Friday, May 31, 2013
This week, I decided to wake up at 6 am every morning and go for a walk outside before work.
I am in the theatre.
Theatre people don't DO 6 am.
Film people do 6 am.
Film people do crazy morning hours. They need the sunlight.
Theatre people do busy late nights.
We do not do 6 am. We have lighting people so that we don't have to do mornings.
It's hard enough getting to work at 8 am.
It all began when I woke up at 6 am because the sun was shining in my window.
I was wide awake.
I thought, "Self, if you get up now, you could enjoy a walk in the park!"
And so Self and I got up.
And we enjoyed a beautiful walk in the park.
All day long, I felt energized by the morning commune with the sunshine and the trees. I had lost an hour of sleep, but gained 60 minutes not dedicated to work, to a show, to driving--60 minutes just for me! I could listen to music, watch the trees, see the sun glistening on the water.
And it's Tech Week!
If I can get off my duff at 6am during tech week--I can do it any time!
This morning was particularly beautiful.
So how do I do it?
I have a morning mantra. When I feel myself wanting to rest my head on the pillow, I say to myself in my sternest voice:
I CAN DO HARD THINGS.
And it works.
Today I am grateful for my morning mantra.
Even if I do sound like a defiant 4 year old when I say it.
My friend Barbara Purvis is offering massage therapy and energy work for women at her office in Holladay.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
But first, I want to tell Director/Producer Tammy Ross how proud I am to work with her.
Tonight, we're opening Avenue Q at the Midvale Main Street Theatre.
From the set, to the newly constructed puppets, to the cast, to the music, to the lighting, to the costumes, everything is ready.
This is not an easy show to do and it requires someone with vision and a real collaborative spirit. She has a strong hand--but she also trusts her team and allows us to do what we do best. I am so pleased with this work.
The play itself has it's risque moments, but because it goes there.... it also goes there. It goes to all those places we don't want to talk about. Sex, racism, porn. AND...It talks about how hard it is to be alone, the lack of hope that the current generation has to succeed where their parents succeeded, and how we can find joy despite all the odds against us.
It is a magical show.
I really hope you will join us.
Tickets are only $20 for a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a high quality production in a house of only 130 seats. Can you imagine??
Don't imagine. Just come and experience it.
We run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 5pm.
The shows start early, but you can enjoy delicious food from the concessions stand.
Call 801-566-0596 for tickets.
The theatre is located at 7711 S Main St, (700 West), Midvale, Utah.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I've kept myself busy every waking hour since Sunday.
But I promised pictures.
And friends, I have some gorgeous pictures.
On Memorial Day, I went with a dear friend up to Silver Lake.
The place was full of people who wanted get out and enjoy nature.
At the top of the mountain, it's still winter. We walked through patches of snow and enjoyed all the people. People were fishing, taking pictures, running down the paths.
The kids were cracking me up. When we first arrived, this young kid was trying to drag a wooden plank. I commented out loud, "Why take a rock home, when you can take a piece of wood?"
My favorite moment. A group of 3-5 year olds stopped in their tracks in front of a wet spot.
A little boy stood stopped in front of his friends, and said gravely, "This doesn't look good."
He kept trying to convince everyone that going left would be dangerous.
He dad, from about 10 feet back, kept saying, "Left."
The little boy repeated, "It doesn't look good."
We drove up a pass that goes through to Park City. It's normally closed, but it was open Monday.
On Saturday, between call backs and rehearsal--I grabbed lunch at Zupas and took some pictures from 106 South looking up at the mountain. So I have pictures of the same mountain from the bottom, and from the top. Not a lot inbetween because I was driving--and because I was in heaven. Sometimes, you just need to be in the moment, rather than documenting the moment.
Monday, May 27, 2013
I just want to document every little detail in some boring "Dear Diary" style...
But really, I just want to enjoy the music, feel the breeze, look out at the pond, and smile in this moment.
Gratitude is a funny thing.
It has this power to turn a hard moment into a gift.
Gratitude is the beginning of grace.
I thought about this today sitting in church.
I wondered if I could take being shot in the gun with a big bullet and turn that into a blessing.
In that instant, could I genuinely feel gratitude?
This line of thinking continued with me into Sunday School where we talked about the Plan of Salvation--where did we come from, why are we here, where are we going...
Each present moment is influenced by our understanding of and attitude towards what was and what is to be. To know who we are and where we are going changes the present.
When you meet a new friend, and you imagine the good times you'll have together, the present moment is blessed with the hope for that future. When a friend dies, your present moment is tainted with the sorrow of a future imagined without that friend.
