Planning For Happiness
This year my greatest birthday wish came months before my birthday. It was to be out of the hospital to celebrate my special day. This week, on Tuesday, is my birthday. I will be turning 29 and entering the last year of my twenties. After 11 long, hard, and often frightening weeks in the hospital, I am very relieved and grateful to say that I am home from the hospital to celebrate.
It feels strange to know that my twenties are winding down, and I will soon be in my thirties. Thirties sounds rather grown-up, and, in a lot of ways, I hardly feel like a grown up yet. More than that I’ve spent a large part of my twenties feeling like I was failing to live up to my own expectations of myself. I wrote about this last year in my post Living Up to Teenage Expectations (Ten Years Later).
What I began to see last summer when I wrote that post and that I now see so clearly is that I was so busy feeling like a failure for all the ways I didn’t measure up to where I thought I’d be or should be by now, that I couldn’t see how successful my life really is. And more importantly I was robbing myself of the satisfaction and happiness that could come with that success.
Life often doesn’t turn out how we plan as young adults. As we grow older, we find out what God has planned for us. And the wonderful thing is, though we cannot see it now, that plan is grander than anything we could have imagined for ourselves as teenagers and will ultimately lead us to happiness. So my new plan is to abandon my own old expectations and put my trust in my Heavenly Father. Trust that he knows what is best for me. Trust that he can see the whole picture. Trust that by following his plan I will be lead back to Him. And trust that in doing so there will be more blessings along the way than I could have possibly imagined.
What a blessing it is that God is no respecter of persons. While I, for the last decade, was so worried that I wasn’t in the right career, living in the right place, having the right romance, and achieving the right things, God and my Savior Jesus Christ were loving me for exactly who I was. And they love me now for exactly who I am. This frees me to give up all those old expectations and just move boldly forward with the knowledge that if I put my trust in the Lord, I will find eternal happiness.
But what does this look like on a practical, day-to-day level? The first thing that come to mind is I must make every effort to live my life according to His example. The basics of prayer, church attendance, scripture study, and service are His standards to live by. Beyond that I can create my life within the context of what’s happening now rather than what I thought I wanted or should be doing at this point. So instead of trying to force the old dream of a career in film that just doesn’t fit anymore, I can relish in my new found love for novel writing and work towards getting published with passion and gusto.
Finally it’s absolutely critical to live in a space of constant gratitude. I am so so so blessed to be alive after the last hospitalization I just had, how can I waste time worrying what a teenage version of myself would have thought of me? Life is too lovely, too perfect, and too short for anything less. This year on my birthday I will remember that.
|Print article||This entry was posted by writerfly on October 21, 2012 at 10:36 pm, and is filed under Culture, Epiphanies, Faith, Featured, Health, Musings. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No trackbacks yet.
about 4 months ago - 1 comment
Self-publishing is a big industry right now. Which means big money. But not necessarily for authors but for companies who sell self-publishing services to authors wanting to self-publish. One contender, Balboa Press has been calling my cell phone every month or so. Writers Beware. A class action complaint has been filed against Balboa Press’s parent company, Author Solutions, for its sketchy dealings that are bringing in the big bucks.
about 4 months ago - No comments
We all want to go somewhere in life that will bring us happiness. Though many things of the world try to convince us they offer happiness, how can we choose worthy goals that will bring us lasting happiness? Even eternal happiness.
about 6 months ago - No comments
Sometimes being human can be painfully lonely. At times I think this very essential sense of loneliness originates from the feeling of being dwarfed by the universe. Thoughts might come like, “If I’m just a speck in this great vastness, what do I mean to the bigger picture? How do I fit in? How do I even matter? What difference can I even really make when there’s so many others out here.” The “paradox of man” brings clarity to these questions.
about 6 months ago - No comments
Ttoday was my church’s Ward Conference, a day of spiritual nourishment. It was just wonderful listening to my local leaders speak to us young adults on the topics that were of the greatest importance to us. Feeling more spiritually fed, and pondering some of the themes discussed today, I decided to try my hand at a poem. The following is the result:
about 9 months ago - 2 comments
As I was sitting in during Sacrament, I prayed for the best way to deliver this talk. I received the strangest prompting – to give my talk in a completely different order than I have written it. I had spent at least 15 hours researching and preparing for the talk, so I was rather surprised and…
about 9 months ago - No comments
I don’t want to sound mean. I just want to be honest. Is there something else bothering you?* Last night I was faced with that loaded question. “Was something else bothering me?” Because, she explained, how upset I was didn’t add up. “Nothing happened,” she said. At first the question didn’t even register through my…
about 10 months ago - No comments
What do we do when our understanding of our circumstances eludes us and puts our faith in peril? How can we turn our doubt into a tool to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ? I recently discovered that it is from our most vulnerable place of complete doubt and uncertainty,…
about 10 months ago - No comments
Today was truly a joyous occasion for me. Today, Friday, March 7th, 2014, marks the 4 year anniversary of the day I entered the waters of baptism and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To this day I know with every fiber of my being that decision to get baptized was the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. That day, March 7th, 2010, I brought my own soul unto Christ, and I have never been more joyful!
about 11 months ago - 1 comment
Today was Valentine’s Day. That means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. So whether you thought today was a day to eat lots of chocolate or a day to send lots of love notes or even a day made up by a card company, I think today was a good reminder to appreciate the love we have in our lives. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about how much I’m blessed with love in my life. It’s funny, even though I occasionally have feelings of loneliness or not being cared for, when I start really thinking about the blessing of love in my life, I realize my cup is overflowing. So what can you do to keep the Valentine’s Day spirit year round?
about 11 months ago - 3 comments
**This post includes a Weekly GTD Schedule – Microsoft Excel Template Download.** I decided it’s time to try Getting Things Done in a more organized way. There are 4 major components to my personalized GTD system I am putting into place initially. 1) Identify 6-9 Major Areas of Life 2) List 10 Most Pressing Tasks Under Each Major Role/Area 3) Create A Weekly Schedule of Bucket Times To Stick To Each Week 4) Generate Mind-Dump Of EVERY Open Loop In Life. Once I had a plan of action, it was just a matter of putting it into place, but starting is always easier said than done….