Change

As I mentioned in my last post, a lot has changed recently in my life. I have been struggling with these changes and feeling quite down. I am quite introverted which doesn’t always help in situations like these. I tend to think very deeply about things and want to try to think everything out before reaching a solution. However, as many of you might have already experienced, solutions don’t always present themselves right away.

I have been thinking a lot about change and have come to realize a few things about it. I used to think change was always bad. It used to mean unpredictability or chaos. Change caused a lot of anxiety when I thought about it as something bad. Recently I have started to  alter my ideas around change. Change does not always mean something bad. It is just something new. I think about nature and how each season of the year brings something new, but also something beautiful.

In this new season of life so many things have changed, but some really amazing and beautiful things have happened. Marriage is not always a popular thing to pursue. Countless people told me I was stupid to get married, that I would end up divorced, that I am too young, etc. I think they are wrong though. Yes, marriage is difficult, but it is also one of the most beautiful and fulfilling things on this earth. I believe that we are all made to love and to be in relationship with other human beings. Whether that be in a romantic relationship, a friendship or a family relationship, humans are meant to be together. I have learned so much in my first 2 months of marriage and have learned that I can love much more than I ever thought was possible. Adjusting to that change has been hard, but so worth it.

Another big change is a transition from undergraduate work to masters level work. Wow. Am I ever struggling to keep afloat. It is seriously hard to maintain relationships, work, and do school work. I have cried so many times this month about how I will be able to handle it all. Despite these darker times, I can reflect and see good coming from these trials. For example, I have learned sooooo much in such a short time. I am currently in a counselling program and it has opened my eyes to so many things that are personal strengths and weaknesses. I probably would never have learned these things if I had not started pursuing my masters degree.

I am not an expert and I am not sure if this post will be helpful to others, but it has been a good way of reminding myself of the good in depressing times. I am still trying to figure everything out myself. However, I feel better writing out my thoughts and hopefully helping at least one other person with some changes in their life. Maybe I will even continue to post updates about how I am handling these changes if it will help.

~ Katie

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Life nowadays

It has been a few months since I last posted, which is horrible. I really love being able to express my thoughts and feelings here so I am going to have to make blogging a part of my everyday routine. Perhaps that process will be something worth talking about here. Over the past few months a lot has changed.

For starters, I got married! This is one bit of super exciting news, but also has taken a lot of adjusting. Along with getting married, I moved for the very first time in my life… EVER. This change is taking much more time to get used to. I’ve never really had this many responsibilities and coming from a family with no sisters, I’ve never shared my room before! Besides getting married and moving, I’ve also had another major life change. I graduated from my undergrad and started my master’s degree. This change has also been difficult, because I have never been one who has had really strong conviction to have a certain career. (Perhaps I will write more about this in another post). Basically if you add up all these life changes, I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps. All of these changes are so wonderful and good! However, I am not very used to change and am feeling a little bit lost as I try to adjust. These adjustments have made me realize that I’ve sort of lost myself in all of life’s busyness this past year. With planning a wedding, finishing my degree, and working, I have been quite overwhelmed. To help with some of the feelings, I am trying to make sure that I have time for self-care. I have realized that I am terrible at relaxing! I seriously need to learn how to relax and develop a hobby that I can do each week. Maybe blogging will become one of those hobbies, but I am also looking into some other hobbies.

Do you have any suggestions for adjusting to big life changes? Any good hobbies to try?

~ Katie

Let the Rain Fall Down

Hi everyone,

Today I was thinking about how many stressors I have in life right now. Of course there are people who are much worse off, but lately I’ve been feeling quite burdened. I have a lot of paper work to do in order to apply to this specialized job position I have on my radar, I have to apply for scholarships, I have papers, wedding planning, practicums, the list won’t end! As I was going through this mental list I began to think of what calms me down.

First, removing any stressors I can really helps. Finishing assignments and applications is mega helpful. However, doing that is not always possible. With this in mind I wanted to share two things that really help me focus and relax. Often when I have a lot of work to do  I will put on audio of something that is relaxing, but not distracting. My two favs are rain sounds and some nice jazzy coffee shop music. Check them out in the links below:

 

I hope that these audio clips will help you maintain your focus and relax you as you try to get on with your busy days!

Best of luck!

Katie

What Not to do: Wedding Planning

Hi Everyone!

So maybe you are in the same boat as me and my fiancé and you are planning a wedding. If so then you will understand what I am about to say next: Weddings are STRESSFUL!

