Archive for January, 2012

Technically speaking

I spend at least eight hours a day staring at not one computer screen but two. I also have two keyboards and two mouse pads at my fingertips.

Our all-employee meetings are a veritable smorgasbord of mobile devices. (Most of us are team-Mac, but a few lone developers continue to ride the PC train, despite the PC’s obvious inferiority. Kidding. Kind of.)
My day-to-day conversations involve phrases like “optimizing anchor tags” and “pushing to the stage server.” It sounds fancier than it is, but as I threw out a few tech-nerd words the other day, I realized just how significantly the role technology plays in my life has altered.
This reminiscing naturally brought me back to the good old days of dial-up Internet and wired everything. I’ve always been what you’d call a girly-girl, so technology initially held little appeal for me.
The impetus for my eventual foray into the online world was a boy. Shocker, huh?
He was a tall, blonde basketball player and the envy of all seventh-grade guys. He wore puka shell necklaces and Air Jordans. Undeniably attractive accessories. He had it all — including his own email account.
Back in the olden days, we didn’t have cell phones, so the only way a boy could contact you without his name showing up on your parents’ Caller ID (completely mortifying) was for him to pass you a folded piece of notebook paper in the hallway. That was until email came along.
The day the blonde basketball player asked if he could email me, I swooned, I giggled and I ran right home and signed myself up for an AOL account.
For the next three months, I spent my afternoons waiting anxiously for the screeching dial-up connection to give way to one blissful phrase: “You’ve got mail.”
(As I sat in my dad’s study reading those emoticon-laden love notes, I fancied myself as Meg Ryan from “You’ve Got Mail.” This, friends, is how online dating is meant to be done.)
My virtual romance (which included exchanges of “You’re so cool” and mushy stuff like that) didn’t last long, but I still remember it fondly — along with *NSYNC and Giga Pets.
My co-workers laughed the first time I mentioned that I still have that email account. The name I used screams seventh-grade girl, so I can’t use it in professional settings, and it has been overtaken by spam, but I can’t seem to let it go.
It’s a reminder of teenage infatuation, my technological roots and a wonderfully awkward stage in my life known as the ’90s.
While you’re using FaceTime on your iPhone today, reflect on your first MySpace account. Oh, to be young again.

The truth

Schedules keep me sane. Checklists are the scaffolding of my life. Beginning with the end in mind is mandatory.

When I was 16, my penchant for predictability was significantly challenged. Up to that point, I had planned everything from what I’d eat the next day for breakfast (Strawberry Squares cereal) to how my pre-med, Utah-born dreamboat would propose (fireworks, waterfall, Tiffany ring).
However, with the announcement that my family would literally be moving half-way around the world, all of these plans changed. Everything I’d been hoping for seemed unattainable. Even the cereal was unavailable, and I had to settle for “konfurekusu” — cornflakes. And not the frosted kind.
I spent a long time (as in years) viewing this dramatic change as a departure from the way my life was supposed to go.
My time in Japan and many other experiences (including those of the past two weeks), have taught me, though, that there is a much bigger plan for my life than the one I mapped out as a teenager.
That plan includes greater pain and grander joys than I could have imagined. It’s difficult. It’s rewarding. It’s overwhelming. It’s awe-inspiring. And, in the end, it’s the only one that’s supposed to work out.
“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.” ― C.S. Lewis, “The Collected Works of C. S. Lewis”

Something borrowed

Thank you all for bearing with me through my melancholy post yesterday. To reward you for your patience, I plan to share something much more “engaging” very soon.

I spent last weekend at a bridal fair at The Grand America Hotel, and this Saturday I’ll be gathering even more big ideas for the so-called big day at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building’s fair.
Those of you who know me professionally or personally are likely aware that not yet qualifying as a bride-to-be myself hasn’t stopped me from gathering pictures, videos and color swatches for the matrimonial soiree I hope to plan some day. Given my budget, this will likely be more of a shindig, but a girl can dream.
After working for a bridal magazine and being introduced to some of the best (and unfortunately most expensive) vendors in the business, I fell in love with all things involved in tying the knot. Now I’m just waiting for the groom …
Here’s a sneak peek of my forthcomig bridal fair review. I loved this shot at Dustin Izatt Photography‘s booth.
This counts as my “something borrowed.” I’ll look for something old, something new and something blue tomorrow.

Something better

Transparency. It’s a buzzword at our office. We’re always talking about how successful companies are forthcoming about their strengths and their shortcomings. They are quick to own up to their mistakes. They tell customers why they are doing what they are doing. In short, they’re honest.

I think transparency is something blog readers appreciate, as well. It’s entertaining and enchanting to read about the sunny aspects of someone’s life, but I think it’s also important to know that the person behind the keyboard has terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, too. (Did you catch the children’s book reference there? Read this one after you get gum in your hair or are forced to eat lima beans for dinner. It’s one of my favorites.)

Well, dear readers, for the sake of transparency, I will tell you that my absence last week was due to some no good, very bad days. The list of events that contributed to my gloominess is long, but not at all unique. We all experience heartbreak, regret, frustration and utterly overwhelming sadness, and last week it was my turn to seek out silver linings through swollen eyes. Ponytails and salt-stained cheeks were standard. Waterproof mascara was must.
As I tried to cope with the physical and emotional aching, I came across this video from Elder F. Enzio Busche. It’s filled with comforting quotes and timeless counsel. Here’s my favorite part: “When you are compelled to give up something or when things that are dear to you are withdrawn from you, know that this is your lesson to be learned right now, but know, also, that as you are learning this lesson, God wants to give you something better.”

I hope this doesn’t appear to be a selfish woe-is-me post. On the contrary, I know we are all dealing with something; I have become acutely aware of this. I believe everyone is tending an unseen wound. My only hope for today’s post is that the sweet message that gave me peace will somehow help you find relief, too.