Tag: blogging

8 Year Anniversary

8 yearsI just wanted to share with you guys that today marks my 8 year anniversary as a blogger! I can hardly believe it has been so long and yet in many ways it seems like I have always done it.  I think back to that girl who started the blog. I was unemployed and rebuilding my confidence after a rough 3 years. I thought it might give me something to do and could be fun.

I had never thought of myself as much a writer but it turned out people responded to my essays. Sometimes they even responded more than I bargained for like when I dared say The Godfather is a little overrated…(I’ve come around on that one even though it still not a favorite of mine).  But for the most part people have been incredibly supportive and kind. I know I’m not the greatest writer in the world but I feel like you guys have understood my heart through  my words. You have no idea how rewarding that is.

In the last few years I have split my focus between the movie blog, youtube channel and this blog, which has proven difficult. But I will always have a special place in my heart for this blog and I plan on keeping it as active as I can for as long as I can.

Thank you for all the support and to the next 8 years!

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The Small Yet Big of Modern Life

small yet big lifeBy most reasonable standards I lead a small life.  As Nora Ephron said ‘valuable but small.  And sometimes I wonder do I do it because I like it or because I haven’t been brave?’  That question kind of hangs over me and when I’m feeling up to it I ponder its implications.

How is my life small?  Well, I’m single.  I don’t date a lot or hang out with lots of friends.  I used to but most of that has passed on to infrequent yet prized get-togethers with individuals.  Swim season is a bit different because that tends to be a group activity and I do have book club.  Still, there is something about having a marriage partner and children that stretches a person outside the circle of a single influence.

My life is also small because I have chosen to work from home and I am not currently going to school. I have had people tell me I should get a regular corporate job because I’d have a better chance of meeting someone than in my current situation.  You might as well tell me to sign up for a stint in prison because I could meet someone there.  My happiness is just too valuable to sacrifice for the small chance of widening my circle of friends/dates.

Nowhere do I feel smaller than at church.  I am part of a family-based faith.  People are friendly, even bending over backwards to include us single saints, but the difference is always there.  They are living a huge part of the gospel that I am not.  In that sense, it is a smaller life than they get to lead.

But wait…

If my life is small how come I will post a video in a few minutes and it will get viewed by friends (yes friends) in London, UAE, Germany, Florida, DC, California etc? Same is true with my blog posts.  This very post should have between 150-500 views this week alone.

I’ve been having terrible headaches lately and have received advice from people all over the world.  Isn’t that such a weird thing?

So under a certain lens my life is very big. I’ve gotten to the point on my youtube channel (over 800 subs!)  and movie blog that I post most days.  Not only is it a blast going to the movies (and other reviews) but it satisfies such a creative longing I didn’t even know I had.  Every day I write, film, edit, promote, design material for all of my content (and also for work of course).  The creative energy is really quite remarkable.

Then of course you have all the social media that helps us connect with friends and make new friends.  I am soooo grateful for this service in my life.  I can’t tell you how many days I’ve started tweeting or following a post on facebook and it has brightened my day.  Of course, there are the trolls and rude people but isn’t that the case in any group experience in real life or online?  I think so!

At this point I have been blogging for 8 years (you longtimers- can you believe it?).  I’ve been on facebook for 9. I’ve had times where I wonder- do I have anything left to say?  But then an idea will come and my fingers will fly!

So, my life is very small and big at the same time. Perhaps this is just modern life for everyone?

Do you feel that way about your life at times?  How do you deal with moments of loneliness that we all experience from time to time?

Continuing on with the Nora Ephron quote:

“So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void.

So good night, dear void…”

700 Subscribers Q and A Request

I have exciting news!  Over on my youtube channel I am almost at 700 subscribers.  To commemorate that number I thought I would finally do a good old fashioned Q and A.  Of  course, I naturally wanted to include all of you, my loyal blog readers.  Although, there isn’t much you don’t know about me!  Still, ask me anything.  Ask me about movies, music, swimming, faith, work, books, whatever you like.  I will do my best to answer whatever you throw at me.

You can put your question in the comments section on this post, the video or email me at smilingldsgirl@yahoo.com.  I look forward to chatting with all of you and seeing what you come up with.

Thanks!

