140. What is the difference between rational and reasonable?

We are a lot better at being reasonable than we are at being rational.

What is being rational? It’s following logic and doing what the models tell us in our best interests. It’s being able to clearly and deeply explain what we are doing and have that based on facts and reasoning. It’s solving math problems and getting the right answer. It’s having clear goals and working towards those goals.

What is being reasonable? It’s being able use our brain, make assumptions, and make quick decisions that work. It’s using emotions, compassion, and empathy. It’s justifications that work for the moment and that seem to make some sense.

So being reasonable can actually be better than being rational. For one thing, sometimes we don’t have clear goals we are working towards. We want lots of different things all at the same time and our preferences are not always rational, and we don’t often want them to be. We want to make decisions quickly and the best that we can in the moment. And often, we want to help others and do things that don’t have a strong rational explanation behind them.

So be reasonable.

But don’t worry too much about being rational.

139. Is it okay to be average?

This is a silly question, if you think about it very hard. Of course it’s okay to be average. Most people are average. That’s the definition of average.

For some reason, our culture can tell us that we need to be special and better than average. But not everyone can be better than average, because that’s not how average works.

If I hire a contractor to come work with them, chances are that they will be average and they will do an average job.

If I got to a restaurant, chances are that it will be average and I will get average food.

And that’s okay! If we want to improve together, we don’t need to beat the average. We just need to improve what average is.

137. What is the best Spider-Man Movie?

I love Spider-Man. I’ve even read Spider-Man comics. I just watched the latest Spider-Man movie–and in preparation for that, I watched all the other Spider-Man movies that came before it (except for Into the Spider Verse and Spider-Man, since I had watched those fairly recently).

Spider-Man: Great origin story. It started everything.

Spider-Man 2: This is just about perfection in a movie.

Spider-Man 3: It’s not that horrible. But it’s like the characters and plot sort of forgot who they were.

Amazing Spider-Man: This was so much better than I remembered. I loved the quiet, awkward Peter Parker and his relationship with Gwen Stacey.

Amazing Spider-Man 2: There were so many good moments in this movie–a good mix of funny and tragic and strong characters. Very underrated.

Spider-Man Homecoming: I like young Spider-Man. High tension in this, and I felt more emotionally invested. But Spider-Man was sort of stupid–but he kept trying.

Spider-Man Far From Home: Honestly, the plot is a bit off for me if I think about it for very long, but there are some really good scenes throughout and sometimes it was very funny.

Into the Spider-Verse: I always forget about this because it’s animated and doesn’t feel like it’s in the same category. But it’s really, really good.

Spider-Man No Way Home: Absolutely amazing, but only if you have watched all the previous movies and love Spider-Man. Which I do. Really good payoffs and so enjoyable.

I do have a top three:

  1. Spider-Man No Way Home, not because it’s perfect, because it was so exciting. I want to watch this again. And again.
  2. Spider-Man 2, because it was perfect.
  3. Into the Spider Verse, because it was also perfect.

And then it gets muddled in the middle. I like parts of all of the rest of the movies a lot, but I also don’t like parts of these movies. Maybe: Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man Homecoming, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man Far From Home. And my least favorite is Spider-Man 3.

I spent way too much time thinking about this.

136. How do I reduce stress?


We’ve been doing a kitchen remodel and for the first time in weeks, we are finally getting the house clean. Cleaner.

Cleaning itself actually can stress me out–but once I’m done, it feels like a weight has been lifted off me.

I think our surroundings affect us a lot more than we realize. If my house is in chaos, my mind is often in chaos.

So I clean up, and I feel better. I don’t like cleaning up, but I need to remind myself that the end is worth it.

135. Do we all have the same amount of time in a day?

I read a quote somewhere that we all have the same amount of time in a day. I have the same amount of time in a day as you do, and we all have the same amount of time in the day as super productive famous people too. So we I guess we can all be super productive and famous?

