Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Time

Hello!

This week's blog will be utterly boring and for that, I apologize. I haven't done a single interesting thing.

I was hanging out with some good friends last week at their house and I borderline idolize these guys. They are so cool. I think what makes them so cool is that they unapologetically like the things that they like. And I want to be like that. Does that make sense?

They make pottery and play a ton of instruments and listen to jazz and fly drones. Their house is a reflection of who they are as a family and it's so beautiful because it's interesting. It's who they are.

I know that technically we're all grown ups, but when I'm around them, I feel like a little kid who wants to be just like them when I grow up. I think I'm slowly getting there. I'm starting to learn what I like and do the things I enjoy, but finding those things is hard and kind of scary. I guess, how will you know what you like unless you try it? The thing is though, that trying things requires stepping outside that comfort zone and that's not easy.

Annnnndd, that concludes the things I've done lately. Get ready for a ramble.

I read once that the reason days seem to go by faster as you get older is purely mathematical. When you're ten and a year goes by, that one year is 1/10 of your life. A whole 10% of your total experience was had in that one year. However, when you're 50 and a year goes by, that one year is 1/50 of your life. A whole 2% of your total experience was had in that one year. 2% is considerably less than 10%. Each day is then a smaller and smaller part of the whole and seems to go by faster and faster.

This year especially, I truly feel that time is moving faster. It's amazing to me how often weekends come and go. I remember thinking Friday would never come, but nowadays, it surprises me that the week is already almost over.

I feel two ways about this-- firstly, how nice it is to have weekends so often, but also, how scary it is that my parts-of-the-whole will inevitably continue to get smaller. Do you think that's a good thing? Maybe, it means you've (probably) experienced more things, but I can't help but feel that it comes with some loss. (Of what? I don't know. Enthusiasm? Zest for life? Wonder?)

Sure, maybe everyday brings something new, but after 80 years of something new, does it get a bit mundane? I'm 56 years from knowing how 80 feels, but it worries me that sometime before then I'll lose... something. (Or maybe as the days get "shorter" I won't be able to appreciate them as I experience them? Or I won't have the same capacity then to appreciate the days as I do now? Does capacity-to-experience fade (or lessen)? Is there a limit-- can we infinitely experience?)

Maybe this isn't coming across the way I want it to. It's not so much that I think life will eventually be boring, it's that I can't wrap my mind around the changes that will come and how I'll feel when they do. That sentence feels more accurate. Time confuses the heck out of me.

I didn't figure out a single thing while writing that, and I cut so much of it because it didn't even make sense to me. Hopefully it was somewhat intelligible. Any insight you have would be greatly appreciated.

What a life we live(?).



Thursday, May 10, 2018

Growing

Hey, hey, hey.

Guys, what a week it has been!

Last I wrote, our final Improv class had passed, and it wasn't the greatest and I was terrrrrribly nervous about the Friday night show. It has come and gone, and by golly, I killed it!

Thursday, I was still pretty nervous, but it was manageable because I still had a day to prepare, but that night-- I couldn't fall asleep for anything. My heart was pounding so hard; the show was all I could think about.

Friday was the longest day ever. I was so anxious all morning. There was a period in the afternoon that I kind of forgot about the show and that was great-- I got a lot done. But then I remembered and was so, so nervous all over again. (And it was extra nervous, like I had to make up for the hours lost not being nervous.)

Right after work, I had to show a house, so I didn't get home until 5:30 and I had to be at the theatre at 6. This was probably a blessing because I had to rush home and get ready instead of going home and ruminating in my panic.

Heather pulled up to the theatre at the same time as I did, so that was comforting. I hadn't seen her since she'd had Charlie, so I was super glad she was there. Also, I needed the support. Once everyone from class had arrived, we talked over who would play what and how the show would go. At this point, I was dying.

About 30 minutes before the show, we went out behind the theatre and played some warm up games. That was so helpful! I really do like all of the people there, and playing games with them was strangely calming.

When we went back inside, we had a few minutes to hang out before we had to go backstage. And as I was standing there, I was ready. Yes, still nervous, but it was the manageable kind of nervous, not the debilitating kind. I felt good and confident.

