By last February, I had forgotten most of my New Year's resolutions. My good intentions had been sabotaged by reality, stress, habit and sheer laziness.
However, one tiny little resolution -- one tiny little commitment to excellence -- survived the lethargy of winter, the buoyancy of spring, the lightness of summer and the breathtaking beauty of the fall. It was my resolution to collect memorable quotes that I hear or read. Why? To inspire myself and others.
I had no particular purpose in mind when I started my new "playpen" for miscellaneous quotes under Iris in my computer. But every month or so, sometimes more, I would run across something that stopped me in my tracks - words that played over and over again in my mind long after I had encountered them originally.
We all zip through life so eager to see what all the fuss is about and miss the gems along the way -- the worthwhile words of wisdom that some celebrity, author, public figure or just plain old family member or friend sprouts spontaneously.
What better way, I surmised, to usher in the holiday season as we close in on the end of 2015? What better way to counteract the terror on the news than to be buoyed up by someone's else's piercing observations of life? Whether new sprouts or well worn old ones? No matter.
So here are a few quotes I've garnered over the course of 2015 that I'd like to share:
Chaim Potok in his book, In The Beginning, says:
"All beginnings are hard.... Especially a beginning that you make by yourself. That's the hardest beginning of all."
"The world ain't going to be saved by nobody's scheme. It's fellows with schemes that got us into this mess. Plans can get you into things but you got to work your way out."
Quote from Yolanda King, daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King:
"My father never believed in spanking, but my mother said if he had spent more time with us, he would have changed his mind."
Toni Morrison in Song of Solomon:
"She was like the third beer. Not the first one,
which the throat receives with almost tearful gratitude, nor the second, that confirms and extends the pleasure of the first. But the third, the one you drink because it's there, because it can't hurt, and because what difference does it make?"
Quotes Richard Paul Evans, author of The Christmas Box, Time Piece and The Letter:
"The only promise of childhood is that it will end."
"Of all, clock makers and morticians should bear the keenest sense of priority - their lives are daily spent in observance of the unflagging procession of time...and the end thereof."
"In this life, to grasp joy only to fear its escape? The price of happiness is the risk of losing it."
"The most consequential of life's episodes often begins with the simplest of events."
"Diedre is a woman endowed with the rare quality of contentment -- the ability to find the joy possessed in each
circumstance as mysteriously as the desert aborigine finds water in the parched desert."
Little Richard on Elvis becoming famous:
"He got what he wanted and lost what he had."
This quote is taken from Mary Higgins Clark's book Moonlight Becomes You:
"Grandmother had an old saying, 'The husband is the head of the family, the wife is the neck. And the neck turns the head."'
The late Dr. Elaine Boynton, Breast Cancer crusader, on life:
"Adversity is inevitable, but misery is optional."
A 10th grader at Wyoming High School says of one of his teacher's intellect:
"She is one piece short of the puzzle."
"Technology allows us to get in touch with everyone but ourselves."
"French Cafes are a way to be out in the public and be public. Starbucks in this country is a way to be out in the public and still be private."
"Home Is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.
"To find yourself, you need the greatest possible freedom to drift."
Jan Struther, Try Anything Twice:
"If silence is golden, then speech is platinum. It spreads wisdom, dispels ignorance, ventilates grievances, stimulates curiosity, lightens the spirits and lessens the fundamental loneliness of the soul."
Well, I've given up on resolutions to substitute homemade soup for canned, master the art of the push-up, and learn how to grow basil from seed. But, I am making a concerted effort to deflect the superfluous, reflect on the valuable and embrace vibrancy when and wherever I find it. Hope these quotes jump start you in that direction too.
Happy Holiday Season and a forthcoming wonderful New Year.
If you want more of Iris's musings, sign up for her weekly newsletter at www.irisruthpastor.com