That summer I went home, worked at my old high school pizza job, enjoyed going to the lake beaches near home, and was inseperable from my best friend.
We talked a ton that summer, about absolutely everything. We talked about not being ready for marriage, about the guys we'd met and dated while away at college, about our future careers, houses and families. We talked about where we wanted to travel and what experiences we wanted to have.
But the conversations that were most memorable to me were the ones we had about our greatest goal in life. It wasn't to be rich, it wasn't to be extremely popular. We weren't dying to own a 7 bedroom house and "summer" in Europe. Our one, desperate goal, was to be happy.
Now, before you think that it was just some childish, whimsical fantasy, let me explain what we meant.
When we said happy, we meant content. We meant that we would wake up each morning looking forward to our day. We wouldn't be constantly counting down for the next big thing to happen because our own lives weren't very fufilling on their own. We wanted to be able to wake up and go to work on a Monday morning with nothing special at all planned, and be completely happy with that day.
And this morning, I realized that I'm there.
I woke up this morning at 5:00am, the same as I do five days a week. I sent Nathan off to work, ate breakfast and did my workout. I then proceeded to get ready for work, pack myself and Jace for the day, and took him to his awesome babysitter's where he ran inside because he loves it there just like he loves being at home. After work I'll pick him up, make dinner, then go work out with friends at church.
My day today will be a totally average, completely regular day.
And I was excited and happy about it from the minute I woke up.
The things that I used to dread no longer seem to be on my mind.
In the past I've always dreaded some aspect of going to work. Whether it was because I was balancing multiple jobs, I didn't enjoy the job, I wasn't able to use my brain, or I had to stress about finding a babysitter for my everchanging schedule. Now I work regular hours at a job where I feel appreciated and secure while being challenged mentally.
I used to hate dropping Jace off with anyone because I felt like a bad mom. But when I see how happy he is to spend the day playing with Colton, I know that he's going to have a great day too. And I know that he will smile and be happy to come home with me because, no matter who he spends the day with, I'm still his mama and he still loves me.
I've stuggled with weight and image issues for about as far back as I can remember, and hated that I could never keep any kind of workout or diet. But since October I've found a workout routine that actually works for me and (as of this morning) have lost 16 pounds.
Figuring out my spiritual life has always been a trial for me. I frequently felt like I didn't know enough, didn't do enough, didn't study enough to truly consider myself a Christian. And, while I still have so much to learn, explore and figure out, I've figured out that I'm on the right path.
And every night I get to fall asleep cuddled up to a guy that I know is the love of my life.
Of course I could find things to complain about, and issues to stress over. I know that I will have days where my regular life seems overwhelming, but today, on this incredibly average Monday morning, sitting at my desk watching storm clouds roll in, I am happy.