The host introduced us and we went out dancing. The show was split into two halves. Each person played one game per half. My game went so well! People laughed with me! I didn't die! The people I was performing with were so funny and it was just amazing.

It really was the strangest thing-- there was a moment on stage when I removed myself for a second and realized that I didn't feel nervous right then. I felt in control. (I was so surprised by that.)

The second game went equally well, and before I knew it, the show was over. I can't begin to tell you how relieved I am, but at the same time, I truly enjoyed doing it and am thankful that Heather encouraged me to take the classes in the first place. I can't praise the teachers enough. They do an excellent job of creating a safe, encouraging, and creative environment.



My mom came down for the show and I'm so glad she did. I feel a little more validated since someone actually witnessed me being hilarious on stage. Mom, Annie, and my friends Katie and Nicole, and I went out to dinner afterwards at my favorite pizza place, which made for a great ending to great night.

Saturday, Mom, Annie, and I went the Farmer's Market and spent a little time around town before heading to Arizona for the Colorado City Music Festival. This was their second year as a festival, and it was so, so good! I'll definitely be back next year.

I got terribly sunburnt, so that sucked, but honestly, it was such a good time. The artists were talented and the lineup was amazing. It was varied, but leaned towards the country side. Like I've said many times before, I love live music. The event was held up a canyon, in a park. The scenery in Southern Utah is unparalleled. Only a 60 minute drive from my home and I get to be in one of the most gorgeous parts of the world. How incredible is that?

Monday night I didn't have volleyball and tonight I didn't have improv, so I don't quite know what to do with myself. I ended up going to a weights class and then a Drum and Jazz Concert at one of the high schools.

What a life we live.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Slow

Hey there.

It's been raining here this week. Last week was beautiful-- blue skies, not a whisper of wind-- and by the time Saturday rolled around, the storm rolled with it. It was so stinking windy, and now this week has just been dreary and dull. Thankfully, it's supposed to clear up by this weekend, and I swear, it better not be windy on Saturday again. I've got plans! Be windy on a week day when I'm stuck at work!

Despite the wind, Saturday was still a very good day. Katie and I had breakfast at the Farmer's Market. This week's special was bacon and asparagus quiche. I loooove that quiche. It's perfect. Afterward, we strolled Main Street, got iced coffee, and browsed the stores. It's one of my favorite things to do on a lazy Saturday.

That night, we went to a small concert at the Improv Theatre. Gary Stockdale is a 2 time Emmy nominated musician with the voice of an angel. The concert was so much fun. I feel like I say that about every concert I go to, but seriously I just love live music. (I could have a good time even if they sucked, but they never do.) Plus he was funny! He and a Cedar local were on the stage with a piano and two guitars, and every song was beautiful, and I only cried once.

I enjoy small concerts like that because they're so intimate, but I do wish more people would show up. The only way theaters are going to be able to continue those kinds of shows is if people support them and by golly, I'm going to be there and support them.

Improv this week was not great for me, again, I was incredibly anxious about going, and then my scene partner and I absolutely bombed our scene. What we were doing was funny, I think, but it just wasn't the point of the game and ended up not being great. That was unfortunate, but I did learn something, and I think that's the point of these classes. Also, we're in a space that makes it ok to fail like that-- we're all here to learn-- so it wasn't so bad.

Our class has a show this Friday night and I'm so nervous. I haven't performed on a stage in this capacity ever in my entire life. I'm really, really excited, but really, really scared. I'll report more on that next week!

I'm happy to get this round of classes behind me. I can see improvement and I know that's it beneficial for me to continue, but it sure does take a lot out of me. The next round starts in June, so I'll have a nice little break. This doesn't mean that I'm not still loving it, because I am; it just means I need a few weeks to breathe. (Also! I'll get to go back to my favorite yoga and weights classes Wednesday nights!)

(Side story- I ran into one of the old ladies who takes the weights class, and we had a quick little chat about all the classes I've missed. I really like those ladies.)

Monday night was our last Spring volleyball game. We got to the very end of the tournament, and then ended up taking second. We were so disappointed because we played sloppily and getting that far and not winning is no fun. Even so, I'm happy to have had the opportunity to play with those girls. They're all so talented and passionate, and being in that environment every week in very fulfilling. Thankfully there's the fall season to look forward to-- I can't wait to play with them again!

