Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Visit to The BeeHive State

I want to say something clever and far-reaching about my trip this weekend and what it reflects about couples, travel or the great state of Utah in a very general way, but I can really only speak to my own experience of it. I loved it.

My partner asked me when my last vacation was and I couldn't even remember - it must have been my trip to Disneyland last October. That trip was a study in contrasts as I went with someone I barely knew. We had lots of fun at Universal Studios and Disneyland riding roller coasters and running around, but spent our evenings staring at the walls and each other. Our silences were uncomfortable and we both knew we wouldn't see each other again after the trip. By contrast, my trip to Utah was filled with laughter and amazement at nature. The silences were expressions of the awe at the amazing natural scenery around us.

I especially enjoyed staying at the Desert Hills Bed and Breakfast where I met people from as near as Grand Junction, UT and as far as away as Germany. Interestingly, both my partner and I had "small world" experiences while in the large state of Utah. The German couple we met are from a small town very near the town where I stayed in Germany - they kindly invited us to meet the prince and visit the castle in their town which I now cannot recall...Bungeburg? The operator of our first hotel also happened to come from a small town in India very near to my companion's parents' hometown.

I love this small world.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

8 Days a Week: The Value of Time

I'm thinking a lot about time these days - perhaps I should not spend so much time on time as time is what seems to be lacking. My major stress is feeling like I don't have enough time - enough time to study, prepare for my patients, call them back, clean my house, play with my puppy, spend with my boyfriend, spend with my housemate, spend with other friends, pay my bills, etc., etc., etc... I do seem to make time to email my mom, write this blog, sing plenty karaoke on my home machine and go to basketball with my boyfriend. It's all a question of priorities, but mine seem to be skewed - I actually find myself wishing that I could just stay at my retail job, work regular hours and not have to think about my job when I'm not there. However, finding out that I will actually not be allowed to walk in my graduation ceremony if I don't meet certain serious upcoming deadlines has put my priorities into stark perspective.

I'm heading out of town this weekend and will probably not even take a book with me, since I'm going with my boyfriend and all that together time won't easily give opportunity for studying. However, I expect and plan to come back refreshed and ready to just "get 'er done." It's going to be challenging, but really what choice do I have? [Note: I CHOSE MY CHOICE!]

Another closely related point is the relative value that I place on other people's time. I actually do recognize that my commitments and obligations are not any more important than anyone else's, especially to anyone else, but this is something I struggle with. My colleagues and I are under such stress and have such constant deadlines that it seems that someone else's decisions, obligations and appointments often don't seem to have as much value in my mind. And yet paradoxically, I let other people devalue my time. Isn't that ironic?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Getting Stung: Straight (and Late!) to the Point!

I used to be a very punctual person. I considered being on time a virtue and strived to show people I loved and respected them through little politenesses like punctuality and opening doors. Perhaps it was my Spanish teacher of 4 years always talking about Hispanic culture being more laid back, perhaps it was always being on time and feeling disrespected myself while waiting around for the "others" to show up...whatever it was, I'm no longer a punctual person. In fact, I'm chronically late.

I don't mind being chronically late, except that it has almost cost me my job, creates tension in my relationship and reflects badly on me professionally. I work part time in a retail shop with what are probably the most lenient work policies in the city and the one thing they will "let someone go" for is repeated lateness. To make it easier on them, the manager doesn't even have to notice your being late and it becomes: "just business, nothing personal" since the computer manages your tardies and the policy is firm. I'm an excellent employee, but I may be fired if I'm late 2 more times.

I'm also always late to class, and although no computer is tracking me, I'm sure that my instructors have noticed that I come into class up to an hour late and return from each break 5-10 minutes late. As many of them are Chinese and very traditional, this is taken as a great disrespect, though none is intended.

Lastly, my relationship is affected by my chronic tardiness...although I believe my boyfriend is a little crazy on the other side. After a very stressful day yesterday, I rushed home to take care of my dog(s) and get dressed for a double date - my boyfriend made plans with his coworker and her husband for us to meet at a lovely little restaurant for dinner. Knowing him well, I called him to ask that he not "yell" at me about getting there on time [note: to me yelling includes using tones of voice that house disapproval, not just raising the volume of one's voice], but apparently I didn't know him well enough. He was running late, on his way out the door with his hands full and was I ready yet because we had to leave as soon as he got to my house. When he called a few minutes later from the road, it was again with the query "Are you ready yet?" though he was stuck in a traffic jam at least 20 minutes away.

I was indeed ready when he arrived, we weren't the least late to the restaurant and we sat there for 30 minutes waiting for his friends who were in fact late. We did end up with time for a much needed cocktail, a delicious round of mushroom and Gorgonzola stuffed wontons and those little "I love you"s that we needed to share after not seeing each other for two days, so maybe punctuality is a virtue I to which I can again subscribe.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Third Time's A Charm?

This is my third attempt at blogging and I don't know if this one will be anymore successful than my previous blogs. My first blog which was all about dating and provided what I think of as valuable advice for men was harder to write when I started a relationship. Not that I think my boyfriend, or other men, couldn't still benefit from my vast knowledge of what women want, but it was harder not to write specifically about my boyfriend or use that as a passive aggressive outlet for what should be honest communication.

I then tried to write a career oriented blog. As a student of the natural healing arts, I have a lot of opinions and information worth sharing, but apparently writing something that appealed in any professional sense is just beyond me as I still haven't written a single word of my own masters thesis. When my classmates ask about my thesis, I say, "yes, I've written 13 pages." What they don't know is that all 13 pages of that are quotes.

So, now I'm writing my 3rd blog...why and what for? Keep my friends and family updated? Probably not - I'm such a secretive control freak that I probably won't share this link with anyone that I think would actually check in and read it. Because I have interesting things to say that people might like to read? Possible but I doubt it - although I've found very unlikely blogs to be unexpectedly fascinating. I guess I just want a safe place to post my rants.

For example, my rant about I really the last of the Resistance to MySpace? I'm not sure how my dislike of MySpace started or really even what it is based on, but I have this strong resistance to making a MySpace account. I find myself frustrated as I look on my friends' pages and can't view their photos or calendars without logging in, but I refuse based on some random principle to keep in touch through that media. My friend told me last night that she has an account that she uses specifically for spying - that almost got me as ISpy is a way of life. However, I started this blog instead - I guess it turns out that I'm more of an exhibitionist than a voyeur.