🔥 Trey Day | 10.2017

I sent Trey a handful of snaps (SnapChat posts) last weekend when I was in San Francisco. First, a short video clip of downtown, near the Powell street station, with lots of people and cable cars and music, to which he replied with the photo on the left. I followed up with "I don't know, I could be in the library studying!" I then received the photo on the right ...

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For Trey Day, which was actually on the 22nd, I'm going to document that fact that I absolutely adore this boy AND I'm incredibly grateful for social media (even the kind that I'm NOT very good at) so that we can stay in touch. Trey is nearing the end of his 2nd month as a college freshman and he's doing well. He's harboring an illegal kitten (Phoebe) in his dorm room and doing more than his share of dirty dishes left in the sink by roommates—both of which will likely become things he will laugh about 10 years from now. He's enjoying his classes, most of the time, and he appears to be staying on top of the onslaught of assignments and tests. He is particularly enjoying his Humanities class and confesses to loving classical music and reading wikipedia profiles of dead artists. I've had a couple of conversations with him when he's felt overwhelmed and/or disappointed by grades on tests. On one Humanities test, he thought he had done really poorly, after studying super hard. Then a couple of days later, I got this text message ...

Guess What!? That test that I was bummed about yesterday in Humanities? I got the highest score in the class! So relieved!
— Trey, on October 4th

Today I was rifling through my big Rubbermaid bin labeled Stacy Youth and came across a letter I wrote to my parents on October 30th, 1984. For some reason it caught my eye and I stopped to read it. I thought "I should share this with Trey, so he knows that his mom can in fact relate to college stresses and frustration ...

Oct. 30
Dear Family, 
Ok! You want letters, I'll give you letters—I just took one of the hardest tests I have ever taken, it was in Geography and right now I feel sick! I feel like I put so much time into that class and it just isn't paying off—I think I'll be relieved to start taking classes for my major—then at least I'll enjoy doing the work for them. I hope this week and next go by fast and I can just hang on by my fingernails cause they are the toughest. Mid semester blues set in and you can really get behind. I've got to make it. Please don't be disappointed in me about my Geography test—I'll keep on trying but I can honestly say I'm having a hard time liking that subject (like right now I HATE it with a passion!) Now I've got to study my rear off for Nutrition which is tomorrow—I've just barely read the chapters. I'm sitting here in Genealogy being bored to tears. My professor gets off on these stories and doesn't really teach a whole lot on how to find information.
[Note: I barely remember taking Genealogy. It appears from my writing letters during class that I wasn't paying much attention, ha!] Tonight is a dance party for my 280 class (Ballroom Dancing) costume and all, but I don't think I can afford to go—I want to but I've got to STUDY! It is so good to talk to you on Monday nights—I should probably jot down the things I want to say because it seems like I always forget to tell you something. Heidi's grandma called and is flying her home for Thanksgiving. She promised me she would come and see you and give you all hugs from me. I haven't heard at all from Lori—have you seen her? Is she really busy? I have a hard time keeping up in my New Testament class too. It's only on Tuesday nights from 5:20 to 7:00pm and the text is Doctrinal New Testament Commentary by Bruce R. McConkie. It is such a good class but is really detailed and I'm probably going to do crummy. I got a 77% on my 1st test! There just isn't time in a day—I swear I don't waste it! It seems like my roommates play ALL the time and I study. I don't know. I supposed I'm just frustrated right now. Well class is over—I'm going to take a break and go hear the Forum then study, study, study. Thanks for reading this and understanding me—I think you guys are the only ones who do!
Love, Stacy

As far as my Geography class. I don't remember what grade I got, but I now look back on that class as one of the best I ever took. So, we remember what we work hard for. I also remember getting a B- in that New Testament class—a grade I was very proud of ... and perhaps that's because I didn't get a C! It was a difficult class for sure, but I still have notes scrawled in the margins of my scriptures that I've transferred a few times that were (I believe) from that course. 

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Anyway, college is for the most part a distant memory, with a few random and recurring dreams about forgetting to go to the testing center thrown in ... but I'm enjoying the moments that resurface as I talk to my boys and listen to them and watch them work their way through. Good times and hard times and future-shaping times. I certainly had my fair share of messy roommates and dirty dishes.   

Too bad I never had a kitty  🐱 

 

9 Principles for Healthy Creatives

Back in 2013, I gave a presentation at a Close To My Heart event. I was asked to speak about how to maintain a healthy, vibrant creativity. In other words, how do we sustain the energy and insight required by a commitment to any ongoing creative pursuit—especially if that commitment is your job. What if you're a creative professional and your job depends on YOU being and feeling creative ALL THE TIME. I thought long and hard about this and ended up focusing on principles that might not initially feel connected to creative output, but that which I believe truly are. A few weeks prior to my speaking engagement, I received a Compendium book in the mail and its message was so relevant to my preparation that I gave the Gods credit for essentially dropping it into my lap. The book is called, Fight On! and you can purchase it HERE.  This book is full of inspiring quotes and encouragement to keep going in the face of opposition, self-doubt, immobilizing comparisons and the everyday time-sucking obligations that often block the free flow of ideas we need to survive. Quotes like this one ...

You’re doing it. Right now, you are doing it. Despite all the background noise, and the challenges, and the distractions, and the doubts that tell you otherwise, you are doing it. You are creating your beautiful life. You are traveling in the right direction. Set aside your doubts. Quiet the thoughts that say you aren’t good enough, important enough, capable enough to begin. Tell them you can’t listen because today you trust yourself. Today, you believe in your heart. Today, you tell the small voice inside you’re giving it a chance. Today, be bold. be strong. Fight on.
— Fight On, published by Compendium, Inc.
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A few months ago, I was cleaning up files on my desktop and came across this 2013 presentation. I opened it up, scrolled through the slides + notes and thought, "Dang. This is good stuff!" I wondered if I could some how share it again, with the hope that as I did so, I would be motivated to remember and revisit these principles for myself. I have recently begun building an Instagram community @storybystacy — which I will be talking more about in the coming weeks. I was curious: What if I created a mini class on Instagram ... an Insta-class? Why not! I introduced the idea and the response was positive, so I did it. I shared one of my presentation slides/principles each day for about 10 days, and I invited interaction. It was FUN and I loved the chance to learn from the comments of others. If you're on Instagram, you can now experience the whole class by clicking here and scrolling back to the image here. 

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I mentioned on Instagram that I would create a little download of some kind when the class was over and I finally did.  You can download and print it by clicking HERE.   You could print it on white cardstock and hang it in your workspace or print it as a 4x6 photo and use it on a scrapbook page or simply tuck it in your journal—that's what I'm going to do! When we see it, we'll remember that it takes effort to be creative and it's not necessarily the effort to print pictures and pull out the pretty paper, or paint or whatever your medium is. The real work is in crafting a lifestyle that nurtures your heart and mind, for those are the sources of original thought and curiosity which lead to problem solving and unique personal expression.

I have found that when I apply and practice these principles I can be consistently productive, if not on occasion absolutely brilliant. 

Have at it and Fight On!