I don't have much else to say. I try to do things throughout the week that are write-about-able, but this week, it just didn't happen. Next week's will be better I promise!

What a life we live ♡




Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Happy to Be Here

Good day!

Do you have a bucket list? At the beginning of this year, I started a list called '101 in 1001,' but I never finished it. Actually, I lost it. A friend asked me about it last week, and I brushed it off, but then I was looking through my desk and I found it! I wasn't even going to look for it, but it appeared, so I decided to try finishing it.

The list is 101 things I want to accomplish in 1001 days (approximately 2.75 years). I got the idea from a blog I follow and I like it because it sets a deadline for getting these done. It creates a sense of urgency, I guess. I've attempted it before, but again, kind of forgot about it after a while.

Anyway, I found it and am trying to finish it. I've got 50 items so far, halfway there! And, of those 50 items, I've completed 2 already-- Hike in Zion and Attend Holi Festival. Both of those were fairly easy to do, but I'm doing things! That's amazing. Other items on the list are things like Go to Therapy and Attend 50 Festivals and Learn Calligraphy. I'm trying to think of a mix of items that push me to step out of my comfort zone, but also are fun. They also must be things that I want to do. (Because what would be the point if I didn't want to do the things?!)


This week, instead of a theatre production, I attended a Jazz Concert. I love a jazz concert. They're so much fun, and you can tell that the musicians are having a good time. One great thing about Cedar City is the variety! I wish that there had been things like this in my town when I was growing up. I wish that I'd had the opportunity to see adults playing instruments and adults on stage, because I never knew that was an option. I honestly could not see the point of pursuing music because I didn't think there was any future in it. And now I see old guys playing in bands, having a grand old time, and I'm envious of them because I didn't know.

Obviously, I could learn to play an instrument now, and maybe I will, but I do have this pesky fear of failure or not being good enough that's holding me back at the moment.

Improv this week was good. I was dreading today way more than usual-- I actually woke up and my first thought was, I don't know if I can go tonight. It was an actual fear and I felt it all day. On my way to the theatre, I considered not going because I felt that I couldn't do it. I forced myself to go inside, and I'm so glad that I did.

We played a game called Forward and Reverse, which is just a regular scene except the host can, at any point, tell the players to rewind or fast forward the scene. It's a hoot. The second game was called Bad Advice, and it's a panel of characters that give advice to the audience member who has asked a question. We had to create our own character instead of someone telling us what to do, which is a change. My character was Tatiana, the lifestyle blogger, and I just self promoted and told stories about myself that didn't answer the questions at all. I thoroughly enjoyed both games.

It's been a good week and I'm happy to be here.

What a life we live.



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Flying Time

Hey there!

I'm always kind of surprised by how Wednesday sneaks up on me every week. Lately, I feel like time is just moving by so fast. I can't keep track of the days and before I know it another week has gone by! It's scary, because I want to be sure to 'live while I'm alive' (or whatever), but how can I when I don't even know what day it is?!

Anyway, it's been a pretty good week around here. I guess as long as the weeks are good, I don't mind so much that they're going by fast.

Friday night, we went to SUU's production of Urinetown. I had never seen, nor heard of this musical, but apparently, it's famous (and it's Heather's favorite). I had no idea. It takes place in a world where there was a drought or something, so the government restricted water usage, and private companies began providing and charging for basic necessities like toilet access. Then the characters decide that they should be able to pee freely and they revolt. It's reminiscent of Les Mis in a way.

I enjoyed it so much! The dancing and singing was amazing, as it always is at SUU, but it was hysterical! I especially enjoyed the narrator character, or rather the actor who played him. He was amazingly talented and played the part so well. I love seeing people who are so gifted at what they do, and who seem to truly enjoy doing it.

