Friday, August 5, 2011

Of Things That Matter Most

So, Day 29 is put a picture of yourself as a child.  Haha, Day 18 was put a picture of you 10 years ago, which for me and Brock = Childhood.  So, on to, Day 30!  Oh my goodness this 30 days of randomness has come to an end!

And the topic is....  Something you learned about yourself in the last 30 days.

Well, counting back to Day One, this "30 Days" actually took me 114 days.  So I have learned that there are other things to do in life besides blogging?  hahaha.  Just kidding.  We have had a great last 114 days.  This summer has rocked!  And I will tell you something I have learned this summer.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave a wonderful talk last year entitled, "Of Things That Matter Most". It really hit home to me.  My whole life I have always been "go-go-go" nonstop.  Always finding ways to keep myself as busy as possible.  Always ALWAYS stressed.  I was falling into the category Uchtdorf said of people who "think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives."  I heard the talk, thought it was great, but I didn't change anything right away.  I was scared of changing and I didn't know how.  Hence, I still kept busy. 

And this summer, I decided to change that.  I decided that life is too short to rush through it.  I decided to follow President  Uchtdorf's advice that "there is more to life than increasing its speed...focus on the things that matter most."  And I taught myself how to relax.  I quit my unnecessary second job.  I put a cap on how many piano and voice students I would accept.  I organized my schedule so that free time for myself was always part of it.  I made a list of what was most important to me and scheduled out my time to prioritize them.  My priorities became:

Be a good wife
Be a good member of the church
Be happy, stress-free, and relaxed (AKA Aubrey time)
Be a good daughter/sister/family member
Be a good home-maker
Be a good friend
Be a good teacher

I devoted a little bit of time every day to each of those roles in my life, because I decided that in my life, that was what mattered most.  And I will tell you, and Brock will tell you, I am a changed woman!  I feel so good!  And I want to share this advice with the world!  We are never required to run faster than we are able.  This life is about learning and being happy.  I am so grateful for this opportunity I took this summer to self-reflect and really decide what is most important to me in this world.  I am fully, genuinely, happy.  And virtually stress-free.  Whoever is reading this, I invite you to join me in the club!  Take a leap of faith and de-stress your life.  I promise it's worth it.  It's scary, but it's worth it.  You can do it!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Fray

Day 27 is put a picture of your family.  I already did that a couple months ago, with an entire post about the members of our family and how amazing they are.  If you want to read that, here it is: Family. Isn't It About, Time?

In the mean time, let's move on to Day 28!  Which is, your favorite musician.  I would have to say that by far the band that Brock and I both like the best is The Fray.  We have our own other favorites, like Carrie Underwood, and Led Zeppelin, but for both of us, The Fray is always in our top 3!  So we'll say it's them.  They're awesome.  And I have never heard a song by them that I don't love!  We went to their live concert our first summer married.  We also danced to one of their songs at our wedding.  Here's the music video for it... gives me chills every time.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Views, Perspective, Self Esteem, Priorities

Day 26 is write how you think other people view you.

But I think, who cares?  I mean, obviously we hope that people enjoy our company and see the good in us.  And we always strive to be kind and serve and make people feel good and important.  But the question "how do others view you" just doesn't seem healthy at all.  For one, you'll never really know.  And for two, all that matters is how you view yourself and how you are in the eyes of the Lord.

Depending on the views of other people is natural.  It's a human instinct to want to be loved and looked up to; and to seek affirmation from the people around you.  But I have recently learned some very important things about the way you should view life, and I think this question provides a great opportunity for me to share that with everyone!

One realization I've had is that nobody is perfect.  I know, I know, it's obvious and everybody knows that.  But yet, even though we all know that, we often still expect it of ourselves and others.  It is in our culture to "strive for perfection."  However, there is a fine line between striving for perfection and expecting perfection.  We should always strive for perfection; we should recognize our weaknesses and work to become better every day.  However, to expect perfection or get down on ourselves when we're not is blasphemous.  Perfection is impossible to achieve in this life.  If any of us were perfect, we wouldn't be here.  That dividing line is crucial to the way we view ourselves and our lives.  And it's also a line that so many people struggle to recognize.  That is why so many people harshly judge others and themselves.  Everyone should just accept that we are all here, humans, brothers and sisters.  We were all sent here for the same purpose, but not to live the same lives.  We are all unique and therefore have to find our own way of improving our lives and finding happiness.  Everyone messes up.  Everyone also does good.  Everyone has emotion.  Everyone loves someone.  If we all could remember those things, everyone would also be happy.

So, instead of ever thinking about what other people think of me, I have decided instead to focus on how I think about others.  Am I loving them?  Am I serving them?  Am I having compassion on them when they are struggling?

And then the other crucial thing to do is prioritize.  Figure out what is most important to you, and what is less important to you.  Make time for the important things, and you will be happy.  I did that this summer; I wrote down my priorities in life: the kind of person I want to be, the things that are important to me, and the time I needed to devote to those things to keep them important.  And I feel so happy.  I am content with my life and confident that I am heading in the right direction.  I am striving for perfection, but I do not expect it of myself.  And I am comfortable with that, because that is all I can do.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Bucket List.

Day 25:  Ten Things You Want To Do Before You Die.

Well, this makes ya think a little, it's kinda hard!  But here are ten of the things Brock and Aubrey want to do together before we die :)

1.  Raise a family

2.  Go on a mission together

3.  Retire comfortably

4.  Open a Physical Therapy Clinic

5.  Have a music business

6.  Tour Europe

7.  Go fishing in Alaska

8.  Record a piano/guitar/singing album together

9.  Let our children know and enjoy Disneyland

10. Never get so caught up in the world that we forget what's most important; which is to prioritize our family always and make memories that last forever, no matter where we are or what we do!

Cornelius Sponge.

Day 24: The last Random Act of Kindness You Encountered.

Sometimes the best acts of kindness are the most simple things.  My best friend, Courtney Smith, called me today.  And it was so needed and totally made my day.  I love talking to her!  And I always feel inspired by her.  She is so sweet and so wise and I just love her outlook on life!  Love you Court, thanks for being so amazing!

Really random thing that makes me happy:  Going into the New York Candy Shop and taking goofy pictures when everyone around looks at you like an idiot.