Don’t get me wrong, weddings are wonderful, beautiful and happy occasions. I am so happy to be marrying the love of my life in a few months time, but they are difficult to plan. In light of this, I thought I would make a list of all the things I have learned NOT to do during the process of planning. Perhaps it will save you some headaches.

  1. Don’t freak out. Yes there is a lot going on and lots to do, but don’t panic. It will get done. Freaking out only upsets you and your partner.
  2. Don’t plan it alone. You may be tempted to take the world upon your shoulders to make the day perfect. Don’t kill yourself through the stress. Instead choose some trusted people (parents, friends, bridesmaids, etc.) and ask them to help with certain tasks. Get the groom involved too! Maybe he is really into a certain portion of the wedding planning in which case, let him be the king of that area. For example, my guy loves music, so he is the boss of the wedding playlist.
  3. Don’t stress eat. Girl. You need to fit that dress! Don’t eat to relieve the stress of planning. Reduce the planning stress and eat healthy!
  4. Don’t go gym crazy! Girl. You don’t need to lift the groom over the threshold… Don’t exercise so much that it consumes your life and makes you look like someone your groom won’t recognize. Exercise enough to stay healthy and just choose a few areas to work on if you are concerned.
  5. Don’t chain yourself to planning. Do other things too. Your wedding is important, but so is your job, your school work, taking your dog on a walk…
  6. Don’t forget to enjoy it. God-willing, this will be your first and only wedding. Enjoy the experience of planning your special day and cherish the moments with your significant other. Make beautiful memories of this special time!

There you have it! 6 no-nos when planning your wedding. I’m sure there are tons more but I’m still learning as I go!

-Katie

Share your wedding planning No-Nos in a comment below!

Fierce Convictions: Hannah More

Do you like history? What about education? The abolition of slavery? Poetry?

If all these tickle your fancy, Hannah More is the gal for you.

I am currently doing a special course for my honours degree in which I was able to choose the subject matter. One of the people I am studying in the course is Hannah More. I am reading her works through the eyes of a philosopher and investigating whether or not she exercised philosophical tactics in her work. Although I am no historian, Hannah More lived an inspiring life. Coming from middle class social status, she effortlessly traversed between the upper and lower classes bringing about social and spiritual reform. Some of her most notable achievements were her ideas on education (although slightly sexist in the eyes of modern society), her contribution to ending slavery, her work in animal rights, and her beautiful poetry.

After reading more about her, I am really inspired to conduct myself as intellectually and classy as she did. She maintained a high moral standard yet always had even wit and wonderful words to create real change in the world.

If Hannah More sounds like an interesting woman to learn more about, I would suggest reading Karen Swallow Prior’s Fierce Convictions. It is a relatively short read that is informative and interesting. It is not your typical biography, but one that reads quickly like a novel. Definitely an A+ read for me!

Happy Reading!

Katie

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Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior

The Apartment of Desire

We as humans are defined by many things. For some its our ability to reason, (some seem to be lacking in this though). For others they define it by the state of evolutionary cycle we are in (I’ll talk about that one after I finish Origin of a Species) and even some define it by having a soul (I honestly don’t know if All Dogs Go To Heaven). According to some philosophers and episode thirty eight of Avengers; Earths Mightiest Heroes, we as humans are defined by our capacity to strive for something more than basic needs. Most animals strive for survival and multiplying. Sounds like a nice simple life sometimes.

Today I am speaking on my favourite movie; The Apartment. It’s an old 1960 romantic comedy starring Jack Lemmon. In the movie Lemmon plays insurance accountant C.C. Baxter. A humble, hard worker who works alone, goes home alone and lives utterly alone in New York seemingly without a friend. He is respectful, kind to everyone, and giving to the point of harming of himself (I’m sure some can relate to this).

With his pursuit to make something of his life, and not being able to say no to anybody he is in the unusual predicament with his apartment of loaning it out to higher-up men in the company to have affairs in. He really doesn’t like doing it, but they are pushy and make promises of helping his career. Indeed his career is helped, but at what cost? In all this he strives for a higher position for some self-esteem. And maybe even to make a friend amoung those who use him and call him “buddy boy”.

The other main character of this movie is Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), an elevator girl (yup. It’s that old of a movie) who has made all the wrong mistakes in her life and is stuck living with her married sister and working a dead-end job. The only recent thing she enjoyed in her life was the affair with the company’s boss; Jeff D. Sheldrake (Played by Fred MacMurray). She loves him and tried to call it all off when his wife came back to the city after being away for the summer, but she could not get away. She wanted out, but he sucked her back in for his own pleasure. Now she is a torn-up soul feeling broken and ashamed of her life. The only hope she has is that Jeff will leave his wife for her, which he continues to promise without any intention of doing so.

