When I discover quotes that succinctly state an idea I have entertained, but never solidified, I appreciate the person who captured my vague notion in brief, concise words, whether its Eleanor Roosevelt, Confucius, Mark Twain, or Eminem.
Some of the quotes that strike me fade with time; but many have staying power and I readily recall their insights.
Following are six quotes from my collection preceded by my reasons for liking and remembering them.
I exercise and will continue to do so as long as I’m able. Sometimes it isn’t easy, and I consider crawling into my recliner to snooze, snack, and read. But I drown the self-defeating thought in laughter by remembering this quote:
“You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 today and we don’t know where the hell she is.”
Anna Quindlan’s brief explanation of aging captured the process and emotion of doing so. I frequently think about, write about, and talk about aging with others who share my defeated skin, reluctant joints, and challenged eyes. As I watch my circle of friends and loved ones grow smaller, I understand I could be the next to surrender my space among the living. Thus, my kinship with this quote:
“Mortality is like a game of musical chairs.”
Most women I know struggle with insecurities in a culture that emphasizes beauty. A common saying, designed to comfort those of us who don’t look like Princess Kate, irritated me no end when I was young and unhappy with my appearance; so I enjoyed seeing it skewered by the lady who wrote Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.
“I’m tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That’s deep enough. What do you want — an adorable pancreas?”
The seasons in transition fascinate me and I often write about a new personality forcing its way into the world: spring’s lighthearted playfulness, summer’s amiable offer of friendship, fall’s colorful briskness, and winter’s implacable nature. I’m particularly fond of describing the battle for dominance waged by the seasons in March; but I’ll never equal the master:
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
Yogi Berra quotes abound and make sense in an offbeat way. I repeat his words when I find myself moving full-speed ahead without knowing what I’m doing, as I did when starting this blog, learning to be a principal, and driving around with my husband in a strange city looking for a small restaurant because a man at a gas station recommended it.
“We’re lost, but we’re making good time.”
Finally, when I can’t sleep, I ponder this quote by comedian Steven Wright. Feel free to use it when you’re awake and alone in the middle of a dark night:
“If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?”