thought two-dollar bills were extinct." --Tyrel

"He must have been a 10-year-old super genius when he was 12." --Tyrel

"Why does it say 'Good luck' on your behind?" --Tyrel

"No way." --Jeremy S.

"Hey, now's the best time for a nap . . . I want some chocolate." --Mom

"Oh my goodness, you do have five toes! Where did you get those?" --Mom
"From Santa Claus." --Tenashious

"What about the Carter man? Who has the profound ability to scare people to death with just his face." --Tyrel

"Normally I don't put my head this close to people's butts." --Kimberly

"But if you really hold me tight--I must pee first." --Angie

"It's kind of dumb that this pizza crust comes in a square and it's supposed to be round." --Angie
"Yes, I agree that that is round." --Kimberly


"I don't think Jeremy (B.) should take you home." --Mom
"Well, normally he just takes me to the hospital." --Kimberly

"My daughters the carnivores." --Dad
"And your son the spinosaurus." --Tyrel

"It's Hiroshima."
"Who's she?" --Tyrel

"My sandwich tastes like a hot Italian day in Mexico." --Jeremy B.

"I like your lips. They match your eyes." --Mom

"I'm going to relinquish the compressive powers I have over my containments." --Jeremy B.

"I have a leg hair. It's really long because I haven't shaved in two hours--I mean two days--I mean two weeks!"  --Kimberly

"We'll probably just hang it and screw it up." --Dad

"Whoa, my butt." --Mom

"I'm worried that he might be a drug lord." --Tyrel

"What is your occupancy? I mean, occupation?" --Tyrel

(Talking about Dad) "I want my presence!" --Mom

"I thought it was a purse. I think it was a car though." --Shannan

"Look, we got two loaves of eggs!"
"Marilee gave us two gallons of--oh my gosh!" --Kimberly

"Cool! It's a butt zipper!" --Jeremy B.

"She'd need a ladder or a jet pack or something." --Tyrel (speaking of Kimberly reaching a DVD player on the ceiling)

"Can I have your ticket? I ate mine." --Tyrel

"We wouldn't have to pop as many pills if we had some that were a little stronger." --Dad

"For my birthday, I want a cool copy of the complete works of Jane Austen." --Shannan
"Well, I want disintegration rays and Plasma cannons." --Tyrel

"I've officially decided that family prayer gives me gas." --Shannan

"My hair smells like puke." --Mom

"I don't know who you are, but you're about to have lunch!" --Shannan

"Gas: A creative burst of energy." --Shannan

"If I can get the beam bright enough, I can almost see it." --Tyrel

(Pointing at a tiny lizard) "It's a bug of some kind!" --Angie

"We're going to have lunch before we can eat the movie." --Dad

"I want to die of old age, or in an explosion." --Tyrel

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

That pesky high school dream

I haven't been a high school student for seven years, but that hasn't stopped me from visiting Payson High School in my dreams over and over again. Last night was another frustrating sequence of trying to remember what my first class was and trying to get to choir on time so Mr. Dahlquist wouldn't give me a negative.

It's not uncommon for me to dream about something over and over again--Domino's Pizza and Harry Potter are just a few examples of that. It makes total sense to me why I would dream about those things. But I don't understand why I keep going back to high school. And each time I dream about high school I get more irritated.

So I decided to do a little bit of Googling and see what the "experts" have to say about dreams. I found three different websites that have the same but different interpretation for dreams about high school.

Website #1
To dream about high school refers to the bonds and friendships that you made while you were in high school. What spiritual lessons have you learned? The dream may also be telling you that you need to start preparing for the real world.
I can't remember when I first started dreaming about high school, but I'm prepared to bet that it was after a few semesters of college. This was about the time that I declared my major and spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do with my life career wise. The last five years of my life have been dedicated to preparing for the real world, really, so that last statement makes a lot of sense to me.

Website #2
To dream of being in high school represents anxiety or concerns you have in regards to gaining power, resources, or status. How well you are being perceived by others or how well you are performing in life. You want more responsibility, status, or to feel more capable. You are trying to improve yourself in some manner.
High school points to insecurities, or anxieties about how powerful or capable you feel as a person.
Attending specific classes in a school may represent the manner in which you are thinking. For example, history classes may reflect the reexamining of your past and math classes your attempts to solve a difficult problem.
So, lots of doubt going on here.

*Sits and thinks*

Okay, this interpretation makes sense to me too. I don't consider myself an insecure person, but I am a young adult trying to find her place in the world. Which means I spend a lot of time being confused. I still don't consider myself a full-fledged adult, so maybe my repeating high school dreams reflect the anxiety I experience as I try to figure out how to be an adult. And I do want more responsibility and to feel more capable of tackling life. What I'd like to know is if other young adults dream about high school as often as I do.

As for classes, I've only ever dreamed about choir, English, math, and band. It's obvious why I dream about choir--it's the only part of high school that I actually miss sometimes. English is pretty self-explanatory as well. What fascinates me is that I dream about math, of all things. I haven't taken a math class since high school, ironically. It could be some repressed fear I have about my math skills regressing to that of an 8th grader, or it could be my subconscious's way of showing that I'm trying to solve a difficult problem. I'm going to have to start paying more attention to when I dream about math.

Website #3
High school represents a turning point in life. It is a time when one meets lifetime friends, commits silly mistakes, and shared hopes and dreams. A mixture of emotions, expectations, and memories gushes out from the thought of high school.
To dream about high school refers to lessons learned and preparations made for life.
This blog has become a mechanism for me to share life lessons. I talk about life lessons more than anything else. Maybe dreaming about high school actually means I'm progressing rather than being stuck in the past or unable to overcome old fears.

I think I feel a little better about this whole situation now. I was starting to think that my high school dreams meant that I had unresolved issues with my past or something, and that I wouldn't be able to move on until I touched base with everyone in my class or something. If nothing else, it's nice to be reminded that dreams are often symbolic, not literal.