Monday, May 7, 2012

Forget Not to be Happy NOW

Last week Doug and I were invited to speak to the Young Men and Young Women, however, as it turns out, the Young Men had obligations at the Care Center and I ended up speaking to just the Young Women and they came back in time to hear Doug. My part of the assignment was to ta about being happy despite bad thing happening to us. As I was preparing, I felt like I needed to share some of the experiences I had in Jr High and High School. I was reluctant because I didn't want anyone feeling sorry for me or thinking that I had this really awful time. However, I felt strongly that I needed to do this, so I did. I sometimes wonder if one of the reasons I had these experiences was so that I could empathize with others who might have similar problems, and also, to show than that it doesn't need to 'ruin' your life.

 So in case you are wondering what those experiences were, without getting too elaborate or mentioning names, I had a hard time because some people called me names and generally didn't treat me so well. I had a wonderful mother who kept encouraging me to "be a friend, to have a friend" and to be happy and smile. When I finally followed her advice, I realized that I could be happy, even when bad things were happening. Looking back, I see a lot of blessings that came from that bit of adversity.

I became really close with my Dad, who bought me a beautiful registered quarter horse named Showdown, and took me riding whenever he could, and taught me how to saddle and take care of him, so that I could ride anytime I wanted. I rode all over the farm and explored and fantasized about how wonderful my life could be. I loved that horse and he loved me. My dad and brothers even complained that I could get him to do whatever I wanted and they couldn't. I had the run of the farm and could go down to the creek and do whatever I wanted. I learned to love Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn (much to the dismay of my children).

My mom let me take piano lessons, and when I got good enough we would play those great songs together, her on the guitar and me on the piano. Other times we would sit out on the step in the summer and she would play and sing "I a turned 21 in Prison" and "Beautiful, Beautiful Brown Eyes" and lots of other wonderful songs by Jim Reeves and Eddy Arnold. We went camping and fishing in the Pryors and the Big Horns. One time, we decided to drive down into Shell Reservoir (back then it was a really rough 4-wheel drive only road) and by the time we got down in, it was pitch black because we had had some trouble with the pickup (maybe a flat tire or something), so since I was terrified of the dark (that's another blog post) my brother decided to tease me about the bears and cougars that were around there, even going so far as to make some bear noises. Needless to say I was completely terrified. But, I still remember how fun that trip was. I even hung on to the tail of a horse just to climb up a steep trail to go fishing. Another time, we camped up on Sheep Mountain Road and rode the horses down into Little Horn to fish. That's where i learned to gut a fish, because my dad said that if I was going to catch a fish I had to gut it as well. Yuk. Sometimes, my dad would get home from a truck run and say, "let's go camping" and Mom would pack the food and Dad and my brothers would pack the horses. We had some great times.

So, even though sometimes, I thought I didn't have friends, I really did, they just weren't who I thought they were. My life was and is really blessed. I got to do a lot of things that I might not have done. I have wonderful friends,  in my family and out! I learned that my happiness is my responsibility, not anyone else's. it's much easier to be happy when you look at the little blessings that Heavenly Father sends you everyday. I know that He loves me and blessed me with adversity so that I could learn and grow and be the Daughter He wants me to be. I'm still working on that and learning!