Tuesday, September 30, 2008

[Insert Clever Title Here]... or It's Been a Long Week

Last week was really rough- a real killer. But, luckily, so far this week has been worse. Yes, I thought I would make a nice, cheerful start to my latest blog post.

On last Wednesday at noon I had cooking group at my house. I started cleaning as soon as Jared got on the bus at 7:30 and pretty much didn't stop until cooking group started-- er, uh, what I meant to say is that my house is always immaculate, so I spent a nice relaxing morning reading fine literature and sipping hot chocolate until everyone arrived. ;) By the time cooking group started I was so exhausted-- I mean, er, relaxed-- that I just wanted to take a nap. But cooking group did go well. I did it on quick and easy dinner ideas (although I didn't mention my most-used ideas: $1.25 happy meal night at McD's and Papa Murphy's) and I made yummy British-style scones.

Yes, cooking group went well: there was only one incident of a stray child getting into nail polish and all of the ladies helped clean up the dishes so my kitchen even stayed clean. (Unfortunately, that was the last time my dishes got done until yesterday... you know it's bad when Dave says, [sniff, sniff] "Something's starting to stink in here. What IS that smell?" and when you've run out of clean dishes even when you usually eat off of paper plates.) I finished the day using the leftovers for dinner and practicing like a maniac for my rehearsal(s) on Thursday morning.

On Thursday I rehearsed with both the flute player and the vocalist. Despite my hour or two of practice with the metronome there was one spot that I just couldn't get at the tempo that she wanted to take (which was, incidentally, at breakneck speed, as fast as you can play). I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but I get really irritated when I have to actually practice music when I accompany. I suppose this should help me relate more to Jared when HE doesn't want to practice, but I at least have the excuse that I have put in my practice time previously, so of course everything should be easy now. Right? One of the pieces I was doing for the vocalist was also more challenging so I was having to actually be diligent and apply myself. Grrr.

The good news is that I survived rehearsals, way more practicing than I've done in a while and my two accompanying performances at the concert on Friday night. It actually went well. One of the things that is the most difficult for me in accompanying is knowing when to give up on a hard spot and just fudge it so you don't SOUND like you make a mistake (instead of trying to play something that's too hard and obviously messing up in the performance). The problem is that I'm too stubborn and I want to PROVE that I am good enough to play it, regardless of whether it is really worth the effort to practice it enough to play it right. (In case you were wondering, yes, I did fudge the hard spot, I am ashamed- or proud- to say.)

Saturday we had a huge laundry-folding fest and ran a few errands. Then I went to the General Relief Society Broadcast. Something about the annual broadcast brings out my insecurities. I am comfortable enough with the ladies in my own ward, but going into a big room of smartly-dressed ladies I don't know who are busy chatting with their friends makes me feel like an awkward teenager all over again. It doesn't help that I usually end up going alone and getting there late. Being late was completely my fault this time... even though my initial plan was to just throw on a skirt with the top I was wearing, I was struck with fashion-fear and analyzed my outfit possibilities for 10 minutes. Here is a rough transcript of my fashion debate:

Positive Self: "You look fine. You don't want to be late. Just put on some shoes and go."
Negative Self: "That outfit makes your waist look as big as a cow.
Positive Self: "Well, be realistic. You did have a baby this past year, it's not exactly like your waist is going to look its smallest..."
Negative Self: "But do you need to draw attention to it? Besides, it's a fashion faux pas to wear white after labor day."
Positive Self: "C'mon... it's not a big deal what you wear. Most of it is a broadcast where you'll be sitting in the dark anyway."
Negative Self: "And to wear brown shoes with that skirt- they're darker than the hem of your skirt. That's two fashion faux pas in one outfits. Why don't you just wear a sign that says, 'Hi, I have children now, so I don't care how I look.'? You could at least try-- maybe curl your hair or something if you weren't late already."

So after debating for 10 minutes and making myself late to the broadcast I ended up wearing the exact same thing that I had put on in the first place. So yes, I had two fashion faux pas in one outfit and no, none of my friends disowned me as a result of it. But back to the broadcast...

The broadcast was fine, but my previous conversation with my internal fashion police had put me in a bad mood. The first talk started out with "Sisters, you do so much, but we need to do more!" Great... that was the last thing I needed to hear at the end of a week like this. It did get better as it went on (maybe it's because some of my friends saw me in the dark and invited me to come sit with them-- ha! they couldn't see the white skirt after all!), but I was still feeling a bit down when Elder Uchtdorf got up to speak.

He started out talking about his wife, Harriet. He said that while she is a fabulous cook and makes amazing meals, she inevitably apologizes when she serves a meal. Instead of recognizing that the meal is amazing, she says something like, "This has a little too much ginger" or "It would be better next time if I use less curry and one more bay leaf." He went on to talk about how so many of us get discouraged when we feel like what we give is never good enough and we need to learn to get past that and find joy in using our talents to create things, even if they are imperfect. I really don't know how Elder Uchtdorf could have known about my Thai Chicken Curry, ;) but that talk seemed like it was written for me.


Tenise said...

Thank you for that post. I laugh when I read what you write, because it always illustrates how much alike we are! Then it makes me love you more for it. :) I hope this week goes good for you. ;)

rlmquest said...

I wish I went to R.S. General Conference it sounds like I needed to hear the talks! I too hate going with nothing to wear and no one to sit by.....gosh why are we so hard on ourselves?!! Oh I also had the excuse of my daughter's soccer game in Keiser.

kimrennin said...

So it's been a week since I decided to take a rest from the blog and I've been thinking an awful lot about a lot of things during the break. One thing came to me unmistakably, I'm happy to report, and that is that I need my little ol' blog if for no other reason than for the sake of my sanity. It took a little distance from it to realize just how important it is to my mental health.
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K kid said...

Thanks for commenting!