HOPE SMILES

A good daily reminder for the new year. (These two photographs by Marylin Warner)

A good daily reminder for the new year. (These two photographs by Marylin Warner)

Remember: "Good things come to those who work while they're waiting."

Remember: Good things come to those who wait…and especially to those who also keep working while they wait. (Or, to thank Judy Berman for this comment: “Good things come to those who hustle while they wait.” Thank you, Judy!)

Dear Mom,

It’s almost that time again, to sit down with pencil and paper and write a few New Year’s Resolutions. (Always use a pencil, so you can erase and make changes, right?)

You weren’t a big fan of resolutions. If I asked what your resolution was, you would say something like, “Each day I want to make things a little bit better,” or  “Every day I will think good thoughts about —–, or say a prayer for ——,” or “Every day I’ll be thankful for that day.”  The closest thing I found  to a quote about resolutions was when I was cleaning out closets after I moved you and Dad to your assisted living apartment and I came across an index card where you’d written this:  “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier…’ ” ~ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. And below that you’d written Yes, Hope really does smile.”

In addition to the messages under the pictures, here are three of my favorite hopeful messages for the new year.  Our blog friends are welcome to add their resolutions or favorite quotes, too.

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” ~singer, musician Brad Paisley

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes…Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do It. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” ~ author Neil Gaiman

Ring the bells that still can ring.

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything.

That’s how the light gets in.”   ~Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”

This year, tell your own story, leave your own mark. (Canyonlands Natl. Park. Navajo Tse'Hone--"Rock That Tells A Story") Photograph by Jim Warner

This year, tell your own story, leave your own mark. (Canyonlands Natl. Park. ~Navajo Tse’Hone–“Rock That Tells A Story”) Photograph by Jim Warner

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63 Comments

Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, lessons about life, memories for great-grandchildren, special quotations

63 responses to “HOPE SMILES

  1. Beautiful and inspirational post Marylin. I do believe in resolutions even though I realize I may not be able to keep them but at least I try to follow them. 2013 has been a year of learning for me since I started my blog and the research and study involved in the process brought a lot of enlightenment to me. I have always been idealistic and learning that the world around me is not what I understood it to be brought a lot of tears to my eyes. I would like to add this quotation that motivates me to move ahead with a little bit of more wisdom that came with the process of learning. “Cry, forgive, learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.” (Steve Marabali). A very Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family. Your writings have been a source of great inspiration to me. Thanks for everything my friend. See you in 2014.

    • Thank you so much, and I hope your new year continues to be more growth than disappointment. Sometimes it’s hard to believe all that has changed and continues to change, but your quote by Marabali is a good way to keep moving in the right direction: “Cry, forgive, learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seed of your future happiness.” What an encouraging and inspiring quote! Thanks for sharing it with me.

  2. I am not good at making New Year’s resolutions either but I do like your 3 quotes, my favourite one being Leonard Cohen’s.

    • I think I was 14 or 15 when I filled an entire page of a notebook with my resolutions for the new year. Then I even blocked them off by months, and then I broke those down to weekdays vs. weekends, during the day vs. evenings and nights.
      I cringe when I think how much time I invested in the process. After that, on the years I made resolutions, I kept them to a maximum of three.

  3. Don

    “Whatever it is you are scared of doing, do it.” I really like that, Marylin. In fact that is going to be part of my resolutions. Great post.

    • It is a good one, Don.
      Have you read any of Neil Gaiman’s novels? The first one I read–for juveniles and young adults–was THE GRAVEYARD BOOK–and just to write it Gaiman surely had to face some fears. The opening chapter is a killer going through a house killing the parents and the children as they sleep…but when he goes up to the nursery, the toddler isn’t there. It’s troubling for the reader, to say the least, and it had to be risky for Gaiman to write, but what the character learns while growing up in a cemetery, guided by the dead, makes for a very good story.
      But for us, we can just use his advice as a resolution for 2014!

  4. I don’t do new year resolutions. I do plenty on the other 364 days though. However I have no willpower or self discipline. All your 3 quotes are good ones and I can see why I ought to aspire to follow them but I probably won’t. Maybe tomorrow……

  5. Catherine Johnson

    Brilliant quotes, Marilyn. Happy New Year!

  6. Inspiring thoughts and quotes. Have a blessed 2014 Marylin 🙂

  7. Love the quotes in your post. I’d change one to: “Good things comes to those who hustle while they wait.” 😉

  8. Another lovely and thoughtful post. I like your quotes. Hope is so critical to living. Without hope all seems lost. St. Paul wrote that Faith Hope and Love (charitas) abide, and the greatest of these is love. All three are decisions we make – while I believe they are gifts from God, they are our choice to accept. The decision for Faith is a decision to trust – which leads to hope. But without love, we really do have nothing. So my resolution for every day will be to let my love be known to those I love. Not just through words but in actions and the decisions I make. Now that’s a tall order, so I pray for help.
    Many blessings for a hope-full, faith-full and love-full year ahead 😀

    • And those blessings for you, too, Rod.
      What a wonderful way to state your resolution, including Faith, Hope, and Love! Especially the decision to let your love be known to those you love, through words, actions and decisions. Beautiful!

