Four Quotes to Live By

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I heard the following quote somewhere along my way and wrote it down on a scratch piece of paper I found while cleaning off my desk recently. The source is not clear, but it is attributed to John Lennon, Paulo Coelho, an old Indian proverb, and the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I recall that it was the movie where I heard it and wrote it down. I think about this when things aren’t going my way. It is:

“Everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay – it’s not the end.”

Another quote that I try to live by is this one, coined by me in a moment of clarity while talking about the uncertainties in my life:

“Relax, and let life happen.”

And the third one – one I wrote a story about in my recently published book, Sunshine Leads the Way, is:

“There is no normal life, Wyatt. There’s just life.”

This was spoken by Doc Holliday as he lay dying, to Wyatt Earp in the movie, Tombstone.

As I begin the last week of a job I have had and loved for almost two years, these three quotes keep rattling around in my head. Leaving was not my decision, but that of the institution of higher education where I am employed. Higher ups decided that a part-time librarian was no longer needed, that a degree in library science was not necessary for the position. My job ends, and a newly restructured position will be announced soon. What it will be is still unknown.

This brings me to another quote that my friend, George, uttered – his own words – a few weeks ago as we were walking up the hill to his home after putting his chickens in their pen for the night. We were talking about our families, growing old, and slowing down in our lives. He said, wearily, “Sometimes I feel unnecessary.” I assured him that, indeed, he was necessary, and needed in many, many ways by lots of people and animals, but his statement resonated with me and lodged in my heart as I thought the same words and applied them to myself.

How can I weave these four quotes into the fabric of my life as I face a new path and the uncertainty of an income to supplement my retirement funds? Sometimes things just aren’t okay, and life is far from what I believe to be normal. My sons are grown and living independently on the west coast, across the continent from me. I have no grandchildren to dote on. Like George, I sometimes feel unnecessary. I keep telling myself to relax and let life happen. Everything will be okay.

But it isn’t that simple. Life changes. What looks like it might be the end turns out to be the beginning of something new. But what will it be? It’s scary, not knowing.

I need to take a few deep breaths, be patient, let life happen, and wait for the “okay” in my life to reappear. I’ll not search for “normal” in my life. I will embrace the changes in my life, and discover places where I am necessary.

As I look towards the future after this week ends, I think about my writing.

Will I have more time to write? Is there a chance that I may be able to supplement my income through my writing? Since I self-publish, is it at all possible that someone of importance may stumble across some of my writing, find value in it, and want to take a chance on me? Who knows? This could be a pipe dream of mine, something that will never happen.

But then again, it might.

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3 thoughts on “Four Quotes to Live By

  1. Scottie

    So much truth, here, Jennie. I think that most of us probably feel unnecessary at some point, probably more so as we age. I love being in VA close to my daughter and I enjoy being able to do things for her, even if it’s as simple as going to her house to let her dog out or letting Summer spend a few days with me when my daughter goes out of town. Would my daughter manage just fine if I wasn’t here to do those things? Of course, she would, and she managed just fine for the 10 years she was here while I was still teaching in FL. In spite of that, being able to do little things for her makes ME feel useful, and I guess that’s a big part of what it’s all about. I have no doubt that even with the uncertainty of the coming days for you, there are many people who would definitely think you are certainly necessary. Even though your sons live across the country, they know you’re still there for them and they know if they need you, you would be there for them. I hope that whatever happens in the coming weeks, that you are happy and fulfilled in what comes next. Love and hugs

  2. Margie Clayton Klein

    I think your feelings reflect the human condition……especially as we age. This has been a difficult year for me, and I still struggle with the concern of what I will be able to accomplish with the remainder of my life….if anything. So many uncertainties!!
    Sending love and wishes for true happiness for you. I think you have already found that in Sunshine, flowers, little goats, and “real things that truly matter.”

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