As we embrace opportunities to look forward with a perfect brightness of hope, we gather a collection of todays filled with joy.
And then there's the past...
I know who I am. I know what I have experienced, what I had the strength to overcome before, and I remember the love I have felt. I remember the sting of regret. I remember the pangs of my mistakes. I remember that I got over it. I remember that I have surprised myself before, and I will continue to surprise myself in the future.
I can choose to experience the present in every choice I make. And I make a lot of choices. Should I sit and listen to music, or should I write? Should I go for a walk or eat lotsa chocolate? (Both enjoyable options.) It is in the very act of choosing that we experience the present.
In every moment exists memory, agency, and hope.
Today I'm grateful for the memory of dear friends that I especially miss this beautiful Sunday. Aja, Robin, Carl, Ben, Leiza, John, Jyl, and dear Tony.
It feels like no time has passed at all.
The present is blessed with the memories of precious pastimes and promises of our future reunions.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
This is one of the bookshelves in the living room. It's a monument to my personality. Completely disorganized, without rhyme or reason, yet oddly pleasing.
I have a Q'ran lodged next to A Marvelous Work And A Wonder. And of course, my collection of Buffy dvds next to Neal A. Maxwell and Alex Haley.
I have multivitamins and cocoa butter lotion out because I use them everyday.
I swear I should just post this picture on a dating site. It tells more about me and my priorities than my face.
I grew up in a home with books. When I stay the night in Tremonton, I love to take a couple of books from the shelves and pour over them.
Today I am grateful for books.
And for a great dance call back. Free aerobics with Aaron Ford!
And for the blue sky.
And for my newly trimmed hair.
I kinda love today.
Sorry the titles aren't italicized. I'm writing this on my phone.
I found her laid out on the couch. She's on bedrest until her little one is born later this summer.
I curled into the corner of the couch and we spent the evening sharing stories, laughter, and delicious food.
I met Christy in January 2011 in the lobby of the church. It's hard to describe how we just connected immediately. We're both a little crazy and a lot awesome. She soon moved into my apartment. She was a gift from heaven. She would rub my feet, organize my closet, and just provide a listening ear for me during a confusing time.
She will always be dear to me.
Tonight, we talked about her own journey.
When we met, she was going through a painful divorce and separation from her children. She loved them dearly, but she had to leave her abusive husband. I know from her care for me that she was an amazing mother. She was in constant pain being away from her dear ones. But instead of giving up, she sought out opportunities to serve others from her parents and her nieces and nephews to little ol' me.
She fell in love and married a good man who has supported her in her fight for her children, and in her fight to find peace with an uphill battle.
To see her tonight, curled up in her beautiful home, with her big pregnant belly, I was overwhelmed with joy. We cut each other's hair--as is our quarterly ritual. Then I did her dishes, in an effort to repay the many acts of service she did for me.
Tonight, I am grateful for my dear friend Christi and for her well-deserved happiness.
She is an angel.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
But today, I long for a day of thoughtful and careful prose.
A day where people hesitate before they immortalize themselves and question anything written with didactic intentions.
I long for a day when people valued seeing things from different perspectives, rather than criminalizing people who dared to see both sides.
The other day, my 81 year old LDS grandmother gave me a box of books. I took all of her Neil A. Maxwell gems, as well as everything she had of Carol Lynn Pearson. She smiled as she saw my choices.
Today I finished reading this book.
Growing up in a world of subtle agendas, I looked for hers.
Of course, she had one. We all have an objective.
But more than anything, the book read with a need to simply state her truth--whether the truth of her experiences led me away or towards something. With that kind of writing, you will find what you're looking for, no matter what that might be.
You will discover that this book supports your agenda. And it does. There are parts of the book that bemoan the patriarchal prejudice in the LDS Church, and parts of the book that gravely question the choices of her homosexual husband.
It is published in 1986.
I finished the book with tears at what we've lost, believing everything and nothing. Questioning everything and nothing.
There are too many favorite passages, but this passage, describing her church congregation's compassionate response to her husband's illness from AIDS in the early 80s touched me the most.
I long for a dialogue with someone unafraid of revealing the weaknesses of their stand while upholding the power of their convictions. The world will not end if we see both sides my friends.
Today, I am grateful for perspectives. Plural.
(And you are grateful for my brevity, because I could write about this book for DAYS.)
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Not very interesting... but very productive.
I'm wearing my sneakers in preparation for productivity.
First, I vacuumed the office and wiped everything down. Boom! Nothing like vacuuming to immediately feel productive!
