March 17, 2012

Soapbox Saturday - The Grass is Pretty Green Right Here

Today I wanted to talk about something that's been rolling around my head a lot.  It has nothing to do with crafting.  It's about something bigger than that.  It's about an idea.  I think we tend to learn the same lessons in life over and over, but each time it seems to be on a deeper level.

I've been thinking a lot about the phrase, "The grass is always greener on the other side."  Wow.  I feel like I've really been able to understand that idea a lot deeper lately.  I have come to see how easy it is to rob ourselves of true happiness.



We look for it all over.  We become convinced that it's just ahead.  We watch TV and see that it's found in money or a perfect body or something else that's just out of our grasp.  We get on blogs and start feeling like maybe we got the short end of the stick.  We plan vacations, dreaming of a perfect week where everything will be flawless.  We decide that when we get that car or get that promotion or get that opportunity or get pregnant or get through this week that joy will pour down from the heavens.

Well, I'm sorry to say it but I have come to believe that 99% of things in life are overrated.  While that sounds pessimistic, it's not.  Stay with me here.  While I've never been drunk in my life I'm pretty darn sure it's overrated.  Our vacation was very overrated.  I bet if you could really talk with someone famous, that they would tell you it's overrated.  Is it possible that our wish lists are actually keeping us from happiness rather than tracking it?

I think the biggest secret of all is simply that happiness is already in our hands.  Do you know what's completely underrated?  NOW.  This moment.  This very moment.  Every little moment.  Because when I stop to really think and breathe, I can get emotional about how lovely it all is.

You know what?  The grass is pretty green right here.  It's beautiful.  And if I keep wishing I just might miss it.  I might miss those tiny moments when Rex asks Baden if he can give him a hug.  I might miss the fact that my husband and I got to watch a movie last night on the couch and that the boys slept really well through the night.  I might forget how lucky we are to be healthy.  I might even miss the point of this life.  The point of my life.


It's quite an enormous gift.  All of it.  The good and the bad.  The rain and the sun.  And I'm going to try a little harder to thank Him for all of it.

Thanks for reading.

54 comments:

  1. I love this post. I have been trying so hard to make the choice every day to be happy and to ignore those inner voices created by slick marketing and skewed self esteem telling me I need to look better, do better, be better.

    All we need to be is here. Now. Happy.

    Happy Saturday! xo

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  2. Love this post!! Lately I've been feeling the same and have started to dwindle down my blog list because if these feelings. Life is wonderful!!

    "Comparison is the killer of joy"

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  3. You are so right, and it is something I have learned over the years watching people close to me, and then seeing it in myself. I would watch those who appeared to 'have it all', or have the 'perfect' life do nothing but complain about what they don't have, what they wished they had, what wrong in their life, and I was stunned. It made me look at myself and realize that sometimes things happen we can't control, but we can't forget about the wonderful things, mostly those we love, that are here NOW. Trudy

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  4. Thank you for this amazing post! Life is such a gift!,

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  5. Amen! Long ago I realized (and have to remind myself daily of) the fact that the only thing that I have any control over is my happiness. I can dream, I can plan, and can try to prepare, but the only thing I can control is my happiness.
    Now is when happy happens.

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  6. I totally agree. It's so easy to get caught up in what will make us happier. Right now for us it's 'we will be happier when our kitchen renovation is done' ... and I'm sure we will be more relaxed and happy with our home because after tearing things down for mold and stuff, we're left with about six cupboards and a hand-me-down pantry that is leaning to one side and a microwave hutch because my kitchen has no utensil drawer. So yes, it will be easier to bake an cook, and our home will look better, but I know when we don't want to host parties and stuff because our open-concept home looks kind of 'trashy' with our half-pulled-apart kitchen, that's actually part of the problem. Yeah, our kitchen looks bad, but at the same time our friends know our home was ugly and poorly designed and we're in a renovating stage yet. There's no real reason to not host things here 'until after'... but then the fact that we've seen the plans and picked the colors and all that just makes us so much less satisfied. I was thinking the other day about how when we bought this house at the ripe old ages of 20 and 21 we were so excited to have our own space that we saw past the 'ugly' and it bother us. It actually looks better now than then, the biggest thing that's changed is US. We need to stop being so dissatisfied! We're working on it. We already decided to make do for another year instead of selling when we finish. We do still want to move out of town so my hubby has property for his company's trucks instead of renting space from another business owner. But we don't really NEED to move somewhere that's bigger than this small house... the kids don't take up all that much space, its hoarding Stuff that's the problem!

