Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dream Sequence Sunday

I thought this one appropriate for this week, since I just got a new car.

Monday, November 5, 2001

I was going out of town on vacation and for some reason Andy needed to borrow my car. So I said he could, because I wasn't going to need it. I come back from vacation and I go to his house to get my car (he was living in Draper with his family). I go to their front yard and he's out front with my car and my dad's car was there too (apparently I let him use that one as well. I'm so generous). Only my car was trashed. It was filthy, it had little dents all over and scratches. He didn't seem too apologetic, but he acknowledged that it was his fault.

I didn't act too upset, maybe because I was just in shock at how bad my car looked. I asked him what happened and he said he took it on a road trip to South America. I remember thinking, "Did I tell you that you could take it on a road trip?" Anyway, my dad's car was beat up too, but not as bad as mine. I think he let his sister use my dad's. Like I said, I didn't get real mad, and I didn't seem to expect him to pay for it because I thought, "This is going to cost me a lot of money."

He took me home in my car and I told him to bring my dad's car later. He told me not to tell his dad about this because he'd get real mad at him.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dream Sequence Sunday

It is not my intention to publish these exclusively for the next 6 weeks. Hopefully I'll find something to write about during the week.

Judging from the date of this journal entry, it was right before I moved back home with about $400 to my name. The closing scene kills me because only in my subconscious would I behave that way. But the rest totally sounds like me.

Thursday, September 28, 2000

I was getting ready to go back to BYU. I had a full schedule and I had no idea what my classes were, but I was printing it out. School started the next day, but I had all these other things to take care of. Erin wanted me to come work at Food For Thought again so I thought I could help her out in the mornings and afternoons when I wasn't in class. But when she sent me my work schedule, she had me working 38-40 hours a week. So that stressed me out. Plus, it came with a note saying how glad she was to have me back and how much she needed me.

Also, for some reason I felt I needed to work part time at the bank. So I go to the bank (where I used to work apparently) and the women there (who was my old YW President) had told the boss not to hire me again because she didn't get along with me (which is strange because she always loved me). Anyway, so that made me way mad. I remember someone I was with holding me back because I was yelling at her.

Somehow I was supposed to do all this and drive down to Provo with my mom's car. Who knew how she'd get around.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dream Sequence Sunday

I've been sifting through my old journals lately. For about 5 years I wrote almost every day. A couple things stood out to me as I skimmed through my entries. First: I've been on a LOT of blind dates. Second: I recorded most of my dreams. I should do that again. So for the next little while, I'll be posting a dream once a week. Straight from my journal. Not all of them of course. After all, blogs are for things you're only slightly ashamed of.

Thursday, March 15, 2001

For some reason, 'NSYNC was recording an album at my house. My whole family was there and we all thought it was pretty cool. Lance was talking to me during their breaks. Somehow, word got out that they were at our house so when we found out that reporters from all over were coming, we decided to escape to the cabin. So we took about 5 cars up there. I went separately in my car. I got delayed on some detour so I lost track of everybody.

When I got there (by the way, it did NOT look like our cabin) there were weird people there with stone-cold faces. Some girl let me in like she was expecting me. I felt like Dorothy when she first enters Oz. About 3 girls were watching TV on the couch. The phone rang and when I answered it a voice said, "Is Angie there? This is Leah." So out loud I say, "Angie?" Just then one of the girls on the couch turns around and says, "I'm Angie." Only it was my friend Marni. I looked at her like, "What are you doing?" and she looked at me like, "Laura, play along. You make one false move and we die." And then I looked at the other people, the whole time thinking "What have you done with 'NSYNC?"

That's all I remember.

Monday, January 10, 2011

On Quitting...and self importance

A few years ago my mom took me to lunch at Biaggi’s. She told me she was quitting her job with the virtuoso series at the University because she didn't care about it that much anymore and she wanted to focus on being a grandma. I wondered how she could do that because she had started that series – she’d put her heart and soul into it. At first I saw it as a baby she birthed and now she was just abandoning it. But she seemed totally cool with it. And so I thought, “Good for you.”

A colleague called me today to tell me she was proud of me. Why is she proud of me? Because as of January 1, I resigned as Program Director and left her alone to deal with the Gallery Stroll. Well, that’s my perspective. I was dreading the "I quit" meeting. Fortunately this person really cares about me so the conversation was virtually painless. She said she’s proud of me for following my heart rather than enduring something that was weighing me down. I know I torture myself to some degree by enduring undesirable situations (because I'm strong, I can handle it), but this past year I think I really did a number on myself. She told me I had been sighing a lot lately and taking breaks before answering questions she asked me. I had NO idea I did that.

I kind of feel bad for anyone who’s had to deal with me since September – maybe even July. I feel like I’ve been scattered, distracted and selfish. I don’t think I let it seep into my behavior too much (I just spelled behavior with a “u” until spell check got me) but come late September I think my brain had just about had it and told my body “you take it from here.” Instead of shutting down and going into a deep hibernation my body opted for “fight or flight” (probably because my brain gave up its voting rights) and I’ve been awake for about 3 months now. OK, not really. But for a couple weeks I thought not sleeping was killing me. Unfortunately I had no one to fight and nowhere to flee. I remember lying on the floor one Sunday morning, resentfully awake but equally disengaged in anything going on around me. I was aware enough to acknowledge an infomercial about stress and simplifying your life that was on TV before the Sunday morning session of General Conference. After several minutes of passive listening I looked up to my roommate Annie and said, “I think I’m going to quit the Gallery Stroll.” I don’t remember what she said because I was completely self absorbed at the time, but what was going through my mind was “How can I simplify my life and focus on the things that really matter to me right now?”