Saturday morning, Katie and I went to Heather's baby shower. It took place at her aunt's house, except her aunt lives in a dreamy farmhouse that overlooks an actual farm with animals and everything and it was just the most magical morning. I'd been there before for the Tour of Homes, but it was amazing to actually spend time there. The aunt runs Red Acre Farms, which is a big part of the local farmers' market here in Cedar. All of the food that was served was from the farm-- there was yogurt they made, and I'm sure the eggs in the quiche were laid there on the farm. I had some chocolate milk and I'm fairly certain it was made with goat's milk.

I was just in awe the whole time because it feels so quaint and like the people who are living there truly love what they do and are happy to live a slightly alternative lifestyle. I admire that so much. I admire the passion and hard work I'm sure it has taken to get them where they are.

The baby shower was sweet. I only knew Heather and her husband's mom, but it was still so much fun to celebrate Heather and the arrival of Charlie. She was due this past Tuesday, but he still hasn't made an appearance.

Heather actually came to Improv tonight. I didn't really expect her to be there, but she was and she killed it. Every week has focused on a type of game, and this week was Guessing Games. You can probably imagine how it goes, but there are 4 players and 1 player leaves while the other 3 are assigned a character, and the 4th person comes back and has to figure out what the other 3 are throughout the scene.

In my scene, I played that I was in a courtroom, so I pretended to be a lawyer and threw around what little courtroom jargon I know. One girl played that she was walking on ice no matter where she was, and the other guy played that after every sentence he spoke, he had to strike a pose (just to give you an idea of how it goes.) It was a good time, but I learned that I am extremely uncomfortable on a stage when I don't have anything to do. I just stood there, like, I don't know what to do with my body in this space! I'm much more comfortable when I'm talking and interacting with another person.

It's good to notice those things, because it gives me something to work on and be aware of. At the end of every class, we circle up and tell what we enjoyed or learned that class. One girl said that she enjoys seeing how we all improve from week to week, and I love that! I love that we're supportive of each other and growing together. Even though we're all at different stages, both in life and in comedy, we have something to learn from the people we're playing with. I'm so happy to know them all.

What a life we live.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Happy

Helllllllo.

It has been a slow week around here. This was the first weekend in a month that I haven't left Cedar City. I had big plans to do all my laundry, clean the whole house, finish my taxes, and do good, productive, adult things that need to be done.

I'm happy to report that I did some laundry. Adult Sarah does adult things.

Improv this week was so much fun, and honestly better than last week. We did scenes instead of step out games and I am much more comfortable with scenes. The difference between the two is, in step out games, the players are given a topic and they step out (into the circle or onto the stage) and make a joke about it, and in scenes, the players are given different suggestions that affect the nature of the scene they're playing.

Ugh, I tried writing that several different ways, and that explanation still doesn't help. I'll just tell you about what we did tonight. We played a game called Accents. (Maybe you can guess how it went?) There were 3 players and they were given a location for the scene, with a person offstage pausing them every few minutes and telling them what accent to speak in. The players then kept playing the scene in the new accent. It would change, and change again, and it's so funny because people are really, really awful at accents. I am really, really awful at accents.

But it was good because it forces you to pay attention to how you're speaking, while also trying to move the scene forward. There were moments when every person on stage was waiting for someone else to speak because they weren't sure how to do the accent. I cannot confidently do a Southern accent, and I literally grew up with it. My English accent is poor at best, and if I you ask me to do Australian, I'll try my hardest, but you would never guess that Australian was the goal. It was a painful game, but at least I tried!

Heather's husband asked me before this round of classes started why I would voluntarily do something that makes me so uncomfortable. (And it does make me incredibly uncomfortable.) I answered that I know it's good for me. Every time I step off the stage, I am both impressed and proud of myself for doing it yet again. When I'm playing, I just accept that this is my reality, and I must get through it. It's always a highlight of my week.

I feel like apologizing for how much I still talk about Improv, but I'm not going to. I wish I could convey how much I truly enjoy every class, even though I truly dread every class. I'm still so excited about it and it's not often I feel this strongly towards something.

Other things I've done this week include two volleyball games Monday night, dinner with some friends Friday night, and a play Saturday night.

The play we went to was called 'Molly and Peter.' An SUU student wrote it, how cool is that?! It was about the struggles of growing up in an LDS family. I admit, it might be a niche topic, but here, it was amazing. There were sex scenes, coming out of the closet scenes, jokes about Family Home Evening, and picture perfect families-- it had everything that is hilarious about Mormons. And it was great because even though they were poking fun, it somehow managed to still be respectful of the people and the religion.