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  7. Completely agree. The fastest way to achieve happiness is to be grateful. If we stop the clock and take time to be grateful for what we DO have RIGHT NOW, you'll realize you have more than you need to feel happy. If you are always looking around searching for happiness, you'll miss it! :)

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  8. Thank you for the reminder! We ALL need to hear this from time to time. Enjoy your blessings today...I'm going to love on my babies a little more today too!

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  9. FishMama of LifeAsMom did a lovely series on "The Grass Is Always Greener -- Where You Water It" not long ago. You can find the review here: http://lifeasmom.com/2012/01/the-grass-is-always-greener-series-in-review.html

    It really is true -- it's better where you put the effort, and I am want to remind myself of that when the "I wants" creep in.

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  10. Oh I totally needed this today! Thanks for reminding me to enjoy now. I've thought about this a bit this week, but this really helped put my thoughts together. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. absolutely correct! we must appreciate what we have and are given.

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  12. Very well said! I really needed to hear this today :) I've been frustrated with my sick kids and needing a break, but I truly am blessed despite the colds and fussiness!! Thanks for the reminder!

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  13. Totally, totally agree. This reminds of the quote: 'The grass is greener where you water it'. I have come to realise that the things that make me happiest are appreciating moments like laughing with my kids until my belly hurts or watching someone's face light up or even the simple satisfaction of a clean shiny floor.

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  14. Fabulous post, and something I think about a lot also! I also recently saw this: http://www.youcantbeserious.com.au/blog/2012/03/11/the-grass-is-greener-where-you-water-it/ (I see others have quotes it also). I want to print it out and frame it somewhere I'll always see! This time of our lives is really so great! And it's going too fast! Thanks for making us think about it, Cheri!

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  15. Thanks, that's just what I needed.

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  16. Well said,and so fitting with your word for the year,and mine too! Hear is one of my favorite quotes from Robert Fulghum. “The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.” Have a great weekend!

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  17. SO TRUE! Thank you for the reminder. I loved this post.

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  18. Thank you... with two little boys at home, A husband in Residency and me home alone a lot.. I often find myself saying when this happens, it will be better WHEN... Thanks for helping me think and love NOW more. Thank you... I always feel uplifted when I read your posts, Thank you.

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  19. I am grateful for this post. I needed to hear this so badly... Thank you. :)) I have alot to be thankful for!

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  20. Thanks for this post. It is hard sometimes to focus on what is already making our lives awesome. I have a home. It's small and broken and I often wish for more space and prettiness, but I have a permanent place to live! It's that fantastic. I'm no super model and have weight to lose, but I have a fully functioning body. I did a lot of running last year and I just loved the feeling after of - THIS is what my body was made for, not sitting at a computer wishing I had THAT person's life. And so on. I have only met you briefly in real life (at Dana's class at ALT), but from what you share on your blog, I can tell that you hold on to what is great in your life. Probably not always (because who does), but you truly seem to appreciate your family - both the one you made and the one you came from. You spend time making things for you kids and that alone is a feat. Following through is huge. Making happy memories (which usually are the small things) is really what I think is pretty far up there on the most important things list. Anyway, I don't comment often enough and have rambled too much right now, but I love your blog. I love your ideas and your moves to push us to want to be better people. Thank you for sharing so much with us! :)

