Because of certain difficulties having to do with my Google account, I've decided to abandon this blog and start a new one under a different account. My new blog is Jessi's Continuing Chronicles at this address:
Please visit and become a follower! Thanks, and I'm sorry for the inconvenience.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Posted by Jessio at 12:16 PM
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Here's something I've been thinking about. In two of my classes, my professors recently said essentially the same thing. It was something like this:
"A story is only interesting when something goes wrong."
They were talking about how no one wants to read a story in which life is perfect. You quickly get bored and lose the desire to keep reading because if nothing is going wrong, it feels like nothing is happening. Of course, a lot might actually be happening (people going to work, children playing, the wind stirring up leaves) and yet it is all boring unless it involves problems. That's because you start to care about characters as soon as they face trials. "Oh, no! Is he going to get away from those thugs!? I must keep reading, or I just won't know if he survives this....!"
It's kind of funny because people don't like their own lives to be like the stories that they enjoy reading. As soon as problems appear in their lives, they say, "Oh, no! How am I going to get out of this?" And they immediately become unhappy, wishing constantly for their trials to be gone.
But isn't it all the things that go wrong that actually make our lives interesting? If nothing were to ever go wrong, we wouldn't have to make difficult choices. We wouldn't have to struggle, and consequently, we would never grow or develop. Life wouldn't be a journey as much as a stagnation. And we would actually be bored, just as bored as if we were reading a story in which nothing was happening. (Inside of our souls, nothing would be happening.)
So, I have this theory. I think that we can learn to see life as an endlessly fascinating story in which we have endless opportunities to grow. Our trials keep us from getting bored and they keep us progressing. I am going to try to stop being miserable when things don't work out the way I want them to. I am going to try to relax and enjoy my own good story.
Posted by Jessio at 8:06 PM
Friday, August 26, 2011
Last night I went for a walk in the cool of the evening. I love taking walks almost every day. It's amazing what a powerful tool that such a simple action can be. I often seem to leave my apartment in a cloud of worries. All of the problems and trials that I have to deal with are trying to force their way to the front of my mind and the effect is a little like a whirlpool. I think about it all and feel confused and overwhelmed.
As I'm walking, I feel my body become stronger, and the most amazing thing happens. My thoughts begin to slow down and suddenly I am able to organize them. I can put them into perspective and begin thinking about them separately. Solutions start presenting themselves, and I am relieved to start figuring out what to do. Of course, some problems don't really have solutions, but I am able to quietly tuck them away and stop dwelling on the things I can't change. I feel wiser and more capable and my life feels more manageable.
This is what happened last night, and I started thinking about the importance of taking care of our bodies. When we take care of our bodies, as the Lord has asked us to do, we are all more receptive to the Spirit of God and the peace that the Spirit brings. The older I get, the more I see that the commandments that the Lord has given us really are for our good. When we keep them, we can be at peace in all kinds of circumstances.
Posted by Jessio at 4:58 PM
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tonight I got Paul to make some chicken burritos, and they were SO good! He fried up an onion and a green bell pepper with cilantro, canned green chiles, and chicken cut up in little chunks. In a separate bowl, he partially crushed some pinto beans so that they could be easily wrapped in with the meat and vegetables. Then he wrapped it all in three huge tortillas. (Oh, and he put rice in his own, but I didn't need the extra carbs on mine.) It was delicious! It's nice to have a husband who cooks, and cooks very well and willingly.
We are both three days into our new semester. It's a little stressful at first, but I think it will get better as we go along.
Paul has to do a research project in the next several weeks and he is also working on his thesis project this semester. For the small research project, he is sending out surveys to find out about people's experiences with personality discrimination in job interviews. He supposes that certain personality traits make you more likely to be favored in a job interview, regardless of how qualified you are for the job. I think it will be interesting to see if the research supports his assumptions. I'm really proud of him!
Oh, and I should mention that we had a lot of fun with my cousin Charsty and her two little girls last weekend. We were both really sad to have them go Monday morning. Now it's just the two of us again, although that works really well because we like each other so much. :)
Posted by Jessio at 6:15 PM
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Posted by Jessio at 4:59 PM
Monday, May 23, 2011
Posted by Jessio at 9:23 PM
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I have spent a lot of time this year typing up the writing of my family members. My uncle Edd's poems and my great grandmother's poems were the first projects I took on. Now I am typing up the life histories of my Madsen ancestors. It's interesting how people's writing reveals their insights, how you can get some sense of what a person believes and thinks and feels just by reading something that they have written.
I am surprised by how much I like this kind of work. It's sometimes a very poignant experience, like slipping through the threads of someone else's life. I get a sweet little taste of the essence of who my ancestors really were. I should say who they are because I know that they are still around.
My sense that my ancestors still live is not entirely grounded in abstract belief or an intellectual understanding of religious doctrine. I know that my ancestors live because I feel them. As I type up their stories, I feel them reaching out to me, embracing me, grateful that I am aware of them. They want to be known.
Posted by Jessio at 9:00 PM