Sunday, January 23, 2011

Shifting to Creator Mode and little bit about my week

What to blog about this week...
How did I simplify this week?
I had some monumental chats with my boss this week about this topic of simplifying... in order to facilitate accomplishing what's most important. Even in a business context, or maybe especially in a business context, it is imperative to simplify and organize in order to move forward in the chosen direction for success. Especially right now, businesses can't afford to take detours that may or may not work out.
Same thing in my life.
A deeply passionate feeling to beeline the path and not take fluffy detours has rooted so strongly in me this year. That's because it is the year of the 4. A 'nose to the grindstone' year. The energy of this year supports organization, expasion of resources, and is a foundational year that will determine furture years to come.
No wonder organization has resonated for me this year!
Ha! I am just in tune. :)
So, back to these monumental conversations with my boss. Wow. He gave me an article to read that was essentially about deciding what's most important, preserving it and moving forward with the intention of accomplishing it. aka Organize, Prioritize, and SIMPLIFY.
It was so cool to talk with him about it and share my thoughts and ideas about organizing and simplifying. Bonnie and I were talking about this today. The time I have spent at 1on1 so far has been an inflow of information and experience, I have been a sponge soaking up all this new information. And this year I feel that I will shift into more of an outflow, where I offer my insights about the situation of how to plan something or how to organize a project. I am still learning and taking in, but I feel it will be more balanced with the giving and outflow. This is exciting to me because I feel that I will be more confident in sharing my wisdom and insight and actually 'doing my job' to assist my boss to lead and grow the company.
The other thing I was thinking about this week in terms of organizing and simplifying is how important it is to set systems of organization in place in order to free up time, energy and resources to spend CREATING. Having systems in place that work allow me to shift into creator mode where life is not just happening to me, but I am creating it.
It's a much better way to live and it's where I prefer to live.
I am creating this transition at work as I am setting up systems to handle things. Things like travel, birthdays, insurance/benefits, email, calendaring, etc. It is so cool to have a clear email inbox and know where to go to reference an email when I need it. Thank you Outlook!
Anyway, I have noticed that as I have set up my systems, it has freed up a bunch of time to be able to respond to important requests from my boss. Again, it feels good to be doing my job and feel organized about it.
Okay, this post has gone on long enough. I talked with my beautiful Rose tonight, who was sitting in 80 degree weather in gorgeous San Diego (sigh). wish I was there. Anyway, we talked a little about travel plans... Hawaii in Oct... for Rose's b-day...hmmm... The point is, things like this get me so excited, but I do get to check in with my simplifying goal and see if it works with that or not. Traveling with Rose...doing anything with Rose is a weak point of mine, because if I had it my way, I would travel and hang out with her all the time at the expense of other things. Obviously I am still learning about simplifying, but at least I am conscious what I am still working on.
That's enough philosophy from Mere tonight. More wisdom and insight to come.
I just want to say how grateful I am for my life and what I am learning right now. It's a dream.
Oh! I got to share about my date this week. I went out with Joe who was in my last ward. I haven't made my blog private yet, so I pray that he doesn't stumble across it on accident. Fingers crossed.
We went to Olive Garden and had a nice dinner for our date. I asked him and I told him I had a gift card for Olive Garden that I needed to use. Shoot. His response: "Olive Garden is the best place on this planet."
Perfect. Pick you up at 6:45?
I was chided at work that I was picking him up, so I called him last minute and told him that Bonnie and I had just picked up our table and chairs, so my car was out of commission for tonight. (2 passengers could still fit because the stuff was in the back, but he didn't need to know that :))
Sure, he would pick me up.
Perfect, thanks!
The date was fun and I would love to include some of our conversation. To simplify :) I will just list some of the questions we asked throughout the date:
If you found a genie today, what would your 2nd wish be?
What childhood item, if any, would you still like to have today? (his answer: a fort, a legit fort)
All expenses paid, where would you travel to?
What would you write a book about?
Fun, easy, great conversation.
Here is what I learned from this date about the man I am looking for.
Again to simplify, I will give you the bottom line. I am looking for someone who thinks big. Big in terms of ideas, ambitions, money :), traveling, living around the globe, serving, creativity, etc.
Interesting. Another piece of the puzzle. The picture of my eternal man.:)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pointe Shoes are the hardest thing to throw away