Dragon’s Loyalty Award

dragons loyaltyToday I have been given an award tag by a fellow blogger I have enjoyed following.  She is a teenage blogger named Natalie who blogs about Disney and makeup on her blog Disney Freak with a Bit of Mascara and does a great job with it. You would never know that she is so young by her writing.

She even delights in pointing out the flaws in my favorite Disney movies like Little Mermaid and Frozen. LOL. It’s all in good fun and she does a good job stating her opinion in a thoughtful and coherent way. And she’s always respectful of people who think differently which is a great attribute in a young person (I sound like I’m 150!).

Everyone check out her blog and give her some more followers.

Anyway, she has tagged me and it is a pretty simple one.  Here’s the steps.

1.Thank the person who nominated you for this award.

2.Include the award logo.

3.State seven facts about yourself.

4.Nominate a few other bloggers.

As far as facts about myself you guys know everything there is to know about me.  So most of this is a review to my regular readers but I hope you enjoy it.

7 Facts About Me

  1. I have a lazy eye and have had surgery twice to help correct it.  Read here Strabismus
  2. I served my LDS Mission in Indianapolis, Indiana and it was a grueling but incredibly valuable experience.   They are getting a temple this month!!  So excited.
  3. This weekend will be my 10th finish in an open water swim race. (assuming I finish of course).  The last one I finished was Bear Lake Monster Swim
  4. My cousins and I love playing board games especially scrabble, boggle and bingo.
  5. 3 of my cousins closest to me in age have passed away. (That’s a sad fact but true).
  6. I graduated with my MBA in 2008 from University of Phoenix and it was a very proud moment for me.
  7. I’ve never been kissed and I’m 34.  Not ashamed just the way life has worked out. I’m happy with who I am.
  8. Lastly I currently have 2 blogs, a youtube channel, pinterest, periscope, snapchat, twitter, facebook, and more.  It’s madness but I love it!!! :

I always struggle with these kind of tags or nominations because I don’t want people to feel like they have to do it.  They seem kind of like a chain letter but I have fun doing it so hopefully others do as well.

I nominate

Animation Curration- http://theanimationcuration.com/

Swanpride (she’s never done anything like this on her blog but I would be genuinely curious to learn more about her.  Nevertheless check out her great feminist media blog) https://swanpride.wordpress.com/

HopeforHeather who faces a crippling chronic illness but has great strength.  Definitely worth checking out her blog https://hopeforheather.wordpress.com

Veronica’s Cornucopia-  She does the cookie swap I participate in each year and is an awesome blogger and Mom. http://veronicascornucopia.com/

The Simple Things- does a lot of travel and other updates and is a delight to read.  Check out her blog if you are in the mood for a pick-me-up https://jessicarlin.wordpress.com/

There you go.  That’s good for the moment.  Thanks for the nomination and love all of you.  If anyone wants to do the post feel free even if I haven’t nominated you directly.

Hey Friends and Summer Movie Report Card

So sorry I haven’t written in a bit.  I haven’t been feeling great and was a little bit blocked on what to write about.  Sometimes after 7 years of blogging it can be a little tough to think of new topics to write about especially when I have my separate movie blog.  I figured I would just give you a little update on what’s going on in my life like I used to do when I was just starting out the blog.

Summer is slipping by faster than it should and I’ve hardly gotten to the open water at all.  Next week I am going up to Bear Lake to swim a 1/2 mile swim.  It should be a lot of fun and at least I will be in the water for the weekend.

It’s not even that I’ve been that busy I’ve just had an upset stomach and been battling an infection that won’t go away and is very uncomfortable.  I don’t know if it is this infection but I’ve felt low energy lately, like I wish I could sleep all day and do nothing.  Do you ever get that way?

It’s hard feeling so tired because I need to get back into shape.  The whole prospect is completely overwhelming.  After being bedridden for a while last year I’ve had a hard time jumping back into my exercise routine.  I think I am going to try and make little changes and not do anything too drastic. My goal is to focus on eating right and swimming as much as I can.  That should keep it from being too miserable.  Do any of you have any suggestions?

Everything is going well at work.  Like I posted a few weeks ago I am taking a slower strategy- still working very hard but trying to wait on things and make them as perfect as I can instead of rushing.  It seems to be working out quite well.  (The one downside to telecommuting is I’m never 100% sure what people think of me but I feel like it is positive).

