Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

'Twas the night before Christmas, when in one room of the house
Creatures were stirring, but not a mouse.
It was one in the dining room reading a book,
And four in the kitchen playing the game Rook.

That's what I have of the poem so far . . . You'd think we'd all be in bed at 3:30 a.m., but the night owls in the family have not given in to sleep yet. It's Brooks, Jenna, Lexi, Jesse, and me -- all awake, but tired. I suppose I don't really feel the urge to sleep because Christmas morning isn't as exciting to me anymore. I don't mind sleeping in; in fact, I want to. I'm sure it will be exciting again when I have children of my own, but until then, it's mostly a time to spend with my favorite people in the world: my family. I love that we will play board games and card games and watch movies all day. I love that we will stay up late again tomorrow night.

As I sit here, though, thinking and writing, I'm especially grateful for the reason we celebrate Christmas. I'm grateful for the birth of Jesus 2,007 years ago. I'm grateful to Heavenly Father for sending him to earth, to be perfect and to atone for the sins of the world. I'm grateful for his gospel and grateful for his example.

Merry Christmas to all of you -- I hope you are able to spend it with the people you love. Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sleep is for Babies

I babysat tonight. At about 8:30, it was time to put the baby to sleep. He didn't want me to leave him alone in his crib, so I held him for a while. I tried to put him down a second time, and he cried loudly again. So I picked him up and rocked him a bit more. I put him in the crib the third and final time and patted his back for a little while. He still wasn't asleep when I decided it was time to leave him alone, but thankfully he didn't cry when I left.

As I was walking out of his room, I thought, "Gosh, he needs to just quit fighting it and GO TO SLEEP! I know he's tired . . ." And then I chuckled a bit to myself because I'm 26, and I still fight sleep. I'm tired, but I fight it.

Why do I do that? Why do humans do that? I dunno; maybe I have Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS). Any thoughts???

Thing I'm thankful for: Cold rain.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

An anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and/or actions (compulsions).

My roommate and I are hosting a party tomorrow. I have been busy this whole week, and so I haven't had time to clean our apartment. I was finally able to get to it around 11:00 tonight. For the sake of time, a lot of people would probably just do a quick cleanup -- nothing major. That's what I intended. Almost three hours later, however, I am fighting the urge to keep cleaning. To tell the truth, I'll most likely give in to that urge just a bit. I am throwing a party tomorrow night, afterall.

Not that big of a deal, right? Well, considering that I just spent about an hour and a half vacuuming 1200 square feet . . . I'd say that's abnormal. Of course I couldn't just empty out the vacuum bag; I had to clean the vacuum. Of course I couldn't just vacuum the floor; I had to pre-clean it -- that is, I had to thoroughly sweep the utility room floor and comb all the carpet with my hands to get any excess hair or loose debris.

The thing is, is that I'm simultaneously disgusted with and proud of myself when I let my OCD kick in. I revel in my detailed cleaning and exactness. In fact, I think that's one reason I'm such a good copyeditor -- checking and re-checking a document for proper formatting is not a big deal to me.

But when it becomes exhausting, I know I have a problem. Tonight is one of those nights. I'm tired, but repetitive thoughts keep going through my head:
I'll just clean my toilet, my sink, and fold my clothes. I'll clean my toilet, my sink, and fold my clothes. Toilet, sink, and fold my clothes. Toilet, sink, clothes. Toilet, sink, clothes. Look at that dust on my desk. Look at it. Just sitting there. But if I dust that, then I have to move my papers, which means I'll have to file them.

Aghhhhh! ENOUGH! Writing it down reminds me of when I was younger, and I used to spend hours upon hours deep-cleaning my bathroom every Saturday. Somehow, I was able to train myself to get better. I gradually let myself become messy. No, not dirty -- just messy. Since about the age of 17 or 18, in fact, I've been quite well. I haven't had to struggle with obsessive thoughts and compulsions that much. But there are times when it comes out. Like right now. It's probably when I'm extremely busy or stressed, which is when most personality ticks are exacerbated.

What am I trying to say here . . . ? I don't know really, except that I thought I'd share something about my life with you. Can you relate? Do you have a story about anxiety? What did you do to remedy the problem?

I'll tell you this much: reading my scriptures helps me deal with OCD -- more than anything else. I might never be able to explain it, but it does. Truly.

Thing I'm thankful for: Journaling. It helps, too.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate!

I feel so out-of-touch with the world right now. My cell phone is very old, so the batteries die quickly and the reception is literally null at my apartment. On top of that, Gmail is having some funky problems -- or it's my internet or computer or something . . . Whatever the problem is, I can't check e-mail from home half the time.

It's quite maddening, actually -- to not be able to communicate. Communication really is key to survival, I think. I mean, people just want to have a voice. People just want to be heard -- cavemen drew to tell stories and share ideas. Hermits live alone, but usually write to perhaps get their thoughts out. Babies can't speak, but they find a way to communicate their discomfort.

It's amazing to me that communication is so powerful. I really love that.

And now, for some things I'm thankful for (I haven't written in a while, so I'll list several things.):
  • Agency
  • Listening ears
  • Good advice
  • Parents who taught me the value and excitement in learning
  • People who have studied more than me and are therefore more learned
  • Articulate speakers and writers
  • Institute manuals
  • The scriptures, particularly The Book of Mormon
  • Holiday baking
  • Holiday parties