I am determined to make my goal of getting to bed by 10:30 tonight, so this post is going to be brief.... oops uploading pictures took til almost 11. Well, I will summarize.
After my last post, I was really bugged at the the randomness of it , that I decided I want to be more focused in my blog posts. Focused on how I am simplifying my life since that is what my 2011 is about. So, here is a summary of how I simplified this week.
First off, Bonnie and I went to dinner and the Jazz game on Friday with her parents: Bird and Nee. Bonnie's family does nicknames. You will have to ask her how her parents ended up with 'Bird' and 'Nee'.

Okay, simplifying. I took apart my vision board. This has been my vision board since summer of 2009. As you can see it is a long term vision board, my children, home, PhD, etc are on there.
I decided to simplify and make a yearly vision board for 2011, so it includes what I am actively working on right now. I feel it will assist me in being more focused... and simplified.
I am working on my 2011 vision board.
Wednesday night after Bonnie and I received our new callings: FHE committee :), we vegged out with "Despicable Me" and I went through my t-shirt bin. I sorted out t-shirts from jr. high, high school, college, China, girls camp, leadership trainings, marching band, conferences, races, concerts, ballet workshops, etc. I have saved all these shirts to eventually go in a t-shirt quilt. We invited our friend Blake over for the movie that night and apparently t-shirt quilts are a... Utah thing, or maybe just an Ashton thing. Don't know, but the idea of a t-shirt quilt was totally foreign to Bonnie and Blake. In any event, I have been so excited about someday making a t-shirt quilt (or have one of my sewing goddess sisters make one for me :)) So I went through all my t-shirts, threw away a bunch, and cut the logos out of the rest. Simplify. I went from an overflowing bin to this stack. Good job Mere!
This is the bag of scraps from the t-shirts. Shoot. Don't tell Mom that I didn't keep them and use them for rags. Yikes!
I also took an equally sized bag of t-shirts to DI. Simplify, I love it!
Pointe shoes was the next item on my list of things to go through. Wow, this was the most emotional throw away process. Here are the pairs of shoes I kept, it's not all of them!
This was my garbage can with all the throw away shoes piled in it. I kept 6 significant pair, including the pair that has a blood stain on the pinky toe. That was a monumental day when I actually bled through the satin on my pointe shoe. It was the day I arrived at being a hard core ballerina!
I put all my shoes in this purple bag in preparation to go to the dumpster. The bag was by my front door for a couple of days and every time I walked past it, I questioned if I was really ready to let them go. This is me not really sure.
We marched out to the dumpster on a 'garbage run' and I almost felt like I was walking the plank, ready to throw part of my life away.
I tossed them in and they sprawled out of the bag. I stood there for a moment looking at the pink satin shoes at the bottom of the dumpster and just started to cry. It was more than just satin and plaster I was throwing away. I was tossing out the ideal I had identified with myself for so long. I am stripping away everything that is not genuinely me, but this one was tough. All the memories in those shoes, all the sweat, tears, and blood (literally). These were symbols of a big part of my life that is changing.

Other ways I simplified this week:
-decided to pick up coffee AND breakfast pastries for the VIPs at Starbucks instead of running around to 2-3 different places. Thank you Bonnie. I felt so metropolitan picking up coffee before work in my great black skinnies and cream lacy shirt.
-said no to teaching a dance class after work on Wednesday
-didn't run this week so I could put more of my room together. shoot. not so great on this one. Physical Health is on the top of my goal list for 2011....
-took it easy after rehearsal on Saturday to let the bod recover from some crazy floor stuff.
Oh news!
We started rehearsals for Body Logic last week. Body Logic Dance is the performing dance company that me and my friends started. Our first show is April 9th. Go us! I know, we are rehearsing on Saturdays and I am responsible for all the non-profit stuff, you know, registering the business, obtaining 501c3 status, etc. Working on that this coming week.
Anyway, it feels so good to dance, it is just enough right now. I love where dance is in my life right now. It's in balance with where I am at. It's perfect.

