Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Don't forget to be Happy Now.


Can I just say that while I have no idea where this picture was taken, it sure looks like the most dreamy place to be during the month of January.  A beautiful and quiet respite from the world where one can literally hibernate and reflect on life, their new goals for the year and all life's many blessings.  I was swooning when I first saw this photo on pinterest...mainly because snow rarely comes to us here in South Texas.  My husband loves to remind me that a few short years ago we had something similar to this porch and scenic view when we lived in Virginia....ah-shucks...I must admit, I really do miss our winters there. :-(

Enough wishing and wanting and now on to my blog post....I pulled this talk out last night and re-read it before falling asleep. I love it. I really do. Not only do I love the inspiring message, but I especially admire the man who wrote it.  Every time I hear him speak, I inevitably feel better inside.  I am always left feeling a greater sense of hope and peace about my life.  I have reread this particular spiritual message of his numerous times since I first heard it last October.  And each time I do, I always seem to discover a new gem that speaks to both my mind and heart.

As we begin this new year--I find myself a bit more reflective than usual at the turn of a new year.  2012 is one that will be particularly unique and exciting for me -- for you see, during this year I will be crossing the threshold into my 40's (oh my!) -AND- I feel so blessed to be celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary with my hubby.  Gosh, it's hard to believe how fast life seems to be flying by--and, it's especially hard to believe that I will be turning 40 in five months...oy!!   As I have been reflecting on these years these past few days, I feel so very grateful for all that I have seen and experienced.  I am particularly grateful for these past (almost) 10 years I have spent with my dear husband---we have been on so many fun and exciting journeys together.  I am without question humbled beyond words to be married to my best friend, soul mate and the love of my life.

Like many of you, at the turn of a new year, I, too, am taking time to reflect, ponder and write out my own set of personal goals that I'd like to achieve over the course of the year.  I won't bore you with my list; however, there is one area of my life I particularly hope to improve upon which has led me to writing a specific goal that I can share with you.   That is I want to work on being happy "in the now"....in the present I should say...or in the moment.  Regrettably, I must admit, the past few months since our failed adoption, I have been plagued with feelings of regret, sadness, and all other sorts of frustrating and debilitating thoughts.  So much in fact that I have found myself falling into a rut where I focus on the "what if's" and "why nots" in my life.  And all the while, I am noticing that I am missing out on all the beauty and joy that is happening right in front of my eyes...."the now" in my life.  All too often I think it is too easy in this mortal experience of ours (especially when we are facing a difficult or challenging time in our life) to fall into a trap where we feel as if our happiness rests on those "someday" , "if" or "when" moments of our lives. And sadly, as we spend all our energy focusing on the future (or the past), we ultimately miss out on the joy and happiness that is happening "in the now" of our lives.  And so, I am setting as one of my goals this year to be more proactive and focused on being happy "in the now".

Which brings me back to this talk, Dieter Uchtodorf speaks to this very specific human shortfall all of us experience at varying moments in our life.  His message is so "on point" in my opinion.  I want to share a portion of his message with you because I am guessing I am not the only person out there who struggles with being happy "with the now" in our lives.

Here you go....

"In the beloved children’s story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the mysterious candy maker Willy Wonka hides a golden ticket in five of his candy bars and announces that whoever finds one of the tickets wins a tour of his factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate.
Written on each golden ticket is this message: “Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket … ! Tremendous things are in store for you! Many wonderful surprises await you! … Mystic and marvelous surprises … will … delight, … astonish, and perplex you.”

In this classic children’s story, people all over the world desperately yearn to find a golden ticket. Some feel that their entire future happiness depends on whether or not a golden ticket falls into their hands. In their anxiousness, people begin to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket.

So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket—the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about. For some, the golden ticket may be a perfect marriage; for others, a magazine-cover home or perhaps freedom from stress or worry.

There is nothing wrong with righteous yearnings—we hope and seek after things that are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.” The problem comes when we put our happiness on hold as we wait for some future event—our golden ticket—to appear.

This is not to say that we should abandon hope or temper our goals. Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don’t close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life.

The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy."
~Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Forget Me Not"


Alas....at the top of my list of 2012 New Year's Resolutions, I have bolded, "I will strive to seek out and cherish the everyday moments of my life." A reminder for me  to not be so focused on what the future may hold or why the past happened the way it did, but instead, to remember to be happy in the now.  :-)


Happy New Year!!

XO,

Jennifer

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