I think 2010 is going to be a good year. It has a nice feel to it. I like numbers that feel whole, solid. Because of our numerical system, 10's will always feel that way to me. So I'm pretty stoked for 2010.

My roommate Anna has started this great tradition that we roommates are going to continue this year. She creates a posterboard for the year and draws out everything she wants to do in the year. It can be serious or silly stuff all mixed together, big and small. I love this. It's more than just New Year's resolutions--it's a checklist of awesomeness.

Some of the things I'm going to put on my poster for 2010 are:

  • Get my second degree black belt!! 9 days!!
  • Go to a rock concert. (Nope, never been. Sad, huh?)
  • Submit at least one of my books to agents and/or publishers.
  • Visit a new country. (Probably the hardest of them all simply for $$$)
  • Start learning the guitar.
  • Go to a college football game. (Nope, never been. Grady thinks that's REALLY sad, lol.)
  • And of course, write a book. Gotta do that every year now.

There will be more, as I think of them. But I think it's a pretty good start for this awesome-sauce year of 2010. And tonight, it's downtown SLC for fun and games. =)


Work: Some new developments

You know I love Taekwondo, right? Well, I do. Lots. I've especially come to enjoy teaching Taekwondo, which came as a surprise to me at first. I love spending time with my students.

So when the opportunity was presented to work at the studio part-time, you may understand why I jumped at it.

Here's the story. A while back, I was talking to Whitnee (a co-owner and program director at the studio, and one of my very best friends) about some of the challenges the studio has been facing. Part of the problem was a lack of manpower--but also a lack of funds to pay for additional manpower.

I guess they made an executive decision that the manpower was necessary for further growth, because they approached me and offered me 15 hours a week of work at the studio--7 hours teaching and 8 hours in the office. Needless to say, I accepted. It means pulling my current job from full-time hours to part-time, which means losing my full-time benefits. But the sanity benefits are well worth the sacrifice to me.

I love Taekwondo. I love teaching Taekwondo. I love organizing things, I love maintaining order--which is what I'll be doing in the office. Compared to my job now--dull, mind-numbing monotony day after day--this is bliss.

I'll be starting in the office next week, and then we'll start introducing me to my new classes in the new year. Whitnee doesn't want me to get too overwhelmed before black belt testing--which is three weeks away, yikes!!--so I'll probably be hitting it hard mid-January and into February. I'll be continuing to teach my mixed children's class, in addition to a teens class (which is the most alarming--teens are harder to impress than kids) and possibly an advanced or intermediate childrens class. I'll also start assisting the childrens' sparring program, and I'm really excited about that. Sparring and I are tight. ;)

This, my friends, while crazy and somewhat irresponsible, this...is passion. Living it. And nothing makes me happier. Wish me luck!


The good news:

  • Christmas is in three days! Woot! I'm excited because my roommate Anna is going to spend Christmas with my family, and Anna is the shiz.
  • My Christmas shopping (with one exception) is DONE. Yay me.
  • I colored my hair DARK brown tonight. I was afraid that it would be too dark, but I kind of like it. =)
  • I start at the studio next week! Maybe I'll post about that.
  • My boyfriend is awesome.

The bad news:

  • Black belt test is 2 weeks from Saturday, and I'm starting to freak out. Our self defense demo is not where it needs to be!
  • I spent way too much money on Christmas this year. I love too many people, dang it!
  • I haven't worked on me and Sam's novel in over weeks. Not happy about that.
  • My knee still kind of hurts. Not as bad as this weekend. But I wish it would behave itself. Grr.


Christmas Complaints

Ah, Christmas. I love Christmas, I do. It's the time leading up TO Christmas that is difficult. Chaotic. Madness. Utter insanity.

