15 September 2009

Small Truths

Turns out taking a running leap from the rocks of faith and attempting to soar was a good thing. I've always said if I could have any super-power, it would be the ability to fly, and if I could be any animal, it would be a bird, so I could soar.

It's just that time is so scarce now that I am struggling to manage it well. I always knew he was a thief--he was always up front about that: a wrinkle here; a brown spot there; a roll of baby fat overnight, vanished; a first step, then, seemingly within a heartbeat, a full-out racing child; a mother holding my hand, then I, a mother, holding my own daughters' hands.

And so it goes, this thing called life.

There are a few things that I kept telling myself while I was swimming through the hard stuff, and I keep telling myself those things still, for they kept me afloat. I haven't forgotten that there is something more that I want to do, except rather than telling myself that I possibly cannot change the world, I am now telling myself that I can--start small, then grow.

Here are a collection of things that I've taped up or memorized and kept close to me that I thought I'd put out there for you now, because I think that we all need those reminders, and if we feel like we don't, I can assure you that someone close to you does--perhaps not personally close, but maybe physically close--look around--I can tell you, without doubt, that you can spread hope, and that it once given to someone else, it continues to grow.

  • "When you're going through hell, keep going" (Winston Churchill; a magnet)
  • "Psst, here's a secret: Your last mortal thought will be: "Why did I take so many days-just like today-for granted"? (My favorite PostSecret card)
  • "Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be" (Celmentine Paddleford)
  • "People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may resent you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway". Associated with Mother Teresa, however, it was adapted from The Paradoxical Commandments by Kent Keith (1968)
  • Each day I'm grateful for a body that, despite some creaks and cracks, works, perfectly. I'm not in a wheelchair, I'm not missing any limbs, I might hate to get wet, but I can still run in the rain into the store from my parking spot a hundred spaces back. I can drive myself where I need to go. I can hug and see my children.
  • Despite having been at such a low at one point in my life, I can tell you now that I am grateful for it--I know, without fail, those that will stand by me, no matter what, and those that won't. I'm eternally blessed to be able to share my life with the people that love me, and I'm not going to devote anymore time to worrying about what others that ultimately don't care about me believe. It's a huge weight to remove--you should try it today.
And finally, the poster that I've carried with me for fifteen years:


Anonymous said...

thank you. another "postsecret" favorite: "I can't be this person anymore."

Rebecca said...

Good for you Jenn. I pray for your continued strength and happiness. You are one of the strongest, most beautiful people that I know. You have pulled me through one of the most difficult times in my life. You have made me strong and made me feel beautiful when no other could. I reflect on many of your words to me daily. I will forever call you "friend". I have, do, and will forever - love you.

Karen said...

yes, keep going!

luckyzmom said...

Thank you for this inspiration.

painted maypole said...

i love quotes and stuff, too. and SARK is gold.

Oh, The Joys said...

You know, I just saw SARK. She did a little lecture about her new book and I went with some friends. She was... well... a hoot. She was totally normal and kind of midwestern. LOVED her.

bgirl said...

good stuff.
good to 'see' you again.
i always loved the sayings from SARK.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I needed it today.

Single Mom Seeking said...

Oh darn, my comment got stuck... As I was saying, You go girl! You're an inspiration to us all.

Somehow, even in the toughest moments, you make me laugh. Thanks. We need you.

Amy Y said...

Those were great ! thanks for sharing!
Glad to see you back, Mama :)