Posts Tagged ‘Ralph Waldo Emerson’

keep calm drink tea blue mug

Hello, friends. A belated Happy New Year to you.

I hope your holidays were wonderful. We spent ours in Texas, driving back and forth along a stretch of I-20 and spending time with several groups of people we love. I have stories (and photos of my brand-new nephew, Harrison) to share, but today I’m thinking about the words I want to keep in mind as I enter 2015.

I love the clean-slate, pristine feeling of a new year, and while I don’t always make resolutions, I usually choose a “word for the year.” This year’s word is gentle. I’ll have more to say about that soon, but after a hectic autumn and a stressful lead-up to Christmas, I’m ready for some gentleness. To that end, I’ve been remembering a line from Desiderata: “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.” I’d like to pursue both halves of that line this year.

I’ve also been remembering a quote from Emerson that Lindsey tweeted a few months ago: “Let us be poised, and wise, and our own today.” Not a bad mantra, I’d say. Perhaps I should tape it to my bathroom mirror, or someplace where I’ll see it every morning.

I am a longtime fan of Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, and I found this next quote there, but it actually comes from Judith Guest, who wrote the book’s foreword. Guest says:

Some years ago, while cleaning out my grandmother’s attic, I came across this motto encased in an old oak picture frame: Do Your Work As Well As You Can and Be Kind. I remember laughing over what I thought then was a rather quirky juxtaposition of messages. Now it makes such perfect sense to me that I wonder how I could have missed it.

I have lots of plans and dreams for 2015, but that motto above sums them all up in one line. This year, I want to do my work as well as I can, and be kind. And be gentle, with myself and others. (I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll be following the advice in the top photo, too.)

What words are you keeping in mind as we enter this new year?


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