Well hello there, 2017!

Well well well. I did it. I successfully completed my 2016 one-goal-a-month project.

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I am including throughout this post for your enjoyment some of my favorite photos from a shoot with my sister and cousin on Thanksgiving. I have no useful outlet for these photos but they are just ridiculous enough that I feel they are worthy of being shared.

December, I must say, was my favorite goal of all. No matter how many times I learn my lesson, I am always amazed by how happy it makes me to “sacrifice” my time and resources for the sake of others. I say “sacrifice” because in all honesty, I don’t give up a lot. Is my time so important that I can’t give an hour or two when someone really needs a listening ear? Is it really such an economic burden to share a meal with someone who needs a pick-me-up? What’s so inconvenient about a slight detour when someone needs a ride? I’m not saying I’ve never missed an opportunity to serve. I’m not saying I’m a pure altruist who is unacquainted with selfishness. All I’m saying is that I am a lot happier when I step outside myself for a tiny moment now and then. It’s a good reminder that I’m not the only person who has problems and that what I perceive to be pressing issues now and then (*cough cough* *HOMEWORK*) may not be what’s most important.

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My deep bond with nature, as well as the deep roots of these weeds, is just like my deep-rooted love for service-oriented behavior.

I didn’t keep strict tabs on my efforts to “light the world” during December. I didn’t try to contrive any acts of service last-minute to check it off my list for that day. Instead, I tried to develop a habit of following thoughts and feelings when they said “do this nice thing for this person.” It’s incredibly easy to come up with an excuse not to. If you think about it for more than 2 seconds, you can rationalize your way out of any good deed. At least, that’s what I do constantly. I’m slowly, deliberately breaking the habit and it is a wonderful feeling.

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LIGHT THE WORLD . . . WITH ARMPIT SUNSHINE!

What a way to end a year! After doing absolutely nothing between Christmas and New Year’s (I didn’t even feel like facing crowds enough to go skiing, if that gives you any idea how lazy my break was), I’m feeling excited and ready for . . . just continuing my life. Beginning a new year means little to me. Wanna know why? I found out this year that when I choose one thing (and only one, because we all know my brain can’t handle more than that) to focus on, I can accomplish it. It’s up to me to become the person I want to be, and it’s going to happen little by little.

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Trying a new, artsy hair-flip technique
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Another shot at the hair-flip technique. Starting to look pretty cool, don’t you think? Can’t you just feel the emotion? It’s all about working hard at your dreams, little by little, until they come true.

EXAMPLE: I’VE BEEN DOING MY CLASS READING THIS WEEK. I REPEAT. AUBREY GLAZIER HAS BEEN DOING HER ASSIGNED READING. Never mind that it’s highly unlikely for this trend to continue; just remember that this already sets me miles ahead of literally any other semester of my college life. Like, who even am I anymore? A year of focusing on self-discipline does things to you.

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Me: “Congratulations to ME for being the BEST” Hannah: “ugh ur ruineing my hurrr”
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Me: “plz congratulate me I love u” Hannah: “why r u so weird”

How, exactly, did I develop said self-discipline? I laughed, I cried, I awkwardly ordered a milkshake without chocolate, I sent a cart in an elevator solo and ran up the stairs to meet it, and much more. I probably looked pretty stupid at times. But it’s OK because I accomplished something worthwhile. If you’d like to read my other posts about goals from the year, you can find them here.

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Catch me because I am a successful goal-keeper! Wooooohooo! This feels like an engagement photo shoot!

So wish me luck on my goals this year. I won’t be posting about them consistently every month, but I’ll have goals just the same. Here’s to 2017!

 

I have to write a 12 page paper so this is going to be short

November goal update:

I was still late to a lot of stuff. I never was able to admit it until now . . . but I think I might be what they call “chronically late.” Oh dear. Well the good news is I was on time with more frequency than normal. I even had a few moments where I ran in public with my backpack on (I am not kidding, I actually did this, despite how much I have talked in my life about how it’s the worst thing ever), ate on the go instead of at home, or sacrificed doing the dishes to be on time (if you think I’m kidding, just know that I really like doing the dishes. I feel incomplete if I leave a mess). I won’t call it a failure cause I improved ever so slightly.