One of the things I love about Cedar City is how much the people value the arts. We Cedarians love events. We love festivals, parades, concerts, and plays. We love the arts. It's one of the attributes that keeps me here. Where else can you live in a small town and also have so many opportunities for live entertainment?

Lately I find myself pausing and realizing that I feel happy. Usually its not for any particular reason-- I just feel good about where I am and what I'm doing. I have things to look forward to and I'm surrounded by good people. What more could I ask for?

What a life we live.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Colors of Spring

Hello!

It has just been the best two weeks!

My sisters, mom, Katie, and I went to the Holi Festival at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple up in Spanish Fork last weekend. This was our second year going and somehow it was even better than the first! Plus, I've been looking forward to this weekend for months and it did not disappoint.

I loooove this festival. The atmosphere is so incredibly happy, light, and encouraging. Everybody is there to have a good time. We got there a little before the gates open, and there's just so much excitement in the air! The key is to go down and reserve your spot right in front of the stage. The first event is a guided yoga class. The guy teaching it was funny and intermingled in the crowd as he taught. Then comes the fun part-- Indian dancing! The girls are in brightly colored saris and they so patiently teach the basic prayers and dances. It's one of my favorite parts of the day!

They songs start slow and traditional, but grow in tempo and excitement until the whole place is jumping, dancing, and yelling! It's so hype and the energy is so high! I don't even know how to put into words how enchanting and magnificent it is to be in the middle of it.

Every hour on the hour, there is a countdown to the color throw. This is another favorite. Everybody is shouting the countdown, and the throw is so beautiful. When the colors are in the air, everyone is jumping and celebrating. It's just the most fun a person could have on a beautiful morning in Spanish Fork.

As the day goes on, there are bands that play, dancers that teach dance. To the side of the stage, there's an ongoing yoga class you can join in on if you want something slower. Mid-afternoon, the Bollywood dancers get on stage to teach us more moves. Gracie and I were front and center for the majority of the day-- it's the best place to be! There's a video on Facebook and you can see Gracie and I dancing. Gracie said it looks like we were having and the time of our lives, and honestly, I think we were.

Most of the week days were fairly uneventful, but Friday the family headed towards Ely, Nevada. This is the second year we've gone there for Easter, and if this becomes a tradition, I am perfectly fine with it. I truly enjoy that small, sleepy town. There's not a whole ton to do, but we always have a ton of fun! This year, we went out to Great Basin National Park to the Lehman Caves. I love a good cave! Our tour guide was so, so good. She was funny, informative, and knowledgeable. It was a solid tour.

Afterward, we went to the White Pine County Museum. It was a typical county museum, but I love museums, so I didn't mind. They had a few train cars in the yard out back sitting on the tracks, so we were balancing on them and started racing. Dad and Amy went back to the hotel afterward, so us kids walked Main St. This town loves art and murals. There are beautiful murals on almost every building! There's a small grassy area between some of the buildings that have several sculptures, and a labyrinth. We walked it, all ended up in the middle, then ran out. We were laughing so hard by the time we all reached the end. I'm so glad we all can get along and have fun together now that we're older. They're seriously my favorite people.

Saturday night, we attended an Easter Vigil at St. Bartholomew's Church. I think it's interesting to go to services in different churches. We very obviously did not know what was going on, but the people were nice and just helped us along. Sunday morning, Dad and Amy went to church, and us kids went garnet hunting on Garnet Hill. There are thousands of garnets just waiting to be found. I'll be the first to admit that I was terrible at it. Gracie and Zane were finding them left and right, while I could not find one to save my life. I finally found a few tiny ones, but they paled in comparison to the large ones the others found. It was a great end to Easter weekend.

We started up improv again today-- this time the class is Games 101. It was so much fun tonight! A lot of the same people were there from the last class so that was nice. It got rowdy and it was amazing, and I so enjoy having 2 hrs to just let go and be silly.

I feel so incredibly blessed to be living this life.

What a life we live.