  9. Karen Keim

    Marylin, on this Christmas Eve our pastor gave a sermon about cracks letting the light in, with reference to a “broken world.” I like that you use the metaphor from Cohen’s anthem, placing it at the level of the individual. Indeed, if we refuse to make mistakes, we become paralyzed.

    There is a Dutch saying that encourages mistakes, because it means that one has done something, rather than nothing. Failure is an important part of the life experience–and all people who “succeed” have experienced failure along the way. The light is always there, and it can shape our vision if we recognize it. This concept might allow us to be more open to accepting the mistakes or perceived faults of others, too.

    Thank you for the Cohen quotation.

  10. Hope may be more significant to the health of our psyche than love. Just sayin’. I’m like your mom, not a big fan of resolutions. I just try to do better each day than the day before. Happy New Year, Marylin, to you and yours.

    • And to you, too, Julia. Visiting my mother last week, walking around in her assisted living, I was reminded of the Grand essentials of Happiness in this Life: Something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to. So many elderly people who have nothing to do, no one to love (or have lost those they truly loved), also have nothing to look forward to because they’ve lost all hope. I agree with your assessment of the significance of hope.

  11. Lovely as always, Marylin. I’ve made resolutions for years. They’ve become vaguer with each passing year, as I know I will try my best at whatever once again, and however that whatever turns out, it won’t be for lack of trying. Hope springs eternal. And it’s okay to make mistakes. When i was a therapist, I would often point out that’s why pencils have erasers. We all make mistakes And we make them again and again until we learn from them and then move on to the next lesson. Now, I try and enjoy the moments, One of the pleasures of getting older. You realize more and more what’s truly important. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • Hope does spring eternal, Diana…or as the title of the Sandra Bullock movie says, HOPE FLOATS. I’ll gladly take it either way.
      I don’t know when it became popular to set all our mistakes in stone. It seems much healthier–and more hopeful–to learn from them and try again. When you were a therapist, I imagine you were a tremendous help for others…and did give them hope.
      Happy New Year to you, too.

  12. Marylin, your posts always bring tears to my eyes…good tears. 🙂 “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were big things.” This quote strikes a chord with me because, like your mother, I’m not big on resolutions, but I do try to enjoy each day and be thankful for the little things. I love the Brad Paisley quote as well. I’m blessed that 2013 brought you into my life. Wishing you and your family peace and joy in the New Year!

    • And I’m so glad I met you, too, Jill. It’s amazing how well we interact with and get to know each other by our words even though we haven’t actually met! Like the quote, it’s the “little things–the posts and topics and emails shared” that actually are the big things.
      Blessings for a wonderful new year, Jill.

  13. I don’t take resolutions seriously, although I do semi-plan a direction for a new year and fresh start. I love the idea of a fresh start and would love to have do-overs in life! But alas, we can only change the future, not the past. I just hope to be able to find the positive, hopeful person of my youth in the new year! I would like to be healthier, more energized, to get more written…do be less domestic and do so without guilt!

    • You’ve got your resolution, Claudia! It’s precise, clear and hopeful for the changes it will make in your new year.
      Like you, I find the idea of a fresh start and do-overs very compelling.

  14. Lovely quotes and thoughts for the new year Marylin. I love the promise of a new year or a new start in any of its forms and as the quote from Tennyson says, it’s all about hope and anticipation of the wonderful things that could be – I hope you have many good things in the year to come.

    • You’re right, Andrea, it is all about hope and anticipation. And the end of one year–balanced with the beginning of a fresh new year–seems like the perfect opportunity for a new start. Thank you for the good wishes, and I send the same to you!

  15. JIm

    The theme of Hope is soooooo appropriate for the New Year. And your mom always seems to offer such a practical twist on things! Thanks for a great post.

    Oh, also . . . that JIm-fellow took a great picture of the Navajo rock in Canyonlands, and he sure likes being part of your blog. 🙂

  16. Love your Mom’s quote about resolutions, “Yes, Hope really does smile.”
    I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions either; but in 2014, I resolve to try and smile more.
    “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
    ― Mother Teresa
    May you and your family have a blessed New Year filled with many, many smiles Marylin.

    • And the same blessing for your and your family, too, Theresa. What a beautiful Mother Teresa quote about the power of a smile. Thanks for sharing it; I may make the same resolution! Wonderful!

