Tag: love

Hopeful Poetry

I haven’t done a poetry post in a long time.  The concept of hope has been on my mind lately.  We all have our little disappointments in life, where things don’t turn out as we had wished. Experiences where people disappoint us or even God seemingly lets us down.  We have to remember that He knows the path and knows what will purify us the most.  He loves all of us more than we can understand.  Hope and trust in His mercy is what gets us through it. I liked how these poems express both the disappointment and hope that we often feel.

I wish I was more of a poet but at least I can enjoy and be uplifted by the gifts of others. I was particularly thinking about this with some challenges of late but especially with my friend who has a very little one in the NICU (1.8 lbs!).  To hope and pray is sometimes all you have, and that’s a lot.  God be with little Sara Elizabeth.

Hope by Emily Dickinson (who has a lot of poems on hope!)

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

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Hope is a strange invention — by Emily Dickinson
Hope is a strange invention —
A Patent of the Heart —
In unremitting action
Yet never wearing out –Of this electric Adjunct
Not anything is known
But its unique momentum
Embellish all we own —
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The Hope Of My Heart by John McCrae
I left, to earth, a little maiden fair,
With locks of gold, and eyes that shamed the light;
I prayed that God might have her in His care
And sight.Earth’s love was false; her voice, a siren’s song;
(Sweet mother-earth was but a lying name)
The path she showed was but the path of wrong
And shame.”Cast her not out!” I cry. God’s kind words come —
“Her future is with Me, as was her past;
It shall be My good will to bring her home
At last.”
——————————-
Perfection Eluded
This morning I woke up,
Bursting with confidence,
Overflowing with excitement,
I was convinced I’d done it,
Convinced I had succeeded
When I heard the news,
I was crushed,
Feeling empty and broken,
But somehow I managed,
To pull myself together,
Determined not to cry
Determined to be fine.
Disappointment can be bitter
You feel as if you have lost your worth
But without disappointment
We have nowhere left to go
Hope can be amazing
You feel lit ready to face a better future
Because without hope,
We are forever lost
This morning I woke up,
Grasping for perfection,
Tonight I fall asleep-
Perfection eluding me,
But hope residing in my heart.
———————————-
The Disappointment by Jane Taylor
In tears to her mother poor Harriet came,
Let us listen to hear what she says:
“O see, dear mamma, it is pouring with rain,
We cannot go out in the chaise
All week I have longed for this holiday so,
And fancied the minutes were hours:
And now that I’m dressed and all ready to go,
Do look at these terrible showers!”
“I’m sorry, my dear,” her kind mother replied,
The rain disappoints us today;
But sorrow still more that you fret for a ride,
In such an extravagant way.
These slight disappointments are sent to prepare
For what may hereafter befall;
For seasons of real disappointment and care,
Which commonly happen to all.
For just like today with its holiday lost,
Is life and its comforts at best:
Our pleasures are blighted, our purposes crossed
To teach us it is not our rest
And when those distresses and crosses appear,
With which you shortly be tried,
You’ll wonder that ever you wasted a tear
On merely the loss of a ride
But though the world’s pleasures are fleeting and vain
Religion is lasting and true;
Real pleasure and peace in her paths you may gain,
Nor will disappointment ensue.
—————————————–

Ah, Young Love…

So I posted this on facebook yesterday and nobody else seemed to think it was funny, so now I will try my blog (I had just gotten bad news so maybe I was searching for a laugh. More to come on that later).

It cracked me up that this event is even necessary…

This was at our local library and I found it amazing.  Are there really so many teens jaded and ‘down on love’?  Clearly there are.

When I was a teen I had no confidence of finding true love (or even being liked a boy- it still kind of boggles my mind that anyone would go all ga-ga for me).  My main problem was not getting asked to school dances (there were only a few a year and so they were big deals.)  Most of the time I would just ask someone and have a good time. Even if I felt sad about not getting asked I’d hardly call that ‘hating cupid’ or being ‘down with love’.  These are problems that I see for 20’s not teens, but clearly I am wrong, and I find that amazing.

I don’t know if I would want my teenager to find true love.  Are they really at an age where they are ready for it?  Sometimes but boy can it cause a lot of problems too. I wouldn’t want my kid to be ‘down with love’ or ‘up with love’.  I’d want them to just focus on their education and enjoying that time of life.

