So I am pumped! The beginning of the open water swim season has started. As many of you know I am training for the Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim. It will be the first of 3 open water swimming races this year- Great Salt Lake, Deer Creek and Slam the Dam. Naturally I will be swimming in the open water much more than 3 times, every week if I can.
My goal this year is to introduce someone new to the sport. I know it sounds scary but its really exhilarating. You also have never met nicer people of all ages, shapes and sizes. Can’t swim very well? I’ve seen people make incredible strides in a matter of weeks.
Anyway, today my friends and I went out to the Great Salt Lake and swam through the marina and around the buoys several times. I started to get water in my goggles (a bad thing in the GSL) so I had to go in but I was tired so its just as well. I’d say I was in the water 45 minutes or so.
I was really worried about the water temperature and how my muscles would react. Fortunately this has been a warm winter and the water is already 70 degrees! It felt cold at first but its amazing how quickly you adjust and it was fine. The greater challenge was the wind and the choppiness in the water. That’s the hardest part of open water swimming but its also part of the excitement when you finish.
There is an optical illusion that happens every time I swim in the open water. Whatever you are sighting seems so far off, until you are practically on top of it. It feels like you aren’t making progress and so when you arrive its twice as thrilling! You did what momentarily you felt you could not do. Its great!
Seriously friends come out with me sometime. If you do I will buy you dinner! I think you will enjoy it as much as I do and if not you got a free dinner. 🙂 . Other lakes are opening now as well as the GSL such as Bountiful Lake and Blackridge. Hurray!
This can only be a super quick post because I have to get to work but I just wanted to announce that I bought a bike. After 15 years of not biking I have finally decided to embrace a more active lifestyle with a bike. I’m thrilled with my purchase and can’t wait to get out there and ride!
The idea behind the bike is right now I have exercise time and regular time. I want to add something in the middle. Just active time. This will be especially good if I can convert passive time such as driving into active time. It will take some practice and I feel unbalanced but I will get there.
Its a Trek Navigator 2.0. I got it because of the low frame, the heft felt secure, the large seat, and it still has 21 speeds.
Who is going to be the first one to go riding with me? I will probably be super slow but it would be fun.
Just a comment- this post is mainly for my LDS friends but feel free to read on either way!
So I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of nurturing. In the Mormon church nurturing is frequently the top verb used to describe women. The Family: A Proclamation to the World even says “Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.”
Despite the frequency of this verbage and its clear importance, the actual meaning of the word is a little fuzzy. I bet if you asked 100 Mormon women you would get 100 close, but sometimes strikingly different answers. Recently released General Relief Society President Julie Beck created great controversy in 2007 when she said:
“Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a “house of order,”
and, “Mothers who know…bring daughters in clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection; their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts.”
So, according to Sister Beck learning to nurture is more important than any other kind of education, and yet still what is it exactly? Surely, it is more than learning to iron and brush hair to perfection! Sister Beck goes on to say “Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home.” (Also, couldn’t homemaking be a home of one?)
Well, this confuses me even more because is not the standard of an orderly home completely subjective? I know people that even at our cleanest would find my parents home very cluttered and those that would see the reverse. And even if this is the definition is that something to build an eternal life and purpose around? Some of the most righteous homes I’ve been in were dirty, cluttered and even chaotic.To give Sister Beck more credit I am sure she would agree. As all general authorities she is required to teach an ideal and let us govern ourselves.
However, it still doesn’t answer the question about nurturing. What is it and how is it best expressed? Oftentimes I feel when it gets defined as homemaking it limits the scope of the word to those who are what I call ‘ooey goey’. Meaning they see a baby and coo. They want nothing more than to have a home with tons of kids and husband who provides for them. I loved reading Stephanie Nielsen’s book but she is totally that way, which is great. I’m not down-grading this in any way. In fact, I quite envy it but its just not me right now.
In fact, I’ve never been like that. I’m much more of a realist when it comes to family life and have never had a huge innate desire to have my own children. There are a lot of reasons for this but there it is. I’m open minded and willing to do whatever Heavenly Father asks but I don’t crave it like some girls.
For some single girls I know not having children is the great sorrow of their lives, and I just don’t feel that way. I don’t have a great sorrow. I’m happy with my life. This contentment sometimes feels wrong, like I should be desiring for these things more, but what good would that do me? I’m not avoiding them…Hmmm?
This makes me wonder- do I lack this essential trait of nurturing that is supposed to be so natural to women? Sister Beck seems to answer yes, saying quite bluntly:
“Mothers who know desire to bear children”. and again “Faithful daughters of God desire children.” That doesn’t make me feel very faithful…Hmmm?
There has to be more to it than that…
I honestly don’t know the complete answer and I wonder what Sister Beck would tell me to do? I’m sure she would be sweet and lovely but I wonder what advice she would give?
