Words of Joy – January 2015

Happy New Year!


We begin another year, mindful of the time passing with surprising swiftness, aware of the tasks and goals we have yet to accomplish, aware as well of the nagging opportunity, as each page of the calendar turns, to create resolutions we may all too soon feel guilty about breaking. Instead of piling up regrets as we move through our lives, we would do well to keep in mind these words of Ralph Waldo Emerson—said to be words of advice he sent to his daughter Ellen, in response to a letter she wrote to him of a mistake she regretted making:


Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays.


For the New Year, here are some more words of advice, by Judith Viorst, that I have kept for years. As I continue to participate in the amazing journey that is life on this precious planet, I still find in these sobering words a poignant reminder about the futility of clinging to regrets, unrealistic expectations and disappointments:


            Some Facts of Grown-Up Life


First the Bad News:

  1. Life isn’t fair.
  2. The question isn’t “Why me?” It’s “Why not me?”
  3. No matter how nice and bright and lovable and charming you are, not everyone is going to approve of you, or love you, or even like you.
  4. From time to time, it will rain on your parade.
  5. Every now and then, no matter how careful you try to be, you are bound to do something unbelievably stupid.


Next, the Good News:

  1. Unless you’re hanging around with some really mean people, no one is going to remember the dumb things you’ve done.    
  2. You don’t have to have an opinion on everything.
  3. Virtually all the bad stuff in life is survivable.  A lot of it is even eventually useful.
  4. Although you’re not nearly as wonderful as you’d hoped for, you’re not nearly as terrible as you feared.
  5. I’ve never met a grownup who, given the choice, would choose to go back to being a child.


May you have a fulfilling and joyous Twenty-Fifteen!                    Joy