The past month and a half, I heard a few people from church speaking about life and what we are to learn from it. And if you are wondering what this has to do with nail polish, just bear with me for a little longer. You'll soon understand.
Through many different speakers and a few different lessons over the past month and a half, I heard a lot of different things concerning the purpose of this life. We are here to grow, to learn and to experience things, learn how to use our agency and strive to fulfill pre-mortal promises that we had made to our Father. And it's always about the bigger things. Obedience to commandments, studying scriptures, trusting our Father, standing strong in the face of adversary. And personally, I find it somewhat overwhelming at times. And then I happened to come across one of President Gordon B. Hinckley's quotes, something that really reached out to me.
“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” - Gordon B. Hinckley
That quote returned to my mind that Sunday evening as I was laying on my floor, my music playing as I applied a fresh coat of polish to my nails, a design already mapped out in my head. Life is to be enjoyed. I happened to realize at that moment exactly how much fun I was having with this task of painting my nails. I was thoroughly enjoying it, loving the colors, the artistic design that was taking form, the possibly-too-loud beats of my music. I took a little time to look at my nails as I let the polish dry, letting the thought run through my mind a second time. And then things started to really fall into place.
Yes, there are a lot of purposes in this life. We are to learn and grow, to be obedient and strong. But we are also to experience happiness. It doesn't have to be the kind of happiness that you get from going to a theme park, going out dancing with friends, celebrating a holiday with family, or anything like that. People are always broadcasting their joy of going out, of getting a gift or achieving something that they had been working toward. But what about the quieter joys? The happiness you feel when you're holding a cup of hot cocoa? The peace of taking a nap or the thrill of taking a bite of your favorite food?
I have a testimony that small and quiet joys can be so very powerful in life and shouldn't be overlooked. They shouldn't be compared to the big things for though they themselves are small, their impact can be very strong. I found a peaceful joy in painting my nails, in doing a small task that almost everyone I encounter wouldn't notice. But it was enough to lift my soul in quiet rejoicing that I had the opportunity in my life to paint my nails. In this world, people may look at painted nails like a simple thing, something that's very common and minuscule, and not give it a second thought. But to me, it's not just a bottle of colored polish. To me, it's a reminder that joy comes in all different sizes, as well as different shades of color.