Good Catalyzes Good

Today began on a frustrating note. Being the morning person that I am, I decided to try to get some physics homework out of the way. Forty minutes later, I had attempted two problems and had solved neither of them. This is constant recurring theme in physics. I stare at the problems, get zero answers, and then fantasize about how I would like to burn by physics book.

However, it was the perfect fall day outside– 55°F, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. Instead of doing more homework, I went on the most therapeutic run. As I ran, I listened to my favorite music, soaked in the gorgeous fall colors, and just thought aimlessly. Afterwards, it was like the physics incident had never occurred. That run changed my whole entire mood. It was a spark of good that changed my whole attitude for the day.

After the run, I got lunch with a friend from high school. We chatted while sipping on great coffee. It made me so happy to take time to catch up on each other’s lives, especially since I don’t get to see her often anymore. My lunch date was another sprinkling of good.

Later on at church,  1.) there was a baptism, 2.) I sat next to the happiest, cutest,  married elderly couple, and 3.) the priest delivered an amazing homily about leprosy and Christ’s role as a healer. He challenged us to look at our lives and to think about how Christ can physically, emotionally, or spiritually heal us. It was a homily that was challenging, but immensely clear. I needed to hear those words, and I left church feeling spiritually recharged– more good.

The final dose of goodness for the day came from a spontaneous FaceTime call from another high school friend. More chatting ensued, laughs were shared, and afterwards, I felt great.

The moral of the story– good builds on good. So often I let myself become consumed with negativity. I become overwhelmed with how busy I am or how challenging my classes are. Anxiety and stress quickly blind me from seeing the good in the circumstances that I am in. I focus on how quickly a day can turn sour, when in reality, it is just as easy for a day to become really amazing. Thinking back on the homily, right now, I need Christ to cleanse me from these burdens that weigh me down so that I can devote time to the things/people who lift me up– family, friends, spending time in nature, reading a great book, drinking hot coffee, etc. There is a lot of evil that is occurring in this work, but there is also a ton of good being done. Today was just one example of how one positive experience– my run– allowed me to more fully enjoy the rest of my day. Good catalyzes good (Can you tell I’m a science major? hehe). Every smile, laugh, or compliment could be the spark that ignites a chain reaction of good. I pray that I can continue working on changing my mindset from focusing on the negatives of life to relishing all of the sparks of good that are occurring around me.

Lots of love,

Hannah

Apple Picking Adventure

My family has a tradition of going apple picking with our family friends every fall. This tradition has been around for over 20 years–before my parents were even married! Every year, each of our families changes slightly. It’s so cool to look back at pictures from over the years to see how much we kids have grown. Last year, I didn’t have the chance to partake in this yearly ordeal since I was at college. This year, however, I decided to make the trip because creating memories and spending time with family helps me balance school’s chaos.

Early Saturday morning, I got my Salted Caramel Mocha from Starbucks and drove home. Then we as a family drove to our family friend’s house. There we ate lunch and watched a slideshow of us apple picking throughout the years. It was so precious! After that, we headed to the orchard. Our family filled up two baskets worth of Fuji and Golden delicious apples and ate our fair share of “free samples”– you have to try the apples to know what they taste like right? Apple picking is hard work. I was on top of my brother’s shoulders trying to pick the best apples (which were always at the very top of the trees). At end, I was extremely satisfied with our selections, and now I can eat multiple apples a day for a long time 🙂

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My brother and I like each other after all.

After picking our apples, we took some mandatory family pictures and then headed to the barn to buy delicious goodies. My all-time favorites include caramel apples, warm apple-cinnamon donuts (yes they are a gift from God), corn salsa, and pumpkin butter.

Then way too quickly, we had to pack up and leave because I wanted to get back to school–to get frozen yogurt, not to study 😉 I got back in the car and jammed out to music until I made it to campus.

Going apple picking was the kind of relief that I needed. School is really crazy, and I feel like I never get a break– or I never want to take a break. While school is important, I don’t want it to rule my life. At the end of the day, I want to look back at my college experience and remember all the the great times that I spent on adventures with family and friends. Academics is one aspect of college, but definitely not the only aspect. I was so happy to take a break from school and spend time with family friends that I haven’t seen in two years. I even got a chance to see my brother, who started his freshman year of college. It was a very full day–full of travel, full of memories, and full of food! I can’t wait to partake in this tradition again next year!

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This is one of the mandatory photos–all the kiddos need to stand by the scarecrow and measure their heights.

 

Lots of love,

Hannah