SUZANNE AND KATHLEEN-ISMS
Several months ago, I wrote a blog to share Gail’s wisdom—Gail-isms. I wrote too, that I would feature Suzanne’s wisdom in a later post. It is now time for her wisdom, so let I her know that I would need her to summarize her wisest offerings for the next blog.
It didn’t take her long. Very simply, she gave me one word:
And she meant it. Suzanne, ever the minimalist. Even with words.
In the sense that whatever will be, will be; that simply accepting things as they are and moving forward, doing your best to make the best of good and bad things encountered along the way, her single word of wisdom is perfect. It does sum up her approach to life.
And it’s working for her.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: I need to look up to Suzanne more.
So that leaves the rest of this post for more wisdom not from Suzanne, but my best offerings of what I see as wise words. I will try to fill in the blank pages as well as Gail and Suzanne did.
I read a lot. I read books, magazines, newspapers, song lyrics, plaques, magnets, labels, T-shirts and signs. And, every day, I read my daily calendars—five of them. You know, the kind where you tear off a page every day. I am an annual repeat buyer of my favorite ones, and I save the pages—just like our mom did. I even save some of them in the same box she used, the box I pictured in Gail-isms.
I rely on wisdom from any source I can find; my brain is hungry for it. Unlike Suzanne, who needs very little in possessions and words, I am very needy. Unlike Gail, who has her own brand, her original quotes, I need to rely on other people’s words of wisdom.
So, I do.
I have gathered some of my favorites to share with you, in hopes that they may affect you as positively as they have for me. I continue to look for new ones, because I am a collector of the written word.
Last night, I read an interview with one of my favorite authors. She said she never feels inspired to write. Ever. So, she simply sits down and starts writing, and then the inspiration comes. This made me feel very relieved and very normal, as I struggle in the same way. Once I sit down to write, however, the words come. Which brings me to one of my all-time favorites:
“Inspiration comes from doing, not from waiting.” The corollary, then, would be another one of my favorites: “Action begets action.” I don’t know who is credited for these; I could find no source.
In keeping with the idea that I simply need to get busy, this magnet speaks to me every day when I look at it in my room:
Some of the quotes I share are credited to the source, some are not because there was none. I will attempt to give credit where it is due.
“I have lived a long life and had many troubles, most of which never happened.”—Mark Twain
“If you are going to worry, then why pray? If you are going to pray, then why worry?”
“Worry and prayer cancel each other out.”
“Worrying is praying for what you don’t want.”
This simple, yet profound statement is the essence of Bob Marley’s hit, “Three Little Birds.”
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” –Marcus Aurelius
“Gratitude can turn common days into Thanksgivings.” Wm. Arthur Ward
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
“She didn’t know it couldn’t be done, so she went ahead and did it.” –Bridget O’Donnell
“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.” —Seth Godin
On being good to yourself:
“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
“Forgiving isn’t about being nice to them, it’s about being nice to yourself.”
“Live and be happy, and make others so.” —Mary Shelly
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” The Dalai Lama
“By all means, break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately, and well.” — Robert Bringhurst
“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power and uprising, and gave it neither power nor time.” —Mary Oliver
“Your dreams must be more powerful than your drama.”
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” –Dr. Seuss
“If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?” — lyrics from Cheryl Crow
“In any relationship, the one who cares the least has the most power.”
“As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold them down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might.” –Marian Anderson
“The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours.” –Elizabeth Kubler Ross
(This next one my paraphrasing, because it is a blend of several quotes that mean the same thing. The idea is so powerful for me, and I wanted to share it with you.)
“The things that bother you in other people may very well be the things that bother you about yourself, because they are so familiar to you, yet you don’t realize it. Look a little closer at yourself when you find yourself irritated by someone else’s behavior.”
Gail framed this gem for me from a daily calendar. I love it, but so does Suzanne, because of the mermaid. I can’t part with it, even for her, because the words are so profound. We’re working on finding another one like it for her.
A picture can indeed be worth a thousand words. In my profession, sometimes a word, a word spoken by someone who is regaining their speech, is worth a thousand pictures. Sometimes, as in the case of the pictured quotes above, pictures and words give each other power.
Sometimes, when a woman is so fortunate and lucky to have sisters like mine, there are no truer words than these:
Thank you Gail and Suzanne, for sharing your wisdom, and for being my best friends.