Saturday, October 04, 2008

Change My Life Blogaday - Day Thirteen

1:11 AM - Weekend excuse, anyone? Is that twelve o'clock goal even still on the table? Let's be serious here. I certainly haven't been living my life like it is. I have done so much better at getting to bed. But that's not twelve. That's one or two instead of three or four. That's a big difference.

I'm at home tonight, and that makes me real happy. I haven't been home for about a month. I never really planned on going that long without coming home, but I guess it sort of worked out that way.

It's really good to be home, though. It's good to be with my parents and talk to them and joke with them a little bit. It's really cool to see how things around here have changed. It's only a month, and it's not a big deal, but the yard is doing well. Our tomato plants are finally bearing tomatoes (that means me and Andrew get to take some to Logan- Score!) and the pumpkin patch exploded. We have some seriously huge pumpkins growing. It makes me happy to see the old sandbox being so incredibly fertile.

I love that transformation. It was a sandbox for us kids for many years. Totally infertile. Once we were all more grown up and the swing-set gone, we started dumping our leaves from the tree and the clippings from the lawn in there in hopes of it going all mulchy composty. At the request of the kids, we tossed the pumpkin guts and seeds out there from last time we carved. Dad borrowed a tiller this spring and tilled the whole thing up.

Flash forward a few months and we have the biggest residential pumpkin patch I've ever seen. Okay, so it's not like, huge, but it's big. Takes up almost all of the sand box. And spills over several feet onto the lawn in every direction. It just makes me happy to see it happen, that's all.

Mom and Dad started a tiny remodeling project in the house too. They're just changing the way our entry-way works a bit. Taking out the two closets that used to be there and making it a lot wider. We're gonna put the piano out front in the entry way (I know, I know...). It'll be pretty good though. It's a nice change, at least.

A few thoughts. Nuggets, I suppose.

I'm very excited for conference tomorrow and Sunday. College has been very good at a lot of things. One of those things has been breaking me down a little bit. I know I really need some help, and I'm excited to get some good instruction. That stuff is good for you.

I watched the fourth quarter of the Utah State v. BYU game tonight. Can I just say that I'm incredibly proud of my Aggies? That was an incredible quarter. Two touchdowns. They sacked Max Hall, AND made them punt it away after gaining almost nothing that one time. If we forget the bogus penalty call, they got their sweetly kicked offside-kick back. Neglect one more penalty call, and they scored maybe a third time. And did anyone see that INCREDIBLE QB keeper where he got 18 yards for the first down? He was shakin' and bakin' like nobody's business. It made me proud.

So, yeah, we lost. I wouldn't have it any other way against BYU. But we played well. And we played our hearts out. Fight to the very very end, even though we know we're out. That was a GREAT moral victory for the Aggies. That one makes me really happy. It's really hard not to be happy for those guys right now.

This is actually the first time I've consciously used "we" when referring to Utah State sports. Look at me go, being proud of my team.

I had some important thoughts last night after I posted. I went to bed pretty late, since I had taken naps. I don't like what naps do to the next day, but I love the effect they have on late night. I'm awake and pensive, and I just really value that time.

Anyways, I thought about community. Specifically, I knew I was coming home, and I thought about my ward. I won't be visiting my ward this week because of conference, but I remember how much they care about me and want me to succeed. I've been in the ward my whole life, and because of the demographics, I'm fairly well known there. That's just the way wards work. I thought about coming back and telling all the families and people about how I've been doing, what I've been accomplishing, and where I'm headed in the future. I thought about them smiling and encouraging me. I remembered a lot of the good things they've done for me to bring me to where I am. All the scout leaders, teachers, priesthood leaders- that's a whole lot of service rendered in order to help me become something great. It was a nice thing to remember. It was a very "home-y" feeling.

It really made me want to work hard, though. Remembering that all those people realy cared about me. They want me to succeed. Not only that, but they've got a vested interest in my success. They've been a part of my development. They've helped me become who I am, so why shouldn't they be rooting for my success? I didn't want to let them down. And I still don't want to let them down. And that same level of thought came my friends. Kirt, Kasey, Jose, Jared. They care about me too. I have a reason to try to be excellent. It's not just for me.

