I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired of 2014. I thought I’d look up some good words to live by as we approach the new year.
Maybe it’s just that I’m a pessimist:
An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. — Bill Vaughn, American columnist and author
Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go. — Brooks Atkinson, American theater critic
Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account. — Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet
New Year’s Day … now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. — Mark Twain, American author and humorist
Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. — Benjamin Franklin, author, inventor and diplomat
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. — Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist
It is difficult to live in the present, ridiculous to live in the future, and impossible to live in the past. Nothing is as far away as one minute ago. — Jim Bishop, American journalist and author
The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. — Michael Altshuler, speaker and trainer
Speaking of time, have you seen the movie “The Theory of Everything” at the Art Center Cinema? If you haven’t, run and see it. (It’s scheduled to stay through Thursday.) Stephen Hawking, this exuberant young physicist and cosmologist, becomes imprisoned inside his own body, with only his ideas to offer. He can’t even speak them because he’s lost his voice.
Here’s a quote from Hawking that hints at his quirky sense of humor: Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.
This man seems to be scolding us: I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s. — Henry Moore, English sculptor and artist
And this man seems to be inviting us to not take our resolutions so seriously: May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions! — Joey Adams, American comedian
And now for a poem:
This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!
— William Arthur Ward, American author
Here’s a lofty one: We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. — Edith Lovejoy Pierce, American poet and pacifist
Last week, at the end of my column, I shared a quote I’d heard the week before. I tried to find out who said it, but its origin is unknown. Investigator.com says it’s been attributed to Anaïs Nin, the Babylonian Talmud, Immanuel Kant and others: We don’t see things the way they are. We see things the way we are.
I don’t usually collect quotes, but that’s a good one to remember.
We each have our own perspectives, based on our life experiences, our beliefs, our education, the people we hang around with or listen to, and sometimes even the weather and how we’re feeling physically. All of us have a slightly different perspective, a different way of making sense of what’s going on around us.
Helen Keller said it this way: Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
Here are a couple more, to cheer us on for the coming new year:
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’ — Alfred Lord Tennyson
— This column first appeared in the Salina Journal on Dec. 25, 2014.