Be Happy Now

Do you ever have so many various thoughts and feelings brewing in your mind that you can’t put them into words? That’s how I’ve felt for the last few months.

We started summer off with a bang – a wedding in WV, Memorial Day, then a wedding in Iowa. Road trips, several radio stations and rest stops followed by good friends, good times, and memories to cherish.

But then we followed up a celebration of love with a celebration of life. And it reminded me that tomorrow is not promised.

I once saw a sign in a store, a quote by Francis Bacon, and the words on it have stuck with me for a long time.

“We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand- and melting like a snowflake.”

Let that sink in.

Sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.

In the blink of an eye, life can change.

We have friends getting married and embarking on the next journey of life. We have friends struggling with marriage and ways to communicate. And we have friends mourning the loss of a very special family member.

Life is sweet, but it is fragile.

I know what some of you are thinking – I haven’t even been alive 30 years, what do I know about life or marriage? Well, I may not know a lot, but I feel compelled to share what I’ve learned so far.

A preacher at one of the weddings reminded us there will be days we aren’t lovable and there will be days we don’t like each other. But, as the bride’s father said, “Keep your marriage first and all your hopes, dreams, and goals will fall into place.”

Love can be fun. It can hurt. It can heal. It can be a struggle. The thing is, we have to let it do all of those things.

Marriage is hard. It’s not two perfect people living a perfect life. Imperfections that you work through with love are what make a perfect marriage.

We don’t run away when it gets difficult. We have to remember those vowels shared and the meaning behind them and work together.

In relationships:

Communication is key • Love with all your heart • Talk things out • Go on dates • Trust each other • Cook dinner together • Go to bed at the same time if you can • Address issues and concerns as soon as they arise • Support each other • Forgive Keep your faith strong • Give compliments • Take risks together • Don’t go to bed angry • Respect each other • You should want the best for them and they should want the best for you • Don’t take each other or anything for granted • Don’t throw it away

In life:

Don’t hold grudges • Ask someone about their day • Smile at a stranger • Keep the people that mean the most to you close • Have fun • Let go • Live life to the fullest • Kindness matters • Learn how to grow and adapt in all situations • Travel • Troubles will pass • Eat dessert • Most things aren’t worth stressing over • Change can be good • Things won’t always go your way • Pay it forward

And for yourself:

Have hope • Put your heart and soul into everything you do • Don’t give up • Be unapologetically you • Love yourself • When you fall, get back up and try again • Keep in touch with friends and family • Make every day count • You’re responsible for your own happiness • Follow your heart • Listen to your mind • Don’t be afraid to feel • Reach out for help when you need it • Try new things • Help others • Pray hard and often • Give thanks • Be grateful • Live and learn

Do whatever it takes to keep the something special you have alive, whether it be a relationship, a career, a hobby. The joy it brings you should spill over into all aspects of your life.

Don’t let your whole life be “I’ll be happy when.” Be happy now!

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

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