December goal:

I’m not giving y’all a chance to vote on this one because there’s really only one option. With the church’s Christmas campaign, it’s obvious what I want to do! No days without service for all of December! So far I’ve kept it up. Things like taking out someone’s trash, hosting FHE, or feeding your roommates dinner—there are so many little opportunities to #lighttheworld by service. I don’t anticipate it being difficult at all to do something small every day.

JUST IN CASE you haven’t seen the Church’s Christmas initiative video:

And if you have seen it, I thought it was cool to hear Elder Bednar talking about it as well:

Well-Journaled October and No-Tardy November!

For my October goal poll, it was a tie for no fake swears and no days without writing in my journal. I decided to do the journaling one. I’m not going to say that what I wrote each day was profound, or lengthy, or anything exceptional. But I wrote something. And most importantly, I wrote it down while it was still fresh on my mind. Sometimes we try to play “catch-up” in our journal, and while this is better than nothing, it isn’t the same as what we would’ve written at the time. In a matter of days or weeks your perspectives can change a lot. Half the reason I write in my journal is to sort out my own thoughts about a current situation. It’s therapeutic for me. I love it. And I’m really glad I did it. I hope to continue the trend during the coming months as well!

Now, for this month’s goal. Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to No-Tardy November, in which Aubrey is not allowed to be late to any commitment (i.e. class, work, church, church activities, appointments, etc.) unless there is a legitimate reason or it is something that would be socially unacceptable to be on time to. (If you think that’s going to be hard for me, just keep in mind that last year was “no-chocolate November.” This should be a piece of cake compared to that).

Why do I need to make this a goal? Well, people, my punctuality has positively gone down the drain this semester. Yes, I’ve always been a bit of a tardy person. Why? I over-schedule myself. I underestimate how long it takes me to get ready. I underestimate travel time. I accidentally turn off my alarm without fully waking up. I take cold medicine at 1:00 am because I’m coughing and then sleep through my alarm and accidentally miss Relief Society when I’m supposed to conduct (this totally didn’t happen, just a hypothetical situation I thought might happen to someone like me, not speaking from experience here at all, this totally didn’t happen two weeks ago to me, no way).

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Turns out, you can only use this excuse if you’re actually a queen.

Being late doesn’t feel good. I feel rushed, unprofessional, and awkward (especially when I walk to the front row of the class I TA for and attempt to not distract from the lecture that has already begun). SO, how the heck am I going to change a life-long habit of being tardy to everything?

Well, the funny thing is, I can be on time to things that I know are important. Job interviews, the Frontrunner, things that I know I can’t just show up late to and expect all to carry on as normal. The Frontrunner will leave you. If you’re late to a job interview, you can kiss that job opportunity goodbye. But a class of 200 people, where no one is really going to care if you’re there or not? Or FHE, where a lot of people don’t show up on time anyway? Or TA office hours, where students only seldom actually visit?

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I’m always thrown off by the “actual advice mallard.” I always expect it to be a joke and it isn’t. Good advice, though, mallard.

The thing is, it shouldn’t matter what it is or how “important” a commitment is. I want to foster a general habit of punctuality so that when things are important, I don’t feel like I have to bend over backwards to make myself be on time; it will just be a habit. It usually would only be the difference of a few minutes: getting up 5 minutes earlier, spending a little less time doing my makeup, choosing an outfit the night before, cutting off a conversation a little sooner, looking up from my phone and walking straight there instead of being distracted, etc. There are so many small distractions that get in the way of being on time, and being conscious of the them should make it easy to cut them out.

Here’s my plan/strategy for being on time (because we all know that just saying I’m going to hasn’t worked out so far). I will decide when I need to leave for something and commit that I’m going to leave at that time. I’ll count backwards from the time I need to be somewhere and say, “how long will it take for this? And this? And this?” and then add it all up. That will give me the time I need to start getting ready to go and doing those things. Then, I’ll have to be ready on time, right?

Of course, there are some exceptions. I have a class I can’t be on time to because it overlaps with the class before it, for example. What I’m trying to do here is be on time when I really don’t have any good reason not to.

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Valid.