I sometimes really want to get more stuff done. I want to be high energy and do more and more with my life. And then I find myself stressed and exhausted.

I’ve read advice and planned out my day and set goals. We may all technically have the same amount of time–except for we don’t have the same amount of time when we are conscious and functioning. And we don’t have the same mental and physical energy and skills.

We all have our different circumstances and capabilities. I need to stop telling myself that I should be a certain way when trying to live that way makes me miserable.

I don’t have things figured out, but I do know that when I let go of some ideals I’ve made up in my head and stop comparing myself to other people, I am happier.

134. What is one of the scariest things you’ve ever done?

When I was younger, I was so incredibly scared to call people, and that fear has never really left me. But I still call people when I have to. And sometimes because I want to.

I’ve been thinking about applying to graduate school, and the scariest thing about the application process is letters of recommendation. When I was younger, I didn’t like to talk to adults very much, and I was very scared of professors when I went to college. I’m less scared now, but I still don’t want to ask someone to write a letter for me. But I will.

Submitting building plans for a building permit (and then subsequent inspections) has also been terrifying for me. And doing a lot of the renovation has been a bit scary.

I’ve also given birth four times, and that was scary the first time because I had never done it before. The second and third times were fine. But then the third birth was hard, so I got a lot more scared the fourth time. Anyway. Birth can be scary.

As I’m thinking about, I wonder if I haven’t done enough scary things in my life.

133. Can you be blinded by large goals of success and miss your best achievements?

For a while, I have been following Martin from Wintergaten, who is making a marble machine that plays music. My sister, Liz, introduced me to it. He had a goal: create a marble machine that could go on a world concert tour and play music. And eventually, he figured out that the goal was a bit impossible. He had been making videos all along the way, and many people had funded his videos and project, and then he stopped posting.

He was very set on a end goal and didn’t want to settle for less, but when the end goal didn’t work out, he gave up on the parts of his project that had the most meaning to others.

Other people didn’t really care if the marble machine went on a world tour: they loved the videos. They loved watching someone work and learn and make mistakes. They loved the music.

And because that main goal didn’t work out, all of the other value that had been created in the project was dismissed.

Often, we set big goals for ourselves, in our careers and our families. I’ve set out to remodel my home recently, and it hasn’t always gone to plan.

But the point of my goal is not to end up with a fully renovated and beautiful home. Yes, that is what my goal is, but that’s the not the point. The point is the work that comes along the way.

I know a few people who obtained a piece of land and planned to build and finish a house. But then the unexpected happened and they never finished. Even though they didn’t finish their house, they got to live in the place that they wanted to be.

Incomplete does not equal failure.

Because life is full of the incomplete, and there are still so many small successes before completion can happen.

And we should celebrate and recognize those successes. We might even find we want to change our end goal because of the things we learn in the process.

132. Why is connection important?

Connection has been on my mind lately. Most of my goals are either about taking care of myself or in some way connecting with others. And I take care of myself so I can connect with others too.

I learn and create and work so that I can connect and hopefully improve others’ lives and improve my life too.

When I’m writing, it’s almost always some sort of connection. I connect to family members and friends; I connect with different versions of myself; I connect with strangers that can become friends.

I spend time with my kids; I visit family; I volunteer. And even when I’m working on my phone, I love the times that leads to conversation, and I’m hopeful that my home will be a place of connection.

This helps me when I feel lost and confused about what I need to do. When I’m worried about money or getting things done or achieving things, I forget that what makes me happy is connecting with others. And that can be just small connections with a few people. It doesn’t have to be big.

131. What does my Grandpa Claude believe?

My Grandpa Claude today stood up and talked to his family. He mentioned that there are other names besides God that can be used, particularly Heavenly Parents and Creators.

And if we have Heavenly Parents, than we can become like them and also be Creators. And when we create, we are like our Heavenly Parents.

The plan of salvation is simple, really. He mentioned to me in conversation that if you look in the phonebook, you can find the true church, because he believes in the Church of Jesus Christ.