Monday, November 29, 2010

Winter Wonderland of Destruction!!

One of the great things about living in Utah is being able to experience every season. Sure, sometimes one or two seasons will be left out during the year, but for the most part we get the full variety.

The beautiful green of Spring. The warmth and long days of Summer. The amazing changing of the leaves in Autumn. And Winter.

Now I'm as much a fan as the next person when it comes to the peaceful moments following a new snowfall, or the great sunsets and crisp, clear evening. There is, however, an issue that always gets to me. Old Man Frost, that crotchety, grumpy relative of Mother Nature has it out for me. And, just like an aging grumpus, he has multiple ways to get his point across.

#1 The Cold. The "Blizzard of the Century" in Utah didn't pack as much punch as we all believed, but one thing it did do was bring temperatures cold enough to freeze our snot before we had a chance to sniff. Granted, we don't have to deal with temperatures so cold that trees explode around us, but when you have little to no natural insulation anything below 20 degreees is just too dang cold. When your bones and organs are chattering along with your teeth there isn't much besides jumping into a fire that can make you feel better. Thank goodness it's a dry cold here in Utah. If it was a wet cold that's felt in more humid areas I would be MIA for several months out of the year. There's something called hibernation that I've looked into, and I admit, I'm intrigued.

#2 Winter Driving. When it's snowing outside and the roads are bad, what is the best advice for drivers? Slow down, drive smart, live another day. What is a common mindset among these drivers? "The faster I drive the sooner I can get out of this mess!" I have a habit of getting involved in social activities that lead me to drive on our hazardous roads. Just yesterday, driving through town I found that my neighborhood roads were clear, yet the main roads in town were still snow packed. I was a little apprehensive, but that's normal, however that changed into full-blown nervousness due to the vehicle of a fellow traveller. A Ford Taurus*.

*Quick side note. I hate the Ford Taurus. With a passion. Perhaps this is due to the trouble I've had with Taurus drivers, and the accidents I've almost suffered at their hands. I drove a Taurus for a few months. Yes, I hated myself a little during that time. If you drive a Taurus I am sorry. Not for what I've said, but for what you must be going through. You have my pity.

As I said, even though I dislike driving in bad Winter weather I often find myself on the roads for one reason or another. Just last night I was driving home on snow covered roads after midnight, but this time I saw a strange sight. There was someone outside shovelling the end of their driveway. Here's what I was thinking, and what I think the shoveler was thinking (it was a strange, late-night conversation in my mind):

Me: What is that crazy person doing shovelling at 1 AM in the morning?
Shoveller: What is that crazy person doing driving on these roads at 1 AM in the morning?

Touche Late Night Shoveller Man, touche.

As I reflect and review my winter thoughts hibernation is looking better and better. . .

Sunday, November 14, 2010

No-Shave November!

I was advised that during the month of November it is customary to not shave. This is meant to raise awareness about cancers specific to men. Unfortunately, this is also the month I decided to make a concerted effort to shave on a more regular basis.

Go figure.

But, as a special treat, I was able to find two photos manifesting previous mustaches in all their glory. Behold, and fall in love with mustaches all over again.

To all you ladies swooning over my furry upper lip, my only regret is that I was unable to procure any more recent photos. I'll see if I can come up with more for you to feast yours eyes on.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Quarter Centenarian

I've reached what some people would call a "milestone" in my life. 25 years have come and gone since the time I entered this world, and it hasn't been the same since! All I've got to say is that 25 seems surprisingly like 24 and 23. I dun got jipped!

Birthdays have never been a big deal for me. Don't get me wrong, I love to celebrate the birthdays of other people, giving them gifts, taking them to dinner, etc. It's great to help someone celebrate their special day. It's my own birthday I don't make much fuss about.

A good friend asked me a question that I've thought a lot about recently. She asked me, knowing what I know now, if I would go back 7 years to when I was 18 and make any different decisions. I thought for a moment, then came to decision.


I'll be the first to admit, I'm a very imperfect person. Of course, you could ask anyone who knows me and they'll say the same thing. More than a few would likely be willing to list off my faults, even without you asking. There are some decisions I regret, paths I have tread that are best left alone, and memories that are best left unremembered. However, all of these experiences have made me who I am today. I have learned some of my weaknesses and some of my strengths, and there are many more left to find.

Am I saying I'm stronger after making mistakes and making corrections? No, absolutely not. I believe many of us make bad decisions, even when part of us knows we probably should go with a different option. A person who touches a hot stove top simply to prove to him or herself it is hot is not stronger than the person who chooses not to touch the stove top in the first place.

I am saying that some of the lessons I've learned were learned the hard way. I've learned about myself, how I react to certain situations, what I can do alone and what I may need help with. As stated previously, my weaknesses and strengths.

Now some people say it would be best to go back and make all of those decisions again, choosing the better way. All I can say is that I feel it would be a slap in the face to my agency. I used my agency and made a decision. By going back and changing that decision I would, I believe, be forcing myself to choose a certain way.

God does not make our decisions for us. He will guide us and help us to see the better choice, but He will not make the decision for us and force us down any path. We are allowed to make mistakes, just like we are allowed to have our little victories. He knows this, and has provided the Atonement to help us come back from those mistakes. My decisions have allowed me to come to know my Savior, the Atonement, and come closer to my Heavenly Father

No, I would not go back and change my decisions. I will use what I know to make better decisions in the future. I'm not perfect, I will make mistakes in the future, but that's the beauty of life. We can choose what path we'll take.

It's been a great quarter century. Let's see if I can get through another two or three.