The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Friday, November 5, 2010

This I Know...

The class outline for the day may read: “Cover Chapters 4 and 5 from the text.” As soon as the teacher uses the segway, “Now on to Chapter 5,” I get out my blue notebook and draw a line through the number 4.


Because we are done with it. Because we said we were going to cover it. And we did.

If I am making out a to-do list, I often include items I did prior to making the list just so I can draw a line through it and feel a sense of accomplishment. While seeing “brush your teeth” on a piece of paper with a line through it may not seem impressive to you, it somehow provides me with some sort of satisfaction.

I set reminders on my phone reminding me to set reminders for later. I work from 8-12, eat a frozen meal from 12-1, take a nap from 1-2, workout from 2-3, go to my night job for the rest of the night. Every. Day.

In other words, I'm a girl with a plan. I'm a girl who doesn't like to get off track. I'm a girl who flips out if you stick me in an unfamiliar situation, with unfamiliar people when I wasn't expecting it ahead of time.

As many of you know, I had a pretty tentative plan for life post-graduation in December. I kind of had it in my head that things were going to be one way. Though I was a little unsure, it was a plan-- and I like plans. I like them a lot actually. I like being able to confidently tell people what's going down.

That plan was kind of tossed to the wind yesterday; it's like I was sitting there reading this e-mail full of words, but all I registered was, "Ashton, get a new plan." It's like the whistle blew on the basketball court and Coach Moon was yelling, "Zipper" when he had previously told me to run another play.

I think my disappointment lied more in the fact that I was left without a proper move on the chessboard of life than it was that I didn't get what I thought I wanted. God is whispering to me right now that sometimes not having a plan is better than having a plan just for the sake of saying you've got it all together.

It's kind of like saying, "Well, I brushed my teeth today. Check!" instead of waiting out something that's really worth crossing off.

I'm going to honestly admit that I don't have a real plan right now. I have no idea what's in store for me. But I just have to hold out and have faith that it is going to far exceed the crumbled up plan that's now in my trashcan.

Proverbs 19:21 says, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." This is one of those verses that pricks the heart of self-admitting anti-spontaneous individuals like myself.

As is probably apparent by now, I don't know a whole lot. I can't predict the future. But it is time to focus on the things I DO know. I know my Heavenly Father's love; I know the earthly love I am blessed with every day by friends and family; I know the peace that comes with God closing a door so you don't have to.

I know that a beautiful spirit can't be broken by the likes of mere disappointment; I know that one day I will look back with a quaint, wrinkled smile and admit to my Creator that his Plan A couldn't have happened without the enactment of my Plan B.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

You are What You...Watch

I just read an article from “Advertising Age” that I found quite interesting. According to psychographic ad targeter Mindset Media, the TV shows you watch say a lot about your personality. The article went on to expand on popular TV shows and what people were found to tune into them the most.

“Mad Men,” though I have never watched it, attracts creative people. According to the research, creative people were 41% more likely to watch than their less creative counterparts. They tend to be intellectually curious and consider themselves dreamers rather than realists. Advertisers who appeal to them include Apple and Audi A6, while Microsoft and GMC Sierra would be less likely to grab their interest. Often times, “Mad Men” viewers tend to be more liberal.

While I would LOVE to recount the article word for word, I have decided instead to explore and dissect my own media smorgasbord. Every Tuesday, I eagerly await “Glee.” The article asserts that Gleeks tend to be very open people who believe that imagination and intellectual pursuits contribute to a good life, and that they go out in search of unique and varied experiences. Brands that connect: Volkswagen Jetta; brands that don't: Quaker cereal and Chevy Silverado.

Hold up. It's like they know me. This coming from the girl who will open up about anything (I say as you read my blog), who is pursuing her graduate degree (intellectual pursuit), and who studied in Europe for a semester to experience the world. Looks like there is some reason that I sit on my couch each week singing "Faithfully" with a bunch of high school misfits.

Another show I can't get enough of is "The Office." For all you fellow Office viewers out there, we apparently tend to think we are superior to others. They found that 47% of alpha dogs were fans of the show and that fans tended to prefer being in charge as opposed to being directed. Part of me would love to shout, "No! How dare they say this about me!" But I am quickly quieted by the MBA student who insists on compiling the paper every week just to make sure it is done well. And the girl who has to subdue her inner urge at work to say, "This just isn't practical. This could be done so much more efficiently."

I only wish that "Law and Order: SVU" had made the list. Why? Because FOR YEARS I have had an adrenaline-pumping experience every time I hear the voice-over at the beginning and the theme song. I almost squeal every time I hear "These are their stories" because I know that crazy opening scene is right after the "Bum. Bum." sound. I used to watch the marathons for days on end and my dad once brought over a bedpan to the couch "just in case I needed it."

Besides the obvious attraction, Detective Stinkin-Hot Stabler, I haven't quite figured out my life-long fascination with the show. Say what you will. Maybe I like justice; maybe it's my longing to help people who are in dire need of it; maybe I just like to watch a proper body-slam on the pavement go down. Whatever it is, I can't get enough of it. If this whole journalism thing doesn't work out, maybe I can always obtain a badge and become Olivia Benson.

While plenty of humble people may love "The Office" and plenty of agenda setters may look forward to "Mad Men" every week, this study is still very appropriate and interesting in many facets. Take a minute to consider what you consume and why you may consume it.

Maybe self-awareness is just a remote control away.

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