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Quote Exchange: February

February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you are having a sweet day full of special details, however you plan to spend it. I have always loved this holiday, even during the (many) years when I didn’t have a special someone. Maybe it’s the excuse to send pretty paper cards. Or getting to throw around pink, red, hearts, ruffles, glitter, and sparkles with wild abandon. Or the encouragement and reminder to show the people you love how much you care about them. Or the special stamps at the post office. Or the bit of happiness in the middle of post-Christmas winter. Or the emphasis on chocolate. Whatever the case, this holiday is one of my favorites.

I never really noticed this before, but at school today all the kids seemed to be in cheery moods and excited about saying “Happy Valentine’s Day!” every time they saw anyone. Even stopping the dismissal line to do so when they were supposed to be hurrying past me to their buses. It was, amazingly, the same level of energy as Halloween, but wonderfully sweeter and less wild. And with much cuter outfits, including ties on first grade boys and pink high-heeled sandals on kindergarten girls. (It was 37 degrees this morning, but their little legs survived!) I work in a Title I school, so it was nice to see the kids’ little eyes light up with enthusiasm for an old-fashioned holiday about love and being kind to others.

Anyway! Would y’all be interested in seeing the monthly quote exchange that my friend Katie started as it continues throughout this year? I find the words so inspiring and taking time to be creative is making me happy, so I’m happy to share these little sparks with you too, if you’d like.

Here is the Simone Weil quote Katie sent me this month. It is perfect for this point in my life, when I am trying to master new design, business, and software-related skills. I forgot how hard it is to be a beginner at something that you want desperately to be competent at, and to take baby steps when you’d rather immerse yourself completely. I keep popping into the room where I hung this card, turning the words over in my brain to absorb the meaning and take it to heart.

And here is the card I shared with Katie. I have always loved this piece of the lyrics in Jewel’s song “Life Uncommon,” so much so that it is one of three phrases I wear around my wrist most days.

To me, this quote means that we are not trapped in habits we’d rather break or situations we’d rather leave behind. We already have plenty of strength to rise above them, we’ve just been “lending” it to the things that bog us down. Now that I think about it though, I should have included the next line “Fill your lives with love and bravery” too. Oops. Sorry, Katie! Maybe just pencil it in below, or say it to yourself quietly at the end. :)

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