I’m going to try it out and let you all know how it goes. I might have to sacrifice a little sleep or go to school with a less-cute outfit once in a while, but it’ll totally be worth it. (At least, that’s the goal). Wish me luck, cause like I said, this is gonna be a toughie.

 

Sustaining: more than just raising your hand

It’s the first Saturday in October. You’re on your way to watch the afternoon session of General Conference with your family. Just like every conference, you over-estimated how much you could accomplish in the 2 hours between sessions and you’re late getting back to watch it. Luckily, this is Utah and you can choose between 3 different radio stations broadcasting it. When it comes time to sustain the church officers and leaders, you are proud to raise your hand, even though none of them can see you. You look around and are happy to see many others in their vehicles doing the same. There’s a certain comradery you feel between all those who are also “attending” the conference. The act of “sustaining” our leaders by raising our hand is a tangible, visible way we can all make an important statement: I believe these people really are the Lord’s servants and I support them.

While the scenario I just described might be more common, yesterday I actually attended the afternoon session. It was exhilarating to see 20,000 others raise their hands along with me to sustain the First Presidency and other great men and women who humbly serve us and the Lord. Then, each time we were given the opportunity to express any opposition, one man’s voice rang from the upper back of the conference center: “OPPOSED!”

My roommate and I looked at each other, both putting a hand over our heart as if to say, “that hurts a little.” Even though I know many people disagree with the beliefs, policies, and leaders of the Church, it’s still painful to see their dissent in such a visibly close and real way. I watched and listened as President Henry B. Eyring continued to announce the names of leaders to be sustained. Was it just my imagination or was he doing this part more quickly than normal? I pictured him and all the amazing talks he has given from that pulpit.

Memories of him, President Monson, Elder Holland, Sister Marriott—people I love so dearly even though we’ve never met—flashed through my mind. I thought about how pure, good, kind, loving, and hardworking they are. How could anyone be opposed to them? When the time came to raise my hand in a sustaining vote again, I thrust my hand up with more vigor. I wanted to personally tell each of them that I support them and know they are great people who strive to do what’s right. I wanted to tell the Lord that I support his servants and I know that they are doing his work.

Then I thought, what does raising my hand really do? More than anything, it reflects my inner commitment to sustain my leaders. But what can it do to fight the intense opposition the church sometimes faces? Maybe it won’t do anything. There’s got to be a way for me to fight the opposition, then. How can I do that?

“By doing what they ask,” was what popped immediately into my mind. Dressing modestly. Using clean language. Attending my church meetings and serving wholeheartedly in callings. Studying the scriptures to find truth. Being patient. If I want the world to know that I believe this is the true church and that I believe a prophet of God is guiding it, I HAVE to follow its standards and I have to follow his counsel!

I think most of us saw that blog post from a previous conference, where a girl was saying she would have liked to have been behind President Monson to hold him up when his physical strength was visibly diminished. Well, we can’t exactly do that. However, we can trust in his words and show that we believe he is inspired.

That is what I intend to do. I don’t know if any general authority will ever actually know that I personally sustain them. I don’t know if anyone who opposes the church will change their mind because of me. I’m just trying to do what’s right and that’s enough for now.

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With the roomies right before the session. This view of the temple never gets old.

I DIDN’T Forget To Make Goals!

So. ONCE AGAIN, you probably thought I was slacking on my goal-making (if you only recently discovered my blog and you don’t know what I’m talking about, read more here).

OK so here’s what happened the past few months. I didn’t stop making goals, I only forgot to post about them . . . so here comes a quick recap. You ready?

No-Judgment July

My goal for the month of July was to NOT JUDGE. You guys. I can’t tell you how many times I have judged someone based on first impressions, then gotten to know them, and then been deeply humbled. I am ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS wrong about people.

No-laziness August and September

I heard that if you do something for 60 days in a row it becomes a habit. So. Remember my time in Galilee, and how I said I became a more responsible adult? Well, I decided that to make the whole getting-up-early-and-exercising thing a habit, I was going to do it for 60 days in a row (or approximately 2 months). So that covers August and September, instead of having separate goals for each one.

