This was compiled in one (two…three now…) sittings. As such, it is not entirely thought out, rather my own digital scribblings. Just some thoughts I wanted to put out there tonight:
I have no opinion on the man, but I really liked Ashton Kutcher’s thoughts at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards. He closed by referring to Steve Jobs’ life, and then, in his own words: “BUILD a life. Don’t live one.” The principle of agency teaches that we are agents unto ourselves, “for the power is in (us)” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:28). To quote Kutcher, “Everything around us that we call life was made up by people who are no smarter than you…you can build your own life.”
What kind of life do I want to build?
Impassioned by the moment, radiating conviction and hope (can you just picture me…), I planted myself at the kitchen table and made a list, right then and there – a list of what life I want to build for myself, my family, my community.
And then, I left my apartment, AND I BUILT!
I want a life where school teachers care, and are cared for. So, I went into my son’s classroom and supported Ms M. We laughed together over the children’s ideas and efforts. We counseled together over how to make the children’s ideas reality. We let the children dream and create, uninhibited by our inclination to clean-up the messes and keep the room organized. In fact, we built a whole city in that classroom, that very day.
I want a life where people whistle to themselves when they walk down the street. So, I said hello to people I passed, and joked with a little old man standing on the corner. I smiled at the toddler in the stroller, and the fussing mum as well. I kicked the snow away from the doorway to the convenient store. I hope I gave people a reason to whistle or hum a tune.
Am I dreaming too small? Am I limiting my influence? I don’t think so. Maybe that old man on the corner only needed the courage a smile brings, to face a wayward son or appologize to a neighbor. Maybe a child in the classroom needed Ms M’s encouragement to overcome their inhibitions, and prepare them for the rigors of first grade. No, I do not think in building up individuals, one at a time, we are limiting our influence, rather we are expanding it.
I want a life where streets and homes are clean and cared for.
I want a life where people laugh, with their entire souls.
I want a life where people dream. And are absolutely delighted by others’ dreams, too.
I want a life in which we feel God. Not only when we are speaking about Him, but when we are living and enjoying the blessings He has quietly sent us.
I want opportunities for my children.
I want patience for myself.
I also want to run! And not like the step-by-step, block-by-block, mile-after-mile monotony I currently dabble in. But RUN, like in CS Lewis’ The Last Battle, “Further up and further in!”
Now, am I dreaming too grand? I don’t think so. Running, or any physical activity, be it dance, music, creating art, participating in sport, etc, is a state of the soul, at some point. And “further up and further in” is the only satisfactory way of performing.
I want to live a life, absolutely sure that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing – chasing my dreams but also fulfilling some mission, contributing to something bigger than myself.
I want to be clean. I want to be honest. I want to be wise. I want to be a Christian, in every sense of the word.
I want my beloved children to be clean and honest, humble and grateful, hard-working and clever as whips.
I want to live. I want to travel. I guess I want to live and travel with kids 🙂 We learned recently that we will be welcoming another child into our family.
The easiest thing in the world is to be distracted. Sometimes the distraction is Google. Sometimes it is Facebook. I love both. But do I allow them to distract me from my task at hand? Are they contributing to the life I am determined to build, or hampering today’s progress?
Sometimes I’m distracted by what I think is “realistic”.
Sometimes I’m distracted by fear or comparison, or the incredibly damning sin of pride.
And sometimes, things just happen. Always, something happens. “Many things in life that come upon you, that you don’t want to come upon you, turn out to be among the most glorious of your experiences” (George Durrant).
My YESTERDAYS held some of those experiences. And my TOMORROWS will present me with more, I am confident. I can face these things. I can.
My TODAYS, though, are only opportunities. And with both the experiences and the opportunities, I will build a life.