Today was the last class of my “methods of teaching seminary” class.  I found myself facing some angst (read: nervousness / fear) when I came face to face with the fact that some of my hopes and dreams are no longer in the future – that, indeed, the turning point for what I consider some important decisions has come and – today – passed.  As time goes on, more and more opportunities arrive and then pass by.  I can’t help but wonder if I’m making the right choices.
I won’t know about the chance to teach next year until some time next month.  All I can do now is try to be the right person for the job.  It’s not something I can plan on doing.  Last year’s group – about 70 here in southern Utah – had only one person hired.

I’ve been working at Northwestern Mutual for a while.  It’s a good feeling.  My boss definately has his priorities in order, which makes me happy.  I like working for a boss who cares more about his client’s needs than his own earnings.  It makes a nice change.  I still face the stigma of the financial service representative, though.  I still meet people (some who know me very well personally) who assume I just want to take the money from people and put it in my own pockets.  It’s a lot like when I was on my mission.  How do you tell somebody that you really just want to help people – that you want the very best for them – and make them believe it?  I guess there’s too much mistrust in the world.  And too much reason for mistrust.

The semester is over.  I officially have just one year of college left… unless I go into the MBA program.  I didn’t do very well at this semester’s classes.  Maybe I was more focused on family and work?  I don’t know why, really.  The truth is that most of my classes were more difficult than any I’ve taken in the past.

And, of course, the biggest change to happen of late is the birth of my son.  I’m very excited to get to know his personality as he grows.  I hope that we will be good parents.  I also hope I can provide for our needs.  That’s my biggest worry lately.  Helping people plan for retirement and getting insurance doesn’t pay me a lot of money,  just dividends in feeling good about helping people.

Friends are moving away, going on with life.  Someday I may try it out myself.

Till then, I remain your friend in geekland.

-greg

Evening Murmurs

April 16, 2007

Recent rains, a general feeling of fatigue, insecurity about the future, and stress caused by an overload of work and school combine in me to produce the recently rare mood of writing.  Maybe it’s my own personal stress reliever.   That seems to fit with my experience.  I remember being a new missionary – in that extremely stressful circumstance of dramatic change – wanting more than anything to sit down at the end of the day in front of the computer and write out my sorrows.

I spend hours each day with a tiny person lying on top of my chest, listening to my heartbeat, his legs curled up under him and his dark eyes widely searching the strange and cold world he’s just recently entered.  It makes me glad that no matter how angry he is I can pull him to my chest and he calms down almost immediately.  I don’t know how long that will last, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

I taught seminary classes this morning and realized I have a lot to learn about teaching.  I feel inadequate to that job and I would be scared to have to do it all the time.  If it were just history lessons or math equations it would be easy – but teaching principles meant to change the course of a life are something that I struggle with.

I find myself with a great deal of homework to do this week.  I could do it if I were still doing my old job.  But I’m supposed to really start my new job tomorrow.  So now I don’t know how I’ll have the willpower to leave the baby, wife, visitors, and family alone long enough to learn the lessons.  Add to that the need to plan new seminary lessons – a task I never feel is completed no matter how much time I spend on it – and I feel some major insomnia coming on this week.

What I would like to do more than anything else is to kneel down, pray, and have my troubles taken away.  Instead, I kneel down, pray, and am told to get to work.  I suppose if I really want to grow as a person I had better learn to do the things I’ve been planning on doing – working hard to achieve goals.

I wonder if I’ll learn this skill in time to teach it to my children…

-Greg

We went to our doctor’s appointment today.  She’s still dilated to only 1 centimeter.  So it was looking like we were going to be waiting till thursday – when they have her scheduled to be induced.  On the way out of the doctor’s office, he said, “Hey, want to do it tonight?”

Kayeleen said “Yes,” without hesitation.

My mind went blank as neurons were in competition for superiority – school – work – school – teaching – work – shutdown…

I must have had a funny look on my face because the doctor looked at me and said “Maybe we should wait?”  I said no, it was fine.

So this evening at 1 A.M. we’ll be going to the hospital to begin the birthing process – whatever that is…

It’s really weird to think that by this time tomorrow I may be a father officially.  Exciting, intimidating, a little stressful, and the like.  It still seems impossible.  I’m sure I’ll get used to the idea pretty soon, though.

I think it’s interesting that it feels like such a huge and important moment in my life, but to everybody who knows me it’s just some happy news – almost as if babies are born every day or something.

But my baby isn’t born every day.  Just tomorrow.

General Conference

April 3, 2007

This weekend was the 177th annual conference of the LDS church.  Blaine pointed out that it’s pretty much the only 10 hour religious experience he can stand.  I had never realized that it was actually 10 hours of meetings.

This conference I was not struck by any powerful revelation, though it has happened in the past.  What I did get was a great outpouring of the good feelings that accompany the holy spirit.  It was like being told that “Everything is going to be just fine,” by somebody who knows for sure.  And it was nice to compare the feelings that filled the house while we watched conference with the feelings that had been there recently.  It’s not like there were bad feelings there, just a general coating of pop-culture and worldly attitude.  Conference really washed it away for me.

It was a strong testimony building experience for me.  It reminds me that it’s so easy to get caught up in the arguments about doctrines and debates about policy, when it’s really not important.  What’s important is seeking out the Lord and learning his will and his way. Conference became a lodestone of sorts – reminding me of what’s really important and blowing away the chaff.

Good experience.  One to remember.

-Greg