I thought back to my lunch with Mom as I contemplated quitting something I had nurtured back to health, something I developed and grew for the past eight years. I wasn’t so much worried about what would happen to the organization if I left, it would be fine without me, but it has become a large part of who I am and a lot of the people I know identify me with that organization. I guess one of my fears was that's why people liked me.

For the past three years (wow, that long) I’ve been part of a discussion group. We talk about important things as well as inane ideas – whatever the group fancies and plans for.

One of our discussions was about the Great Depression. The Depression was difficult for those who lost their jobs not only financially, but because back then, your occupation was your identity. When your life’s work is what supports your family and determines how people view you and how you view yourself, and then you lose that, I can see how it devastated many individuals. Today things are a little different. Many people have 3 or 4 jobs, or they change jobs every 5-10 years.

Before our group opens a discussion we go around the room and introduce ourselves (we get newbies all the time). The month following the Depression topic I paid close attention to how people introduced themselves. They always said their name and what they did for a living. The next month I suggested we not mention our occupation, but share what’s currently on our mind or what we’re passionate about. Instead of polite follow up questions and nods of approval the room came to life with genuine excitement as people shared their current interests, obsessions and passions. It’s amazing how you get to know a person more intimately when you ask them what they truly care about rather than how they make their money. I may not remember what everyone does for a living, but I know Mark was having nightmares about zombies, Brian was obsessed with raw milk, and Spence was in love with the clouds. Last month, I couldn't stop thinking about everything I wanted to mix into fudge.

A lot of these people I sit and talk with once a month have prestigious degrees. They have a lot of influence and high impact projects they do for work. I used to be intimidated by them. But now that I see more about who they truly are, I know they’re not necessarily what they seem. Their accomplishments don’t make them who they are – it’s their loves and passions, their insecurities and nightmares. And that’s why I love them.

So I’m excited about quitting the Gallery Stroll. It has delighted me long enough (that’s for you, Mom). Hopefully I’ll be sighing less and smiling more. I’m on a bit of a spree as I quit one of my church callings last week and I still have to quit one other side job.

Sigh. I feel better already.

Sunday, January 02, 2011


I just counted all the days in December I was with my family and I got 12. Those are official, countable events, not just drop bys. That's a lot by the way. That's at least 3 days a week. Fortunately, my family not only loves each other, we genuinely like each other. Even the in-laws. We got lucky there. Speaking of in-laws, only one of the girls in the picture above isn't a cousin, and that's because she married my brother. If you don't know my family, there's no way you can pick her out. She blends right in with the Christensen cousins.

Most of my cousins live in the Salt Lake Valley so I get to see them year round, but others either returned after living far away or visited for the holidays.

I was lucky enough to have cousins my age that I grew up with. We were not only cousins, we were friends. We took ballet classes together, we went to each others birthday parties and we played at each others houses (see here and here).

I didn't really have any good friends until college. The friends I had in high school were just people to hang out with. I didn't feel like they really knew me or understood me or had much in common with me. So cousins were good for me. I always had friends around.

It's fun getting older and getting to know some of my younger cousins on the same level that I knew my "peer" cousins growing up. Just yesterday I got together with my cousins Liz and Sam for breakfast. Sam is several years younger than I am but now that she's an adult it's fun to see her get married, how much she's accomplished with work and just her character. I'm proud of her and I'm glad she and her husband still live close.

Last Monday we had a Durham Christmas Party at my Aunt Linda's house. I actually considered not going because I felt like I'd had a lot of family togetherness. But mostly because I'd had a pretty bad day and thought I didn't want to see anybody. But I went and was immediately greeted by one of my cousins and I immediately thought, "Oh yeah, I really love these guys." I was put into a better mood instantaneously. And then we sat down and had a casual dinner. I sat by my cousin Monica (see below).

Monica is one of my oldest cousins on my dad's side. We're about 8 or 9 years apart so I didn't really know her growing up, but now that we're both grown up, it's been fun to talk to her. This picture is of us on a bus in London. We were both tagalongs with the Utah Chamber Artists Tour (I came with my mom, she came with her sister) so we got to spend a lot of time together while the choir rehearsed. The trip wouldn't have been the same without her there.

We had such a great time at that party just talking to each other. I'm so blessed to have wonderful, talented, intelligent, and fun people as relatives. We talked about having a cousin getaway. I hope we do that.

Remember when sitcoms would get lazy and instead of writing a new episode they'd throw together a retrospective? They'd pick a theme and then find all the clips that fit that theme. That's kind of what I did for the first hour I sat at my computer. You probably wouldn't have noticed, but in the right column, I revised my personal picks and added a few other categories because when I don't feel like writing on my blog, I visit memory lane and read old posts. I wasn't going to post anything new but I forced myself because one of my 2011 goals is to blog more and facebook less. I need to get back into writing, I'm out of practice. If my posts are boring for awhile, it's because I'm making myself do this.

*I will say one good thing about Facebook: It's helped me get to know some of my older cousins (and their spouses) that I didn't really get to know when I was little. Now we have more specific questions to ask each other when we do get together.