Sunday after I cooked chicken broccoli casserole, which turned out great-Mom, I am turning domestic- Bonnie and I went to do dessert and games with the Partridges. Joe Partridge is one of our most favorite coworkers. He is one of the best guys on this planet and we have a blast when we are together. Joe and Bonnie are both on the project management side for the IT dept at 1on1 and it is a good thing that I don't sit by them because I would not get anything done. Anyway, he is a treat and so is his wife Shauntell and girls, Rebecca, Amanda and Camilla.
Shauntell made this fabulous oreo, ice cream, caramel... delight which I may or may not have had more than 2 servings. shoot. I saved up for it.
We played with the girls and did family scripture and prayers with them before bed. Then the adults played up and down (or wizard as Joe called it). And I totally won!! Joe hates gloaters, so I will just blog my gloating, since I ROCKED it! Here is the score card from the game. Winner=Mere!

And I am happy to report that my consistent work on becoming a Jelly Belly expert paid off on Saturday night! I was at the Halls on Saturday night and Spencer was doing a science experiment. with Jelly Bellys, yeah right. His hypothesis was that you cannot taste and identify individual jelly belly flavors with your nose plugged. So, as his subject, I sampled 10 different Jelly Bellys, blindfolded with my nose plugged. My accuracy: 30%. This was actually kind of hard. I hate breathing out of my mouth, gave me a little bit of anxiety. Then I sampled the same 10 Jelly Bellys with my blind fold still on and my nose unplugged. My Accuracy 100%. I ROCKED it! Spencer said I 'proved his hypothesis the very best'. Go Mere! All that sampling, tasting, chatting, and discussing over Jelly Bellys with fellow coworkers has paid off. Yes! My job is useful for something :) Just kidding. But I was pretty proud.

All in all, I am moving forward in simplifying my life and I am so happy where I am at. I am in a great place and my thanks to God for waking every morning excited to BE and LIVE my life.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

pretty normal week, except what's normal?

The best part of moving out is...GAIN laundry detergent, hands down. Thanks to my sister in law Rachel for introducing us.
I was reflecting on what I was going to include in my blog for this week that seemed pretty uneventful, but as I looked closer, this week was actually full of good and exciting stuff. And I simplified. :) I am on track.
The first part of my week was focused on preparing for the presentation of our Give Back project for 1on1. Each of us was given $100 for Christmas to spend on someone else and the instructions were 'be creative' and report back.
Oh my, I got to read through all the reports and here is a synopsis of some of the most inspiring stories and experiences:
-Recordable storybooks for terminally ill children at UofU hospital
-Toys, books, games and spending a day at mental hospital with teens who couldn't leave for Christmas
-Filling up gas tanks for strangers on Christmas Eve
-Purchasing a wheelchair for the greeter with Cerebral Palsy at Home Depot
-Sending calling cards to hospital for severely wounded soldiers in Germany
-Christmas for women and children shelter, private showing of Tangled, magician, beauticians
-LOTS of anonymous assistance for ward and family members
The list goes on... it was amazing!
So for our January Powerstand (all employee meeting) we had people share 1 min summaries and had a drawing for gift cards and ipads.
Then we had breakfast burritos
(I found someone to do eggs in bulk! way to come through Magleby's Fresh)
Raspberry bread pudding from Kneaders
(you were right Stu, that IS one of the BEST things they serve),
and muffins from Provo Bakery
(yummiest bran muffins on the planet!)
That was the big whee for the week, and if felt extra big since I was sick. I woke up Tuesday and did my hair, when I was done, I was ready to go back to bed. It just about took everything out of me... just 2 days of feeling yucky, then I was on the mend.
Tuesday night the RS presidency came to meet us-great group of girls!
Wednesday night we went to meet with the Bishopric members, a 1on1 get to know you. I am scheduled to meet with a counselor this Wednesday again, Bonnie asked "whats your calling going to be?"...we'll see
and Thursday night I went to the first Tour de Donut meeting for 2011's event. It makes me laugh everytime still. 21 mile bike race done in 3 laps, eating donuts between each lap. I know. Anyway, I am part of the representation from 1on1 since we are sponsoring it again this year. It is always interesting to me to observe group dynamics and this one is particularly fascinating.
I put more of my room together this week, purged some more... and found a beautiful white print duvee cover for my bed. I am going white with colored pillows and throw. Still working on the bedskirt and curtains.
Oh my, Friday night I started going through my 3 boxes (shoebox size) of notes, cards, compliments, congrats letters, letters from Nola, high school notes from Wayne (ha!), etc.... It was heartwarming and unbelievable at the same time. I have some good memories to bring up at our next high school reunion. :) I found my itinerary and plane ticket from my marching band Hawaii trip in 2001. Yikes!! What am I supposed to do with all this stuff?
Bonnie's response: "Just keep what's most important and throw the rest away."
"But it's all important?"
No Mere. make some decisions. simplify.
I just have to thank my wonderful sisters. I went through all the notes I have received from them throughout the years from birthday cards, pillow notes, paper drawn floral bouquets from performances, good luck on auditions, congrats on pageants, christmas poems, etc. Wow!
a. I am loved
b. I have the best sisters in the world
I just felt grateful for the loving relationships we share that have continued across all the happenings in our lives-I love you!!
This is a long post, I know...and not any picures. Almost done.
Saturday I went to Impact's all grad training and it was about prosperity, money and wealth this year. Lots of great stuff and ideas about how to increase the ease of inflow/outflow. I am still processing through all of it, but one of the thngs i came away with was my own vision of what I want to do in my life relative to a career. I love the non-profit work and organizing funds and resources to support community and creative projects. So there is one more piece of the puzzle.
Sunday, my dear home teacher Graden called me. Home Teacher for life, I love it!
Life is Good!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hello 2011!!

