On a recent first date, I found myself discussing, with the suitor in question, the topic of previous relationships. We established that we both have a history of dating people for three or four months on average, before one party or the other decides it’s not working and everyone moves on (though rarely so undramatically as I’ve just summarized it); I suggested this happens because three months is about how long it takes to determine whether a thing has the grip to go long-term. He responded – and of course I paraphrase – “Well, at least if you’re both LDS, at least you already know you agree about all the important things.” Continue reading
An oft-quoted scripture in the Book of Mormon is 2 Nephi 2:25: “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” When I typed “joy” into the lds.org search and looked at General Conference talks, I found talk after talk that expressed the joy that comes into our lives from living the gospel, being righteous, repenting, etc. Continue reading
There is a conversation which I have seen repeated over and over. It goes something like this. Person A: “I’m upset because I did/said x and I got a negative reaction, people are annoyed with me, etc.” Person B: “Your problem is that you care too much what others think. You need to stop worrying about that.” Seeing variations on this basic exchange on a regular basis has led me to reflect on the question of whether it is necessarily negative to care what others think, a flaw to be overcome, as it is so regularly framed.
I’ve recently had the opportunity to do a lots of driving (somewhere over three thousand miles all told) and I think I’ve discovered the five universal truths of road trips.
1. Books on MP3 (aka CD/tape) make the trip go faster.
I listen to audiobooks to help my apartment get clean faster but this time I discovered they also seem to make road trips go faster. I seem to prefer light mysteries (I’m listening to the stories of Amelia Peabody right now) because I can move my attention to something else (like the semi up ahead who’s pulled over or the downpour that’s about to happen) without losing too much of the plot line. After sitting in a car for three, eight, or even ten hours straight, it’s nice to listen to someone else’s ‘life.’
Recently, as I’ve sat pondering the mess that’s been my life for the past year, I noticed a common thread. For awhile now, I’ve been allowing other people to invade my boundaries, to dictate how I will act, to affect my life in negative ways without directly standing up for myself and my needs. Instead, I’ve been withdrawing further and further into myself, hoping the barrage from the world around me would stop. Continue reading