15 May

It is that time of year again when preparations are being made for graduations of all kinds, from kindergarten to college and many other notable achievements in between. It is a time for congratulations and celebration of milestones. It is a time of reflection and a time to look ahead, always moving forward toward the next goal.

I am a collector of stories. I amass post-it notes and journals full of quotations. Many of them are words of those far wiser than I, who have been there and done that and want to share with us their cautionary tales.

I have gathered some of those below and I share them with you in the hopes that they may quicken your pulse, touch your soul, make you smile, and prompt you to do the one thing you think you cannot do.

From Neil Gaiman:

If it is great, you should enjoy it. Don’t miss parts of the journey.
If you think something will be difficult to do, pretend you are someone who could do it.
Make a list. When you’ve crossed off one thing, do the next.

From Randy Pausch:

Your critics are the ones still telling you they love you and care.
Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.
The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

From Bono:

The future’s not fixed, it’s fluid.
Sing the melody line you hear in your own head, remember, you don’t owe anybody any explanations.

From Bill Cosby:

Anyone can dabble, but once you’ve made that commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it, and it’s very hard for people to stop you.
Decide that you want it more than you’re afraid of it.

From Maya Angelou:

You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.
Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.

From Steve Jobs:

You cannot connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.
You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future.
Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition.

From Dr. Seuss:

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
A person’s a person, no matter how small.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

From Mary Schmich:

Do one thing every day that scares you.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

1 Comment

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Uncategorized


One response to “Thoughtshots

  1. Dorothy Swartzenberg Dickinson

    May 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Love this as usual. I laughed at the last line…floss! Kind of hard to do that with dentures! Oh, well…I will brush extra long… (even soaking needs brushing after!) Today is FRIDAY and I must have missed this earlier. Wednesday was a busy day when we had the Pioneer Valley High School Senior Awards night. We gave Papa D’ Scholarships to one male and one female student in memory of Uncle Les (he was substitute teaching until well into his 70’s). It’s the football players that started calling him Papa D and then everyone started calling him by that name. I think we could say of Uncle Les that he never met a ‘kid’ he didn’t like. He decided to be a teacher while he was in the Korean war working with the chaplin when off duty. They would go out on the streets in the middle of the night to pick up children orphaned by the war (some injured) and take them to the mountains to a hidden orphanage run by nuns. He returned home and went back to Cornell U to finish his education. We were married just 10 days before he was shipped to Korea and our first son was born a couple of weeks late, just 1 1/2 days after he got home in October 1952. Uncle Les was the 7th son of his family and had 1 younger sister. Now all of that generation is gone…hopefully all to Heaven!! I do have a copy of what he wrote about his life and also what our son Greg wrote that he was telling him while he was on Hospice for 5 weeks not able to get out of bed. If you would like a copy I will send it to you. Greg used the information in the eulogy at his dad’s memorial service. Greg…who would be your 1st cousin once removed I think, is now the Vice Principal of Pioneer Valley High School bot used to be football head coach and Math teacher for many years before that. I don’t think Uncle Les ever missed a football practice, much less both of us never missing a game. There is a bronze plaque with his picture on it on the railing of the handicap section 50 yard line where we always sat. The last few years he sat there in his wheelchair cheering them on. It had been cold at the awards ceremony. Since Greg was up by the podium, my daughter-in-law Linda sat with me in the ‘presenters’ section. We were back by the side doors. We discussed putting an ‘A’ before Papa D so we could be much earlier in the program (lasted 3 hours) and leave like so many others did. Also about bringing 2 cars next time so we could leave before Greg was finished. However, we did have a treat of a hot fudge sundae on our way back home to my house. Somehow it never is too cold for ice cream in this family! My grandson Kyle (Greg/Linda’s) surprised me yesterday with lunch from “The Rock” (a Christian family run small business here). He bought one small shrimp and one small fish dinner and split it so we both had some of each. This place breads their own WHEN YOU ORDER IT and it is cooked while you wait. Not those tiny shrimp…nice fat ones. The fish is fresh caught (we live by the ocean) every day and the potatoes are cut and fried from the bags of large russets that you see stacked there (cut and fried when you order). THEN he took out all my ice cream cartons (Schwan’s came the day before) to take a of picture of all the flavors I had (with his phone…it might be on Facebook!)…and dished up a combination of watermelon sherbert with candy seeds (creamy like ice cream and made with real watermelon concentrate) and one that is like a creamsycle orange/vanilla but very creamy ice cream for each of us. Kyle graduates from Cal Poly U in June but still has 3 more years to get his PhD in Physical Therapy. He will have to live away from home for that so is working all of next year to save money. He is a waiter down a couple of blocks from Greg & Linda’s house (he moved back home this year). He also is a great cook. Time for me to go eat some lunch! Nice talking to you, Erin!!

    Love and Kisses XXXOOO God Bless You Every Day and His angels watch over you every second, Mom/Grandma/Aunt…Dorothy Swartzenberg Dickinson

    Date: Wed, 15 May 2013 16:40:26 +0000 To:


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