Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dream diary: Part 3

Do you ever get excited to go to sleep so you can find out what your next dream will be about? I do.

Jews and Nazis
The Nazis have taken over America and they will arrest you if you so much as look at a Jew. I let a Jew cut my hair because she was desperate (for money, I think, but I don't remember paying her), and eventually I got caught. My punishment was to have my birthdate tattooed on my arm and to be deprived of my walks for five years. Oh, and I had to go back to Domino's, of course, and Dad had to chaperone me on all of my deliveries. Which means he got all the tips.

Personal Revelation
A girl in my ward went to the temple with some heavy questions, and this is the answer she got: 8:17. Later that night, at exactly 8:17 p.m., a mysterious stranger (I think it was one of my uncles) told her to eat pasta. All of her problems were solved.

Once Upon a Family Reunion
I'm at a family reunion, only everyone is a fairy tale character, and none of us are actually related. (I never said my dreams made sense.) I think I was Belle, because Rumplestilkson Rumplestiltskin Rumple was always after me. Everyone was watching The Wizard of Oz in a room full of green food.

An Adventure with Brandon Sanderson
I was assigned to complete a super-secret quest, and who better to be my partner in crime than Brandon Sanderson? Although he didn't look like himself at all—he looked more like . . . the kind of guy who would star in a Hollywood adventure-quest movie. Our mission was to find an object hidden on a hill like the one Pacha lives on in The Emperor's New Groove. Magical guns and police-like fairies were involved. And I wanted to slide to the bottom of the hill on a mattress, like we used to slide down the stairs on boxes as kids. No idea if we completed our mission or not—stupid alarm clock.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My golf journey takes an unexpected turn

Usually when I'm offered something for free, I accept it.

Even if it's a 30-minute golf lesson. (With a PGA golf pro, might I add. The company I work for is cool like that.)

When I told my dad what I was doing, he took it upon himself to warn me about what was ahead:

"You do realize that you might like it right? Are you willing to take that risk?"

I laughed it off. I had more important things to worry about, like finding the driving range and not breaking the clubs a nice stranger graciously allowed me to use.

After a couple of lucky coincidences, I arrived at the driving range for my lesson, only five minutes late. My teacher handed me a lady-sized club, which meant it was too short. This was a bit of a relief, though, as using a too-short golf club drastically reduces the chances that you'll accidentally pound the club into the ground and snap it in half.

I was ready to begin. It was pleasantly warm, if a little windy, and I was surrounded by grass and sunlight, about to play a sport during work hours.

Maybe my dad had a point.

It was a very productive lesson. Since I started at the I've-only-been-golfing-once-in-my-entire-life-because-my-dad-never-took-me-golfing-when-I-was-a-kid level, I had lots to learn. My teacher recorded my swings and replayed some of them for instructional purposes. I've watched enough golf, unfortunately, to be able to recognize when someone knows what they're doing. My first few swings were pathetically wimpy, but by the end I could detect a little bit of athletic grace in my stance and swing.

And boy, did it feel cool when the ball actually moved more than a couple yards.

That's when my thoughts entered dangerous territory.

Maybe I'll start coming to the golf course on Saturday mornings to work on my technique. 

Are you seriously considering giving up your Saturday mornings for golf?

I think if I was good at this it would be a fair trade. Besides, Lorie says I'm a natural.

You don't even have your own clubs, freak.

Maybe I'll ask Santa to take care of that for me.

Only then did I realize what was happening: I was trying to figure out a way to incorporate golf into my life. Because it's—oh heck, I'll just say it—fun.

I tried to deny it the moment I made the admission. But let's look at it logically. Golf is a sport. I like sports. Guys like golf. I like guys.

I'm in.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The sad thing about spring/summer

Contrary to popular belief, spring and summer don't mean warmth.

Not if you work in an office all day.

We live in a world full of useful conveniences like smartphones and wi-fi and Netflix and thousands of other little trinkets (virtual or otherwise) that make our modern lifestyle so great. But the corporate world has yet to figure out how to combat the rising temperatures outside without overcompensating and freezing its residents for several months.

