Everyone I have the pleasure to announce that I have a new niece Nelle Judith Lloyd. Both mom and baby are doing great and now the only question is- when can I get out there to see her!
Alma 41:5 “The one raised to ahappiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.”
This morning I went to the temple, which was a welcome respite from all of the moving and adventures of my recent life. I was reading the Book of Mormon while I waited and came across the scripture above. It struck me as interesting. What exactly does it mean by being “raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness”? Clearly the righteous do not always achieve their righteous desires. For instance, someone may have a righteous desire to serve a mission, but they are not able to go for a variety of reasons. I suppose the Lord could be referring to longterm happiness but I think it is more complicated. One of the most difficult things in life is turning over our desires/our willpower to the Lord. Perhaps this scripture is saying that once we finally make that step we will be perfectly happy and to whatever degree we achieve such full devotion determines the degree of happiness we will experience.
One of my favorite parts of D&C 4 on my mission was the line “if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work”. This phrase makes even more sense when coupled with the scripture above. For every step that we take in His direction the Lord is not only saying that we will be happy but that He will use us to further the work. In a way it is kind of a circle because in building the kingdom we experience happiness which causes our desire to serve to grow, which will give us more opportunities to serve…
It is such an empowering thing to know that we have a say in our happiness. We are not just lifeless blobs that respond to stimuli. We can decide to follow the Lord, sacrificing our egos and desires; thereby, creating happiness both currently as we serve and in the eternities. It reminds me of a quote I have from President Kimball (I had it on my wall when I had a wall!)
“Happiness does not come by pressing a button, as does the electric light; happiness is a state of mind and comes from within. It must be earned. It cannot be purchased with money; it cannot be taken for nothing”
In my life I felt a prompting to make a variety of changes and following those promptings has given me great peace and happiness- and that’s saying something because my life is pretty chaotic.
I look forward to seeing what all of you think on this topic of happiness and the desires of life. Please share.
President Joseph F. Smith said that seeking “to do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all man-kind, is the truest greatness. To be a successful father or a successful mother is greater than to be a successful general or a successful statesman.”
This is one of my favorite quotes because it reminds me that there is nobility in the small, simple acts of life. There is a part of me that wants to be bold, brave and make an impact on the world. I just have to remember that often that impact is felt by the simple and not the grand gestures. The people that I most admire are the ones that lived quiet lives filled with love and service- grandparents, friends, parents etc.
I was thinking about some of the small activities that give me great joy. I’d love for all of you to share some of your favorites as well. These are in no particular order:
1. Reading a good book
2. Lazy conversations with friends and family- phone is great but in person even better.
3. A funny joke or story shared with a friend
4. Comics- Calvin and Hobbes, Dilbert and Peanuts are my favorite
5. Hugs from my nieces/nephew and siblings.
6. Morning scriptures and prayer
7. The mountains when they are clear and beautiful/The Ocean
8. The satisfaction of completing a task or job
9. Dinner/lunch with friends
10. Watching a good movie
11. Book clubs
12. NPR- especially Car Talk, Wait Wait and This American Life
14. The comfort and security of being around loved ones
15. Fresh cut flowers- lilis and orchids are my favorite
16. Great music of all kinds
17. Cooking for myself or others
18. Singing particularly with my voice lessons
19. Shopping and finding a bargain
20. Finding the perfect gift for a friend or family member
I don’t want you’all to think that I am only going to write deep and contemplative entries on this blog. Some of them will just be reporting on the exciting or not so exciting events of my life. The last 2 days have been interesting. It’s actually been kind of a roller coaster. Starting on Thursday Camille and I began the process of packing up our apartment and getting everything ready for a big garage sale. We were going to do the garage sale next Saturday but heard there might be rain so we pushed it up to this morning. It was quite the event and I think all of us including my roommate Megan felt kind of melancholy as we packed our stuff. We’ve talked of the move coming up for months but haven’t really dealt with it. I am not exaggerating when I say that I feel like my family is breaking up. I feel nearly the same emotion that I felt when my sister moved to Stanford- except at least with Meg I knew for sure that I would remain close. With roommates you never know. Some I have remained quite close with and others I’ve lost track of. I take my friendships and relationships seriously and it is hard to see them change.
It is also hard to know that I don’t have roommates in my next place. I am going to be staying at one of my dad’s rentals for the summer so I can help him get them ready for use as a vacation rentals. If any of you have a family reunion in Utah coming up let me know! We’ve got a great deal! The prospect of leaving a set of roommates that feels like a family to a big house all by myself makes me feel kind of sad. Still, I know it is the right move for me and I will grow from the experience. Maybe it will make me even more independent- if that is possible!
Anyway, we worked for 2 days to get everything ready for the garage sale. Squeezed in between this packing I had 2 interviews that were interesting. The first was for an engineering company called Raser Technologies. They seemed like very nice people and I may get the job. I am not sure if I am going to accept it; however, because it was so much like my last job that I can’t picture myself happy in it. I didn’t make this big change to go right back to what I was doing before! The biggest shock for me about this interview is that the HR rep told me that she received 85 resumes for a simple admin job! I was so stunned by that. Whoever says we aren’t in a recession is crazy. We’ll see what I decide to do.
The other interview was the for the Nordstrom Rack which I probably would have gotten but I had to tell them about my foot condition which disqualified me! Can’t win hah!
I was disappointed yesterday that I didn’t get a position in Sandy I really thought I would get. There just doesn’t seem to be anyone willing to take a chance on me and the frustrating thing is I KNOW I could do a good job if given the opportunity.
