A varied and sometimes erratic record of what I'm learning inside and outside of the classroom

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Week of Thoreau Rejuvenation

In Walden, Thoreau writes,  "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation." As much as I hate to admit it, that phrase has described me as of late.The pressures of life, magnified by some difficult circumstances, increased to the point where I felt like I was going to lose it, and it wasn't going to be pretty.

So, at the advice of my professor, I took the week off from two of my classes. No class, no homework--no THINKING about homework, even. No NOTHING.

Thus began Rejuvenation Week.

Thoreau also writes, "I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately." I needed more deliberation, both in action and thought; I felt like I was just doing things to cross them off the list, and not because I particularly enjoyed them or wanted to do them. I needed to slow down and focus on the Things That Matter Most (as outlined in the talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf from October General Conference). With this in mind these are a few of the things I did:
  • Read a book just for fun. Okay, it was Jane Eyre, which is hardly light reading, but I read it of my own free will and enjoyed it too. (Does anyone else think St. John is insufferable?)
  • Spent time with my family before my older sister entered the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday; she is serving a Spanish-speaking LDS mission to Vina del Mar, Chile.
  • Carved a jack-o-lantern with my roommates; we dubbed him Malicious Melvin, and he totally should've won the pumpkin carving contest at our ward Halloween party Friday night. Or at least I'd like to think so. :)
  • Anxiously awaited the result of the Idaho high school 5A state soccer tournament; two of my brothers play Borah High School varsity, and they're pretty much the most awesome soccer players I know. STATE CHAMPIONS, baby! Check out the news article and pictures here and here. (One is number 19 and the other is number 13.)
  • Walked to the Provo Temple and back, admiring the fall colors on the mountains and deliberately stepping on any particularly crunchy-looking leaves.
  • Gave more time to studying scriptures and having meaningful personal prayer.
So this was the reason for the long time, no post, and after taking a break, I feel ready to dive back into my schoolwork with renewed vigor. While not everyone may be able to take a week off like I did, I believe it is important for everyone to slow down a bit in the midst of our busy lives and make sure we are focusing on the things that matter most.

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