Scene from yesterday: a billowing curtain and fresh April air.
Sometime last week, I was having a bad day. I was discouraged and getting worked up and not feeling super happy. On that same day, my mom sent me this WSJ article called, "Advice For A Happy Life." My bad day and the timing of her email had nothing to do with each other--purely coincidental--and my mom meant nothing other than to send me an article she knew I'd like. But I do remember reading just the title and thinking--ok good, yes, this is what I need to read right now. What am I doing wrong?! Why aren't things going according to plan?! I'm not having a happy time of things right now, and maybe it's my fault. I need this advice!
And then I read the article and realized, I'm doing just fine.
Here are the author's five pieces of very wise advice for leading a happy life:
Consider marrying young.
Learn how to recognize your soul mate.
Eventually stop fretting about fame and fortune.
Take religion seriously.
Watch "Groundhog Day" repeatedly.
Here I was, thinking I was going to get a very welcome spiel on not taking yourself so seriously, focusing on the present and choosing to let tomorrow's worries go, learning how to laugh in the face of difficulties. After all, that's usually how these kinds of articles go and honestly, I would have been all ears had this been the advice. My fears were getting in the way of my happiness that day, and I suppose I wanted some justification that I was unhappy for good reason. I suppose I wanted to be told that if I can only laugh at myself, I'll feel better. I wanted to be told that these thoughts were normal but ten deep breaths would go a long way toward feeling peace. I guess I wanted this article to sympathize with me and then provide a quick fix.
But this article wasn't fluff. It was wise and honest and true. And it provided me with something much more valuable than justification and some flimsy pick-me-ups. It made me realize, I'm doing just fine.
I don't know what my one-year plan looks like, let alone my five-year plan, but I've got a husband and he's going through every step with me and we're going to look back on this time of not knowing and be so glad for the richness and the lessons and the love in these early years of our marriage.
I don't have control over a lot of the things my heart desires, but I've found my soul mate. My heart has found its resting place and even on days it feels heavy, my heart isn't lost. It belongs.
Wondering how successful I will be as a piano teacher and a musician and an artist scares me, and I don't know what my niche in the creative world will be just yet. Thank goodness I never cared about fame and fortune! I was talking with one of my students last week about when we are planning to move, and he told me that things just won't be the same without me. We started his lessons the same month he relocated to Alabama with his family so he's seen me every week for the whole time he's lived here. It was so touching and helped me to remember that if I can influence and inspire even just one young pianist, I'm doing ok.
I have so much to learn about faith and trust and godliness but I am 100% committed to the discovery. And I'm realizing that God teaches us so much through our trials, I need only be open to what He is trying to show me.
I've only seen "Groundhog Day" once, but I've got time on my side.