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Angie #935697 01/06/22 10:42 AM
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Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.

Lin Yutang

The work of Chinese author and scholar Lin Yutang often acted as a cultural bridge in the early 20th century. He founded several Western-style satire magazines in Chinese, and in 1935 topped the “New York Times” bestseller list with “My Country and My People,” his English-language book on China. During the Sino-Japanese war in the 1930s, Lin also wrote social and political columns calling for international aid on behalf of the Chinese people. His words above match his trailblazing career, and remind us that not every road is laid out for us: We have to believe we can move forward together before taking the first step.

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Angie #935706 01/07/22 11:08 AM
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I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

Sarah Williams

An often overlooked English poet of the mid-19th century, Sarah Williams is best known for her poem “The Old Astronomer,” in which a dying astronomer offers his last words to his student. Grappling with mortality is a prominent theme in Williams’ writing, and in particular this poem, which she wrote while battling cancer not long before her own death. In this line from the poem, she urges us to value the bright spots in our lives, and to make peace — however we each can — with the impermanent nature of living.

Angie #935711 01/08/22 10:07 AM
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The only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough.

Ted Hughes

English poet Ted Hughes is best known for his stark, no-frills writing on the natural world, which explores the inherent wild nature of both animals and humans. Hughes wrote numerous poetry collections and children’s books, and is also remembered as the husband of the renowned writer Sylvia Plath. Hughes’ words here remind us that taking risks is an essential part of living. With every chance we take, we make ourselves vulnerable to failure and hurt. But at the end of the day, we’re more likely to regret a life lived too cautiously to be enjoyed fully.

Angie #935719 01/10/22 11:09 AM
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Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent.

Mignon McLaughlin

Famous for her clever aphorisms, journalist Mignon McLaughlin summarizes the nature of hope here in a simple but powerful way. When we are going through our darkest days, hope is the little ray of light that reminds us there are brighter times ahead. Hard times are not permanent, and holding on to hope that this, too, shall pass, is what gives us strength to get through them.

Angie #935723 01/11/22 03:42 PM
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You cannot save people, you can only love them.

Anaïs Nin

French-Cuban writer Anaïs Nin is known for her poignant, intimate personal diaries, which often read like novels, detailing the depth of her affection for various friends and lovers, and her sensitivity to the workings of the world around her. This quote is from an entry in September 1939: World War II had just begun, and Nin discovered that a close friend had enlisted in the French army. Even faced with the potential loss of a loved one, she relinquishes control, committing to love without conditions. Nin’s words remind us that often, the best thing we can do for the people close to us is simply to love them, without trying to manage or change them.

Angie #935736 01/13/22 04:37 PM
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One does not get better but different and older and that is always a pleasure.

Gertrude Stein

Now a legend of American literature, known for mentoring young sensations such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway as part of her Paris Salon, author Gertrude Stein was well into her thirties when she first published her work. Stein’s writing style became more experimental as she grew older, shunning the linear plot conventions of the time for more sprawling, reflective writing. Her words here remind us that though getting older is often disparaged, it offers us valuable experience and wisdom that inspire us to change as people — and that’s something to be grateful for.

Angie #935739 01/14/22 10:53 AM
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There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.

Vicki Baum

Author and screenwriter Vicki Baum’s life was bookended by her youth in Austria and her final decades as a U.S. citizen. In between, she experienced major artistic breakthroughs while living in Germany. In 1929, she published the international bestseller “People in a Hotel” — the basis for “Grand Hotel,” 1932’s Best Picture Oscar winner starring Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, and the Barrymore brothers. Yet this period of great literary success began with modern dance, a discovery Baum made while researching her successful earlier novel, 1921’s “Ina Raffay’s Dances.” Baum spent more than a decade studying modern dance, a creative outlet that brought her immense delight and opened her mind to new avenues of storytelling. Encouraged to improvise at the end of her very first class, she would later remember, “I felt as though I hadn’t begun to live until that afternoon.”

Angie #935743 01/15/22 07:05 PM
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The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer.

Fridtjof Nansen

Norwegian polymath and polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen was no stranger to “impossible” challenges. He led many expeditions to the Arctic, including the first to cross the entire frozen expanse of the Greenland interior, in 1888. Later, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work in the wake of World War I, providing aid to thousands of refugees, prisoners of war, and victims of the famine in Russia. Nansen’s achievements prove that an “impossible” task is often simply something that’s never been done before. If we have the patience and tenacity to conquer even the most difficult goals, what was previously unimaginable suddenly comes into the realm of possibility.

Angie #935749 01/16/22 03:20 PM
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Don't plan it all. Let life surprise you a little.

Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez is an award-winning Dominican American poet, novelist, and essayist who drew national attention with her popular 1991 novel “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents,” and 1994’s “In the Time of the Butterflies,” in which this quote appears. These simple words encourage us not to undervalue spontaneity: While we’re busy grasping for control, our most meaningful experiences are often the result of life’s unexpected twists and turns.

Angie #935752 01/17/22 09:53 AM
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“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
–Benjamin Franklin (1706–90)

61 days until spring begins

Last edited by Angie; 01/17/22 09:54 AM.
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