When you're worried about the future...

Sometimes, I get really worried about how my life is going to turn out. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one, but at least once a week, I wonder what everything will look like in the future: Will things work out? (Probably.) Will I figure it out…whatever it is? (Here’s hoping.) Will French fries ever stop being a food group? (Nope.)

Happy Endings are our thing. We picture them, we work for them, and maybe more often than we would like to admit, we worry about them. There’s something so awesome about the 100%-guaranteed, cue-the-swell-of-happy-music wonderfulness of happily ever after, that we chase it…not just in all things romance, but in work, in friendships, in adventures, and really, just in life. The ending means it is over: We did it! Time to sit back, live large and love larger, and enjoy the magic of the last chapter.

But it isn’t about the ending, even the happy ones. It’s about the story.

I’m a happily-ever-after person. I like it when hard work pays off and when movie endings are slightly predictable, when you can believe everything is going to work out okay in the end. But the happily-ever-after isn’t what makes the book worth reading. The story is.

We all have these books—our lives. We’re living stories. The things we do, places we go, things we watch and read and eat, our secrets and our dreams, the things we love and things we loathe, our big failures and big(ger) successes, the people we love and lose—these things write sentences on our souls that turn into the chapters of our lives. They make us, us.

Some chapters we can’t wait to close: Bad days. Bad weeks. Broken hearts, big messes, bruised egos, and bad decisions. Others, we wish told the whole story—the moments where we get to be our own hero, or, even better, the hero for someone else.

But this is what I’ve learned: All those chapters are parts of us. There is no one part that’s better or greater than another…because we need them all.

Together, they are greater than whatever ending. Maybe it isn’t about happily-ever-after so much as it is making every moment as happy as possible. Getting the happiest sentences, the most interesting chapters.

It’s easy to worry about the ending, the future, because we want it to turn out magnificently. What’s a little tougher—but incredibly more meaningful—is focusing on making today okay. Making it good. Making it happy, wherever we can. Writing a story that, someday, when we’re sitting in the middle of our ending, when the future is now, we want to go back and read.

No more somedays, one-days, or world’s greatest endings.

Pick up your pen. Write your now.

The Monday Life-Communications