The other characters of this film, including Jeff D. Sheldrake are the ones classified as “takers”. It seems that this entire building is overflowing with sexual escapades and affairs of people seeking pleasure and self-profit. The men take advantage of Baxter (Jack Lemmon) time and time again, preying on his timid-giving nature. Not to mention all of the women they keep taking emotional advantage of for their own physical pleasure. “Some people are takers, and others get taken”. “That’s just the way it crumbles… cookie wise that is”.

In the end after much drama and a suicide attempt; C.C. Baxter gets his big office and the status to match on the high up floor. Sheldrake gets divorced by his wife who discovered the affair. So Sheldrake and Fran can be together. So the two are together and Baxter can get his office. Win-win right? Wrong. Each one of these characters are seeking the wrong thing in the wrong place.

We are defined by what we seek. Whatever our primary drive is, whatever we work the hardest on, think the most on, spend the most time on; is master of our life. Luke 16:13 says “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despite the other. You cannot serve both God and money”. This verse is specific to money, but it applies in many other cases. Another is Romans 8:5 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit”. Almost everyone in this movie is most focused on their own fleshly pleasure. So what could they succeed in other than pleasure? This is a pursuit many pursue in life and they find themselves empty after the high, and hopefully; ashamed. Baxter was only focused on business and financial success. This is the basis of which our entire economic structure is based on! So what can we accomplish other than that materialistic and statured success if that is what our life goal is? In the end, we will find that riches and success do not make us happy. They leave us longing for something more, and we can’t take it with us after this short life ends anyway. And Fran was looking for love. What else would she be able to find but love? She almost didn’t even find that. Yes, she did end up with Baxter and it’s a touching happy ending without being too sappy (PERFECT!). But love is fleeting. People toss around the world love like it’s nothing and then lose the love and get divorced. And it’s devastating.

But is that all we are meant to achieve in life? Hollywood makes it seem like all we can ever hope to obtain in life is love and self-achievement. These aren’t bad things. These are GREAT things. But there is some things even GREATER that nobody in this movie achieves. This is the pursuit of salvation and relationship with God. They are by-far the most joyful, long-lasting pleasurable, and most successful thing we can hope to have because they are things beyond the restraints of this crappy world. And even better is the promise in Mathew 6:33 said by Jesus himself; “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”. “These things” refer to our needs. Our need to belong, to have love and purpose. God will provide when we focus on him. So what is best to strive for then?

No Posts!

Wow. It has been forever!

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Winter! What else has there been?

I’m sorry that neither of us having been posting much recently. We are both completing our final year of university and life has been hectic! Secondly, we have some pretty big news.

WE ARE GETTING MARRIED!!!

We got engaged in late October, but have so busy with school and work that we haven’t had the time to share the great news here. I know Jeremy has some posts almost ready to share with you all and I have some brewing in my mind as well. I can’t promise we will post every day, but we will do our best to keep sharing our ideas with you when we can!

Happy January!

Katie

Hiding in my Corner of the World

I don’t know what to write here, but I know I have something to say. I have not been writing blog posts at all lately. My world has been a swirl of chaos, anxiety, and stress lately. I may have mentioned before that I am completing my undergrad, which is harder than I thought. There are financial burdens and assignments, but I am experiencing something that I did not expect.

According to my psychology major friends, it is fourth-year syndrome. Lack of motivation coupled with fear of the unknown beyond graduation and a desire to do well in the final spirit to the finish line. It is really hard to do anything when your motivation seems to be dampened by a soaking cloud of darkness.

I have had fears of not knowing why the heck I ever pursued an undergrad and why the heck I chose this field of study. What does a person do with a philosophy degree? Realistically, a lot can be done with any degree, if not only for self growth. But you see, I have a strong belief that there is a God and that he has a plan for my life. I don’t think that he determines my every choice, but I really do belief that He will use my degree for something meaningful in life. Maybe its because I am a worrier, or as another friend of mine has suggested, that I am a Type A personality, but I have often felt very confused about what steps I should take from here.

This post is kind of turning into a rant, but maybe one of you are experiencing the same thing. It really sucks to not knowing what lays ahead of you. Despite this all, there are something that are really helpful and nice to cling to. Firstly, God loves us even if no one else does. Secondly, I’m sure there are people who love each of us. Thirdly, there is always someone willing to help make your dreams happen.

I’m not sure what else to say except that I was glad I could share this with you all. I find writing so releasing and really hope to do it more. There are so many half-finished posts just waiting to be read by you all! I’ll have to work to finish those.

Until next time,

Katie