I’ve been learning a lot and we have a new giveaway for MagicCool cooling towels you guys should check out. http://gvwy.io/3u8zr6. It would actually really help me out if you did enter and it’s super easy to do.

I’ve had a fun summer watching movies.  As far as new movies here’s the summary:

Minions- cute but not that funny.  C

Terminator Genisys- Arnold is good but that’s about. Makes no sense, bad acting. D+

Me Earl and the Dying Girl- Cute if a bit derivative of other movies and filmmakers B

Inside Out- Completely brilliant. Best movie I’ve seen since Perks of Being a Wallflower in 2012  A+

When Marnie was There- Moving exploration of a tween girl with depression and the mystery of the marsh house.  A

Love and Mercy- Ambitious combination of 2 movies about Brian Wilson of Beach Boys.  I liked it but it felt kind of fractured and wedged together.  B-

Jurassic World- Stupid movie but entertaining in spurts. C

San Andreas- Rock can’t save the bad dialogue and special effects I’ve seen before.  D

Tomorrowland- Interesting concept, original idea but episodic in feel, miscast and to be honest kind of boring.  C-

Mad Max Fury Road- Visceral, insane war movie with great battle sequences like I’ve never seen before.  A-

Far From Madding Crowd- Loved 2 leads, beautifully shot, didn’t like Troy segments or actor. A little soapy at times. B-

Pitch Perfect 2- Same plot as original but taken international. Nothing special but I did like the songs and it did make me laugh. B-

Ex-Machina- Very well made AI thriller. I wish I was a little more emotionally connected to characters and ending a little predictable but definitely worth seeing. B+

Age of Adeline- Hated the narration and kind of soapy but charismatic cast saves it. Overall a fine time at the movies.  C

Avengers Age of Ultron- I loved it.  I liked getting my backstory on all the team. Liked they seemed vulnerable, Ultron and the ending was great A+

So that’s the movies for the summer.  Over all, I think last summer was stronger.  I can tell you one thing I am grateful to Mad Max because I am so tired of dopey action movies like Terminator Genisys that don’t give me anything new.  Inside Out is by far my favorite of the summer and year.  It blew me away.

If you are deciding what to spend the big bucks on I would say my As are the best movies of the summer- Inside Out, When Marnie was There, Mad Max Fury Road and Avengers.

What have you liked this summer at the movies? Make sure to check out the movie blog for reviews of almost all these movies

What else is going on…

Well, I have been enjoying Big Brother.  Audrey is the first transgender contestant and she is stunningly beautiful. I would never have known if she hadn’t told us.  Unfortunately, she’s also been a total train wreck in the house but she seems to be squeaking by somehow.  It’s been a lot of fun to watch.  I really like a guy named Johnny Mac who is a dentist from Pennsylvania.  He is so funny.  There is also a poker player named Vanessa who I think could win.  I wish they weren’t doing Battle of the Block again because it makes things very predictable.

Any of you watch it?

I guess that is a good update on things going on.  Let me know what is going on in your life.

1000th Post- First Post Revisited

1000-postsSo it’s here! 1000 posts! Can you believe it? I’ve thought of a lot of different things I could do to celebrate but after sharing my favorite post for 999 I thought I would take a look at my very first post on this blog.

Before I start I will say that I in no means make light of those who are without work and facing the extreme trial of unemployment.  My experience was unique and from the perspective of a young 28 year old girl who finally found a happy spot in her life.

May 12, 2008 I wrote The Freedom of Joblessness.At the time I had been unemployed for 5 months and because I had been so unhappy in my previous job it was not as difficult a time as you might expect.

It was exciting and it felt like I had a renewed lease on life.  I had also just graduated with my MBA in April.  At the time it seemed like I had been set free from a corporate penitentiary and I wanted to blog about it!

