A frequent theme of advice given to singles is: don’t wait around. Do something with your life!
What do you do with your life?
And don’t be hard on yourself. Too often we think we need to be famous or have that often talked about six-figure income or have turned into Mother Teresa by the age of 40 in order to qualify as proof of “I’m making myself busy” despite our single status.
Still, as Latter Day Saints and Christians, hopefully there are things we’re finding to do while “not running faster than we have strength.” Simple? Hmm. Some food for thought, all here in one neat little package, (okay, not really) ready for you to ponder today in order to find the next way for you to streamline your life, move your priorities around, or hopefully to inspire you to try a new passion.
Consider some of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s counsel in the most recent General Conference in his talk, “Of Regrets and Resolutions”:
“The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets
- Resolve to spend more time with those we love.
- Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be.
- Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances.”
I was reminded recently how easy it can be to get our priorities just a little out of whack. Many of the temporal things we spend our time on are good things, and help make this life just that much easier. And of course, nothing is truly completely temporal. But when the lesser things start to edge out the more important, our lives slip just a little off course and need correction before our trajectory takes us way out of the way. (I’m using just a little of that aviation vocabulary which seems to rub off after listening to Elder Uchtdorf who, for those who don’t know, is a retired pilot.) I was reading my scriptures and saying my prayers and striving to keep my communication lines wide open with my children and family members, but I still let other things get just a little off because of fears or discomfort or what not. A blessing from my niece’s husband for my health reminded me that if I keep things in priority, things would work out the way the Lord wanted to. And do I want the faith to want what He wants? I hope so. I hope I won’t always let my fears get in the way of that.
So, once our spiritual is in line with the Lord, are we also letting ourselves have the temporal blessings that He wants us to have? Just because we don’t have a spouse, are we allowing ourselves to develop friendships? Spend time with family? Are we letting one of them take over more than we should, and not cultivating the other enough? Do we have a hobby, or hobbies? Do we share ourselves with others, or do we over-share and not reach out enough to others? Do we say yes too often, or not enough? All of these questions are not just for the married folk: they are for us as well. Don’t wait around until your “ship has come in.” Do what President Uchtdorf has counseled, and decide to be happy today. If you don’t know how to do that, don’t give up. Reach out somewhere, and find out. Take a step forward in a new direction, or keep moving forward where you know it is worth it.
Looking for a new “passion?” (Several of my friends thought that was too strong a word, and they may be right.) A new hobby? I asked friends what they feel “passionate” about, or what hobbies they enjoy that help fuel their gratitude for life. Most of the names have been changed (say the word “passion,” and it all becomes private, apparently). A few people got really excited about this “assignment,” and made some pretty long lists, so I included those last. Some of these friends have kids, some don’t, some are married, most are single.
Rob: Well if I am alone I like to go chase trains, go to railroad museums (Ogden, Utah), check out the UP and Rio Grande stations in Salt Lake City, even though I haven’t done that for a while. Not exactly what women typically want to do on a date, lol. In a date setting I am a fan of museums and other activities where there’s a chance to interact. I am not a big fan of movies because you’re not supposed to talk. An exception to that are fine arts like ballet.
Amy: My passions are photography, scrapbooking, journalling, and inventing things with my sewing
Kami: Audio books, movies, rolling hills, and Excel spreadsheets!
- Reading classic 19th century literature
- Traveling ANYWHERE
- Watching my kids learn through living life
- Baking cookies
Samantha: learning, children
Matt: Spending time in nature, hiking, camping, fishing, exploring, martial arts, serving others whether through church or other means, spending time with family, getting together with friends, exercise
Keira: reading, workouts with various martial arts, hanging out with friends, cooking and exploring different cuisines, traveling and exploring different cultures
Natasha: Homeschooling, chickens, gardening, repurposing, camping, music, reading (all kinds-fiction and nonfiction), making stuff, and just being outside
Evan: web development, food blogging, a good movie, a good book, music
Amanda: Rescuing animals, fostering/adopting children, dance (all kinds!), being with my family
Ryan: Serving others in just about any way I can
- Truth, knowledge and learning – in the many forms it comes in. This also relates to spiritual truths.
- Technology – whether it exists or not doesn’t matter! This is one reason I love sci fi!
- Literature and film media
- Beautiful music – mainly soundtracks
Karen: Loving on my family, helping out vulnerable families and family members, reading, cooking, singing, public policy and law (especially family related), writing, travelling (when I have the budget), listening to music…
Ivy: mentoring and fashion
Melinda: Energy work and spirituality. That’s my answer today. I tend to be passionate about a lot of things, in cycles. I both obsess and flit around. And the obvious answer of my family, which I am always passionate about.
Erika: Following and supporting my favorite music group (Pentatonix), sewing quilts, staying in touch with lots of friends through social media, leading the music in church and subbing in Primary.
Sue: music, fashion, travel and writing are my current passions.
