Sometimes I find myself in a rut. As if I’m sleepwalking through life with no real direction or feeling of purpose for days or weeks at a time. I get stuck in the routine of daily waking up, getting my kids out of bed and into school, and then going to school myself. Of reading page after page of material that only occasionally makes any sense, and then going to class and feeling out of my league amongst my peers. Then I drag myself home already exhausted, and try to give my children all the attention I can muster but feeling like I fail more often than not. The bright spot I can count on every-day is the very brief moment I have with my children getting them ready for bed and taking turns reading books, followed by scriptures. Then hearing their sweet prayers and listening to them sing bedtime songs. But that time ends all too quickly, and it’s back to the same routine. I know I’m not the only person that experiences these moments of such reflection at how life can go along like clock-work. Sometimes I think about being realistic, and if that is just an excuse I use to hold myself back from taking chances. In my legal history class, we’ve been talking about the shift in mindset of the colonists after the American Revolution from stability being the main concern, to taking risks. About how the government encouraged risk taking through tax exemptions and such which encouraged economic growth. Risk takers built railroads, steam engines, trains, bridges, and were rewarded. There are brief moments that I usually only give half a glance to, when I wish I could take a risk. When I wish I could say I’m going all in instead of saying I need to be realistic. How many people in this world are actually doing what they love, what they have always dreamed of doing? I have no doubt there are millions of people who sincerely enjoy what they do in life and find satisfaction in their professions. But how many can honestly say, I followed my dreams and nothing got in my way? I saw a video with Connor McGregor talking about becoming a world famous fighter long before he was known anywhere outside of Ireland. He had such conviction in the interview that he was going to be the greatest fighter ever. How does someone come about that kind of confidence? And I don’t mean talking a big game, but actually believing it is true and have real ambition? I think there are very few people in this world like that. People who throw away all doubt and insecurity and never let “reality” get in the way of accomplishing their dreams. I think my problem is with dreaming. I think maybe I’m afraid to dream because I fear failure. And because of that, I don’t even know what my dreams are. And if I don’t know what my dreams are, how can I accomplish them? I wonder if that is why so few people really accomplish their dreams, because they are too afraid to dream in the first place. And we’re too afraid to dream because of the need for stability. And for many, I’m sure the dream is stability. But for me, stability feels like a chain sometimes, or maybe more like a safety harness. Like that Batman scene, where it showed him trying to jump out of that prison with a rope tied around his waist in case he didn’t make it, later realizing the only way he could make it was by jumping without the rope and letting go of all his inhibition. Maybe someday I will be able to find some dreams to grab onto and actually pursue before reality sets in. I really hope I can do that, even if it means dreaming my kids are able to dream. And when I say dream, I don’t mean a simple wish or hope, but a goal that becomes engrained to the point that it’s always on your mind and you can’t stop until it’s reached. But then I wonder if that’s always healthy. Maybe stability should always be the goal, and finding happiness within that stability. I always hear the stories of success from going all in on dreams that it makes it seem as if I were to do the same, there is no chance of failure. All I have to do is work for it, completely believe I’ll succeed, and it will happen. But that can’t be the case. There has to be examples of people who did fail. So what do they do next? Find a new dream, or settle for a 9-5 that creates stability? Anyway, I digress. In Sunday School I taught a lesson about the blessings of keeping God’s commandments. I loved an analogy about a barrier out in the ocean that these teenage kids were on the beach glaring at. They all had their surf boards in hand, and all they could see was this barrier that was completely destroying these awesome waves and ruining their chance at an amazing surf. An old man with binoculars, and tired of their complaints, gave them each a moment to look at the barrier with magnified vision. What they saw were a lot of shark fins sticking up out of the water and the barrier keeping the sharks from getting close to the countless people swimming on the other side. What was once seen as a barrier meant to cripple their fun and enjoyment was now seen as a protection that allowed them to live. It is so amazing to be able to witness the blessings God has when we keep His commandments, and when looking with our mortal eyes they may seem to restrict us, but through God’s eyes they are protection and keep us going. In other news, my mom was helping my daughter clean up some toys today and my daughter asked where she should be the handful of cars she had. My mom responded she should put them in the car tub. A few hours later my mom walked into the bathroom to find the tub full of cars! She is such a good listener. I know there is no reason for me to ever be in a rut. I can’t explain why it happens, or even anticipate when it will hit. But just writing about it has already helped. I guess it ultimately comes down to what I talked about in my last post, that joy comes from my focus rather than my circumstances. I need to focus more on the joyful things in life, and probably stop philosophizing about ambition and stability! At the end of the day, why should I let a routine, school, or a job control my happiness? It’s a good thing I have basketball to play tomorrow! Think it’s too late to go try out for an NBA team??