Tag Archives: planning

Desired Chronicles from the Kitchen & Other Aspirations

Post-thunderstorm rainbow from the porch.

Post-thunderstorm rainbow from the porch.

I stopped writing.

It wasn’t so much that I was trying to get away or that I was too busy.  Had a lot more to do with being creeped out by who actually reads this and realization that the commentary that’s been running in my head as of late wasn’t appropriate for a public audience.  And since I didn’t know how to filter, I stopped.

But I also know that these posts are the best records I have of the best (and worst) memories.  I know that I’ve gone back to refer to them when something doesn’t make sense months, even years after the fact, and I’ve found that my old words hold a lot of truth in facts and stories that have had the been preserved without the filter of ex-post facto analysis.  Furthermore, I know that if I try writing them just for myself, as in unpublished, I simply won’t.

And so, curled on my bed last week, gripping my stomach over a very poorly prepared dinner, I thought about all my other bad cooking experiences, many of which are chronicled here.

This domestic failure (to clarify–it was really three failures, Monday’s dinner, Tuesday’s dinner, and Wednesday’s leftovers) mattered, and it mattered more than most.  It was the first time that I made a serious attempt at cooking and couldn’t, which was quite offensive because I’ve decided that now is the time to learn to excel in care taking.

In the last year, I’ve committed many Saturdays to grad school research.  I wasn’t usually making plans as much was I was filled to brim with hope and possibility and desperately looking for a direction to set my sails.  Of late, it’s occurred to me that a consequence of my incredible task-orientated behaviors (uhhrrmmm, extreme planning) is a little bit like Mario Kart.  In the game, when you hit the question mark box and get a red mushroom, you launch the power boost strategically, like when you’re neck-and-neck with Bowser and need just a little kick; I have to know where I’m going so I know when to peak, and this has repercussions for just about every area of my life.  It’s also why I plan.

So, I look back to that mid-fall day when I lived at Whaley’s house and stumbled across something intriguing on St. Andrew’s website and the moment it felt like a real possibility.  I remember discussing it in the car with Julie on the way to New London and everything that happened in the weeks afterward.

Come spring, I was pacing my new house with a bubbling idea in my stomach, caught in a frenzied prayer and with twenty fellowship/grant/scholarship tabs open on my Macbook.  They were all for American students pursuing postgraduate research degrees in the UK.  It was like planning classes, career, family, finances, and life purpose in a single simultaneous thought that’s so exciting I have to put it on hold for twenty minutes or so while I walk in circles.  I do this just so I can savor the synergy and excitement enough to focus on what it all means.

It was beautiful moment, but the St. Andrews day is not today, neither is teaching, blogging that is actually read, or publishing anything that is printed on real paper.  For now, those are just dreams, but they are all really just matured iterations of  things I care about and do now.

I’ll peak when the time’s right, and it will be glorious. But,in the meantime, I’m crossing my X’s, saving my dollars, and more importantly, drinking very deeply of the many lessons around me.  I mind the hows, whens, and wheres of communication, authority, and leadership.  I’m assessing the delegation and use of influence, and I like it.

It’s also why I’m learning to cook now.

Now, when I have no one to care for except myself and a roommate who never squabbles if the dishes are left in the sink a little longer than they should be.

Now, when no one will complain if I lose track of time and get home from work a little later than I should and when the relationships in my life are relatively simple and only as time-consuming as I let them be.

Because if I can’t learn to do it now, I’m not sure I ever will.


The Gilmore Affect

I’ve been spending a lot of contemplating the daunting mass of darkness that pretty much begins in May and appears to never goes away again.

Spain was incredible, so don’t even in the slightest read this to say that I didn’t treasure everything about my big European adventure and all the lovely people I met.  However, I can’t help but feel that I wasn’t, at least in some capacity, cheated out of the middle of what is my college experience.  See, I left a neck-deep-in-the-thick-of-it sophomore and I’m coming back an almost senior.  It all feels so over.

Comps essay idea wall

A few weeks ago, I was watching Gilmore Girls.  I started season two last July and finally, right after Christmas, I made it the final season, where Rory graduates from Yale.

For those unfamiliar with the show, Rory, the daughter of a single mother who ran away flying from her old money debutant lifestyle, has an intelligent, albeit incredibly quirky and socially-awkward friend, Paris.  Typically, Paris fills the foil of big personality sidekick that would be too much in the protagonist, but in a supporting role adds just enough comedy to the situation.  Point being, Paris is not the character you would model your life around.

When Rory and Paris return to Yale to wrap up their final year, there is a scene in there living room.  Paris has something like 8 gigantic whiteboards with everything they have to do before they graduate, broken up by categories (like job applications, fellowships, networking, final college experiences, etc) and color-coded (of course).  Beside each item in the lists there is a checkbox.

books, pdfs, and notes

The terrible part of all of this is when I watched this scene I didn’t just think this was a good idea, I found the scene strikingly similar to my room during comps last year.

The thoughts that ensue….”yes, that’s a great idea.  I just have to get organized again”……”I’m already organized”…”This is nuts”……….”Holy cow, seeing myself in Paris is probably an indication that I need to clear my mind”

I’ve been taking the latter part of that final statement to heart.  This is the longest break I get…ever.  From a couple days before Christmas to January 23, I’m free.  It is about as long as it could possibly get without making it practical to find a job.

And with a little space to think (and stockpiling a few hours of sleep for the upcoming semester,) it is truly amazing what all you can accomplish and just plain figure out.



Training for Someone Else’s Marathon

Because internships are only three months: My experience putting a system in place for someone ELSE to manage…

So I realized last night that I have exactly three weeks left in New York.  Three weeks to write every document I planned on having done by the end of the summer.  Three weeks to complete the mammoth database.  Three weeks to follow up with everyone I spoke with at General Conference and implement a contact system that is easy enough for Jeff to manage it once I’m gone (I ❤ and miss Raiser’s Edge).  Three weeks to put my masterful and mildly obsessive and detailed planning skills to work for someone else.

At this point, it still feels like I’ve done nothing, but I’m banking on it being the feeling you get before a test when all you can think about is everything you don’t know, instead of everything you do.

Up to this point its been all prep work, but now I’m to the point that I’m actually using the skills I’ve spent the last year and half studying and testing out on small scales .  Now, I’m actually doing development work, which is cool.  I think.  This is the first time I’ve used these skills for something that actually really counted for something with a long term goal in mind.