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  21. You hit the nail right on the head! It really is hard in this culture to stop and say "this is it, this is as good as it's ever going to get". That can sound like a such a negative phrase, but it's not! It is so completely liberating. It's amazing. If this is as good as it's ever going to get than we better just get on with enjoying how lovely this moment is and how lucky we are for sharing it with whomever is around right now. It seems like lots of people are waking up to these simple truths lately and its so lovely. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. :)

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    1. Or, as a friend said to me, my ship is never coming in. This IS my life! Realism is not always pessimism. :)

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  22. Thank you so much, Cheri! I've been thinking about this a lot lately as well. When my husband started grad school 6 years ago, I felt like I was waiting for life to begin. Then I started a blog and gave a lot of thought about what to call it. I wanted to pick a title that represented what I wanted for our family. I chose "These Are the Days" because I had 3 little boys and a wonderful husband and everything I needed at that moment. I didn't need to wait for life to begin, I had it all already. Now every day I thank Heavenly Father for the life that I have, for the family he has blessed me with and the circumstances in my life that make me who I am. And I try to enjoy every moment with my children. These days are pretty sweet.

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  23. I've come to learn this myself in the last year. When I look back on my imperfect life I see happiness and fun, even though at the time I kept reaching for more. And when I'm old and gray I'll look back on NOW with bliss. So why is it so hard for us to enjoy what we have in the present, instead of just the future and past?

    Excellent post!!

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  24. HI Cheri. Thank you so much. This is so true and often forgotten.
    God Bless you and your family today.

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  25. Well said! We all need to be active in our lives NOW! Just think when the grass is greener, you have to mow it more. :)

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  26. Wow!! Thanks for this post! You truly have a way with words. I am a long time reader yet rarely comment but this post was like an answer to a prayer for me. My husband and I have been praying for over a year for him to find a new job. I keep thinking we will be happy as soon as he finds that perfect job. I just kept thinking soon we will be happy, soon life will be better and for whatever reason I thought a new job would do that. Well like I said over a year with countless resumes sent out and still no job. So we kind of switched gears and decided to start praying that we will just be happy, and not find something that will make us happy. This post was our exact answer. We have a job, a home, a working car, 5 healthy beautiful kids, what more could we possibly ask for? We ARE happy and so blessed and we need to live in the now and enjoy that. Stop saying "someday" it is just another word for never. My kids watched Kung Fu Panda today and a quote from there also stuck out at me "One meets his destiny often in the road he takes to avoid it.... you are too concerned with what was and what will be. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is a gift, that's why it's called the present"
    Today is a gift and we should be happy to have it! Thanks again for the post, it really was an answer to our prayers!

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  27. Yep, yep, yep and yep. I needed this tonight, Cheri. And I think YOU needed to write it for ME. So thank you for following whatever that little prompting was to write it. You have fulfilled an amazing purpose on this very day. (and PS..I know a little secret about you, and it kind of makes me giddy) :)

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  28. Thank you so much, you'll never know how much I needed to read this right now.

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  29. Amen, sista! Preach!

    No seriously-- not to get all church-y on ya, but the best thing that has ever happened to me was serious study of Pres. Uchtdorf's talk on "Things that Matter Most" and priorities.

    Changed.my.life.

    I put Him first, my family second-- everything has been so much better.

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  30. Thank you so much for this post! I agree when you say that most things in life are overrated, and that right now is underrated. Having gone through a week with a bad wisdom tooth, taking it out, and kids with pink eye, it only makes me appreciate everyday life that much more!I have to confess that while I dont comment every day, you're posts are are the one I look forward to everyday, especially sundays. Maybe it's because we share a a couple of things in life, little two little boys and the portuguese language( I'm from Brazil) I related to you so much, thank you for always keeping it real, you give me such inspiration!