Thinking about all of this makes me remember all the older guys I used to run with. Noaksey, Porter, Clements, Whiting. I think Whiting is actually home now. But I remember those guys. I remember that they helped me. They cared too. And that makes me want to do better.

It's interesting how very strong that feels to me right now. I think it's interesting because I haven't thought about those people for a very long time. I haven't thought about living my life for other people for a while. I'm conscious of those around me, don't get me wrong. I try to serve, and I recognize that I'm not here just for me. But the idea of being excellent because it'll make other people smile, that's something I haven't thought of for some time. It's been there- it's not entirely new. But that's something I should hold on to.

This feeling contrasts with something I felt tonight. Something I've felt a lot, actually. I sort of hate discovering other people's blogs. I'm always very excited about it, but I'm secretly always threatened when I find them. Sophomore year was a bit of a blow when I discovered Jaron's blog. I found this kid that thought just as much as I did, and he wrote a little better too. Here he was, doing something that I did, and he was doing it well. I'm always a tiny bit upset when I see people write about how awesome they're doing with their life. How they're learning things about themselves and how they're moving forward.

This is not a calculated response, and it's not something I want to do. It's a sign of immaturity and insecurity. Now, mind you, this isn't some huge thing. And when it happens I fight it. But I do want to change it.

It's interesting because that's the exact opposite response as compared to the community or ward effect. With the community effect, people want you to succeed, they're on your side- just because they care about you. With the immaturity effect, I sorta want people not to, because that somehow threatens me.

Obviously everything points against the immaturity effect. Rightly so- it's a load of tosh. That's just something I want to root out of me. I do care about people. I care about a lot of people. And I am so happy for them when they succeed. My example from earlier, Jaron, is one of my favorite people ever now. I'm behind him one hundred percent. I would love to see him succeed, truly. So I know that I'm not a dirtbag all the time. I know that it changes. But what makes it change? How do I stop being threatened and start caring about people? How do I start loving people just for being people? How do I gain the maturity to be okay with not being the absolute best?

Some important stuff happened last night. I felt something very important as I was lying there getting ready for bed. Not a new feeling, but something that I hadn't felt just like that for a very long time. It came to me by surprise. When it came I felt like walls inside of my chest came down and relaxed. I felt like I had physically and mentally and spiritually changed by what I had felt. I didn't feel like I was suddenly a new person, but I felt like I had a little bit more. As some topics go, this isn't exactly the place to be discussing it. But it's out there if someone wants to talk about it, you know how to reach me. It was good for me.

What does it mean to be a good person? "What is the good life, and how do we live it?" What does it take to change my life? What does it take to change me into someone better? Who do I want to be? Who am I? What does that mean?

I've had a desire lately to start reading my blog posts and journal entries from the previous night before I leave the apartment in the morning to work. I think that'd be a pretty good idea. I've never done that before. I sort of wish I was a morning person.

But now it's time for me to end this post. Molly gave me a shout-out on her post tonight. Someone remind me to give her a shout-out from here soon. I've got one stored up for her, and it's actually pretty important. But I don't think it fits with tonight so I'll save it for later. Maybe if I wait long enough I'll tell her in person. But probably not, cause it fits a lot better here than it does in person.

What do I know? Whatever it is that I do know, I've got a responsibility to myself and to others to go use it to make myself and my world better. Bringing it together is important.

This is Christopher Thatcher, signing on out. Happy Friday, friends. Happy life. I hope you're doing excellent. Good luck on your quests. I do want you to succeed. I do care about you. Much love~

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

One reason that college wasn't a bad transition for me was that I knew that I have people behind me, supporting my actions and abilities with encouragement and support. People like my friends and family trust that I'll do my best with what I have. I liked how you mentioned so many of those people from the past that had a significant impact on the person that you are. That was a really good reminder for me. It's always a great and humbling (the word "humbling" was supposed to be italicized but I can't even do HTML in a comment so...) experience to stop looking forward and really look at where we each came from. I'm constantly looking at the future, adjusting and planning for the things that I need to do. It's not goal-setting, but it's still planning. I wish that I could channel that skill to look back along with looking forward. I think that I'd be a better person. Keep up the good work. I admire your deep and life-changing aspirations. I know that you'll do it if you work hard enough. Love ya man,
James Gardner
P.S. I might be starting a blog, so don't hate me. LOL