The Happiest Year Ever

I’m eight doses closer to happiness with this little green pill. That’s my ultra high dose of Vitamin D to combat the severe deficiency I’ve contracted living for ten years in this seems-to-be-winter-all-year state of Minnesota. So far this month, which is usually the hardest, I’ve kept the winter blues at bay, and it’s my best January on record. The supplement helps, but that’s not all.

I watched This Emotional Life on PBS last week. Did you see it? You should. I’m not through all three episodes on my DVR, but I watched the last one first and now I’m Rethinking (My) Happiness. What I learned will be different than what you do, but I confirmed three things to myself:

1. A less-disciplined schedule and lower expectations may actually lead me to more joy and happiness.

Last week when the children went back to school, I didn’t plow into a rigid schedule of work. I planned to start my second novel, and I did, but I allowed myself time to brainstorm in our crow’s nest, ponder in front of the fire, research settings, and enjoy the new creative process developing in me.

2. Although I value my alone time to think and write, social relationships are important to me, and I want more sociality in my life.

I wrote a memoir essay recently about our young married days. We lived the life of poor students in a basement apartment where we couldn’t see more than the feet of people outside our window. In time we earned more money and moved into larger homes, but we invited fewer friends over to just hang out. So we did just that last weekend, and it was a well-needed social release.

3. Redemption brings healing, but it also brings happiness.

Spirituality has much to do with my happiness. I believe God gives us commandments as his loving words of instruction to bring us joy. So I listen for his guidance and follow it because I know it’s going to make me happy in the long term. But I’m human and so is my nature, and I don’t do it all right all the time. Since my heartfelt desire really is to love God, when I make mistakes, I don’t always love myself.

In my seminary class last week we studied the doctrine of Jesus Christ’s redemption in the Book of Mormon. I wrote this definition on the chalkboard:

To redeem is to to buy back, recover, free from captivity by paying a ransom, rescue, restore, repair.

We read it together. I read it back to them. And then I said, “That is true.” And I knew it was. I knew it like I’ve never known anything before that moment or needed to know any other truth beyond that moment.

And that is how I know this is going to be the happiest year of my life thus far.

1 Comment

  1. Tina
    Jan 11, 2010

    Thank you. I’m coming to some of those renewed realizations myself. I wish I could learn faster, but I love learning line upon line. for me your number # goes along with how I have been feeling as a mother, taking time to enjoy the kids, not caring about the expectations of myself to have a spotless home. More for me it’s being spotless in my attitude towards my kids. #2, if I didn’t have those relationships around me for me to talk, I don’t think that I would grow. It sure makes life more enjoyable to have good people around! I learned that again visiting some old friends that we don’t see anymore and I’m grateful that friendships can last dispite distance. and #3, for me with my new calling I’m learning so much it literally hurts some days. And the learning is bringing Joy I didn’t expect, and better yet, a stronger testimony! Thanks for the post. Have a FANTASTIC year!

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