  17. molly

    Hi MOR MOR. Tell great grandma that my new year goal is to get at least one pin during wrestling this year at a tournament. Love you. GANNON

    • Hi, Gannon. I’ll tell your Mor-Mor-Mor about your resolution.
      Grandpa and I enjoyed watching your wrestling tournament in Herrington, seeing all those young wrestlers doing their best. Wow, getting at least one pin at a tournament is quite a resolution. Good luck!
      I love you, too, sweet Gannon. Mor-Mor

  18. molly

    Mor-Mor, my New Year Resolution is to read the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I will do it! Maybe I can read one to Grandma sometime. 🙂 Grace

  19. What a terrific resolution, Grace! Your Mor-Mor-Mor would love having you read one to her. You could snuggle up together, like the two of you used to do when she read stories when you were little.

    Keep up the reading, sweet Gracie. And your writing, too. You have a lot of talent. I love you, sweetheart. Mor-Mor

  20. Perfect quotes Marylin! So wise is your mother, and you! Beautiful post with lovely reminders of how to approach the new year – which I cannot believe is upon us! 😉 Blessings to both of you for a happy new year. XO Robyn

    • It’s the countdown, Robyn, and then it’s a new year. I’m not crazy about writing a lot of resolutions, but I do love the concept of new beginnings and opportunities! Blessings to you, too, Robyn.

  21. Marylin, I love the sayings in the stitched pieces. Happy New Year. 🙂

  22. I’ve been without internet connection so am catching up with all my favourite bloggers, Marylin. I think everyone else here has pretty much covered the resolution theme but I think of the quote “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…” and hope that my resolutions don’t end up being put off: More self control when it comes to dieting; more patience when working with my challenging pupils and to find a way to help my son find his way now that his book is almost finished and he is feeling bereft.

  23. Thank you for visiting my blog today. I always enjoy discovering new readers, especially those like you who understand a little bit about the plain people. I will enjoy poking around in your blog posts and getting to know you better.

    Happy New Year, Marylin!

  24. Molly

    New Year’s Resolutions – Hmmmm….Well I have NO IDEA who some of these people are, but here are some ways to think about resolutions:

    I have never heard anything about the resolutions of the apostles, but a good deal about their acts.
    Og Mandino

    I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years’.
    Henry Moore

    Sudden resolutions, like the sudden rise of mercury in a barometer, indicate little else than the variability of the weather.
    David Hare

    And my very favorite – not because it is specific to resolutions, but because I have always really believed (probably because of you and dad, Grandma and Grandpa, and many other wonderful mentors) that I can do ANYTHING that I really put my mind to….

    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
    ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

    Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Pingback: That Was The Year That…. | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

  26. Oh, YES, Molly, the Dr. Seuss quote belongs to you! Isn’t this the one you emphasized when you gave the graduation speech for the GED students?

    This quote has always been SO you. You should have it framed–not tattooed–so Grace and Gannon will see it every day and imitate your. Except I have a strong feeling they already want to be like you!
    Happy New Year, favorite daughter of mine!!!

  27. Inspiring, thank you for visiting me earlier have a Happy New Year

  28. Pingback: Hope It Begins With Love and Happiness .. | jhasmoments

  29. Happy New Year Marylin, Best wishes for you and your family 🙂

  30. Thanks, Jake, and the same for you and yours!

  31. Marilyn, I have enjoyed your thoughtful and funny posts in 2013 and look forward to more of the same this year.

    On a personal note, I want to thank you for your support and comments on my blog. In WordPress’ 2013 annual review, you were listed as one of my top 5 commenters. Your face and comments always bring a smile to my face. Thanks again and Happy 2014.

  32. It’s been my pleasure, Judy.
    You have interesting posts that often make me laugh, sometimes choke me up, and always give me a new awareness and something to consider. Plus, who else of my blogger friends would add “hustle” to “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait”???
    Happy 2014 to you, too!

  33. Hope springs eternal. Thank you Marylin for bringing me such hope with all your encouragement and support. I’m blessed to have met you and to have your blog to read. This new year brings a new start in so many other ways for our family with my middle son starting over after his break up with his girlfriend. I told him ‘Yesterday is buried, tomorrow is not born yet but today is alive’. Yes, we can look to the past and remember (as you know I write about the past a lot!) and we look to the future with renewed hope and enthusiasm but it is in the today that we live and seek and grow. I think of one of my favourite scriptures ‘The Lord’s mercies are new every morning, great is his unfailing love’. I hope that each and every day in 2014 brings a new blessing for you and your mom 🙂

  34. Wonderful scripture reference, Sherri. Yes, in this day we do seek and grow…and celebrate all that it offers.

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