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?)

I am the “Before”

Blue vacuum cleaner

Blue vacuum cleaner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The cords running from my VCR to my TV display themselves prominently and proudly; the dust bunnies under my desk have formed a dance club; the dishes are threatening a coup if I do not get a new dishwasher that works; and my vacuum cleaner says it will not sit out any longer to fool people into thinking I am going to clean, when I actually have no intention of cleaning.

 My life is being taken over by dishes, dust and unwieldy cord displays, and one very snooty vacuum cleaner.

I am the before picture. Before the house is cleaned.  Before it is organized. Before the papers are filed. Before the dishes are done (at least if I had a working dishwasher I could hide them—my dishwasher is now a storage unit). Before the vacuuming is done.

I used to write articles for a “home” magazine. There were no dancing dust bunnies at these homes. No cords of any kind showing. The dishes were not on the counter. The vacuum was nowhere to be seen. Children were seen but not heard.

These were the after houses. After the interior decorator had done his/her thing. After Molly Maid and all her cousins had cleaned it. After the family had been ushered out, not to return until the photographs were taken.

A few of the houses that were featured had some before rooms.  Rooms where the people lived with crushed pillows and throws thrown willy nilly, and cords showing. I think we should have photographed and featured these rooms. I think I may start a magazine that shows “before” houses. What do you think—would you read it? I would in the hope that some people live like I do.

Published in: on August 17, 2013 at 8:58 pm  Comments (38)  
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The Bliss of “Did”

Just Do It

Just Do It (Photo credit: AMANITO)

Today’s prompt from Michelle: Shoulda-Woulda-Coulda: Tell us about something you know you should do, but don’t…. brought Shel Silverstein’s poem, “Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda” immediately to mind:


Layin’ in the sun,
Talkin’ bout the things
They woulda-coulda-shoulda done…
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little did.

Reading to Kids

Reading to Kids (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a great fan of Silverstein, having read three of his books of poems supposedly for children (but really for all of us) to both of my sons so many times, I cannot even venture a guess as to how many times we cuddled together, me reading, and they transfixed by his words.

We all should and could do many things and we would have except for…..so many things. But how about the many things we did do? I think those should count for something.

I vote for forgetting about woulda-coulda-shoulda and just concentrating on the “dids”—that sounds much more blissful to me. How about you?

Published in: on February 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm  Comments (61)  
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