Teens out there- there is plenty of time to be sad about romance.  Save it for later and enjoy your life!

The Relationship Test

As I mentioned in my last post I am kind of clueless when in it comes to relationships.  I have no idea how people find each other and what makes chemistry with seemingly incongruous people work?  It is the great mystery of my life!

Forgive the randomness and rambling nature of this post, but I found this ‘questions to ask yourself about a relationship?’ It made me think about my own answers (and add a few new one’s myself).  Here goes:

1. Describe yourself in a single sentence- Rachel is an independent, modern, Mormon woman who loves her life, family and friends.
2. What would you cook for me?- I think cooking together is fun on a date. Interactive foods such as pizza or egg rolls are fun because people can individualize them which teaches you something about their likes/dislikes.
3. What would you like to change about yourself? I can be a bit of a stress-out at times and I have hard time letting go of grudges.
4. If you could have three wishes, what would they be? (no wish for more wishes) 1. Summers in Hawaii 2. Finally get below 200 and 3. Meet my Mr.  Sunshine
5. Do you make friends easy?  With girls I do.  I seem to have a hard time making friends with boys.  I don’t know if I have ever had a platonic guyfriend.  Not sure why?
6. What’s your idea of the perfect date? A perfect date would be a good meal, with good conversation followed by a concert (Josh Groban or Michael Buble if the guy is really trying to win brownie points!).  I like most anything on a date but I hate it when I have to do all of the talking.
7. Where do you see yourself in five, ten, fifteen years? Maybe this is sad but I’ve never been much of a dreamer.  I am happy with my life and current goals.  Whatever else happens is great.  If you ask what I’d like see is I’d love to be married, have a home, maybe a kid.  I do have a goal of being under 200 by the end of 2012.
8. Who is your favorite hero of all time? My Grandpa Richards and Jesus.
9. Do you consider yourself a happy person? Yes. I have a terrible horrible day on occasion but most of the time I feel happy and grateful.
10. What is your greatest trait, accomplishment, goal for the future.

trait- I am a loyal strong friend who will move waters to help those I love.

accomplishment- A Returned Missionary, a BA and an MBA, finished an open water swim in August and have lost over 50 lbs in the last 20 months. Take your pick on which of these is the greatest accomplishments?

goal for the future- someday live by the ocean and live the best life I can. Someone once told me that having a goal to be ‘happy in my life’ was hedonistic and selfish.  What is the alternative? I’d rather be a hedonist than a masochist.

I’d like to be at 200 lbs by the end of 2012.  Also off of Victoza and out of danger of diabetes asap.  I’d also like to write my weight loss story even if it is just for myself.  I want to keep doing open water swims, each time improving my times and distance.

11. What do you look for in another person? I would like someone that I have chemistry with, that’s fun to talk to, that is ready to be married in the temple, preferably a returned missionary, preferably with higher education and career ambitions, preferably someone interested in families.

12. Must have- temple wedding, active in my church, attractive smile, someone who loves me (an absolute must!), tries to get along with my family and accepts the time commitments that come with swimming in my life.  I also need someone who isn’t intimidated by my family’s success or our family company. (No Daddy’s credit card comments!).

I also have promised myself that I will show my fiance a photo of me at my high weight and if he can’t love that person forget it.  I am not going to live with the fear that if I gain weight I will lose love.  That isn’t real love.   I’d love to meet someone who has also dealt with weight loss.  Its hard for people to understand if you haven’t lived it what the experience is like.

The Not Must Haves but Would be Nice- As far as  particular job or degree that doesn’t matter as much.  I’d like someone who I can talk to.  Someone who is educated and interesting.  Someone who has read a few books (even if they are not the same books I like.  I have long believed that readers understand other readers).

Someone who likes movies and music would be a plus. Also, a real tightwad would get on my nerves as would someone who is too much of a workaholic (one workaholic in a relationship is enough!).  It would be nice if they liked the beach.  I am not the biggest video game fan but I love other types of games. Not a camper and Not an animal person. I also have a high interest in home school but we can figure that out along the way!

13.  What is my greatest turn off on a date?  Well, aside from someone who is touchy-feely that doesn’t deserve it, I hate when guys make me do all the talking.  I know I will do a lot of it, but its nice to have the date contribute topics. I’m open to discussing just about anything including politics, sports, travel, tv, books, anything. My favorite dates are when the conversation flows freely.

