A few words have been floating around my head for the past couple of weeks.
I've decided they need to be one of my points of focus for the new year.
They come from this talk, given at the end of September last year.
The phrase is: Be happy NOW.
I had one of those weekends where everything seemed perfect,
mostly because I spent lots and lots of time with my husband.
We cooked together, watched a documentary together (we love documentaries),
talked til late, went out to dinner with some family, spent time with the kids,
did some spiritual reading/discussion, went to visit some elderly neighbors
across the street that we love, read in each of our respective books before sleep, legs all tangled up together -- just like every night when we read before turning off our lights.
It was so much fun.
One of those things that leaves you feeling re-charged, and anxious to be together again.
I thought about my blessings.
His devotion to our family.
How good he is with the kids (much more patient than me half the time).
How invested he is with them.
His sensitivity to me.
Our warm house.
A community we feel so invested in.
Fantastic neighbors and friends.
Food to eat.
Family to share things with.
The hope of dreams and future plans we hope come to fruition.
The incredible, all-encompassing gift of faith, of a belief in a plan
for my life and for my family.
Knowing we have a loving Heavenly Father, that He's aware, and that He sent His Son for our sake.
The blessing of prophets, which I can't emphasize enough.
The beauties of nature (Benji looked up from his dinner last night and said, "Look at that pink sky...it is beautiful!")
Nuts and chews (from See's Candies -- these are under the "simply joys in life" category) and ice cream and, well, chocolate in general...
And three little people who continue to be the absolute joy of our lives.
I love sharing life with them, being taught by them, recognizing my strengths and weaknesses through their eyes, feeling the tug to be better, or the realization that I'm doing some things okay.
Be happy NOW.
It's pretty profound, don't you think?
Not wait for my life to look like the picture perfect image I had imagined for myself (which probably will never materialize in exactly that way anyway).
Not when finances are maybe what I wish they were.
Not when all my questions are figured out.
Or when this trial of faith or that one are explained to me.
Not when I look a certain way or only on the "perfect" days when everything goes right.
Or for any other golden ticket that holds me back, prevents me from recognizing and basking in the current joy.
Not putting it off.
I don't want to miss what IS.
Some days it is so easy to do that. Other days I falter and fall into the trap of comparing or wishing for something else or giving in to stress or any number of doubts.
But it comes down to choosing faith and optimism and gratitude.
This has been swirling in my head and won't be quiet, so I know it's a directive.
Our times define us.
Give moments of clarity in our marriage,
in our family life,
in who we are, fundamentally,
as individuals and as
participants in something so much bigger than ourselves.
Be happy now.