I’ve always considered myself to be a grateful person. When I give thanks while praying, my list is long and varied and I do my best to recognize God’s hand in all of these blessings. I also try to express my gratitude to my wife and my family, though I could do better there. For the last several months I have been feeling particularly blessed. For a million reasons.
My last post, Thirty-Seven, was very short because I spent two and a half hours or so writing an in-depth catch up of my 37th year only to have it all disappear when I hit Publish. Boo. It’s been a great year and I think a lot of that has to do with having started work at the Church. I just hit the one year mark of working there and I think my employment there is not only ideal but also spiritually significant. In many ways, I’m not qualified to work there. Maybe I am now… maybe… but I wasn’t when I started. With the help of some great friends to push for my employment there (Scott Soward, Travis Treseder), and a heaping spoonful of divine intervention, I was able to secure the position and have loved it. I feel like the Lord has been watching out for me by putting me in situations that require my obedience. It was about three and a half years ago that I was called into the bishopric of the Harvest Hills 9th Ward. I think that was significant in many ways, but particularly because it served as a protection for me. Knowing that if I considered doing anything particularly foolish, that temptation would be quelled by the thought of having to be suddenly and mysteriously “released” from the bishopric. It may have been obvious why and that social pressure served to benefit me. I didn’t do anything overly stupid. Just the normal Nils-stupid stuff that I do all the time.
I don’t think it’s coincidence that our bishopric was released on the 19th of October, 2014 – just 34 days after I started working at the church. This is significant because, like being in the bishopric, my employment now serves as a protection for me, knowing that my employment relies on my worthiness. The two go hand-in-hand. I don’t think that I would become a raging alcoholic if the Lord didn’t have His thumb on me (though there’ve been times when I’ve considered it), but I’m comfortable being in a position where there are direct consequences to my actions that affect more than just me, ya know? I’ve been learning a ton at work and it has only served to increase my desire to be smart, to be learned, to further my education and to be helpful. It was a real adjustment going from being the chief creative person at a company and making movies, using Photoshop daily and build full websites to exclusively writing code all day, every day. I’m pretty used to it now and have become more interested in learning and writing good code than ever. I genuinely appreciate the people I work with and feel very blessed to have the opportunities I have. I get to do some pretty rad stuff, like the project I’m on right now, where I’m building what will become the newly designed General Conference section of LDS.org. It’s pretty cool and we’re all improving our processes so that we can work faster and more efficiently.
YouTube has been amazing. In January of this year, I earned $468 from YouTube ads, which is awesome. Last month, however, we earned $723. This month should be a bit more than that. It’s nuts. This is completely passive income. It’s like free money. I’m doing my best to put new videos out and I enjoy the process, though it’s time consuming. The odd thing is that the last video I created was in early February this year (over seven months ago). In that time, the videos I put up have done well, with the last two earning about $700 so far. Again, nuts. It’s got me pretty excited about making more videos. Right now I have about six videos in the works, including How to Frame a Wall (shot, edited), how to frame windows and doors (shot, edited) how to frame closets and soffits (not shot yet), how to tunnel under sidewalks (shot, not edited), how to install a sprinkler system (shot mostly, not edited), how to make money on YouTube (1st video shot, not edited) and probably more. Sheesh! Ridiculous.
Well, I’m going to wrap this up since it’s now the afternoon and if I don’t wrap it up, it may never get posted. I’m just grateful for my life. My family is awesome, my job is awesome, my hobbies and pastimes are awesome, I’m healthy, I’m happy and I’m blessed. I know that this current state of perfection can’t last forever so I’m recording it while it does.