Over the holidays I decided to make my rounds and visit friends I have not seen in a few months. One of those friends, Phillip had an interesting poster on the side of his refrigerator. The title of the poster was, "Words To Live By." While he was on the phone speaking to a client I found myself perusing the list. There were approximately 50 items on that list. The author was unknown. The statements were simply written, poetic in nature, but carried a very big message. After reading the entire poster I decided to write down those phrases that impressed me the most. I want to share that list with you now:
1. Patience is counting down without blasting off.
2. Patience carries a lot of wait.
3. One who lacks courage to start has already finished.
4. We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.
5. One thing you can still give is your word.
6. It’s not the load that breaks you down it’s the way you carry it.
7. Anger is one letter short of danger.
8. The greatest remedy for anger is delay.
9. Of all the things you wear your expression is the most important.
10. Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.
11. Past failures are guideposts to further success.
12. Children need models not critics.
13. Having a sharp tongue can cut your own throat.
14. The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
15. A smile is an inexpensive way to increase your looks.
16. Minds are like parachutes they function only when open.
17. Money is a good servant but a cruel master.
18. A friend walks in when everyone else walks out.
19. He who forgives ends the quarrel.
20. There is no right way to do a wrong thing.
I take the opportunity to be retrospective each New Year’s Eve. I find it reassuring to know that my path is still on target, that I am instilling and embracing change within myself, that I am happy with who I am and where my life is heading. On New Year’s Day I think about my goals for the upcoming New Year. Sometimes I will carry-over a goal from the previous year, while other years have encompassed a change in direction and new goals.
This year I took the plunge and decided to enroll in graduate school and get my doctorate degree. I have been contemplating this for many years and just kept putting off the decision to do it. After my sister died a couple of years ago, I decided to make a list of one hundred things (dreams) I wanted to accomplish before I die. One of the dreams on my list was to get that doctorate degree.
I have quite a lot on my platter right now: working fulltime, being a single parent of three children, attempting to have a social life, and now going back to school. But it is ok, because I know the rewards of my endeavors will outweigh the inconvenience of the experiences right now.
What is my profound point with this article? As usual, I want you to be introspective and progressive. It is rarely rewarding to be stagnant in life. So here are my words of wisdom for this month. Firstly, I want to encourage each of you to review the list above, Words to live by and embrace those phrases that impress you and practice them daily. Second, write that list of 100 things that you would like to accomplish within your lifetime. You may think, "Oh I am too old now to do this." I believe we are never to old to do anything. I have seen 70 year olds skiing down slopes that I only dream of touching. I have seen wheelchair bound clients do the most incredible things. I have seen terminal patients beat the odds. I have seen single mothers stuck in a terminal cycle of self-hate, guilt, and despair find a way to break the cycle and go back to school.
Third, be good to yourself. Take time to love yourself: make an appointment for a massage, take a hot bath with aromatic candles and meditative music filling your senses, go out to dinner with a best friend, buy yourself something nice at the store. Whatever it is that makes you feel good just experience it.
I welcome your email questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org