I haven't been feeling much in the way of inspiration lately (as evidenced by the fact that my last post here was on the 9th). The world seems like a scary place to me right now. A lot of people are struggling through some really hard times, I feel like I am living in an atmosphere of fear and stress. As a result, I've been on autopilot...putting some dreams and aspirations on the back burner while I focus on squirreling away as much as I can into savings and thinking about how we will make ends meet if our worst fears are realized. As such, the holiday spirit has yet to find me. I've gone through the motions of attending parties and putting up decorations but that feeling I usually have around this time of the year isn't there. Which, if I think about it, is a feeling of hope - one year is over and you gather with friends and family to celebrate what has passed and welcome what is to come. So, needing a little hope and inspiration, I turned to an old friend. Meet my quote book:
We've been through a lot together, me and the book. My best friend Jenny gave it to me as a college graduation present. She wrote a letter to me on the first few pages (which I've now read no less than 100 times over the years) and then filled the next several pages with some of her favorite quotes to get me started. It's since become my journal of sorts, when I read it I can both remember what prompted me to enter certain quotes and notice patterns that were going on in my life. There are passages in the book that both Jenny and I have used in our weddings. There are pages of quotes about love, about family, finding yourself, forgiveness, and actual quotes from friends and family that make me laugh so hard I cry.
So in case any of you are also in need of some inspiration, I thought I would share some of the quotes that make me want to get up off the couch and live life to the fullest. (And it goes without saying, thanks for the book Jen-o. Aside from my engagement ring it's one of the best presents anyone has ever given me).
"Above all, be true to yourself. If you can't put your heart in it, take yourself out of it." - Hardy D. Jackson
"I have accepted fear as part of life - specifically the fear of change. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in my heart that says: turn back." - Erica Jong
"And remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand." - Emily Kimbrough
"Die when I may, I want it said of me that I plucked a weed and planted a flower wherever I thought a flower would grow." - Abraham Lincoln
"You gain strength, confidence and courage by every experience in which you face fear and then do the thing you thought you could not." - Eleanor Roosevelt
"I am not afraid of storms, for I have learned how to sail my ship." - Louisa May Alcott
"Old cemeteries remind us that until carved in stone, realizing your hearts desire is possible every day if we recognize what it is that makes us happy." - Sarah Ban Breathnach
"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life." - Alfred D. Souza
"In every crisis there is a message. Crises are natures way of forcing change - breaking down old structures, shaking lose negative habits so that something new and better can take their place." - Susan Taylor
"Hope is like a road in the country. There wasn't ever a road, but when many people walk on it the road comes into existence." - Lin Yutang