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Smell the Coffee: A quotable year

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It wasn't until I was straightening my office on New Year's Eve that I realized how far I've come over the past year. Even if most every mile was traveled in wee, little steps.

I started out fearful, replete with nevers.

Have-nevers.

Will-nevers.

And more than a few will-never-agains.

I tried giving myself pep talks. Tried hanging out with positive people. Tried prettying up inspiring quotes and sticking them to my office walls and bulletin boards. I even got into my laptop's calendar program and inserted random compliments willy-nilly so far in advance I forgot that I'd done it.

So months later, I'd be sitting at my computer and all of a sudden, a little note would appear on my screen saying something like, "Stick with it. You're getting there" or "You look skinny -- are you losing weight?"

I was cautious and gun-shy and fearful, and maybe a little bit bitter.

But the important thing is, I didn't want to be any of those things. I was tired of huddling in the corner. Had figured out that sooner or later, life has pain to dole out, whether you move or stand still.

So, as I was cleaning my office, I started taking down some of the quotes, and as I read them again, it was almost like flipping through a photo album of where I'd been.

"When things aren't adding up in your life, start subtracting." -- Anonymous

"The best way to get even is to forget." -- Unknown

"Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the conquest of fear." -- Robert Heinlein

"If you want to have something you've never had, you've got to do something you've never done." -- Thomas Jefferson

"Imagine all the wondrous things your arms might embrace if they weren't wrapped so tightly around your struggles." -- Sheila Burke

"If you reach for the fruit, God will shake the tree." -- Anonymous

"Surviving is important, but thriving is elegant." -- Maya Angelou

"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time, more wisely." -- Henry Ford

A good many of the quotes I'd saved came from a daily Notes from the Universe e-newsletter I receive from Tut.com. These notes are almost always short, just a sentence or two, and even though I generally cringe at the cheesiness of auto-personalization, I kind of like how these feel. As though they're meant just for me.

For instance: "That thing you're dealing with right now, Karin, is not by chance. It's the beginning of the most exciting transformation of your life so far."

"Sometimes the helper needs help, Karin, and for being helped, they become better helpers."

"Anger is almost always a sign, Karin, that you've been quiet for too long. Speak up, buttercup."

"Karin, here's a hint on figuring out your life's purpose: It almost never lies behind the door marked, 'Just be logical.'"

As I cleaned off my office walls, taking down most of the quotes and putting them in a folder, I realized it was like I was putting away my blankie. The quotes would still be there should I need them, but I'm in a different place now.

A place with far fewer have- and will-nevers.

And, I believe, no never-agains.

Karin Fuller can be reached via email at karinfuller@gmail.com.


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