I always felt a connection with Martha in the Mary and Martha story in the New Testament. Am I a Martha who is focused on the more practical, instead of the intangibles like Mary? What can I do about that? Hmmm (Also, couldn’t the Mary/Martha story refute some of the perfectly ironed and brushed mothers Sister Beck describes above?)
The fact is we don’t know why some of us are given certain personalities, natures, desires and others aren’t? We don’t know why some are given certain opportunities and others are not, but isn’t it a comfort to know that God knows?
Even though I occasionally feel guilty and more than a little unfeminine for my personality, I know that God accepts me and see’s my efforts to be obedient. 99% of the time I am comfortable with who I am and what my role is in God’s plan. When those 1% moments happen He is there showing me my worth.
That said, I still don’t know 100% what it is I am striving for? I was talking to a friend the other day and she said I have nurturing qualities in ways that don’t necessarily involve babies such as entertaining, cooking, making friends etc. This was a very comforting thought. Perhaps I will enjoy certain parts of nurturing more than others. I am sure the priesthood enjoy and feel adept at certain responsibilities more than others. Nobody is perfect (and how boring would that be if we all were!).
In the new book Daughters In My Kingdom about the history of Relief Society they give the best definition of nurturing I can find:
“Nurture is a rich word. It means to train, to teach, to educate, to foster development, to promote growth, and to nourish or feed. Women have been given the great privilege and responsibility to nurture in all these senses. Sister Julie B. Beck taught about the role of nurturing: “To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers [should] create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes.”
I think I might have stumbled upon the answer- to nurture is teach, to educate. That is something I’m great at! I’m a really good teacher (maybe not as much for kids but I’m learning). When I left the singles ward 😦 I got an email from a girl saying:
“I just wanted to say thank you SO much for all of the Sunday School lessons you taught. I always looked so forward for you to teach. I have learned a lot from you and I know I have heard other people say that too!
You have such a wonderful personality and a very strong testimony. It is evident in the way you teach and the wonderful attitude you have! Keep up the great work and never stop being the wonderful person you are!”
Maybe I’m not so bad at nurturing in this form. Hmmm?
I think of book club and how I have fostered an environment of discussion or teaching cooking lessons to my sister and her friends or writing this blog to hopefully share and teach. Is this not nurturing? It seems so different than Sister Beck’s definition?
I don’t know if I have it 100% figured out but I’m on to something. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not about knowing everything but about continually learning. For me at least these questions are not faith altering but faith refining. If we do not ask questions than we will never grow and our faith will remain stagnant.
Even the pioneer women there were some who became doctors and published newspapers, and others who had 15 children. They weren’t all the same, but it seems like they were all good at nurturing.
What do you think? How do you define the word nurture? What is the end goal of nurturing in regards to womanhood and progression?
So I’ve become a fan of making my own sauces. Since I can’t eat much processed food making my own sauces gives me the ability to customize the flavors that I like to my dietary needs. So far I’ve tackled vanilla, barbeque sauce, marinara (didn’t turn out great so no post on that), and today SALSA!
Last week Kate and I got a mexican addition to our bountiful basket. This included an array of peppers, tomatoes, cilantro and tomatillos. With these ingredients I made 2 different kinds of salsa- traditional red and a pineapple salsa verde. I’m super happy with the way they turned out. I have put the salsa in jars and then my grandma is going to let me borrow her canning pot so I can seal them. There will be salsa for months to come!
pineapple salsa verde
3 peppers (I’m actually not sure what kind they were), seeds, stem removed (depending how hot you like)
12 tomatillos husks removed. (canned works too. I doubled the batch with 3 cans of tomatillos and it tasted the same to me.)
2 small onions
1 ripe pineapple diced
1 bunch cilantro
put everything in food processor or blender and blend. That’s it!
6 cans S and W stewed tomatoes mexican style drained (this saves a ton of time)
2 small onions
2 poblano peppers stem removed but I left the seeds
Put all in the food processor (in 2 rounds) and blend.
I was going to put diced tomatoes in but it really didn’t need it but if you like it more chunky go for it.
tomorrow I’m going to put cilantro diced and green onion so its fresh and not soggy.
It tastes really good and couldn’t be easier. Tomorrow I’m having my grandma and family over for a Mother’s Day dinner and hopefully they like a Mexican fiesta! I’m doing crockpot chicken tacos with salsa, guac, toppings and it should be pretty delicious. Happy Mother’s Day friends and family, especially my own Mom.
