Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday 5

1. After years and years of going to the temple on my own, I'm enjoying the fact that there is someone who goes with me.

2. There is a hint of spring in the air and that just equals happiness.

3. My Valentine's Day flowers are still holding strong--though I'm not sure how much longer they'll last.

4. Made a boatload of crock pot spaghetti sauce and now my place smells like an Italian kitchen. Who wants to come over for dinner?

5. There's a frame in my office that's been sitting blank for way too long--like almost a year too long. Finally got some artwork in it and it's just perfect.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday 5

This Friday 5 covers the last couple of weeks because I've been a slacker.

1. I love Valentine's Day--but not for the reason you think. Flowers and chocolates are all fine and dandy, but what makes Valentine's Day great is that it forces us to pause and remember all the reasons why we love those most important to us. This year I've got a very long list.

2. True love is putting on a tie and dressing up for dinner. No wonder he has my heart.

3. Seeing. I still haven't gotten over the fact that I can see ALL THE TIME! It's amazing. I will never regret getting PRK--my only regret will be that I didn't do it sooner.

4. Temples are the best and this temple feels like home.

5. Never under estimate the power of friend whom you can go months or years without seeing and still feel like nothing has changed.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Dear Girl on the Train

Dear girl on the train,

Last week I rode the train and sat across from you. It was kind of late and you and your friends were doing homework--in between your discussions of boys, and classes, and life in general. And you reminded me of me once. Especially when you said "it doesn't matter what I major in because I won't have to worry about supporting myself. That's what a husband is for." When I was 19, I said much the same thing. I choose my major because it was a "good stay at home major." But what I'd tell my 19-year-old self, and you, is "That's not true."

While this may seem like a foreign concept, and something that will never happen to you, not every girl will get married. Some of the most kind, capable, smart, beautiful, spiritual women I know are still single. They want to be married and have a family. They long for sleepless nights and messy houses.  They hate going home to empty houses and making decisions alone.

They definitely didn't plan on having a career.

And that's my advice to you.

Plan on a career (whether or not you ever have to use it). It may not seem like it now, but, there is a difference between a job and career. A job is what you do while you're waiting for your life to take off. A career is when you build that life.

Find something that you'd love to do for 5, 10, 20, or even 30 years. If you remain single, much of your identity of who you are will be tied to your job so make sure it reflects who you are. There was a time I HATED my job and that stress and feelings of frustration spilled over into every part of my life.  

Find something that allows you to support yourself just in case that husband never shows up. If he does show up, that doesn't mean that you may not have to support your family. Divorce, illness, untimely death are sending many a mom back into the workplace.

Don't be afraid to make a change when things aren't going well. Don't stick with a job that you hate or isn't pushing you forward in life. No job is perfect and there will be times you like it more than others. But, I've seen too many women (myself include) who stayed at jobs long after it was healthy for them to do so. Trust that if you have something worthwhile, other companies will see that.

You major isn't your biggest decision--but it is a big decision. It will guide your paths and opportunities and make your dreams and goals easier. I don't work 100% in my major field, but, my major allowed me to the opportunities I needed to end up where I wanted to be.

My last piece of advice, take a business class or two. No matter where you end up, it'll be a helpful background.


Someone who has learned most of these lessons the hard way

Monday, February 01, 2016

Looking for the light in winter

I appreciate winter's beauty, but I am not a winter girl. There is something about the cold and the darkness--especially the darkness--that I just don't like. I know that darkness isn't going to last forever, but sometimes, in the throw of January or February it's hard to remember that.

Many of my most trying times have also come in the middle of the winter. When they've come, I needed something that could bring me hope, and peace, and light. In my searching, I've found some beacons.

My absolute go-to is this talk, However Long and Hard the Road, by Jeffrey R. Holland. I found it during my first winter and over the years, I've returned to this talk time and time again and it's brought me peace. I don't understand all, but I do understand the promise that, "You are laying the foundation of a great work—your own inestimable future" and I trust that it will be inestimable one day.

This talk, The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing by Elder Richard G. SScott, was an answer to prayer when it was given in 2003 as I needed to remember that "God will respond with what is best for you in His eternal plan." He gave a follow up to this talk in 2010 called The Transforming Power of Faith and Character. " 

In 2012, I was feeling very much like the Lord has forgotten me. I was hurt and angry and I felt far from the Lord and it scared me. No matter what I did, there was this cloud that I just couldn't seem to lift.  In the General Relief Society Meeting, Sister Reeves gave a talk called The Lord Has Not Forgotten You in which talked about an experience from her past and the anger, hurt, and loneliness she felt. It struck a chord. If she could get out of it so could I. Slowly, I did.

Over the years, I've had a lot of time to think about what an eternal marriage looks like. Elder F. Burton Howard (Eternal Marriage) said something that has guided my relationships and shaped my decisions. He said, "If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. … It becomes special because you have made it so." I've come to see how true those words are. Real and deep love is more sweet, more pure, more wonderful than I could have ever imagined.
And you can bet because it's taken it's sweet time to get here that I treat it differently.