I recently packed away all of my sweaters to give my lighter apparel some breathing room. I haven't touched my boots for weeks. But here I am, wishing I had worn a turtleneck and boots instead of a short-sleeved shirt and sandals.

It's May 15, guys. It's just not right to be thinking about sweaters and suffocating footwear during this time of year. I shouldn't have to worry about cold fingers and whether I'm wearing enough layers.

Winter is over; all anyone wants right now is to be warm.

So today during lunch I am going to take my jacket off, get in my car, park it in the sun, and soak in the saturated warmth for an hour. It may not be enough warmth to protect me from the rest of my afternoon, but at least for a short while, I will be wonderfully thawed.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The trick to being happily introverted: Know your limits

Since I finished school, I've had two main goals: (1) enjoy not being busy and (2) have fun. (Pretty great goals, right? Lots of potential for growth here.)

And by "have fun" I don't just mean watching reruns or resurrecting old projects or reading through an entire library—I'm talking about the "get out into the world" type fun. Unfortunately, when you're an introvert, this kind of fun is often more work than it is play.

All those high school stomps I went to in an attempt to have a social life? Work. Reluctant appearances at ward activities? Work. To exacerbate the problem, I've also wasted many a Friday night feeling guilty for passing on possibly memorable social experiences to hide in my room.

Sometimes I was hiding out of fear, yes, but sometimes I was hiding because I needed to be alone. Period.

After years of lofty goals, predictable failures, and mini triumphs, I think I've finally figured out what my limits are: 1–2 non-routine social activities a week. If I can meet that quota, I know I can happily skip out on other things and allow myself to recharge, guilt-free.

For example, earlier this week I was debating whether I should go to FHE. I knew I had a bridal shower and a wedding to go to later in the week, so I ceased the I-must-force-myself-to-go-to-this mind game immediately and enjoyed a lovely evening at home instead. Not only did I conserve energy by staying home, but I also conserved energy by not torturing myself with an endless pro/con list regarding the significance of going to this one activity.

I've been a much happier introvert since I figured this out. There's been much less internal turmoil over my own shortcomings and much more effective use of my energy. Sure, I'm still fully capable of working on those shortcomings, but I have a much better feel for when I should push myself and when I should just let myself be.

An introvert who abides by his or her limits as much as possible = a happy introvert.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dream diary: Part 2

It's been an exciting few weeks, dreamwise. None of these will make my Most Awesome Dreams Ever list, but they're worth sharing.

The Case of the Shrinking Shoes
Okay, this is actually the most mundane dream I've ever had. All night, I dreamed that I was loading and unloading the dishwasher and trying on shoes. The only interesting part is that the shoes kept shrinking and expanding.

The Japanese Spy
We're about to leave for our vacation when Dad announces that a Japanese spy will be accompanying us. Mom and Dad are deeply concerned that we will be offended by her immodest outfit, but all I care about is the fact that the spy is requiring us to wear masks (masquerade ball type masks) for the entire trip. And apparently, Dad's plan is to drive me, Mom, and Kimberly to California, drop us off, and then turn around to pick up Tyrel. I was trying to explain to him the idiocy of this plan when I woke up.

The Moral Dilemma
I wish I could remember the specifics of this dream, but basically I was on this epic moral quest and old guys kept trying to get me to stray off the strait and narrow. But I CHOSE THE RIGHT. To be honest, I think it would have been a much more interesting dream if I had succumbed to evil temptations.

Domino's, Again
I'm checking my schedule at Domino's, confused for the 547th time as to why I'm still working there, and I notice that my manager has scheduled me to close the next day. In Indianapolis. (Which was in Ohio, for some reason.) I'm supposed to open in Payson the next day, and I'm only allowed to travel by boat. So I sail to Ohio and work for a couple hours, narrowly escape a knife murderer, and then head back to Payson. When I walk in the store, my manager tells me it was just an April Fool's joke. I was still mad about it a couple hours after I woke up.

Feast of Plenty
The night before Fast Sunday, I dreamed about drinking orange juice and eating brownies. Rude.