14. What is the worst date I have ever been on?  Tough call.  I’ve been on some doozies over the years. One of the worst was with a guyfriend of mine (one of the few I’ve had) in college (I can’t even remember his name!) who was always complaining about never getting a second date.  To help him out I agreed to set up a group date and go with him (my sister, Seth, Emily and this guys roommate were the other couples).

First of all this guy shows up late and says he is having to leave his roommates party in order to come with us (despite the trip being planned weeks in advance).  Then he brought his homework on the date.  During the beautiful baroque concert he kept complaining about how tired he was, and how long it was…Then in the end he kept trying to pick fights with me.  I remember I brought up the most happy comment I could think of “Isn’t it great that they found Elizabeth Smart”.  And I swear somehow he found something to argue about that.

The entire date  Emily and Megan kept looking back at me with sighs of sympathy.   That was the worst date I’ve ever been on. (and to make it worse he tried to put his arm around me in the van- as if!). Let’s just say after that loooong night I understood why he wasn’t getting second dates.  I wonder if I am a dating nightmare like him and don’t even realize it? He had no idea how obnoxious he was (or at least not much of an idea).

Anyway, I don’t know if you would answer these questions in the same way I have.  For instance, what do you think is my greatest trait or accomplishment?  I fear asking you what my greatest weakness is!  I am sure the list is infinite and could be produced with some vigor.

If you had to set me up with a person what characteristics would you look for?

(btw, when you find that person I am totally up for set ups).

As I said at the opening, dating is a mystery that I do not understand.  Sometimes I feel like love is a little like Santa Clause- this grand fairy tale I’ve been told since I was a girl but I never seem to see.

Oh well, I am focusing on getting 100% better and swimming in my meet on Saturday (first one in 13 years!).  Then I have Slam the Dam next Saturday!

The right person will come along.  I have no doubts about that.  Really.  No doubts.  He may appear differently than each piece of this test but I’m sure Mr.  Sunshine will be all I need because I’m already happy all by myself. I’m not just saying that to sound strong.  I really am HAPPY ALL BY MYSELF. 

A Stupid Fear

Today I would just like to expose a fear of mine that is kind of involved with my current weight loss program.  My hope is that through expressing myself I will be able to deal with this fear and move on.  So here goes…

Relationships have always been a mystery to me.  Sometimes the whole “love” concept feels a little like Santa Claus- like one day I will wake up and realize romance is a big myth grown ups like to tell.  It’s hard because I have never been in love or anything close to it.  In fact, it is almost impossible for me to imagine anyone being in love with me.  I say that with a very healthy self-confidence.  I know I’m beautiful and accomplished, but I still can’t imagine anyone falling in love with me (Doesn’t everyone have a few things they are insecure about? This is one of mine).  Maybe romance is something you can’t imagine until it happens.

Part of what makes this tough is I am admittedly naive when it comes to men.  Aside from my father and brothers I’ve had limited interaction with men.  My friends have always been girls- even as a child or teenager.  My crushes have also been few and far between.  I’m not sure why but it seems I don’t meet men I’m attracted to very often.  Don’t get the wrong idea- I’m attracted to men but I don’t crush often. Even the Hollywood guys that other girls swoon over I rarely find that good looking.

Anyway, I am happy with my life.  I love being single and independent, but I think everyone would like to fall in love at least once in his or her lifetime.  So, here’s my fear- what if I lose all the weight and then meet someone.  No matter what happens there will always be the potential for me to look the way I am now.  How do I know that the future person will be ok with the current me? Does that make sense?  In some ways I wish I could meet someone right now.  If someone could fall in love with the plus size me it would take a worry away.  If it happens after I lose the weight I will probably  be a little anxious about my looks. What if I have a baby and end up looking just like I look now will that be a problem for the guy?  I know things like that are more important to guys but it could happen.  There will always be the potential for me to be a big girl and he has to be ok with that. Basically my fear is if I lose weight, meet someone and then gain the weight back will he not love me anymore?

It’s not like I can do much about this fear except deal with it.  It certainly is not going to stop me from getting in shape.  Love is not something that can be planned or organized on my timeline.  It is up to God and my mystery man out there.  We will just have to wait and see what happens, and I will have to conquer my anxieties and fears.

