In the Scheme of Things: Refrigerator Wisdom

The “wisdom” on my refrigerator has changed through the years. As a young mother, Dorothy Law Nolte’s poem “Children Learn What They Live” was there. Later, quotes like Sophia Loren’s: “Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life” found their way. And today? It’s a Pinterest find, “There are people who would love to have your bad days.”

It’s true. I’m an incurable quote lover. Given the number of quotations tweeted, posted, pinned, and shared, some of you are, too. I started collecting snippets of wisdom shortly after my brother, Craig, gave me a book when he left for college. The Treasure Chest contained quotations, poems, sentiments, and prayers from the “Great Minds of 2500 Years.” I devoured it as a teenager trying to figure out my own views. It still has prominent shelf space next to other books I’ve acquired filled with inspirational and thought provoking words.

Given my big appetite for “refrigerator wisdom,” and this being my 14th anniversary of writing for Montana Woman Magazine, I put together my own wisdom snippets — one for each year of writing “In the Scheme of Things.” It’s my way to say thank you for allowing me to share my musings and life reflections with you all these years. So, here are a few of my own:

  • More is not a synonym for better.
  • Waiting for someone to read your mind is like waiting for the goose to lay a golden egg. It only happens in fairy tales.
  • While wishing and hoping makes you a dreamer, acting and doing makes you someone who can turn dreams into reality.
  • How can you offer the best of who you are to the world if you’re not offering the best of who you are to yourself?
  • You will never be any younger than you are right now.
  • You can’t change how you’ve lived, only how you will. Your life is about the choices you still get to make.
  • No matter who signs your paycheck, you ultimately work for yourself.
  • This is the only life you have. You can define it or be defined by it; wish for all you don’t have or enjoy all you do.
  • The missing link isn’t having an idea, it’s executing it.
  • It’s not about the time you have, but the choices you make in how to use it.
  • You stay the same person if you keep doing the same things.
  • What you are seeking is not out there to find; follow the journey inside.
  • No one gets a perfect life.
  • Finding what matters, is what matters.

From my husband’s wisdom dealing with unpleasant tasks to “Get it over first,” to my mother’s classic favorite “Don’t cross the bridge until you come to it,” we all have life lessons — our equivalent of refrigerator wisdom — to help us traverse our life-challenges. In the scheme of things, you never know when your words will be just what someone needs, or the catalyst for him or her, to tackle a fear, move forward, or become inspired. So, keep passing yours along.