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  31. I've been trying really hard to simplify my life so the "now" stuff can happen. It's easier for me to avoid distractions when I don't let so many in. I love the talk Mandi mentioned too - and the new history of Relief Society book for setting priorities.

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  32. Well put!!
    It is all about living an abundent life - where we are grateful for where we are - right - at - this - moment.

    I sure love the feeling I get from counting my blessings, vs counting where I feel like I am falling short. Same life, different outlook.

    Thanks for sharing you ah-ha moment with us xoxo

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  33. Thank you SO much for that reminder...I really needed to read that just now. :)

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  34. Such a great post. Thank you for that. I could personally relate...we've been trying to have another baby for a while now and it's just so easy to get caught up in the dream and miss the beautiful reality that is right in front of you...like two gorgeous boys in my case. I love your blog!

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  35. Beautiful post, Cheri --- well said. All true. It's difficult to focus on it sometimes, but the most important thing is the NOW. I have a quote posted on the fridge to remind me of this very thing: "Nothing is worth more than this day." --Goethe

    -Erika

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  36. I love you Cheri. This was such a great post and reminder we all needed to hear. Thank you!

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  37. I love to read your posts...I think you always say everything just how I am feeling, but can't seem to form my own words. Thanks, Cheri

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  38. These words were just that what I needed. Being happy just here and just now was always my problem. Reading your posts makes me think about God more. Thank for that.
    Aljona from the faraway Belarus

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  39. I gave a talk at church on this topic just today! Have you read Pres. Monson's talk called "Finding Joy in the Journey?" It touches on exactly what you said...it is amazing!

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  40. Extraordinary post Cheri! I too have been trying this in my life. There are way too many opportunities to wish your life away. Instead I relish in the same things that you do. The sweet things my son says to my daughters. The way my oldest daughter stands up for my middle daughter. Those are life's true joys. The everyday. The ordinary. Thanks for such a beautiful post.

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  41. Coming out of stalking to say thank you. THANK YOU for this post! It's all so true. I know this, and yet sometimes I need a big FAT reminder! So thank you for the reminder!!!!

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  42. What a perfect message that you expressed so eloquently. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful thoughts.

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  43. Thank you, Cheri...
    Petra

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  44. Well stated. And yes, please share the quotes, you pick good ones.

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  45. Lysa Teurkeurst, an influential Christian woman who started Proverbs 31 ministries, has a great saying: "The grass is always greenest where we fertilize it." How true that the areas of our lives where we put effort and work grow and flourish. This is true for friendships, marriages, even keeping a home clean. Our time to be happy is now and it is a choice to step back and acknowledge all of the blessings we have been given. Thanks for another great post!

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  46. What a great post! It is hard to keep it in perspective sometimes that life right now is pretty good.

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  47. I just finished a book "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein...wonderful book full of life lessons. Highly recommend reading...easy quick read.

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  48. I love the quote, " love the life you live". A spin on another but good to remember

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  50. This reminds me of what Pres. Uchtdorf said in the General RS meeting about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, "In this classic children’s story, people all over the world desperately yearn to find a golden ticket. Some feel that their entire future happiness depends on whether or not a golden ticket falls into their hands. In their anxiousness, people begin to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket. So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket—the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about. For some, the golden ticket may be a perfect marriage; for others, a magazine-cover home or perhaps freedom from stress or worry."
    Love your blog!

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  51. Just last night I was sitting in the yard looking around at our nice property and watching my two beautiful kids laugh and run and play. It just HIT ME and I just whispered a simple "Thank you Lord". There were not enough words to go into detail about all that I am thankful for but I think He understood. Thanks for the great post. You are an inspiration.

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  52. Well put, Cheri :). Such a good reminder, and it's comforting to know I'm not the only one who needs that reminder! Time to take my kids on a walk :).

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  53. Another great quote on my wall about this topic is:

    "The secret to having it all.... is knowing you already do"

    thanks for the inspiring blog!

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