As a result of the last several months, I think I might take a part time job for consistency and then with my remaining time I am going to market myself as an independent contractor for marketing, graphic design, web design and event planning. I am already doing some work for my dad on his rentals but a lot of company’s outsource for this type of work and if I do it for the right price I think it will be successful. I am very fortunate that I don’t have any debt and have very minimal expenses, so it is actually perfect timing to start up a new venture. It all feels too brave for me but I have never been scared by a challenge. Plus, if it doesn’t work I can always get a job doing something else and I’ll have my part time job for some income consistency. It should be good.
So after all of these events I was feeling kind of stressed and luckily my friend Miriam had called and invited me to see the Utah Opera’s production of Don Giovanni. I tell you it was exactly what I needed. I needed to do something different, fun and not think about all of these things weighing on my mind. It was wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Miriam and her mom. She’s been my friend since college and we’ve helped each other through a lot. She also just graduated from law school and is getting ready to take the bar. Life is changing for her. Life is changing for me. It was the perfect person for me to talk to at that moment. It’s amazing how the Lord provides those people in our lives when things are hard. It’s very reassuring to me that all of these changes I am making will turn out for the best.
So, I got back from the Opera last night at midnight and then took a long nap before setting up the garage sale, which started at 7 AM. It was a lot of work but very fun. We got to meet a ton of new people and make some money at the same time. I am super sore from moving boxes up and down from our apartment but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. It was another roommate moment for the record books.
All of these experiences have made me excited about the experiences to come- a little sad too- but I am determined to look at them as moments to anticipate, moments that will teach me and that will be fun. Just as fun as spending time with friends, hearing opera and branching out into new and adventurous careers and houses! It will be exciting! I don’t know if this entry makes much sense but it’s been quite the jumble of experiences lately, and I think I’ve conveyed that well in this blog.
So my first 2 blogs were a big hit. I have already gotten a lot of feedback on them. A number of people were concerned about my health from a comment in my last one. No fears on that point. Iam actually doing pretty good. I have a membership at Curves and go whenever I can and am trying to eat in a healthy way. Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned health and exercise as one of the shoulds. I was referring more to trying to meet an illusion of healthiness instead working with what you’ve got and progressing. My other point is that my job used to be something I would compare my life, my performance, my career with others and to an illusion of success. Now I am looking for a new job grounded in what I want, what I really care about. I do think it is interesting how busy I have kept myself and how generally happy I’ve felt without a job. I thought I would miss the routine of it more than I have.
Anyway, my life is continuing to progress. Sometimes progress is hard. My roommates and I are beginning the process of moving. This makes me feel sad. I’ve been in my current apartment for 2 years and I feel a bit like my family is being broken up. I honestly try to not think about it. I was watching the movie Shadowlands the other day (great movie by the way) and I was touched by something one of the characters says. She has cancer and her husband doesn’t want to talk about it. In response she says “The pain later makes the happiness now greater”. Meaning the lack of time they have makes every moment more precious and meaningful. By not acknowledging it some of that sweetness is lost. Obviously my roommates aren’t dying but the movie has reminded me to savor the moments we have together while I have the chance.
My other thought from the movie is that in the woman’s case she knew the pain was coming. Most of the time we don’t have such a luxury. We can be assured that they will come to us all, so we should take every opportunity we have to soak in the many moments of joy and peace the Lord gives us. It’s so easy to take things for granted until they are gone but I am trying to do better in that regard. I think we all can.
I certainly feel blessed right now. I have been giving a season of joy after a really hard year, last year. I have an amazing education, which I am grateful for on so many levels. I have my testimony of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon to uplift me each day. Most importantly I have the Love of the Lord and my friends, family and associates that lift me and mean so much to me. It’s very humbling to ponder upon all that I have been given. I am truly grateful.
So, this is my first foray into the world of blogging. I have wanted to but have been content with the notes/postings on myspace and facebook. It is hard to describe my last 6 months but let me just say that I am in the job hunt and I couldn’t be happier. I honestly think I will be a bit sad when I have to go back into the work force. There is something wonderful about living my life the way I want to without regards to supervisors, bosses or routines. I have always been a big one for planning but after a bit of a breakdown last year I needed a change more than anything.
I recently saw a weekend movie where they made the statement. “I would rather be doing nothing than doing something I hate”. I have realized the truth of this remark in my life. The thing that is the most interesting is that I haven’t been doing nothing. When did we get it in our head that the only viable thing for a person to do is work? I have actually been very busy. In fact, I have been doing things that I actually love that I don’t have time for when I am working including doing some writing, making a cookbook for my mom, and exercising on a regular basis.
Nearly every day I’ve had the interesting experience of applying for jobs all over the state of Utah. I say interesting because you learn a lot about yourself as you answer questions from HR professionals. My favorite one is “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Would I be interviewing for jobs if I knew where I was going in five years? I guess they are looking for basic answers like “I see myself working for a great company like yours…”. Usually I say something like “I would love to be a manager in a great organization that will allow me to develop all of my talents”. I know it is pretty lame but it seems like they are asking for it with that question.
Whether the questions are lame or not it is always interesting. I wish I could hear what my competition says because I feel like my answers are good but maybe they don’t stack up to others. I always feel like the interviews go well and then I don’t get the position. I guess it just isn’t the position for me.
In the meantime I am enjoying my life and looking forward to the next adventure.