It has been incredible so far. I haven’t let a day go by (except Sundays. You do need a day of rest, after all) without going for a run. Some days I run 5 kilometers, some days only about a mile. But even the short days make a difference because of the consistency. I’m not an Olympic runner yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

Now, the big question on everyone’s mind: what will October bring?! It’s only a week away! This is where I need everyone’s help to vote again. I can’t be a slacker. I want to keep this challenging. This is IMPORTANT people, OK? This could be the difference between me not eating pizza or me not listening to weird 90s music for a month (neither of which will actually be on the list of options, LOL).

I can’t wait to see what you guys decide!

You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit

In elementary school, we were constantly reminded that “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” Whether that was referring to candy, recess time, or group assignments, it was always applicable and we lived by it. But have we forgotten? Have we become so concerned with always having the best that we don’t know how to be grateful anymore?

Dr. Brent W. Webb, BYU’s academic vice president, came and spoke to us last week. During the Q&A portion of his presentation, someone asked what the current generation of BYU students could improve on. Among other things, he said we are very entitled. Many professors complain that we expect to be given what we want or think we need. There was a slight tone of laughter as we all thought the same thing: it’s true. We’ve all gone to talk to professors about getting a better grade, we’ve all complained about the unfairness of an exam question or a grading rubric, and we’ve all been disappointed by a grade lower than what we thought we deserved. I’ve complained about school just as much as the next guy, but I would like to change that.

Not only is it ironic how much we complain about school when we are paying thousands of dollars every year for it and people all around the world would do anything to receive the quality of education we are given, we also miss the point when we have an “I deserve an A in every class and will accept nothing less” attitude. Of course, because this is BYU, there are those extremely intelligent and driven people who get a 4.0 while enrolled in Organic Chemistry and 17 other credits and running a service club and performing in choir etc. etc. But the fact is, most of us are not that person. I’m definitely not. Yesterday I studied for about 4.5 hours for a final (which I still bombed, welcome to college) and today I could physically feel my brain protesting in exhausted agony. (I’m not kidding – it feels like a swollen balloon that could pop at any moment).

So what am I saying? On the one hand, I don’t believe anyone should settle for mediocrity just because you can’t be the very best at everything. On the other hand, I don’t think we should be disappointed in ourselves when we study our guts out and don’t get the grades we want.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, we should never compare our learning to someone else’s. When we are too worried about grades (I know, you want to get into your program, and I get that, but I’m talking in general here), it leads to a sense of entitlement. The only thing we are really entitled to from a college education is learning. And if you learn whatever it is that God wants you to learn, then you’re getting what you need and deserve. No amount of studying or organization can make up for a humble acceptance of the lessons life will teach you.

The only thing we are really entitled to from a college education is learning.

Of course, it’s exhilarating to walk out of a test confident that every answer was exactly what you studied and knew. It’s gratifying to see that a teacher was impressed with your essay or final project. And of course it’s encouraging when you’re at the top of your class. But while all that is good, what might be more important is learning to cope with disappointment and failure. Learning to say “I did my best for today and that’s all I could have done.” Learning to say “I didn’t do as well as I could have, and now I know what to do next time.” Learning to define yourself not by a number on a page, but by your character, your goodness, and your desire to be better.

I’m grateful for the marvelous things I am learning here at the Jerusalem Center, and what I have learned in general in my time at BYU. Though my grades may not reflect a worldly standard of greatness, I know that at the end of my life, I’ll be the person the Lord wants me to be. And that is all that matters.

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“I get bad grades sometimes and I’m pretty socially awkward and I can’t keep a stable sleep/eating/exercise routine for more than 5 minutes and I was NOT blessed with the most amazing memory in the world, which has gotten me into some awkward situations before and I am very shy in the wrong situations and college is very very hard for me and in general things RARELY go according to plan in my life. But guess what? I am smiling anyway, cause why the heck not?!”

No-Negativity May

I know I just barely started talking about Jerusalem, but I have to address something really quick. No-elevator April went really well, guys! I rode a lot of escalators going through the airport, but it’s not the same thing . . . so I was successful in my goal! Ha! It’s been fun going up and down the stairs of the Jerusalem Center here (honestly it’s not that bad, it’s usually only a couple of floors at a time) and hopefully it will stay a habit. That should keep me healthy.

