By December 31, 2017, I couldn’t wait to devour the cheese plate, suck down some champagne, watch Mariah redeem her lip sync and wave goodbye to what I found to be a distressing and draining year.
I’m not one for grand resolutions. In my experience, they tend to be over rated and short lived.
Instead, over time, particularly since I’ve started to write myself, I’ve found the words of others to be a reliable source. Words give me pause, hold me accountable and shape everyday decisions.
As I pray, hope and gear up to work for a better 2018, here are 5 quotations that summed up my mindset and kept me moving during 2017, and continue to offer inspiration as I brace for what’s next.
“This land was made for you and me.” – Woodie Guthrie
Masses of pink hats sang this on the National Mall during the Women’s March in Washington DC.
“The words you speak become the house you live in.” – the Persian poet, Hafez.
My daily mantra for confronting CrossFit challenges, managing career expectations and dealing with general self-doubt.
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.” – Lebanese artist, Kahlil Gibran
As my two boys continue to grow, Gibran’s words from his poem, On Children are a stab in the heart reminder to teach independence so when the time comes, Bubbe and Skootch can live life on their own terms. The poem also encourages me to do my part to leave our world a healthier place so they may have a fair shot at doing so.
“We the people of the United States” (we are a democratic republic, not a dictatorship) “in order to form a more perfect union” (we are a work in progress dedicated to a noble pursuit) “establish justice” (we revere justice as the cornerstone of our democracy) “insure domestic tranquility” (we prize unity and peace, not divisiveness and discord), “provide for the common defense” (we should never give any foreign adversary reason to question our solidarity) “promote the general welfare” (we care about one another; compassion and decency matter) “and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” (we have a responsibility to protect not just our own generation, but future ones as well).
The Preamble of the U.S. Constitution as dissected by Sally Yates, former Deputy Attorney General in her Op-Ed, “Who Are We As a Country? Time To Decide” was published just as the forces counting on me to feel complacent were winning. Seeing America’s core values written in simple terms was the jolt of stay woke I needed that day.
“Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry).” – Demi Lovato
For any fellow human who at some point during his or her life, stood up, spoke up and refuses to go back.
“Use all your heart, all your might and everything will turn out right.” – Me (as far as I can tell)
The words heart and might may have come from the Jewish Shema or Deuteronomy 6:5 although that wasn’t my conscious intention. These are the words I say to my boys anytime they are in a position to learn, go out on the court, get nervous about peers or have to take on the world.
Perhaps during the next 365 days, I’ll try to heed my own words.
Consider it a small goal.