Sunday, May 31, 2009

Running and wisdom...

I decided that one of the reasons I like to write a blog is to expound on things that I might not otherwise write about. I like being able to look back at old entries and see what I was thinking back then.

Last night I went out for a run. I don't know why I wanted to run, I was actually pretty tired...I worked half a day at work, attended a wedding at the church, and then had done yard work until after the sun had gone to bed. After that, I went and made some copies and went to the grocery store with my wife. By the time I got home, it was nearly 11 pm. Instead of getting ready for bed, I undressed myself enough to go running (I say undressed because if you had any idea about how small my shorts were....I'll spare you any pictures here).

The moment my feet hit the pavement I knew why I was running. Sometimes things just feel so right. I started out running down a dark street with no signs of life on it. Most of the windows were dark and I felt like I was alone. Several points along the way I was by cars to honk at me and scare me, no people to look at me, no sun sapping me energy. It was just myself, the moon, and the pavement. The cool night air was fantastic! I closed my eyes and started counting every other step...1...2...3...4...I got up to 20 before realizing that I had almost run off the other side of the road. I didn't realize just how much my eyes help in running.

As I ran the stresses of my day just melted away. The sore back I had from yard work just loosened up, the stiff legs were gone. I tend to let my mind wander when I run, and come up with a lot of solutions that way. It's amazing how problems get solved when you take your conscious mind off of them. I finished my run, and was tempted to tack another few miles on because it felt so good. Times like these remind me why I run, and keep going back to it.

Running is sometimes the thing that takes the kinks out of my mental hose. Sometimes it is the thing that presents a huge challenge. There have been times when the next step seemed pretty tough, but taking a step beyond what you thought you could is amazing. I don't know if any of this makes sense, but I think that running makes me a better husband and father. If not for the mental health benefits, there are some just plain cardiovascular benefits I have been told. I love running, funny that it's taken me years to realize just how much I do. Running is the best.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Changes...and Mistakes

Well, it's been a while since I've made any entries on my blog. In my last post I mentioned that I might write about change being constant. It seems that when life gets comfortable and hasn't changed in a while, that is when you should look for change. Change can be uncomfortable, but it's really our best friend. Personally, I want to be a better person in the future than I am right now, I want to be experienced and well-rounded. None of those things can happen if I stay in a rut and don't change anything. I can't remember where I've heard it before, but the only difference between a rut and a grave is a few feet.

When last I commented on change, it was because I'd been in to visit my Stake President earlier in the week. He had extended the calling to serve in my ward's new bishopric as the second counselor. I was also experiencing some changes in my work environment. Where I had been on the same account for five and a half years, I was moving to a new account. These two changes both excited and scared me. The work change I wasn't too worried about, I figured I would get it under control with a little help from my friends (not any reference to the Beatles....just so you know). The change in my calling was a little bit more intimidating. In fact, when I first began serving in the bishopric it was the fourth calling I'd been in, in as many months. I was in the Elders quorum presidency, the assistant scoutmaster and deacons quorum adviser, and then the YM president.

On March 22 I was ordained a High Priest at the ripe old age of 28. Immediately after I attended the Draper Temple dedication, while waiting for it to start I started dozing, to which Nellie reminded me that I'd only been a HP for an hour and was not yet allowed to sleep in meetings. That made me laugh.

Since the changes have now settled a little, I feel like I can evaluate what has happened to me. To be honest, I really really love serving in the bishopric. I know many people who wouldn't admit that, but it's a wonderful calling. I'm grateful that I'm not the bishop, that is a job with a lot of blessings, but a lot of sacrifice also. I serve with two great men who are constantly teaching me, whether they realize it or not. I feel like I have gotten to see a lot of the very great things about the church and it's members. I feel like I have been granted opportunities to grow already, and I expect more growth as I accept more of a load on my shoulder. Life is great.

Now on to the mistakes portion of our entry:

Mistakes are funny things. If you are like me, you make a lot of them, again if you are like me, you probably aren't always able to laugh about them immediately. Let me tell you a tell of mistakes....count along with me if you will. About a month ago I sent my wife and kids down to Phoenix for my sister-in-law Katies wedding. Nellie, Scott and Eva flew down on Monday morning and I caught up with them flying in on Friday. Whenever Nellie is out of town I like to take on a project to keep myself out of trouble and I thought I would be able to take care of finishing the laundry room in that time span (mistake #1) The laundry room has these awful walnut colored cabinets straight out of the 70's, as well as some chipped up and missing tile (from a project I started before I realized it was stupid (mistake from the past, but still #2 if you're counting)) it also had an entire wall that was missing for the most part from when we moved in. Really, the laundry room was the last bastian of a lot of work to be done.

Nellie and I had been to a parade home several years ago, and saw this home that had bright candy-apple red cabinets in it. I thought it looked really sharp and so, I talked Janelle into letting me pursue this on our cabinets (mistake #3, I really should have listened when my wife was unsure). I spent some time picking out paint at Home Depot, afraid of getting something that was too red, and ended up looking like magenta, I picked out a color called Flame Red (mistake #4). On the chip it really looked like an orange, but I reasoned that across a larger area it would look just right red (#5). When they mixed the paint the small dot on the top of the can did nothing to make me feel any better about the color, but I proceeded (#6).

When I finally began spraying the cupboards with our paint gun, guess what? They really looked orange! Now I'm not talking some subdued tone, I'm talking Home Depot orange, or road sign orange...did you know nothing rhymes with orange? Instead of stopping, I continued (#7). (On the cupboards...long story short...Nellie had the great idea of rubbing a walnut stain on it and then off....darkened them up nicely, more burt-orange now and I actually like them...they seem to be growing on Nell).

On the other side of the room, I added sheetrock to the wall and then proceeded to mount an anchorless shelf above the washer and dryer (#8,9,'ll see). When I flew down to Phoenix, I had a half-finished laundry room. I'd laid the tile and it was fine, I'd fixed up the holes in the wall and it was paint ready, and the cupboards were finished for the most part. Now fast forward a month...

Yesterday, I moved the dryer in order to finish prepping the wall and to add a u bend in my drainage to the sewer. When I moved the dryer, I noticed mold growing in my new wall...just a little bit on the bottom. Concerned, I began cutting into my new wall. Along the way I nicked a wire that tripped the breaker and turned off my light (minor mistake...but #11 still). As I cut up into the wall...Nellie turned on the sink upstairs and I noticed more water dripping down. Finally I got up to where my shelf had been and guess what? I had drilled through it when I was hanging my shelve (#8) I'd also drilled not once, but twice through a pipe that carried exhaust upstairs and out the roof (#9 and 10). When I showed Nellie, she just laughed...and I laughed and then I got to work fixing it. Fortunately my father was willing to help me with my plumbing so a short trip to the harware store and everything is working just fine.

Before I get finished with my laundry room, I will probably find a way to make more mistakes, but the biggest mistake of all would be to get too serious. Life is funny, mistakes are goes on.

This is a long post, but that is what I've been up to...hope your life is great...I sure love mine!

right here? Oh that is mistake 8, 9, and 10