I washed the windows, bleached all the surfaces, and gassed the elevator with Lysol... right before a customer decided to get on the elevator. Poor guy.
I updated my billboards outside.
I am offering new storage customers 2 for 1 tickets to Avenue Q! Now everyone who leaves Salt Lake City can see our beautiful Trekkie Monster! (The pic isn't that great...but from further off--it looks perfect!)
I made more cards. I am going to see if I can't sell some here at the storage place. They look pretty on the shelves!
I'm caught up on my giant to do list at work...
Avenue Q is almost ready to open...
I love days where you can just focus and get things done.
Sidenote: I posted on Facebook that I lost ten pounds last week--cause I did--and 86 people liked this random status. I love the support! A friend of mine, Tamara, started weight loss competition. We meet every week and we're competing to see who can lose the most weight in before August. So far, I'm winning! But only by 3 pounds. Whoever loses the most, wins a pot of money. I like money.
And on that note, I am going to walk around the office for 30 minutes so I can get a little bit of exercise today.
Gotta be productive!
Today I am grateful for supportive friends and productive days.
If you managed to read this whole thing--give yourself a gold star!
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Today is my dear dad's birthday!
Brent Francom married my mom over 20 years ago and has supported me through high school, college, a mission, more college, and all sorts of fun life crises.
When they first got married, he owned the local Napa Auto Parts store in Tremonton. As kids we would all come down and work for him, cleaning bathrooms, organizing shelves and putting away parts. To this day, I love the smell of an auto parts store.
I remember he won Alumni of the Year during that first year of our family. I was so proud of him. The whole town was out to cheer him on as he accepted his award on the football field.
I remember in high school going with him to paint the BR on the mountain with the Key Club.
Some of my fondest memories are going camping at the sand dunes in Idaho. We would ride across the dunes on the 4-wheelers and he would make the best dutch oven meals over the fire.
I remember going up to West Yellowstone and taking the snowmobiles across Idaho into Montana. It was absolutely wonderful!
Every Sunday night, he would take Rhode's frozen dough and stretch out the dough balls and dip them in hot oil and make the most delicious hot scones. All of us kids would drizzle sugar and butter on them and devour the tasty goodness.
He worked hard every day of the week between running a business, raising a family of 7 kids, scouting, and whatever other community service he had volunteered for.
I remember spending summers working with him at the concession stand.
He would sponsor softball teams and every year he sponsored a contestant in Miss Bear River Valley. He was so proud the year Jamie Palmer went on to win the pageant!
At church, he loved all of his callings. I remember when he was called to be on the Stake High Council. He asked if we would support him. He took us out to provide musical numbers for his visits to the different congregations. It gave us a chance to share our talents and helped to reduce his speaking time! I still have guys from his youth group come up to me and ask me how he's doing--remembering the time he spent with them as a scout leader. And today, the neighborhood kids are always coming over to say hi.
I think when I try to remember everything--the prevailing memory is that I always knew how much he loved my mother. There was never a single moment where I ever doubted that my mother was loved. And by extension--I knew I would always be loved and that I would always have a soft place to fall.
He set an example of hard work, love, faithfulness, and generosity for all of his children.
I think of the past 22 years and the joy and security I had growing up with him and my gratitude knows no bounds.
Today I am grateful for my dad Brent.
I love you!
Monday, May 20, 2013
This is public.
My mother reads this on occasion.
I am super aware of what I post and that this is going across the great vast interwebs.
Having said that--being single is very much a part of my identity.
There are people who identify themselves as part of a couple.
And there are people who have come to identify themselves as single.
I have friends who are divorced or widowed--and friends who have never been married.
You'd think that we would all get along famously. But there's a huge difference.
The forever singles grew up into adults as singles.
The divorcees were relatively young when they got married.
Sometimes as a forever single--I feel like the divorcees and the other marrieds in the church view me as not a grown up. We are looked at as overgrown teenagers. At least that's how it feels.
And sometimes I see how divorcees act at parties and events and I conclude that they don't know how to be both an adult and single. They identify single with a mindset from the early 20s and they revert to that mindset whenever they're single.
These same divorced friends often find someone new within a short time--while the rest of us forever singles sit and lament that while we've never had a single chance at marriage--they're enjoying their second and third chances.
But where I have a difficult time imagining the day to day requirements of a relationship: how often do you talk? Do you have to plan something together every day or is once a week enough? When do you open up? What is too much? What is too little? --
My divorced friends can't imagine life alone. There is a vacuum of aloneness that must be filled with the presence of someone new.
