Sunday, February 26, 2012

On One Day At A Time (And a Reply)

(I'm still at The Lodge and wishing I could leave.  I started a new job at a photography studio that takes school pictures ages K-12 and it's AWESOME.  Sadly it only lasts until April-which is WHY I am still at Candlelight.  I am the second councilor in the Relief Society. DONE.)

I really should be getting to bed.  The Academy Awards finished a little bit ago and it's past my "bedtime".  But I'm in a rare state of near-contentment and I think I need to take advantage of that.  

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that "The Artist" won for best film tonight and that I scored the bronze medal in our families annual Oscar competition.  Maybe it's because I have a fairly easy work week to look forward to (and the weather is going to feel like spring!).  Or maybe it's because February is almost over.

Probably it's all those things.

But it's also because of a little reminder I received today:  Remember to be happy today.

Life is rarely perfect.  And we as humans will probably always feel that just ONE MORE THING in our lives will make us happy.  

For me lately it's the following

If I just had a REAL job in my field I would be happy.

If I just got asked on ONE DATE I would be happy.

If I could just quit one of my jobs I would be happy.

If I could lose just 10 more lbs I would be happy.

But I am pretty certain that once I had those things, I would find ONE MORE THING that I would need to make me REALLY happy.  

Besides. Many of those things listed above are goals that I cannot reach immediately.  Some I have no control over at all.  And so wishing to be happy SOMETIME in the future is not going to help me be happy NOW.

I have friends.  I have TWO JOBS (where many don't even have one) and in one I get to take pictures and work with children!  I got to watch the Academy Awards with my big sister.  My ADORABLE little dog is curled up and sleeping peacefully on my bed.  The air feels like spring tonight and I can SMELL it.  I have the morning off tomorrow and get to go for a bike ride.  I have a warm, comfortable bed to look forward to as soon as I am done with this post.  

Those things I wish I had, they will come.  When I am ready for them.  When I have striven sufficiently for them.  

And through the past two months I have learned a very important tool in keeping my sanity:

Take it one day at a time.

Worrying about tomorrow too much wont do me any good today.  

Example:  I spent a lot of Wednesday and Thursday dreading Friday and Saturday.  I knew that Friday would be a full day photographing at schools and then a full night serving the elderly.  Then barely enough sleep and a horribly early start to the next morning with a potentially exhausting 8 hour shift.  I got knots in my stomach every time I looked ahead.  I could see it being horrible and ruining my week.

This was, of course, idiotic of me.  How was I to know how those days would turn out?  Maybe someone would give me $100.  Maybe I would get a free giant chocolate bar (that I wouldn't eat since for Lent this year I have given up sweets and desserts.  Yeah, I'm not Catholic.  Sue me for liking the idea of sacrificing something in representation of the sacrifice Christ made for me).  Maybe I'd meet the man of my dreams!    

In reality none of those things were likely to happen.  I would be foolish to hope for them.  But JUST as foolish would be for me to dread events that have not yet occured.  

I'm not going to lie.  Taking school pictures kicks my tush in ways I never expected (A LOT of crouching, getting on your knees, bending, lifting, moving around...especially with LITTLE kids!).  And both Friday and Saturday took A LOT out of me.  But they days weren't horrible.  They passed as many do.  I love working with kids.  I love my co-workers at the photography studio.  And I even enjoy some of co-workers at The Lodge.  But let me just say how obnoxious it is that apparently those who are COMPLETELY Lucid (aka employees) are MORE messy than the people who need help taking a shower, getting out of bed, changing themselves, and finding their room!  Go figure.  The point is, I got through it.  And it wasn't unbearable.  Sure I was exhausted on Saturday and any time I crouched I wanted to weep.  But YOU know what they say about things that don't kill you.

Take it one day at a time.  Plan ahead a day or two perhaps, but be flexible.  Take time for yourself. For spiritual and educational enrichment.  Take time to be outdoors.  If there is a day you cannot do these things, it's okay.  Wait for the next day.  Do it then.  Do what you can and don't berate yourself for the things that DIDN'T get done.  

Yeah, yeah.  These might seem obvious, but they are revelations to me.  Things at the back of my mind that I didn't realize the value of until I put them into practice.   

Life isn't perfect.  I don't imagine it ever will be (though I look forward to those times where it feels pretty darn close).  That's not pessimism.  It is simply realistic.  But that doesn't mean I can't be happy now.

I would like to end this post with a response to a friend who sent me a simple yet much needed message.  This friend has contributed greatly to my feelings of surety and contentment tonight and to my sanity for the past several months.  

Dear Mary Margaret, 
These are exactly the words I needed to hear.  Thank you.  I'd like to think that while growing up the same age would have been AMAZING and wonderful, THIS is the season we were meant to find each other.  For you see, I too needed a friend.

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