Now you’re all wondering what I’m going to do for May. Will I keep going with the goals even though I’m on a study abroad? Is there something I can give up even though I’m all the way over here in a foreign country and I basically have no idea what’s going on? Yes! Of course! In fact, I thought of something that I hope will help me get the most out of the experience: no negativity.

The plan is to stop myself before I say anything negative—anything at all. I know in March the thing was to avoid speaking poorly of anyone behind their back, but this is even more. Yes, it includes not saying anything unkind about my fellow students on the program, the people of Israel, or even people back home. But it also includes complaining about the weather (you should have seen how sweaty I was today . . . iiieccchhh), my level of tiredness, my homework, being forced to play basketball (yes, that happened, and no, I don’t want to talk about it), etc. Hopefully it will help me to enjoy every moment more and savor this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Hurrah for Israel! (Is that being appropriately used? No idea. Anyway you get the idea of how I feel about this place and the fact that I get to spend a whole summer here   !!!)

Literally the cutest song ever and an April poll

So. Yes, the title is true. You are about to see/hear the cutest song ever. Ever. I was on one of those endless YouTube-essay-distraction-music-chains where after an hour I’ve accomplished nothing more than add some fantastic songs to my airtight YouTube playlists and I’m not really sure how I got where I am (and I justify it because after all, if you have a stellar playlist your essay practically writes itself, right?.

This time, I came across Rusty Clanton and Tessa Violet (their band name is People You Know). First I just discovered Tessa Violet and I wasn’t immediately impressed. I didn’t like her voice very much. But for some reason, I couldn’t stop watching. I started listening to more of her stuff. Even though I didn’t like it at first, there’s something so cool about her music. I don’t know what it is, guys!

Anyway, when I got to this song, I was sold. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is LITERALLY the cutest song in the history of humanity. OK bye just watch it.

I love it. I’m officially of fan of both of them.

Anyways, now the part you’ve all been waiting for . . . my resolution to give up something every month continues! You have another chance to vote on what I should give up for April. I might not listen to you guys if you don’t vote for the one I want, but I thought I’d ask for your input anyway. Maybe I’ll give up two things. IDK just vote because it’s fun OK? OK thanks.

And, in the spirit of sharing YouTube music, here’s a marvelous playlist of Disney covers to relish while you ponder.

Happy listening, friends. May your week be filled with joy.

 

Minus Malicious Mumbling March

Oh, the things I do for the sake of alliterations.

Anyway, it’s me again, telling you about my goals. If you didn’t read about my goals for January or February, go ahead and check them out).

To give you the update on how things are going: well, prepare for disappointment. “Frugal February” was not quite as successful as I would have hoped. The goal was to not buy any clothes or shoes (with the exception of things I actually need for my study abroad this summer that I find on clearance, which did happen a couple times). I cheated a couple of times on this goal, but I actually did REALLY WELL on overall spending. It probably has more to do with the fact that in January I was buying all my textbooks than anything else, but I nearly cut my credit card bill in half, y’all! (I also tried to spend less on food, which also only sort of worked. But hey, progress is progress!)

So this month, I decided to go with something a little less measurable and tangible—negativity.

I don’t know how well I communicated this with my title, but I want to stop saying negative things about people. Sure, there’s plenty to criticize about everyone, but why do we do it? I want people to be understanding of my flaws, so I’m going to try to be more understanding of theirs. If there’s something that bothers me so much that I just can’t stand it, I’ll say it to their face. I’ll talk to them about it. And if it’s not worth it to me to talk to them, then I won’t keep dwelling on it.

Why this, why now? I’ve had a few moments of reckoning the past few weeks (and really my whole life). I’ve realized that I am simply ALWAYS WRONG about people. Every. Time. 

