When I started this year of travel and spending time with people with the intentional intention of not working full-time (or even part-time; I actually call it “super part-time” to patients), I knew that June would be busy; summer vacation is a busy travel time so I volunteered to work a little extra. Then somehow July turned into a month of work, travel, catching-up, conferences, visitors, weddings and parties and such and suddenly it’s August!
But August- now that is a month I’ve been looking forward to. There’s not a ton of travel on the schedule, there aren’t a lot of work days and it’s still ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL in the Pac NW. The running trails are gorgeous, the sun is beaming down, the flowers are still exploding and there is time to sit and read with a glass of water or wine on the beach. Yep, August I am ready for.
I’m starting out the month with my only trip that required a flight, and I’m currently sitting on the porch of an adorable cabin on a lake at Fort Rucker, AL where my friend Christina is learning all about how to be a flight surgeon. Her daughter Alexa is quite possibly the most adorable and intelligent three year old girl I know (I can get away with saying this since none of our nieces are exactly three!), and she and I have been having a simply lovely time while mom is at “work”. So far we’ve done about 6,000 arts and crafts, we’ve played games and puzzles, been swimming (it’s SOOOOOO hot, and she can swim independently now she would like you to know), been bowling (dear Lord she truly only lost by 2 points and that was because two of her balls were too slow to actually make it all the way down the lanes) and played “beauty shop” (could I borrow anyone’s child ever to just sit and brush my hair all the live-long day? Seriously?!). As a funny little side note, for some reason in the midst of the first morning when we were getting to know each other again, I affected a British accent that has since been requested to be present at all times. (I blame my dad, maybe Robyn a bit too. See! I just said “bit”- that is so not the same as “little” and most definitely more “English” sounding, right?). Truly, it’s an AWFUL attempt – some sort of mix between what I THINK Mary Poppins, Liza Doolittle and my GPS navigator voice might sound like if they were morphed together and had a bad cold. Seriously, no seriously, it’s awful, but it has become quite funny (see, again, who says “quite”?)
In the interest of wanting to not give you 200 quotes, I pared it down a bit from these last two months worth of collectable words. There are a couple of conferences I’ve been to with enough quotable words for a post all their own, and I’ll get to that eventually (really I will- the World Domination Summit was AMAZING). These are the ones who made the cut for this time- and as usual there seems to be a theme as I read over them. Oddly enough (but not really) it is right along the lines of things I’ve been thinking about and working on in my life. Things like being present in the moment I’m in, and learning to let go of always trying to do more and be more, and instead do and be where I am no matter how big or small that may feel. Things like celebrating others instead of always trying to be the one celebrated. Things like learning that when we are helping others and focusing outside ourselves is actually when we are most healthy, productive, in synch with ourselves and the world and yes, “happy”.
So, playing Connect 4 with imaginary girls while spending lazy days in my PJs ’til 10 am seems just about right. I’d love to hear which words (below or otherwise) are speaking to you these days, so let me know in the comments if you like. You’ll have to excuse me for now though- we have a date to go and find some fairies! You do know the first rule in fairy-finding, right?
You have to believe!!
Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.
Let the refining and imporoving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.
You’re glorifying something when you find it beautiful for what it is in itself.
Friendship is a place where our hearts don’t have to wrok quite so hard to be heard and understood nd accepted.
God has planted certain things within you, and you must wait for them to take root and grow…With God, a delay is not a denial.
Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
I know all about the despair of overcoming chronic temptation. It is not serious, provided self-offended petulance, annoyance at breaking records, impatience, etc., don’t get the upper hand. No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep picking ourselves up each time…The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give up.
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
John F. Kennedy
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
The temperament that produces a talent for little things is the opposite of that required for great ones.
If people knew what Matisse, supposedly the painter of happiness, had gone through, the anguish and tragedy he had to overcome to manage to capture that light which has never left him, if people knew all that, they would also realize that this happiness, this light, this dispassionate wisdom which seems to be mine, are sometimes well-deserved, given the severity of my trials.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
To love for the sake of being loved is human, but to love for the sake of loving is angelic.
Alphonse de Lamartine
There is always the need to carry on.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Other people’s faults are like bees—if we don’t see them, they don’t harm us.
What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.
Life is too challenging for external rewards to sustain us. The joy is in the journey.
To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible.
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
There can be no joy in living without joy in work.
St Thomas Aquinas
Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.
Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.
Every noble work is at first impossible.
Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.
The measure of a country’s greatness is its ability to retain compassion in times of crisis.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
Once in those very early days my brother brought into the nursery the lid of a biscuit tin which he had covered with moss and garnished with twigs and flowers so as to make it a toy garden or a toy forest. That was the first beauty I ever knew. What the real garden had failed to do, the toy garden did. It made me aware of nature- not, indeed, as a storehouse of forms and colors but as something cool, dewy, fresh, exuberant…As long as I live my imagination of Paradise will retain something of my brother’s toy garden.
People are like stained glass windows; they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.
I encounter every lesson in life on purpose.
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.
There’s a great power in words, if you don’t hitch too many of them together.
Action and feeling go together…by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling.
No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
People hate as they love, unreasonably.
William Makepeace Thackeray
The divided life is a wounded life and the soul keeps calling us to heal the wound.
Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.
Progress begins with the belief that what is necessary is possible.
Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.
What is one’s personality, detached from that of the friends with whom fate happens to have linked one? I cannot think of myself apart from the influence of the two or three greatest friendships of my life, and any account of my own growth must be that of their stimulating and enlightening influence.
It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, overcivilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.
The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed, from the dominance of outward conditions.
Robert Louis Stevenson