Tag Archives: happiness

your best surprises of 2014


A few years ago, in December, I was wrapping gifts and– with the melancholy that sometimes visits during the holidays– letting tears slip down my cheeks as I mourned things that hadn’t happened that year, carefully crafted plans come to naught (primarily, a baby). I continued to wrap and cry, grumbling a bit that I wasn’t getting the gift I really wanted, when I remembered the friend who’d handed me tickets to a Christmas concert the week before. One by one, I began thinking of all the good things in the past year that happened without my planning, without my goal-setting. Joys, successes, new friends, small victories…handed to me with no effort on my part, wrapped up beautifully and tied with a bow. I ripped a piece of wrapping paper, turned it over and wrote down everything that had surprised or delighted me in the previous months. Continue reading

Letter To My Younger Self

Dear Little Blue,

You don’t really need this letter, because you’ll eventually figure all these things out on your own, but if I could share a few insights with you, I’d let you know that even though it feels like there’s not a soul on earth who’d really care if you ceased to exist, in just a little while that will change. Some angels will appear in your life, in the form of a school teacher,  a church leader, and various acquaintances.  Their kindness will carry you through the next few years, and you will start to feel what it’s like to be nurtured and cared for.

Your sense of your identity is going to evolve, too.  You don’t know yet that you’re not utterly worthless, or that that’s even how you think of yourself, but soon you’ll start to notice some of the internal beliefs you have, and question them. This is good.  Examining everything we believe is an important exercise in life, and requisite for growth. You’ll start to feel something inside–called resonance–when things are true for you.  If you honor that, you’ll be led and directed in ways that will be good for you.

Not everyone is guileless.

It’s going to take decades, but someday you’ll forgive your parents and older sibling. They probably won’t ever be a part of your life, but you’ll eventually find peace with that situation.

You’re going to learn the most from the hard stuff you go through, so I’m not going to tell you much, but you might just want to turn and walk the other way when you meet a dude named Kevin.

The cure for anything is saltwater: sweat, tears, or the sea.

A lot of the people you love most will lose their faith in God and leave the church. You’ll struggle for a long time with your faith, too, and part of it will be the shock that this even happens to people.  Now you know, so just remember to trust what rings true within you, prove ALL things, and hold fast to the good.  Proving requires righteous living.  Be fastidiously honest with yourself, regardless of what other people believe.  Eventually you’ll find your own, bona fide faith, and it will be worth the effort.

Don’t judge others who are doing anything differently than you. They get to.  Love them for where they are at, no matter what.

There’s something called Healthy Boundaries.  Life would probably be easier if you learned about them before your forties.  Just sayin’.

When you’re 18 years old, you’ll meet a boy who will be nice to you and care for you and accept you loose ends and all. You’ll learn to love each other and provide a safe harbor for each other to heal, evolve, and grow for a long long time.  Despite all that, he’ll break your heart little by little, and you’ll break his.  But you’ll become fantastic individuals, and raise completely fabulous children together. I don’t know the end of this story, so we’ll have to find out together.

You won’t believe this now, but you are not going to be lonely. There are loads of unbelievably wonderful people in your future, and you will be overwhelmed with gratitude for the goodness and love in your life.  You’re going to discover some things about yourself that will surprise and delight you, and this world will be a better place for having had you in it. So hang in there, kid. Remember, we’re all just winging it in life, and none of us is here very long.  The journey is the reward, and it’s a wonderful journey.

Older, slightly wiser Blue

What experiences and lessons have most surprised you in your life.  
Do you have any advice for your younger self?   Are there any kids in your life (especially non-related) who could use some care and nurture…who you could make a difference for?

Sometimes my husband tells me I live too much in the moment…

Yesterday, as the sun waned but evening still seemed a mystery of the future, I pulled baby eggplant and perfectly sized (thank heavens I didn’t check a day/minute/second later) zucchini from the garden, and filled a mixing bowl with warm basil leaves that torn, filled the air around me with their peppery fragrance. I took them into the kitchen, and the Olympics on in the family room, the baby around in just a diaper and pink cheeks from an afternoon in the water, the children lazy on the sectional and content, I washed the basil, made pesto, sliced the vegetables, rolled out a floury pizza dough against the cold countertop, and called life good.

I think the prophet told us to plant gardens because he wanted us to be happy. And I wonder, mid-summer, if anything is as satisfying as this—a simple dinner plucked and harvested from a small garden.

A while ago, I sat back against the rush in a chair, across a dinner table laden with empty dishes from two cute boys (technically men, but they’ll always be boys to me) in identical chairs as mine, but with eyes heavy as their hearts. They were watching our children and lamenting their lot: that they wouldn’t ever have a legacy of their own. That, though they were in love with one another and though they felt committed, their lifestyle didn’t leave room for posterity— in other words, they could adopt lap dogs to spoil but they could never have children. At least logistically. One boy/man said something to me with shark eyes, black and round: “It’s a selfish lifestyle for me, and at the end of the day I know I will be alone.”

I thought instantly of The Family A Proclamation to the World where marriage between a man and a woman is delineated and I had a prick of something in that moment as I stared at them: larger (or smaller) than the argument of homosexuality being an abomination, maybe as a practical application we are counseled against those feelings of same-gender attraction because living them can never make us happy.

Could it be as simple as this? I know that keeping commandments and covenants, we are promised happiness in the hereafter, but truthfully, I am grateful for the daily happiness that sits with me simply by doing what I should be doing, when I should be doing it.

Do you have any experiences of immediate happiness from following a prophet’s counsel?


My life is messy and hard and confusing. You wouldn’t know it by looking in from the outside. I live in a nice house in a pretty part of the world. I have plenty of stuff and opportunity. I have a decent husband, assorted children and grandchildren, a cuddly cat, good health. I know I’m blessed and I’m deeply grateful. So I find it exasperating that I struggle so hard to enjoy my blessed life, as I work out what to do about my miserable marriage, parent hormonal teenagers and try to figure out how to more effectively use my fancy four-in-one office machine in my new business. I lurched into my garage today with a flat tire. A friend will likely die this week. Taxes are due. Library books are overdue. It’s snowing and the school suddenly decided to send the kids home two hours early (this, after a two-hour late start this morning) but I can’t get to the bus stop in time (12 miles away) because my tire is flat and there’s too little time to change it. Aargh! Continue reading