HELLO 2011!
This is very much a NEW YEAR for me.
New Room, New Roommate, New Ward, New Resolves, New Organization Skills, New Me!
I Just moved to a condo in Pleasant Grove 343 S 1000 W #104,
so this year for New Year's,
I learned how to paint a room.
(with the master painter: my new roommate, Bonnie).
And I learned that painting is not rocket science! :)
It was actually really fun!
The colors: Mushroom Bisque with a Mixed Berry Jam wall-it turned out Gorgeous!
Here is before, well, after priming edges and taping:

A damp washcloth was my best friend for the edges. Shoot, good thing I don't do this for a living.
I forgot to take an after picture of the paint job, but my room isn't put together,
so I will post more pics later.
Bonnie and I painted all day New Year's Eve, so at midnight, we crashed on the couch, watched the NY Times Square ball drop and wished each other a "Happy New Year... I'm Tired!" Starting off the New Year with freshly painted walls, mmm feels good!

So New Year's Day I moved in to my new room! And, HELLO need to ORGANIZE!
Organization has been something I have been feeling passionate about lately, out of necessity with my job at One on One because of the massive amounts of information to keep track of and lack of a system to manage it all.
They didn't teach me how to organize office supplies, take care of fire extinguisher inspections, remodel a commercial building or find out who cooks eggs in bulk for 150, in college. But they did teach me how to creatively solve problems and ask masters who have figured it out.
So, my quest for 2011 is to ORGANIZE and SIMPLIFY my life.
And I happen to be rooming with the Master of Organization (she asked for a filing cabinet for Christmas when she was 12). Needless to say, I am and gleaning fabulous and effective ways to organize and store my stuff for easy reference/use.
Here is our handy work. This is my

I feel good about it.

I am still putting the rest of my room together, more pictures to come.

Now for my New Year's Resolutions...
A couple years ago I decided to do away with unreachable goals and unreasonable expectations and decided to pick 1 word to focus on, amplify, embody, and learn about. This has been great for me because it is 1 thing to remember instead of 40, AND I find new connections and different ways that this word shows up in my life-it's super fascinating and makes for a memorable year.

So the 2011 word(s)

Everything this year will be focused on simplifying, paring down, getting rid of the extras. Here is my meaningful objective for 2011 (I know, I read it in a book and decided to try it)

In 2011, I am committed to Organized Simplicity to facilitate:
Physical Health and Wellness
Spiritual Growth
Financial Stability
Career Development
and Miracles on a daily basis
To accomplish this, I am committed to paring down my life to include only the essentials needed for my journey Home to God.

Onward and Upward, this is going to be a FANTASTIC year!
Hello 2011!