To Do List for 2018

Sitting in a conservatory on Christmas 2017

I’m making new goals to keep myself on track in 2018.

I love lists especially to do lists. Checking off what I’ve done, keeping my life in order, seeing progress made – everything about these lists leaves me feeling satisfied. Or guilty. It’s always one of the two. Hopefully, this year it will be the satisfied feeling only.

Anyway, I decided to make myself a to do list for 2018. Last year was filled with so much growth. I don’t want to lose any of that momentum in this next year.

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10 Character Traits I Want to Teach My Children

I love this list! If I ever have children, these are items that I want to teach them. Reading, independence, working hard – what a wonderful list.


To be independent. I want each of my children to have the ability and confidence to live an independent life, making their own choices based on their own values, and not feeling limited by their own fears or insecurities. I have to remind myself of this when it would be easier for me to “fix” one of their problems, than to let them figure it out themselves.

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To reasonably assess risk. Risk management is a huge part of everyday adult life. So whether it be climbing trees or jumping off of the playground, I fight my helicopter-parent instincts every day in the hopes that by allowing my children to self-monitor their own risk-taking (age appropriately, of course) I’m teaching them skills that will last…

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Top Ten Quotes on Self-Harm

Self-hate and self-harm

When we don’t know who to hate, we hate ourselves. – Chuck Pahlahniuk

Self-harm is a difficult topic to discuss. On one hand, you do not want to trigger other people which might result in them hurting themselves. However, staying quiet about it can cause you to harm yourself even more.

Lately, SIB has not been as difficult for me. Still, the urges will rear up at times. Here are some helpful quotes for understanding and suffering through this unhealthy coping skill.

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Starting Off My Last Semester with Evil, Playwriting, and Sentence Structure

Sitting on the plane

I am certainly not in a plane like the nice ones that I rode to Oxford.

This semester is starting off like an airplane that is catapulted into the sky instead of starting from the ground slowly. I feel both invigorated and exhausted. Part of me worries about the future if I continue on in this fashion. However, the thrill of being busy and learning so much is almost addictive. Because of that, I wanted to share what my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule will be. Although it is only the first day of school, the feeling that these classes will be impacting my blog keeps tickling my brain.

First, my day starts at 9:10 when I have Systematic Theology which covers why we believe what we do as well as forcing us to do theology. The idea of actually figuring out and studying what I hold as true is frightening and also exciting.

After this, my university has mandatory chapel. This might involve singing, a speaker, and/or community prayer. In one sense, it is relaxing. Yet, part of me becomes antsy as I long to do something and worry about my daily tasks and homework.

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One Thousand Thanks: 866 – 876. Favorite School Classes

The Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library where I spent hours studying in Oxford

Today, my adviser helped me to pick my schedule for the spring. Just thinking about my last semester at the university is frightening. Where will my life go from here? How will I adjust to the “real world”? What about all of the courses that I longed to take but will never be able to anymore?

Part of me feels like leaving this school will be breaking off a part of myself. Instead of dwelling on this fear and sorrow, I am trying to remember that I still have more than a full semester left. Right now, there is still left to enjoy my school experience. Here are some of the classes that I am most thankful for taking over the course of my college years.

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Listaliciousness: Creative Pancakes, Being the “Good Girl” and Book Bucket List

Weeping willow

This is in honor of my amazing friend Hannah who I think is like a willow tree. She helped me through some rough times this week.

Hm. That is what I am feeling right now. It is a sound of satisfaction, exhaustion, and a hint of resignation to another week of business starting.

That being said, today went pretty well. Finally, I accomplished all of the hours needed this week for my internship. That took over seven hours today. Meanwhile, I also accomplished paying for (nearly) all of this semester of university, going to Mass, dropping off overdo library books, and watching Once Upon a Time. Like I said, this was a long day. Now, I just need a bath before going to bed. Another long week is ahead of me.

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One Thousand Thanks: 788 – 798. Inspirational (and Cute) Pins

Many people label social media sites as trivial, shallow, and unhelpful for society. This can be true, however, these websites also have the power to be used for good.

The next few weeks, I am going to find some material from each site (be it a user or something that they posted) and share it with you. These will be items that motivate, encourage, or simply amuse me.

First of all, Pinterest will be explored. This fun and time-consuming site is full of images such as movie quotes, wedding gowns, teacup kittens, and recipe ideas. Sure, it could be seen as frivolous, but one can also gain creativity and inspiration from some of the material. Here are some of the pins and pinners that have helped me.

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Recovery in the Media: #58. A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

Living a normal life with mental illness can be hard but also beautiful, as this film depicts.

58. A Beautiful Mind

Every since I first heard about this film, I longed to see it. However, some doctors cautioned that I might have schizophrenia. Anxiety about this caused me to shy away from anything associated with the illness but also raised my curiosity. Plus, my mother let me know that several scenes would be upsetting to me. Thus, I left this movie on my list of films to watch but made little effort to find it. In Oxford, A Beautiful Mind was chosen to watch for a movie night. Nervous but intrigued, I decided to at least see the beginning. Right away, the story sucked me inside and left me touched emotionally. Because it deals with a mental illness and focuses on living a normal life despite that condition, I chose this movie for Media Monday.

Synopsis: John Nash is brilliant. Strange, perhaps, but certainly brilliant. His life seems fairly normal at first – finishing school, falling in love, starting a family. However, things take a strange turn when this mathematician is called in to help the government. After he begins breaking Soviet codes, people start chasing and following Nash. Suddenly, his life is spinning out of control to the confusion of his wife. Continue reading

What I Am, What I Am Not, What I Could Be

Ruth and me

My friend and me at her wedding

Today, my mother and I went to the baby shower of my best friend through high school. Since then, we have remained close at heart but taken very different paths. She did two years of mission work, finished college two Mays ago, married last November, and is now pregnant with a little girl. That is miles away from anything that I have experienced.

Going to Oxford proved to myself that I could accomplish great things. Now, I am more confident about my future. Although nothing is easy, the strength to go far and be a bright light is inside of me.

Balancing what I am, what I am not, and what I could be one day is difficult. Sometimes I wish that I was different and had a life more like my friend. Thus, this post is mostly a coping skill for me to practice learning to accept where I am and press forward with hope.

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One Thousand Thanks: 639 – 656. Goodbyes to My Wonderful Oxford Friends Part Two

Callie and me

Standing with Callie

Normally I only do my thankfulness posts on Thursdays. However, finishing up my thanks for everyone at Oxford made sense. You all mean so much to me. Once again, it was simply for time that I separated this into two posts. Being in the second blog does not mean you are any less dear to me or had a smaller impact on my life.

639. Tammy – Having you and your husband present was so wonderful as was meeting the rest of your family. Thank you for adding wisdom and a depth to the program with your increased knowledge and research.

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