Musings on Mormonism



Things on my mind: December 13, 2009 edition

I want to jot a few things down before I go to bed at a decent hour for church in the morning. This will more of a journal-ish post, but I hope that doesn’t bother anyone. I’ve never been able to figure out the appropriate balance between sharing things about yourself and keeping personal things personal, and digital media certainly haven’t resolved that issue.

First, I helped a cute girl friend (note it’s not hyphenated, so don’t get any ideas) get a free bed this morning. It was good to see her, and help her get an upgrade in her sleeping arrangements. Acquiring a bed is actually a big step forward in getting settled in a new place. I didn’t get mine until I had been here for several months. In fact, for one uncomfy month, I slept on a leaky air mattress on a cold basement floor. Anyway, she made us yummy pancakes afterwards, and then we went looking for an ugly sweater for me at Goodwill (for an ugly sweater party later on). Surprisingly, Goodwill was short on marginally-Christmas-looking, flagrantly ugly sweaters. No, biggie though.

Anyway, it was good to spend time with her. Afterwards, I took a nap for a few hours, then decided my Econ final on Monday wasn’t studying for itself and got down to brass tacks. It takes so much more will power to sit down and study than it used to, and it’s something I admit I need to get better about, what with being in grad school and all 🙂 Later tonight, I went to the aforementioned ugly sweater party, and it was both really great and really short on hideous sweaters. The novelty of deliberately dressing poorly apparently doesn’t appeal to a lot of people, but also no biggie.

I just finished studying for the night, and had a few additional specific ideas I wanted to jot down. They are:

1) My social life is really quite good these days. For some reason, this occurred to me as I was studying econ. I think I am probably much more satisfied with my social life now than I ever was as a student at BYU. I count myself very fortunate to know so many great people here – not just smart people, not just successful people, but genuinely good, happy people. Life is far from complete for me, and the same holds true for my peers, but I’m grateful for I what I have, and what I have is quite a lot, really. I think Michael Scott from The Office sums it up well:

“As I watched Pam’s big, strong hand coming towards my face, I saw my entire life flash before my eyes. And guess what? I have four kids, and I have a hover car and a hover house. And my wife is a runner, and it shows. And Pam and Jim are our best friends, and our kids play together. And I’m happy, I’m rich, and I never die. And it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough for me.”

2) Happiness. This one has been on my mind a lot lately. In part, this is because of my concern for certain people who are close to me, and in part it’s because of my concern for myself 😉 Interestingly, we don’t talk much about happiness in our daily conversations, and yet I think most people, on a subconscious level at the very least, operate with it as their overall goal. But what is happiness exactly? And how do we obtain it? I’ll share my thoughts on those questions another time. For now, here’s what Joseph Smith said:

“Happiness is the object and design of our existence and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.”

Some might find this controversial; I just find it to make a whole lot of intuitive sense.

3) Discipline. This is closely related to #2. I had a thought today, which seemed sufficiently profound to justify being broadcast to the world via Facebook: discipline is necessary for happiness. I’ve had far too much experience with undiscipline and unhappiness which supports this, as well as a fair amount of happiness and discipline which support it. This is also something I intend to write more about some time.

Well, that’s all I wanted to write for now. Happy readings, everyone!

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