Words of wisdom along the way

Miriam Nelson
News Editor

This is the time of year where many people take stock of where they’ve been and where they want to be.

The internet is filled with sage advice offered by the famous, the infamous and the old reliable – anonymous. With the click of a “like” or a “ha ha” or “sad face” button, you can let the world know what a particular saying means to you. Seeing the reactions of others gives you an indicator of where you stand in relation to those you’ve let into your circle of friendship.

At different stages in my life, I have related to different phrases as I’ve experienced them.
In my college years, I was motivated by the sayings that made me feel I could accomplish anything. I remember traveling around Europe for a month, footloose and fancy free, with a small travel bag and a book that spelled out how to see it all for very little money. It was January when I arrived and my functional winter coat had a little tin pin with “Hello world, it’s me!” on it.

Ah, sweet mystery of youth. How sure I was that the world was happy to see me just because I was happy to see it. The best thing about youth is that “ignorance is bliss” gets you through a lot of experiences you might not have tried had you known the cost. The worst thing about youth is when you realize the flaws in something you felt was an absolute truth. I like to refer to this as the time when “your youthful ignorance is working against you.”

Those middle years were filled with a variety of opportunities to make my way in the world. I’ll admit to taking offense to some of the sayings that annoyed me along the way. I especially grew to dislike “When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” I remember distinctly telling Mom that I was pretty sick of climbing through windows. At least we had a good laugh over my observation, which taught me that as long as I have my sense of humor, I can get through most anything.

I wish I could remember a phrase or a quote from the year I turned 37. For that one year, everything seemed to fall into place. I had a calmness and inner peace I hadn’t experienced before. Nothing had changed, I still was underemployed, no man in my life and still had to have roommates to survive the cost of living in Minneapolis. Somehow nothing bothered or annoyed me. Not sure why it only lasted a year. I never got that feeling of contentment back, but I enjoyed it while it lasted and tell myself I just may feel that way again.

It’s hard to figure out what sage wisdom guides me now. Half the time I’m rolling my eyes, annoyed at the world. The other half is spent giggling, especially when I hear or read something Dad would have said to brighten my day. What I know for sure is that I don’t respond to the negative phrases anymore, just the funny ones because I know that no matter what, I love to laugh.