Last Chance Harvey

If any of you haven’t seen Last Chance Harvey- see it. It’s great. Wonderful. Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson (who can do no wrong in my book) are both terrific in this gentle romance. They play Harvey and Kate- two mature adults who meet each other by chance in an airport in London.  Harvey is an American who is there to see his only daughter be married.  Kate works at the airport as a customer service representative.  When they meet Harvey has just missed his flight, been fired from his disappointing job and his daughter has chosen her stepfather to give her away at the wedding.  On the other side, Kate is single and has resigned herself to a mediocre life of work and caring for her mother.  Neither characters are happy or fulfilled. When they meet they are both at lows, which actually gives them a lot in common with each other.  As they get to know one another a sweet and simple romance develops.  It reminded me of the old school romances of Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant.

I don’t want you to think it is only a date movie or a chick flick; although it is excellent in both regards. It is also an interesting movie about work, family, happiness and taking risks.  I guess Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman decided to make the movie while filming one of my all time favorite films Stranger than Fiction- also a great movie about work, happiness, and taking risks.  Perhaps Fiction is slightly better than this but I loved both.

There is a line where Emma Thompson says:

“You see, what I think is I am more comfortable with being disappointed. I think I am angry with you for trying to take that away.”

Isn’t that a powerful idea? How many of us live a shallow life because it is safe, comfortable, or easy? I am a very risk-averse person and it is hard for me to jump into the unknown. While I have little experience with romance, I can imagine one of the hardest parts is trusting your heart to another human being who might break it. The thing that the character’s realize is that each of us give our lives to something whether it be work, art, family, friends, or love. We might as well give it up for something that has the greatest potential for happiness.
Another thing the characters realize is they have allowed their life choices and their definition of happiness to be defined by others. Emma Thompson has a particular moment of clarity I appreciated while on a blind date. Her friends basically trick her into this date with a person she has nothing in common with and doesn’t enjoy. In fact, it feels like her mother and friends have turned her love life into their hobby- like a giant guessing game. It’s funny because she doesn’t say anything but just looks around and realizes this is not the life she wants. I related to this moment. Not because my friends set me up but I have had moments of clarity where I realized my life was on the wrong track- that I wasn’t living the life I was meant to live.
I don’t believe in fate, but I don’t believe in coincidences either. I feel we all have a unique purpose in life that requires us to interact with particular people. I felt this sense of connection with others on my mission. There were people I know I was supposed to help, supposed to find. While not everything has this type of purpose, almost everything can be used by the Lord to further His plan.
In Last Chance Harvey the characters discover their own unhappiness but at the same time learn how much they need each other.
I don’t know if I have done the movie justice but I just loved it. It’s interesting because I also saw Ghost of Girlfriends Past- a supposed romantic comedy that was anything but romantic. What a contrast on every level! In Ghost the acting was bad, the characters were unbelievable , and the writers had the nerve to destroy one of the best books ever written- the Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  There is no comparison between the two.

I hope you all go out and rent Last Chance Harvey and I hope you like it as much as me. Post your reviews in the comment section of the blog. Enjoy!

Happy Valentines Day

These are some of the people I love
These are some of the people I love

To all my friends and family-Happy Valentines Day! I hope you all had nice days. I had a very fun day with my good friend Melissa Noyes. We went to lunch, shopping and to the movies (we saw He’s Not that Into You, which I liked- don’t listen to the reviews!).

On a day of love let me say a few things about what love means to me. Love is a tear when we depart, it is the adrenaline on first seeing one another after parting, it is the forgiving kiss of a child, it is a hug from a grandfather, it is a phone call just when I needed one, it is a moment of clarity and self worth, it is a prayer answered, it is sweetness and purity, it is sexy and exciting.  It is all of these things and more. It cannot be summarized or put into words. It just is and we all know it when we feel it. Don’t we all live for that feeling? I do. I will flat out admit I have never been in love with a man but that doesn’t mean I haven’t felt love or know what it means. No, no, I know and that is why I know it is worth the wait.

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I will end with my two favorite summaries of love.


The first is from Shakespeare’s 116 Sonnet-

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose Worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks;

But bears it out even to the edge of doom:

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved

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The second is from Corinthians.  It uses the word charity, which means Godly love.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge;

And though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not;

Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth