Thursday, February 13, 2014

What is love? Well, it is created, not found, for one thing.

I don't know how I find the time to write blog posts. I really should be sleeping right now.  But sometimes the call to share your thoughts with the world comes at inconvenient times.  #bloggerprobs

(By the way, what says Valentines Day more than a crocodile-eats-man sugar cookie? That's the bottom left.)

But tonight as I baked and half-chocolate-dipped heart-shaped cookies to give away to my roommates and girl friends, I was so full of the Valentines Day spirit.  Since I live in the dating capitol of the world, Valentines Day can be big. Well, actually, with so much dating going on and people getting married, every day is kind of like Valentines Day.  And those who aren't dating someone can get pretty bitter and call it "Singles Awareness Day" and get internally fed up when they see happy couples or the cliche engagement.  But I say, "Wait, isn't Valentines Day about celebrating love?" As my friend Charlotte and I discussed this, she said, "You don't have to have a boyfriend to know what love is." So why are my fellow single ladies so bitter? We know what love is, girls!

I thought about all that I have learned lately about acting versus being acted upon.

 We are to be creators of our circumstances, not creatures of our circumstances.

That attitude has everything to do with having the most love-filled Valentines day and love-filled life.
I recently wrote this paragraph to my sister Hope on her mission, and my mom said to put it on my blog. "When you think about it, we must act in order to become. If we just sit around and are a result of whatever happens, we will just morph into our environment and let it shape us. But if we act we can choose who we want to become. And also, if we are just acted upon, we are not serving anyone. We are thinking about ourselves and wondering what thing will effect us next and how we will respond. I'm really trying to take on this attitude--go after what I want and not just wait for good things to come my way. Such as service. I need to actively seek ways to serve and not just do the good deeds that land in my lap."

I think the problem is we think we have to "find" love instead of create it. Valentines Day isn't celebrating love that has been found, but love that is created. And that big difference makes it a beautiful day for everyone, not just the lovesick and twitterpated, because everyone can choose to love and serve. As Martin Luther King said, "Everyone can be great, because anyone can serve."

 You don't have to go out and find someone to love you to know what love is. You find it in the giving of it.

Apparently the phrase "What is love?" is the most-searched phrase on Google with 226 million searches a month. I could write a whole 'nother post about what love is, but when I think about we really have to understand what love is to use it? Do we have to use Google to define something in order to enjoy it, to pursue it, to give it? I, for one, love Valentines Day because I love that love exists in the world. I love that I can do something for someone else and feel that happiness from it. I love that when I'm with my family and I look around at their faces, I feel that concern and compassion towards them.  I feel like it's kind of like a computer. I don't understand how computers work, but I still use them. And I love them. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Symbol of the High Life: The PBJ

This post is written while fueled by:

This is my typical lunch (or breakfast, or dinner) Monday-Friday. A PBJ pulled out of my backpack and eaten while walking across campus between class and work. Sometimes my PBJ is replaced with a PBBH (peanut butter banana honey) or a SAT (spinach, avocado, tomato).

While eating it and rushing around--sometimes even answering an email on my phone to add to my multi-tasking of eating and walking--it often hits me of just what those circumstances mean. Holy cow, think about it!
-I am enrolled in a great university, and so busy with learning and making money and meeting amazing people that I don't have time to be at home and cook (nor time in the morning to prepare a lunch of more variety because the good life starts early and I get to go running and read my scriptures before I walk to campus at 7:30).
-I have enough money for whole wheat bread, peanut butter, honey, and even a zip lock bag. And we even have zip loc bags in this country.
-I have friends who take me with them to go grocery shopping. So I am able to get that grocery store goodness into my very own apartment without having to carry it by hand. 
-I am healthy enough to walk around campus and go, go, go.

Peanut butter sandwiches have always been a symbol of prosperity for me. I wrote about it four years ago on my first little blog,

 "As I sit in a comfortable office chair in air conditioned comfort surrounded by kind people and a tree covered in blossoms outside the window, I can't help but be overwhelmed with gratitude and think about the billions of people who are uncomfortable right now, those without chairs and computers and good views and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch."

If you ever want to have a deep conversation with me, bring up peanut butter sandwiches. I've personally amazed myself with how much I have to say about them.  It goes so much further than just the crunchy vs creamy debate (which in and of itself can be deep). 

Never, ever, complain when eating your 7th PBJ in a week. You're living the high life. 

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