happy things to keep moving


last night i could not sleep. every part of my body was heavy and weary and forlorn, and all the crevices of my spirit were filled with longings and yearnings and yet unfulfilled righteous desires. i was thinking about a future living room with a deep tufted couch and a funky rug scattered with toys and a coffee table stamped with small sticky fingerprints.

this morning when my alarm wailed that i needed to get to work, all i wanted was to find a tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream and snuggle in for a full day of eating out of the carton, watching romcoms and reading “anne of green gables.” i so, so, so intensely didn’t want to leave my bed or go to work or face the day. i thought of every possible scenario that would somehow allow me to stay and wallow.

and then - i got up, got dressed, said a prayer, ate raw oatmeal with figs and almond milk, drove to work belting along to a sad patty griffin song, went to my meeting and sat myself down at my desk, pining for a lunch break. because i had to keep moving.

life just keeps moving. internal heaviness doesn’t engender external delay. i must keep moving by finding and re-finding motivating notions to propel. thinking about happy things, those little gleaming nuggets of goodness that are all around but often faded into the background when day-to-day seems grueling, is often my fuel to keep me chugging. here’s a little list for this sluggish fight of a morning:

10 september 2012 happy things:

mormons – this weekend was stake conference (meaning, all the congregations [wards] in our area got together in one huge church meeting). the messages shared were inspiring, but just being in the company of so many people with earnest desires to be good and find happiness was even more inspiring. i was just overwhelmed with the peace and love that comes from truth and the grand blessing of being a part of a stalwart community focused on family and faith.
the bulletin board in the stake center is full of pictures of young men and young women sharing their favorite scriptures, and a map showing where missionaries in the stake are serving. our leaders encouraged us to remember god’s love and to be more kind and forgiving in our daily lives and to more actively serve in our communities. babies fussed through the two hours and we all sang beautiful, simple hymns together and i thought man, it’s so great to be a mormon
after church, a bunch of the girls in my ward that live in our little east palo alto neighborhood met up for a picnic potluck in the park. it was breezy and sunny. everyone brought some delightful food to share. i laid on a blanket and felt blown away by how awesome these women are.
last night we had a meeting last night just for young single adults in the bay area. i loved seeing so many people that i love from my lives in san francisco and palo alto. we were all gathered there together, wholesome and bright-eyed, because we love god and we want to follow his advice for a happy life. isn’t that just so great?!

food – as i’ve been practicing mindful eating and savoring, i’ve loved examining the beauty of a berry or enjoying the crunch of a nut – food is so amazing. god created so many different tastes and colors and textures for us to experiment with and it’s just fantastic.

family – i went to sunday dinner at my cousins ben and ashley’s house in fremont yesterday. i love them, i love being in their home, i love that they are just right across the dumbarton bridge, i love their cute cute kids that get excited when i come. i love their healthy cooking and talking with them about life and family and happy things.
my sisters and mom and i write emails to each other almost every day. they’re the best.

living in the bay area – i usually drive home from work via the scenic route. highway 280 (pictured above) winds through golden and sage and pine foothills and at 6:30pm the evening is always kind and lovely.
i spent saturday in the city doing and seeing things i’ve never done or seen before and my love affair with san francisco deepened all the more, and i felt so colorful. that report coming next!


  1. oh, charity! if only i knew this before we talked today ... i would have given you a big virtual hug! you are such a beautiful soul -- being so patient with me while such a lot is on YOUR plate right now! you are in my thoughts!

  2. Your positive attitude (Even when having a 'don't wanna get out of bed' day) is so inspiring. I'm a new reader of your blog and I love to read along - it reminds me of what is important in life - family, friends, looking after others, looking after your own body and spirit. These are fundamental things that anyone (regardless of faith, race, age, etc.) should keep at the front of their thoughts. Keep up the amazing words. Megan xx

  3. Char - I think it is high time we get some time together. I felt so jipped this summer not getting more time with you. I'm proud of you for not stopping even when you want to. Love you so so much! I'll really work on getting us to California....

  4. Charity, you are the most beautiful soul! You never cease to amaze me and inspire me. You are in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you for being willing to spill your heart on your blog so I can absorb some of your resilient spirit and your purity. The world needs more of you! I love you!

  5. Chariy-
    I found your blog through your sister Shawni! I grew up here in the bay area and have lived here my entire life. You have done more incredible things here than I have. I drive that stretch of 280 every day and I have never seen it look as beautiful as it does in your picture.

    I showed the picture to my husband and said, "we live in the most incredible place, I am so grateful."

    You are an inspiration!

  6. Charity, EVERY PERSON should spend the day reading Anne of Green Gables at least once in their lives. The desire does not signify a dissatisfaction with life, but rather a joyous recognition of having found another of life's truly marvelous gifts (I have several copies of 2 - 8 whenever you're ready :). I love you and I think you're fantastic.

  7. Have you been reading Courtney Kendrick aka C Jane? Shwatusi wrote about Lds women and expectations of marriage and family

  8. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. You just have the words my soul has a hard time singing. Thanks for expressing yourself so eloquently.

  9. Hi Charity - I am so sorry you feel unfulfilled - but truly, when it is time for that phase of your life to kick in, it will. To those of us who have sticky-fingerprinted-furniture and have had every bodily function done on us - believe it or not, sometimes we pine over the days you are having now - unencumbered by the lifelong responsibility children bring.

    I believe that by being surrounded by your own large family, who also all have many, many kids - it's possible that you are getting the message from them, even subconsiously, that you will not be a complete person until you gives birth multiple times. That is simply not true. Do not succumb to the "peer pressure" to have baby after baby, just because "every one else is doing it".

    Please don't waste this glorious, precious "alone" time you are blessed with now brooding about what is certain to come in your future. Enjoy, no, revel in your freedom while it is still yours to have. The rest will come.

  10. Maria, thanks for your comment! I'll elaborate more on this in a post sometime, but just so you know, I'm definitely NOT brooding. And I for sure revel in my singlehood! I'm all about taking advantage of the freedom of not being a mother yet (hence all the traveling and adventures!), and I'm very, very cognizant that one day I will pine for these days. I have great faith that the right things will happen at the right time. My blog is one way for me to share my adventures with the gloriously hard bits of mortality and the things that help get me through with the world. I need to work on making it more clear that I do have a lot of faith for the future and I am absolutely taking advantage of the circumstances of the present! Thanks for your concern!

  11. You are a great person, Charity, that's why I look at your blog regularly. You are having SO much fun - and it is so natural for you to want to share it with a mate and to have kids. No one wants to be alone no matter what fun they are having. Having a day or week or whatever where you think about these things is a human, mortal thing to do. I'm NOT criticizing you. Sometimes the mate you're looking for turns up when you least expect it and when you're really not "looking". Keep the faith!

  12. You are darling and your enthusiasm for life is catchy. Thanks for reminding us how wonderful life is. We all need a refresher course in "Joy School" at times. On your bucket list "have a secret boyfriend" is listed. Maybe you already have. Maybe we know him and you don't yet. What things are you looking for in a man? How tall are you?


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