Three Years Ago……

Walden Pond

Walden Pond (Photo credit: bluebirdsandteapots)

While cleaning up my office work area I found my 2010 daybook and in the front I had written some words that Ralph Waldo Emerson penned one day, when I like to think he was being pensive….looking at life, what makes it up, what makes it worthwhile, and what the real definition of Success is…..

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or redeemed social conditions; to know that even one life has breathed easer because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

If ever there were words to live by, it is these.

I must have been on an Emerson bend in 2010, because just above his words on success, I have written another quote from him: “The ancestor of every action is a thought.”  So simply put, now to put those thoughts into action……………

Apparently I was trying to encourage myself lo those three years ago, because I have taped to the front inside cover of my daybook my horoscope for the year—which still hopefully applies:

Taurus: There is nothing you cannot achieve if you stick to your principles and plans. An offer or suggestion made will help you determine what you really want to achieve. You’ll be surprised by the response you get from a proposal you make.

Whoever wrote those words for all those born between April 20 and May 20 was wise. They may not have gleaned this wisdom from the stars, but put a general theory to work: give them hope and some rope.

And lastly, at the top of the inside cover, I have quoted Theodore Roethke and I am sure at the time what he said hit a high note with me: “Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries.” As I read that quote today, it is not clear to me what I may have been thinking in 2010, but in 2013 it means that the cryptic critic does not win the day—the person who opens themselves up to life finds the treasures and secrets it has to offer.

What was I thinking three years ago? I am not sure—but the words I wrote into my daybook then are just as valuable today—daresay in a different way.

What words do you live by (or, as in my case, try to live by?)

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27 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The quote from Emerson is one that has resonated with me for some deeply personal reasons and for its pure distillation of what really matters. It has grounded me at times when I have felt particularly ineffective…THere’s also the quote from The Little Prince – “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye”…

    • love the truth of the Little Prince quote–what is essential is invisible to the eye—-

      • ;-) We think alike my friend..

      • we could be twins–but born a year apart (I am the older twin)

      • I think a year at this point in our lives is negligible. I will however cop to being more immature..;-)

      • you could not possibly be–I still think I am 27

      • Laughing – that’s so grown-up!! I’m stuck around 12..

      • okay–you got me beat–that was when I discovered boys–the end was nigh

      • I was still into riding horses…

      • a better occupation for 12

  2. I love the golden rule….Do unto others…..you know the rest. I try to live by those wise words.

  3. So, I’m curious – what quotes are in your daybook for this year? Are you still affirming what is good in life because I think being positive is the way to live one’s life, although sometimes it can be very difficult that’s for sure :).

  4. I think for today I will try out the Scarlett “Tomorrow is another day” quote and start again tomorrow. Some days are just like that. Fortunately, trite as it is, it’s usually right.

    • that was my philosophy yesterday–and it is one that comforts me when the day is not turning out as sunny as I had planned

  5. I guess mine is very simple and a bit old-fashioned but “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.”….. Diane

  6. Absolutely love that Emerson quote. It’s one that I’ve committed to memory because it just puts everything into perspective so nicely.

  7. So many quotes speak to me. I jot things down all the time or save them to my digital file…funny sayings and wise words…these are all great thoughts to digest. Here is one of my favorites: “Think the best of each other, especially of those you say you love. Assume the good and doubt the bad.” Jeffrey R Holland ~ Sheila

  8. Perhaps, lo, those three years ago, you just wanted to remember. And now, three years later, you do…more deeply. Nicely done! xoxoM


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