Thursday, September 16, 2010

Things I procrastinated today

Things I procrastinated today:
  1. Waking up (snooze, baby)
  2. Getting up
  3. Leaving for work
  4. Doing my job ... I put off a simple number check ALL DAY LONG
  5. Eating lunch
  6. Answering e-mails -- also avoided all day long
  7. Calling about an apartment -- which is crazy because I'm sleeping on a HIDE-A-BED
  8. Deciding whether to go to happy hour. I decided AS PEOPLE WERE LEAVING.  (I went.)
  9. Reading about how to stop procrastinating
  10. Blogging
  11. Going to bed

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunrise, sunset

My summer is now a nearly perfect palindrome: Russia sandwiched between trips to Utah and the Outer Banks on the front end, and trips to Utah and the Outer Banks on the other end.

Beach highlights: Watching the sun rise, watching it set.

(Am I getting old? Who says things like that? In my defense, I also helped bury C. in the sand, played Frisbee and ate fresh shrimp. And it was FUN. I never, ever want to go back to work.)

(But seriously, have you ever watched an entire sunrise or sunset? Like, start to finish, all 45 minutes, or however long? Just watched?)




Creative uses for items from mom's garden:
1) Cucumber and mint face masks!

2) Zucchini cobbler! No, seriously:

What a great week. Nothing compares to the healing power of facials, mani-pedis, gardening, sleeping in, new recipes, satin sheets, bike rides and MOMS. I'm still processing, still sorting out this whole Russia experience and not sure what to make of it all. But I do know that It's really, really, REALLY good to be home.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Rostov made me realize about love

I’m glad I went to Rostov.

I always said I wouldn’t go back to my mission until I was married, so I could take someone with me and introduce them to the people and places that meant so much to me – and so I could have moral support as I visited once again this country that I have such a love-hate relationship with. BUT – here I am, single, twelve years later. And despite all the comments I’ve endured the past ten days about my marital status (some nicer than others), despite the vague loneliness/awkwardness of navigating everything on my own – I’m glad I came.

Because I’ve remembered something about my mission that is blowing my mind a little bit.

I’m amazed by how much I loved people – how deeply, sincerely, urgently, completely. I’ve also been reading my mission journals on this trip. I went through a period where I felt a little embarrassed for myself as I’d read them – for my naivete, my over-the-top sugary sweetness – but now I’m kind of in awe. And the feeling I had when I saw Alla Ivanovna last week for the first time in twelve years, when she came running over and hugged me, was overpowering. I felt it in my whole body, and I couldn’t stop myself from crying. When did life teach me to stop feeling that way about people? Was I hurt? Did I not get in return what I was giving? Did I become distracted?

I wonder if I can love people that way again. While deep and sincere, those feelings were also so wrapped up in my urgent desire for them to accept something, to do something, to believe something, to become something. Now the “fervent zeal of youth” has worn off, my own ideas about faith have matured, and I no longer have the same urgency and drive to push myself towards something so ideal, so torturously unattainable. Which is a relief and feels peaceful and right – yet at the same time, I’m a little sad that I also don’t feel as deeply, as passionately about others. Maybe I can be that devoted in a different way – love that way again, be that person, but reconcile it all somehow. Take it to a new level, loving deeply but more quietly, without a secret hope for people to change, without a secret conviction that I know what they need so much.

There are people in this world who I have loved, and loved deeply. And who have loved me, too. So many that it’s impossible to maintain deep and constant connections with them all. I recognize that in a way I didn’t before, and it’s stopping me in my tracks. These connections are more real and more important than anything in my life, and I find myself wanting to settle down, to build a life in a settled place with deep and lasting connections. I think that “fervent zeal of youth” is giving way to something different.