Are you happy at the moment?
At 59-years-old, I have never been more content in my life. I have learned that the secret to happiness is an inside job. When I realized that being a people pleaser eventually leads to unhappiness, I began to see the world through different eyes. I am happy with who I am. I don’t need to seek the approval of others.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
God loves you just as you are. You don’t need to change to please anyone. Love yourself for the person that He created you to be. When you seek God, He will do an extreme makeover on you—from the inside out.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I have learned that I can be content in any circumstances. I do not have to allow external events, including what is happening in this country, and people’s perceptions, to disturb my peace.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I have published five books since 2006; however, my goal is to finish and publish my first children’s book.
What’s your secret to happiness?
My secret to happiness is finally understanding and accepting the person that God has created me to be. I no longer live for the approval of others. My goal is to continue to use my gifts and talents to help others.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
The morning practice that keeps me grounded is spending time with the Lord, reading scripture and writing in my prayer journal. I have been doing this for more than 12 years and it has helped me to understand myself, what God wants to do through me and in me, and to make wiser decisions.
What’s your biggest regret?
I don’t think having regrets is productive. We can allow ourselves to be caught up in the past and it can keep us from moving forward. Do I sometimes regret those things I cannot change? Not anymore. I try to see those experiences as things that have contributed to my growth as a person.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
I feel that the most important lesson I’ve taught my two sons is to respect others. When we respect others, regardless of their background, ethnicity or status in life, we are acknowledging their worth as an individual.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
I am addicted to diet vanilla coke. I am trying to break the habit of going to get a large, diet vanilla coke, easy ice, every afternoon during “happy hour” at our local Sonic drive-in. (Now, I am craving one.)
Aside from motherhood and marriage, what are you most proud of in your life?
I am most proud of the woman that I have become. My parents raised my sister and me to be strong and independent. I have accomplished things I never dreamed I could. I am, however, humbled by the ways God uses me to minister to others through my writing and speaking.
When were you happiest?
I believe giving birth to my sons, then holding them, rocking them, reading to them, playing with them and watching them grow into productive, successful men were the happiest times of my life. The second happiest times came when I became a grandmother for the first time in 2004. I now have five beautiful grandchildren.
What ten words best describe you?
Tenacious, dependable, curious, kind, energetic, spiritual, strong, compassionate, creative, and affectionate.
After 30 years in public education, Carol Round retired in 2005 to pursue her second love—a love for the written word. As a freelance writer and author, her stories, essays and poetry have appeared in local, state and national publications and anthologies. She also writes a weekly 500-word column, “A Matter of Faith,” which runs in 12 Oklahoma newspapers and two national publications. Ms. Round is also the author of five books: “A Matter of Faith,” “Faith Matters,” “Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God,” and the companion workbook, “The 40-Day Challenge.” Her latest book, “by FAITH alone,” was released last month. You can find out more about her at Carolaround.com or follow her on Twitter @carolaround.