My vacuum has longsince been filled with friends, theatre engagements, travel, valuable alone time...
I don't even know what I'm looking for anymore.
Am I too picky? Am I not picky enough?
I do my best not to want marriage more than I want a specific person.
My biggest weakness in love is that I qualify a man based on his feelings for me, rather than my feelings for him. "You like me! You really like me!"
I've been dating a guy off and on for a while now. I like his face, his jokes, our conversations... but really, I just liked that he liked me. I haven't liked myself much lately. I feel too fat. But he still liked me. And him liking me automatically qualified him--despite the fact that he never came to see my plays, we never went to dinner, I was never really a priority. He liked me when I didn't feel anyone would like me--so that somehow made him special.
A friend from high school contacted me last week to tell me that she was falling for a guy I was friends with on Facebook, and yup, you guessed it... it was him.
I was sad.
I realize that I was sad because he wasn't choosing me. He didn't want me. And being wanted is how I identify love.
So my feelings were hurt. I couldn't rely on his care to undo my own insecurities about myself.
I cried a little and moved on.
Back to my state of aloneness that I'm so used to.
I don't have to worry about whether I'm liking the right guy for the right reasons.
I don't have to worry about whether I'm calling him enough or whether he's calling me enough.
Should I be mad that he hasn't taken me out on a proper date in ages?
Should I be sad that he missed my play?
Should I care that I'm basically a secret? I don't want to advertise my love life anymore than he does--but what's the REAL reason for the "privacy"?
I don't need to worry about any of that. I am in my comfort zone.
I became an adult as a single person.
This is where I am most comfortable. I don't second guess myself. I simply live a happy life. I am occasionally lonely, but I fill those holes. I've learned how to do this. My divorced friends lament the times when they're alone--I get hives thinking about having to be around people 24/7.
I go to church as a part of a large congregation of LDS people who are all single between the ages of 31-45. Yesterday, a former congregational leader delivered a speech where he outlined things we could do to open ourselves up to relationships. He talked about our lack of commitment. I thought about it today. What am I committed to? Do I fear commitment?
An old boyfriend stopped by last night. I thought about what I should do. Do I let him know I'm still interested? Am I still interested? Why would I be interested in him? Why not? We had a great connection. We can talk for days. I enjoy his company. Why wouldn't I?
Sooooo many questions.
Then he left and I snuggled up comfortably in my silk house dress and watched Mad Men.
The questions disappeared. I was once again my comfortable single girl self.
I know I should hope for and strive for marriage and a family, but this is the person I have become. This is the woman my experiences have made me into. And there are a lot of divorced people who don't know how to be single as an adult who will jump at the chance to be with a confusing man. Let her deal with the emotional roller coaster!
But I hear it's really nice...
So how do I do it? How do any of us forever singles evolve into the kind of people ready for commitment and love?
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Today I spent time with my grandma and my brother going through her videos in preparation for her move from a nice 4 bedroom home to a 1 bedroom condo. Wisely, she stayed up stairs while we boxed them all up for donation. If I list some of the amazing movies that we donated today, it will just upset me.
I appreciate that we get to spend a lifetime collecting our favorite stories, but I really like that most stories are online nowadays and that a lifetime of movies and music can be carried on a portable magic box. Kind of like tiny little tardises...tardii...
Nick and I were talking about world travel today. It's wonderful to know that you can watch a beautiful movie or listen to a favorite song without hauling all your videos and cassette tapes from place to place. You can live out of a backpack. I have several journals that I filled growing up. Now, I can write in my journal from anywhere there's an online connection.
We are free to make anywhere home. And what is home anyway? I've moved so many times it's ridiculous.
When I was 13, we moved from Centerville to Tremonton. I remember the mountains being different.
Before, I would see the mountains above Centerville and Antelope Island--and I'd feel at home.
Now, I see the mountains just north of Ogden and I feel my heart skip because I know I'm almost home. I took some pictures of the mountains on my drive from Tremonton to Bountiful this past week. (I was in the passenger side...) And there's no way to really capture the beauty of a drive through Utah. There are a thousand pictures I could take.
Here are a few glimpses.
Is it possible that home is infinitely larger than a box? Doctor Who's Tardis is bigger on the inside--and while my generation has inherited a world where many of us may never own a large home--I believe we carry so much more with us. We are able to take our memories, our stories, our music, our conversations, friends--all of it with us. The only things we can't carry with us are the mountains--but their eternal shadows lift my heart and let me know that I'll always have a home wherever I may rest my head.
Today I am grateful for the feeling of home.
And for Utah.