Friday, December 15, 2023

Five Things for Friday

 I haven't done a Five Things post in a long time and I'm done with November's posts and it's Friday, so no time like the present! Today's is more like a progress report and review of the year, so it's a little more wordy than usual. I'm not keeping it quite as pithy for this one!

1. Work is going well. I strongly believe that the blessings of keeping my covenants and staying close to the Lord, regularly attending and serving in the temple, and being a full tithe payer are happening in my life. My nonprofit job is giving me many new opportunities, some of which take me way out of my comfort zone, but it's good for me because I'm developing and growing in professional ways that weren't available to me as a stay-at-home mom (which is still my number one career choice, by the way). In the past six weeks, I've had an informational phone call with a staffer from a U.S. senator's office, I put together and did a webinar (which was terrifying, but I did it), and I'm in the process of getting a meeting set up with the senior pastor of a major Washington, D.C. church who is interested in the Op-Ed Lab that I manage and how it works. I'm also very much enjoying both the editing part of my job and being more involved with legislation and government and civic engagement. Editing and government are the two fields I was most interested in going into after college, so it feels like a special gift from Heavenly Father that I got this particular job that combines the two so well. And it also involves my religion, which is most dear to me. How perfect is that!?

2. Another work note: I wasn't really actively looking for this, but it kind of fell into my lap with relatively little effort on my part. I was recently hired to be the Managing Editor of Cape Cod Moms, which is just getting started. I really like the woman who runs it and I think I'm going to learn a lot from her. This also combines my love of editing and organizing content with another longtime interest and love of mine--Cape Cod! The job is part-time and flexible and I can do it from home on my own time and hours. I truly feel so blessed by these wonderful opportunities for work that feel like they were handpicked for me.

3. I'm at a really good place in my life right now. I don't want to jinx it, so a big giant KNOCK ON WOOD as I proceed both in this blog post and in my life. I feel content, happy, at peace, and excited about both my present and my future. I'm far from perfect but I know that overall, I'm living right, I'm healthy, I'm strong (spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically--except for lifting really heavy things 😄), I like my new house--it's been so good for a fresh start, I love being a mom to my two sons who are both doing quite well, I'm doing fulfilling work in my professional life and learning and growing a lot there, I get to work at the temple twice a month which is the coolest place on earth, and I have family and friends who I dearly love. Things are under my control as much as they can be in life and I can run my household and my life in whatever way that I want. It's awesome. There are definite perks to being single, and I'm enjoying it. Would I rather be married? Yes, to a truly good and faithful (in all senses of the word) man who would never leave me or break his covenants with the Lord, and I know he's out there and that the time will come for that. I want that, but until it happens, I'm happy and doing well on my own. 

Because of the stresses of the last few years of my marriage and then the long and brutal divorce and all that it entailed, I haven't felt this good and this free in many years. At the beginning of this year, I had said that 2023 was my year to be free, and I'm so thankful that it actually happened--that the divorce finally took place and was finalized halfway through the year, that the house sold well and I moved to a place that's all my own (except for the fact that I don't actually own it 😆), that I've been able to get good work, and that I've been able to heal from some pretty deep wounds and hurts and I now have no painful ties to my former husband that I struggled with before. I'm free of all of it. I'm sure that things will still come up, but I'm well-equipped to handle them. I've got this, and that is a great feeling. 

4. Christmas! My favorite time of year! Because life has been so busy I haven't been as organized with it as I usually am. I've blocked out several hours in my schedule tomorrow to get organized, wrap presents, and see what still needs doing and getting. Once that's done, I should be able to truly enjoy the final week leading up to the actual holiday, which includes my favorite day of the year, Christmas Eve, and to feel the peace of this special season.

Speaking of the peace of the season, I LOVE what the Church did in Times Square on November 27th. (John was right there in Times Square two days before they did this!) This is magical and so well done, and it makes me think about how when Christ comes again, everyone will be looking up and will be awed by the angels and especially by the Savior whom they see, whether they're believers or not. (If they're not, they will be!) I've watched this video at least fifteen times because I love it so much.


5. I'm looking forward to 2024, which I'm already thinking of as "my year for more" -- more freedom from the things that have held me down, more happiness, more experiences, more learning, more growth, more romance (??), and more life changes (like John going on a mission!). I think it's going to be a big, tumultuous year in the world (at the very least because of the presidential election, but likely because of a lot more than that). I'm going to be ready for all of it! {KNOCK ON WOOD!} 
2023 was a good year and I'm truly thankful for it. I hope 2024 will be just as good, if not better!