Exhibit A. I have a professor that, if you’ve talked to me recently, I’ve probably complained about. His class has been frustrating for me because I feel like it shouldn’t be hard for me, and yet, it is. I complained about how he didn’t care about his students and was not sympathetic when I missed a day because I was sick. Ever since then, I’ve noticed he’s actually probably one of the nicest professors I’ve had. Today, for example, he noticed that I wasn’t all there (I was seriously drained, and out of it, and just like checked out . . . let’s just say sleep habits are not what they should be. As if that were something new for me, lol). After class he asked if I was feeling okay. WHAT OTHER TEACHER OF MINE HAS EVER DONE THAT?! NOT ONE. I was like “OK, maybe he actually does care about his students. Like, I’m definitely at fault here.” And he isn’t the only one. I always end up loving professors that I hated at the beginning. The more you get to know someone, the more you realize that they aren’t actually intentionally attempting to ruin your life. Funny, huh?

Exhibit B. I have a friend who has become good friends with every person in my apartment (even my giant teddy bear) and comes over several times a week. Our first impression of him? Terribly, terribly wrong. Like, I’m embarrassed to even talk about it. Basically, we thought he was presumptuous and full of himself. Turns out, he’s the kindest person you’ll ever meet and a great friend. And again, this isn’t the only time this has happened. Basically all the people I end up being great friends with are not people I would have expected to be great friends with.

It’s too easy to cast judgment, and talking about it with someone else only perpetuates the feeling that it’s actually true. So this month, I’m not going to do it. I may not have to like everyone, but I don’t have to speak poorly of anyone either.

Now, anyone who would like to join me is welcome. And let’s make this a month minus any malicious mumblings.

If you need inspiration, just watch Steph Curry for a little. I wish I would have watched this game, you guys. HE IS UNREAL (as if you hadn’t already heard).

Frugal February

I know, I know. It’s been a while. If you’re upset that I haven’t been enriching your life with my normally constantly-flowing fountain of wisdom and entertainment (also known as: the blog), I’m sorry.

Just look at this picture of me and try to not forgive me, while keeping in mind that a roommate who is supposed to be my FRIEND posted this on the INTERNET. I DARE YOU. I know, it’s impossible. I’m such a victim.

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Anyway. Now that I have successfully defaced my own name, I will get to the positive stuff!

Lest ye hath forgotten, last month was “No-Snooze January.” There were doubters. There were haters. There were those who stood by and scoffed. They said it was impossible. They pointed at me, laughing, and said “YOU?! AUBREY?! YOU REALLY THINK YOU CAN GET UP ON TIME?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA” and then drove away in their nice cars and threw food at me while my determination only increased twofold, or probably like twelve, no, fifteenfold!

Okay so actually it was more like this:

Me: I’m going to go an ENTIRE MONTH without hitting snooze.

Person: Cool, I should probably do that.

Me: Yeah. It’s amazing. You feel great when you get up on time. And it’s better if you wake up the first time because you start your day with a victory! Plus it doesn’t throw off your circadian rhythms, leaving your body and mind confused, which–

Person: Cool story OK see ya

Me: *mumbles* makes you more tired.

 And I stand by everything I said. I think that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. (And, secret: I’ve still been doing it this whole month too! It became a habit and I’ve done a lot better at being on time to stuff. My roommate would probably interject here “Well, at least a little better.” And I would say “No, a LOT!” Except when I installed a system update on my phone that changed how my alarm works and I slept through important things for about 4 straight days without figuring out the problem.

ANYWAY THE WHOLE POINT of this post is to share my February goal! The overall problem has to do with spending . . . *shudder* money is the absolute worst. We should go back to a bartering system.

Anyway. I don’t know if any of you will remember a post from last year where I re-committed myself to be more thrifty and not buy stuff just because it was cheap, or because I was feeling emotional, or any other reason unless I really needed it. I did great for a while, and then I moved out and started having to buy my own food again and . . . you know how it goes.

So I made a pact with my roomie that we weren’t going to buy any clothes or shoes this past month. Just for a month. To develop self-control and all that jazz. It kinda worked, except we both cheated a little. (The only things I bought were VERY justified and I will tell you all about it some other day. MY ROOMMATE ON THE OTHER HAND, HINT HINT TOSHA I HOPE YOU’RE READING THIS YOU BIG CHEATER PANTS).

So then we extended it to this month. I figured it was a worthy enough goal to fall under my one-goal-a-month plan for the year. This is one that I hope will turn into a habit, just like the alarm one! Life is better when you’re in control of dumb stuff like that.

How are everyone else’s goals coming? (I was *this* close to putting a winky face here and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it).