Alec: I love to debate the philosophy of “falling in love”, and discussing politics
Jen: Serving and investing in children. Nothing else we do in this life is more important than that!!
Ella: Bargain shopping, cooking, eating, digital design/blogging/digi-scrapbooking, riding bikes as a family, showing up & using savings to show loved ones that they matter
- Hmmm…is it weird to say I’m passionate about finding a good deal? I love the hunt for an awesome piece of clothing or home decor item at an amazing price. I also love sharing my finds with other people. There have been a few times that I’ve found things at thrift stores that weren’t my size and I totally call people up and ask if they need that particular item because I know it would fit them and it’s just too good a deal to pass up.
- I also love good food, haha. I love to eat! Probably more than I should. But food is just so great! And just like the good deals I find I love to tell people about good food. My Instagram feed is pictures of food I’ve made or restaurant food that I just love.
- I’m sure there are a ton of things that I’m passionate about but the last one I’ll share is learning and exploring new things. When I get interested in a topic I usually can’t get enough information about it. I just get completely obsessed and want to learn all I can about the topic I’m interested in at the time. And I love to explore new places and learn about people who are different than myself. I took an anthropology class in college and just loved learning about all the different cultures and why people do what they do.
- Well I probably wrote way too much but I hope that helps!
- Biking by the beach
- Reading and imagining worlds fantastic and amazing
- Hearing splendid music
- Talking to interesting folks
- Being challenged by new ideas
- Playing a good game with friends
- The thrill of a turn-of-phrase
- Debating film
- That feeling of finally understanding something in a foreign language that had always eluded you.
- Getting a poem to really sing.
- Reading a poem that hits me just right.
- Reading myself to sleep at night.
- Dove peanut-butter chocolate squares.
- Messiah sing-ins.
- Long discussions with friends.
- Ice dancing
- Cooking/inventing new dishes
- Hanging with my cats (I love these guys even when they’re so naughty)
- Teaching . . . my students and I this semester are having WAY to much fun . . .
- Being there for my students
- Political activism (mostly waking people up on the right to live up to their covenants in their civic lives)
- I miss having friends to play tennis with or Scrabble with . . . or just to hang out . . .
- Designing my new costumes
- Working out (well, I actually hate getting myself to the gym, but I love how I feel after I’ve been!)
- I love creating antique replicas, specifically decorations/ furniture with trimmings like wooden gingerbread.
- I love to view Northern Michigan cottages and colonial homes, and plan one of my own
- I love to paint, designs on furniture, cupboards, etc. and create paintings of nature and children
- I love to explore beautiful places with trees, lakes, winding roads, hills, ghost towns and places filled with history.
- I love farming, seeing acres and acres of land for as far as I can see and working in the fresh air with animals
- I love to sing, to create songs full of rhyme out of what I’m feeling and experiencing
- I love children, to chase them, play with them, read to them, encourage them, and teach them!
- I love to learn and practice new methods of natural healing.
- I love to help those who are sick or suffering find comfort by helping them heal physically and spiritually
- I love to pray and I love reading the scriptures. I love my relationship with Heavenly father and my earthly family.
- I love planning Family Nights, fun activities and activities of meaning to help inform. educate and strengthen people, expose hidden evils, to uplift and motivate, and to help prepare myself and others for the coming of the Savior.
- I love meeting with friends and laughing, playing games and enjoying life to the fullest.
- I love the Constitution, studying the miraculous history of the United States and the history of God’s influence and freedom throughout the world and throughout history.
- I love live theater, old wholesome movies and musicals.
- I love bluegrass music and fiddles.
- I love singing with my family around the piano old songs, some new, songs of many eras, familiar songs
- I love cooking with my sisters or my daughters in the kitchen
- I love working in my family’s fudge store.
- I love studying many things, especially religion and sharing it with someone who is happily interested and has for a long time applied the thoughts to their life and naturally seeks to know more and live truth more.
- I love missionary work and creatively sharing the gospel
- I absolutely love family history and traveling to places where my ancestors lived, seeing their pictures, hearing their stories and feeling connected to them!
- I love motherhood and creating a home where there is synergy, order, fun, the spirit, peace, beauty and meaningful projects and objects that represent the love of the family and the sacrifices and spirit there.
- I love to create things by hand and to know how to run a home/farm in old fashioned simple ways that take putting the hand to the natural material and seeing how things work, making soap and shoes and clothes, spinning wool, seeing wooden gears on old fashioned farm machinery and using plow horses and a plow.
- I love so much of nature and taking pictures of it, i.e. sunsets, flowers, lakes, lighthouses,trees, barns,children
- I love trying new things, making new foods, creating new craft projects, sewing something new, redecorating
- I love making slide shows with music and I love the idea of doing this and speaking about something meaningful along with these.
- I love the idea of promoting strong happy families and the gospel through an old fashioned recreational facility, contests, blogs, etc.
- I love color, texture and design
- I love BYU the MTC and the Provo and Salt Lake temples
- I love positive, funny, motivating and innovative people