Kimberly Sue is my eldest daughter. At age 30, she was killed by a drunk driver. In her business life she was a lot like me, only better, a lot better. We shared the love of Desiderata. After her death, I found a decoupaged plaque of it in her apartment. Both of us used a Franklin Planner to organize and schedule our activities (ok ok we were both addicted to it). In her desk and in her Franklin Planner I found the wisdom in this post. The last paragraph under Kimberly Sue’s Wisdom is engraved on the back of her headstone. I hold those words close to my heart everyday.
The Wisdom of Kimberly Sue Stratton
August 11, 1969 – June 15, 2000
Go Placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace
there may be in silence as far a possible without surrender be on
good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their
story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the
spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain
and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than
yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep
interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real
possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in
your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this
not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high
ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for
in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the
grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering
the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in
sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome
discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And
whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding
as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you
conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in
the noisy confusion of life Keep peace with your soul. With all its
sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be
cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Kimberly Sue’s Wisdom
May today there be peace within
May you trust your highest power that you
are exactly where you are meant to be
May you not forget the infinite possibilities
that are born of faith
May you use those gifts that you have
received, and pass on the love that has
been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child
of God. Let this presence settle into your
bones, and allow your soul the freedom to
sing, dance, and to bask in the sun. It is
there for each and every one of you.
Believe in Your Heart
Believe in your heart that something wonderful is about to happen. Love your life
Believe in your own powers, and your own potential, and in your own innate goodness.
Wake ever morning with the awe of just being alive.
Discover each day the magnificent, awesome beauty in the world.
Explore and embrace life in yourself and in everyone you see each day.
Reach within to find your own specialness.
Amaze yourself and rouse those around you to the potential of each new day.
Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect; this is the essence of your humanity.
Let those who love you help you. Trust enough to be able to take.
Look with hope to the horizon of today, for today is all we truly have.
Live this day well. Let a little sun out as well as in. Create you own rainbows.
Be open to all your possibilities; all possibilities and Miracles.
Always believe in Miracles!
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feeling is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams, before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their attitudes, they are a slave,
they have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is truly free.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE
1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
2. Memorize your favorite poem.
3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.
4. When you say, “I love you”, mean it.
5. When you say, “I’m sorry”, look the person in the eye.
6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
7. Believe in love at first sight.
8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams.
9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.
10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
11. Don’t judge people by their relatives.
12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?”
14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
15. Call your mom.
16. Say “bless you” when you hear someone sneeze.
17. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
18. Remember the 3 R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
19. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
20. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps.
21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
22. Marry a man/women you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
23. Spend some time alone.
24. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
26. Read more books and watch less TV.
27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll get to enjoy it a second time.
28. Trust in God but lock your car.
29. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
31. Read between the lines.
32. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
33. Be gentle with the earth.
34. Pray, There’s immeasurable power in it.
35. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.
36. Mind your own business.
37. Don’t trust a man/woman who doesn’t close their eyes when you kiss.
38. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
39. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. That is wealth’s greatest satisfaction.
40. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.
41. Learn the rules then break some.
42. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
43. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
44. Remember that your character is your destiny.
45. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE
1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
2. Enough money within your control to move out and rent a place of your own, even if you never want or need to.
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
7. A realization that you are actually going to have an old age and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
9. One friend who makes you laugh and one who makes you cry.
10. A good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
11. Eight matching plates, wineglasses with stems and a recipe for a meal that will make your guests feel honored.
12. A resume that is not even the slightest bit padded.
13. A feeling of control over your destiny.
14. A skin care regime, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those other facets of life that don’t get any better after.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better.
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW:
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. How to feel about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss a man in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
6. How to have a good time at a party you’d never choose to attend.
7. How to ask for what you want in a way that makes it most likely you’ll get it.
8. That you can’t change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents.
9. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
10. What you would and wouldn’t do for love or more.
11. How to live alone, even if you don’t like it.
12. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
13. Where to go – be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a charming inn hidden in the woods – when your soul needs soothing.
14. What you can and can’t accomplish in a day, a month, a year.
15. Why they say live begins at 30!
In three words I can sum up everything
I’ve learned about life: It goes on.
— Robert Frost
“Our goal is to discover
that we have always been
where we ought to be.”
Good judgement comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgement.
— Mark Twain