I think there are too many Christmas parties. It's frustrating to me this year that I can't make it to all the parties I want to go to. For example, next Saturday the 19th, there are THREE parties in the same evening. My family Christmas party, my work party, and my ward party--where I'd been hoping to break boards in the talent show (wouldn't that make for a break, forgive the pun, from the normal monotonous piano and instrumental solos.) But...it's likely I'll only be able to attend one of the three. A similar problem occurs the next evening. TOO MANY PARTIES!!

I'm having problems with Christmas shopping as well. The main problem is simply a lack of time to get out there and battle the hoardes. Weekdays I'm at the studio basically til 9pm every night, and weekends I've pretty much dedicated to another purpose. But I've got to get out there and do it, because Christmas is coming up mighty fast--two weeks! And my loved ones much have gifts from moi.

Some people, though...some people are ridiculously difficult to shop for. Boys, mostly. Male-folk. Either they A) don't really want or need anything or B) the things they really want are way out of my ability to acquire (ie price range). So difficult. My suggestion: people should collect things, so that other people know what to get them. =)

All of this is complicated by having a significant other. I'm just saying. Parties start multiplying. Finding the perfect gift is excessively complicated. Just finding time to see each other becomes harried. Not that it's not compltely worth it, of course!

I'll just be glad when we can get to Christmas and enjoy it. I'm hoping this year will be a particularly wonderful Christmas!



If you don't know what TED is, stop right now and go here. Take some time, explore. Watch this one, it's my favorite. Pure brilliance.

Okay, now that you are familiar with TED, I want to familiarize you with their new brain-child, TEDx. These are independently organized events that are now recognized by TED. Check this out. See yours truly?

Yesterday, my friend Whitnee and I drove down to Cedar City to attend TEDxSUU. This is like our brain-child, growing up. We were in the first class to produce this conference (see the Fall 2007 video on the aforementioned page). And last night, I was invited down as an alumna speaker.

The theme of TED is "Ideas Worth Spreading" and this was an idea shared by TEDxSUU. A handful of students from the class were selected to present a shortened version of the presentation. There were also videos played from TED. Check out this one--so good. The students shared ideas about wildlife preservation, the societal concepts of maturity, and the use of color in our perceptions of language, mathematice, and the world at large. There were artistic performances, which were a new addition that I particularly liked.

But at the end of the student speakers, it was my turn. I only had a few minutes--not nearly long enough to give true scope to what I wanted to say. But the point I wanted to make to these fledgling Honors students was about passion. We live in a society of sheep. There is a flock, and everybody wants to be part of the flock, and the flock wants everybody to be part of it. You might want to be a pretty sheep, or a smart sheep, but you are still a sheep. If you venture too far, the flock says no, don't go there, its dangerous. It's not cool. It's lonely. We are discouraged from venturing out from the norm--set by our arbitrary society. People who live outside those bounds are criticized, stigmatized. But the flock remains caught in nothing greater than mediocrity.

The Honors program was always about passion to me. So many people go to college for the degree. They do just enough to get by, to endure until they get handed that paper that tells them they accomplished something. But there is so much potential for more. And not just in school--I want to have an Honors life. It's not just about skating by, doing just enough. There is a deeper, more fulfilling experience to be had.

Too often we are limited by expectations put upon us. In college, you have expectations set by teachers. To pass this class, you must do these things. And so we do those things. In life, we are set expectations by peers, by family, by religion or politics, by employers. All these expectations that we are set to meet. But those expectations actually limit our capacity. If the bar is set here, then we only try to reach here.

We can reset the expectations. We can set our own expectations, and set them far higher than what anybody else can set for us. It might not be cool. People might not accept it--how many times are we told to lower our expectations, because we can't possibly achieve our dreams? But we CAN! By raising the expectations we have for ourselves, we raise our capacity to achieve them. And we never know what new interests and passions and dreams we will discover along the way.

Let's try not to be sheep. Let's try to leave the flock of others' expectations. Let's venture out into this great big world with our eyes and minds open for new ideas. And we can share our own--ideas worth spreading.