“So, this is my first foray into the world of blogging… It is hard to describe my last 6 months but let me just say that I am in the job hunt and I couldn’t be happier. I honestly think I will be a bit sad when I have to go back into the work force”

At my previous job a manager made my life miserable and being free from her influence did so much good for my self confidence and over all happiness.  I think that was a large amount of the freedom I felt.  I said “after a bit of a breakdown last year I needed a change more than anything”…

I then share a quote “I would rather be doing nothing than doing something I hate”

But that sounds so lazy I hear you say. I elaborate

“The thing…is that I haven’t been doing nothing.  When did we get it in our head that the only viable thing for a person to do is work? I have actually been very busy.  In fact, I have been doing things that I actually love that I don’t have time for when I am working including doing some writing, making a cookbook for my mom, and exercising on a regular basis”

I think there is something to that.  Why do we have this assumption that if a person isn’t participating in paid labor they are doing nothing? If I won the lottery and could make it I would quit my job in a heartbeat even though I love my job now.

The amazing thing is about 10 days after this post my Dad asked me to start working managing his rentals.  I did that for about a year working from home.  Before I knew it I was working for Grabber part time.  Then full time and then over to Poler, Now Kobayashi  All working from home!

When I look at everything good in my life including this blog it all started with the tough decision to quit my job.  To place my happiness above all the other factors and go for it. That joy felt freeing and peaceful and it still does and perhaps that’s why I keep blogging.  It was liberating then and it is liberating now!

To 1000 more posts!

My Favorite Post

This my friends is post 999 of this blog, which obviously means my next post will be my 1000th silly thought to all of you.  That’s 7 years of writing my life.  1000 posts! Can you believe it?

I thought long and hard on what to do to commemorate such an achievement and here’s what I’ve decided  This post I am going to share with you my favorite post.  Then for the 1000th I am going to revisit the very first post I ever did called The Freedom of Joblessness.

So out of 1000 posts which one is my favorite? It’s tough.  They are all kind of my babies and I worked very hard on them. But there is one post that was very difficult for me to write.  A post where I took a real risk and probably opened myself up more than any other post (which is saying a lot!).

I didn’t know how people would respond but was overwhelmed by people who told me, mostly privately, that my story was also theirs.

It was a post called Never Fall in Love

In the post I admitted to the world that I have never fallen in love like it is some kind of disease or confession:

“I’m 33 years old. I’ve never been in love.  I’ve never been kissed.  I’ve never had a break up or a heartache.  I’ve never had anything more than a crush from time to time and I honestly do not know why.  I really don’t.”

And there it was out there for the world to see.  For a while I felt a little embarrassed but why? It’s not like I had done something foolish or wrong.  I just hadn’t fallen in love yet.

Worried I would get people trying to make me feel better I implored them to let me work this problem out to its completion.

“Now before I start this line of thought- please, don’t placate me with assurances of my finding the right person and promises in heaven and not loosing hope.  I know such things and I agree but just for a second I want to put a question I’ve asked myself many times out there for all of you-

What if a human being never falls in love?  Can you live a full life and never fall in love?”

That last question is one I am still pondering. We after all believe in eternal families as fundamental to Heavenly Father’s plan. So I don’t know if it is possible to live a full life and never fall in love.  I really don’t.

So what do you do?

“Nothing.  As far as I have been able to figure out you just wait. Yes, you can workout and go to activities, date whenever you can, but none of that is any guarantee of falling in love.  Believe me I know.

You certainly can and must always be hopeful and happy with what you can control but it will probably always be this big part of being human that you don’t completely understand”

But here’s the key that I learned from writing the post.

“I guess the only thing I can say to my fellow love-lorn is that everyone has an ache of some kind…Everyone has regrets and wishes for something they never quite experienced and never enjoyed.  That’s what the atonement is for.

After all, as far as we know, Jesus never fell in love either, so we are in pretty good company”

And then I shared a talk from Dennis E Simmons where he talks about faith and the ‘but if not’ moments of life.  Having hope yet not finding love surely qualifies as such a moment.

At the end of the post I spoke out to those who are struggling and I think it encapsulates well why this blog is powerful at least to me.

“Hang in there! I know I’m not the only person out there who has wondered about this.  Please share your stories”

Through this blog I have been able to see I am not the only person out there.  Whether it is something silly as finding another soul who loves You’ve Got Mail or The Book Thief as much as I do or someone with a history of bullying or someone who loves to swim like I do, it is all so valuable to me.

It makes me feel like my life actually matters to someone and no post shows that more than Never Fall in Love.

What is your favorite post? Have any impacted you or your life?