As children, we are taught to follow our dreams. Then, we are told what our dreams should be. I once told a Science teacher that I wanted to stay at home and be a mom. He told me that I was wasting time in his class. I am living my dreams. Everything I had ever dreamed of as a young girl, Heavenly Father has blessed me with. Getting to this point has been filled with trials.
I tried so hard to do the right things, say the right things, and act in a manner which would please others. I went to church, graduated from seminary, paid tithing, did my visiting teaching, and tried to serve others as my Heavenly Father would have me do. I was unmarried, not dating anyone, lonely at the age of 23, and wondering what direction my life would take. I never wanted a career, and yet there I was working sometimes 18 hour days. I often pictured a life where I would be married and have babies.
About a week after my 23rd birthday, I met my husband, Ed. we dated long distance for about six months, then decided to get married. Three weeks before our wedding, he was hit and almost killed by a drunk driver. By the grace of God, his life was spared, and we were married for time and all eternity in the LDS Los Angeles Temple on October 14, 2000. He was in a wheelchair in most of our pictures. We had to leave our reception early, and spent our wedding night in the emergency room of a tiny hospital with a kid named "Sparkman"(a story for another time). Not exactly how I had imagined my wedding night.
We cancelled our honeymoon, and headed straight home. I found myself not quite 24, away from my home, my family, everything that was familiar to me, and taking care of my barely mobile new husband. What had happened to my dreams? Is this really what I signed up for? I knew I loved him. I knew this was right, but I hadn't pictured the start of my new life being so difficult.
It was then that I decided that happiness is sold separately. So I decided to be happy when I woke up. I would be optimistic(which isn't really that hard since I naturally like to find the good in things). Happiness isn't really a gift that is given. You see, it's a choice that we make every waking second of every single day. It doesn't simply come because we have made right choices. It comes because we decide it will.
I often times need to remind myself that happiness is an add-on. Luckily, I usually listen to myself. With four kids, sometimes I am the only one that listens to me. ;)