So how many times have you seen an ad for a diet and it shows a before and after photo of a participant with amazing results? All the time. Well, 20/20 had an expose on the diet industry on Friday and while most of it was old hat to me this segment stood out. Evidently its an internet sensation with over 8 million hits but I’d never seen it. I just had to share it with all of you:
I personally hate dieting and I know lifestyle changes are the important thing but let’s be honest to have significant results you do need make changes, which could be interpreted as a diet. I sometimes feel resentful of all the sacrifices and things I have to give up. I’ve got a bit of a rebellious streak and I hate being told no. I have friends who don’t eat dairy, grain, all meat, red meat, all starches, fruit, all sweeteners, are vegan, vegetarian, eat raw, only organic etc. Not to mention no fast or processed food ever. I even have a friend who won’t eat mushrooms because of some perceived health problem. It sometimes makes me a little crazy. You are going to take all that away from me and mushrooms…
I think most of all I miss baking. I never make anything with yeast or that smells nice any more. I never get out my cake decorating supplies. In fact, my fondant has gotten all hard. A sad, sad site…
Anyway, I do the best I can and am happy with my progress. I’ve been training really hard for the upcoming race in the Great Salt Lake and I’m confident I will finish. (First practice in lake this Wednesday!). I’m certainly giving it my all. This week I did 4 intense training sessions (I got a massage today and the lady said my upper back was total tightness. That’s a swimmer for you!). I also ate very well, including attending a raw food class on Tuesday that was a lot of fun (it was exactly what you would expect a raw food class to be like in every way. Kate and I even got scolded for talking in class!)
You just have to keep plugging away day-by-day, try to make good choices, and don’t by into the quick fixes, trends and scams. It will only lead to depression and a rapidly decreasing pocket book.
So one of the hard things about changing to the family ward is the lack of activities. We have not had a single ward activity and only 2 relief society activities. In fact, the attitude seem to be against activities. For instance, before one of the relief society activities the announcer reiterated several times ‘don’t feel any pressure to come. Only come if you want to come’. This is a downer for me because I live alone and need activities to get to know anybody, especially now that they have me exiled to primary. Its not just activities but I’ve missed all the spiritual thoughts, FHE, firesides etc that you have in the singles ward.
Anyway, last week I decided to go ahead and attend activities in my singles ward again. Why not? Yesterday I checked my facebook and they announced a 5K in my ward. They’ve done these 5K’s as a fitness challenge every once in a while and there probably was a lot of build up in the ward but this was the first time I heard about it.
Trying to be super intense this week in my exercise I decided to go for it. I was a little nervous because the Turkey Trot in November had been so rough on my muscles. I figured this would be a good test on my improvement and recovery since the thyroid diagnosis, so I decided to go for it.
Fortunately I had friends to walk with and it went by much easier than the race in November. I felt energized and good. (Of course, the race in November it was freeze raining and was exhausted from all the Thanksgiving prep).
Even today I was a little sore but well enough to meet with my trainer! I don’t think I had realized how much my pain level and recovery time has improved since I started on the thyroid treatment until yesterday. It is so exciting! It makes me all the more confident for my upcoming swim (which I am excited but freaked out for at the same time).
I feel like I have finally figured it out after all the junk I went through last year. I am able to do something like a 5K without being near bedridden for the next 2 days. I couldn’t say that in November. Hurray!
Let’s just hope and pray that the progress continues and I am able to keep progressing, hopefully at an accelerated rate from last year. (Wouldn’t take much to make that happen!).
I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.
Success is blocked by concentrating on it and planning for it… Success is shy – it won’t come out while you’re watching.
Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.
Ok. So clearly this post is on success. Its something that’s been on my mind after a discussion with a friend of mine. She was an inspiration to me to lose weight and get in shape. She’s lost significant weight from her height and runs in 5k’s, has a trainer and is in my mind a complete success. In fact, she’s enough of a success to be an inspiration, years ago. The interesting thing is when I was speaking with her she seemed to believe her journey was just starting, that she still had so much to lose, so much to achieve fitness-wise. I’m not saying she felt like a failure but not as the finisher I saw.
It made me wonder if some people look at me that way, like I am a diet success when honestly I see failure a lot of the time? Or at least mediocre success in my self-defeating moments. Its just I thought I would be so much further along after 3+ years than I am. I thought it would be so much easier (and honestly that’s a good thing or I would never have made the attempt.
Still, it just made me wonder if people look at me and see something that I don’t see in myself. See a success that I don’t get. Do you ever wish you could be a fly on the wall and see the world as others see you? Perhaps it would be terrifying but maybe not!
I guess that’s the nice thing about a blog. It’s kind of a chance to be a fly on the wall and put yourself out there for the world. I know all I can do is keep trying, doing my best, removing distorted thoughts as much as possible and setting new goals. That’s it!
Honestly the only thing that I really feel truly successful about are my friendships, my blog and my swims. Everything else could use improvement and I’m Ok with that. Keep trying, keep moving forward.
Thoughts? What means success to you, and who do you look at as successful?