Happy Monday Posts #30: Spring

A wonderfully busy work schedule, fabulous new clients (more on that in a separate “update” post within the week!) and a slew of other wondrous, challenging, tedious and in-between events and issues have kept me away from my Happy Monday quoting for what I realize has been almost a month! I’m also quite weary of wintry weather, so I’ve felt not-so keen on keeping to a normal schedule. (Hibernation and excessive eating, anyone?)

 

I was just talking to a friend this morning about how ridiculously cold it still is inside my apartment … especially for April 7. So, in hopes of evoking the springy powers that be/”springing” spring, I thought I’d present some quotes I like about the season we are (supposedly) in at the moment.

 

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.” – Ernest Hemingway (from A Moveable Feast)

 

“’Is the spring coming?’ he said. ‘What is it like?’…’It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…’” – Frances Hodgson Burnett (from The Secret Garden)

 

“… sweet spring is your … time is my time is our … time for springtime is lovetime … and viva sweet love” – E.E. Cummings

 

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” – Mark Twain (from Tom Sawyer, Detective)

 

“Spring drew on…and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.” – Charlotte Brontë (from Jane Eyre)

Happy Monday Posts #29: Brevity

Tonight, I present a few quotes on brevity. (The late hour I am posting should explain the topic choice … and the short introduction.)

 

“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” – Blaise Pascal (from The Provincial Letters:  Letter 16, 1657)

 

“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

 

“I’d like to get away from earth awhile/And then come back to it and begin over./May no fate wilfully misunderstand me/And half grant what I wish and snatch me away/Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:/I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.” – Robert Frost (from Birches)

 

“Like all sweet dreams, it will be brief, but brevity makes sweetness, doesn’t it?” – Stephen King (from 11/22/63)

Happy Monday Quotes #28: Procrastination

I read a little article in The Atlantic last week about writers and procrastination that caused me a fair amount of existential pain because it struck too familiar a chord. While my work ethic is pretty strong (it would have to be in order for me to run my own business for 10 years and not be homeless), I definitely have a procrastination problem that, at its worst can cause anxiety that spreads to all areas of my being and can, at times, add unnecessary drama to my life.

 

However, no matter how hard I try to approach projects the “right” way by making an outline/plan of attack and then researching in frustrating, teaspoon-measured increments, I find I need to create a little bit of “Will I or Won’t I Finish This on Time?” tension in order to produce my best work. In college and grad school, I was always someone that wrote papers the night before (after thinking about them for weeks) and often saw the sun rising the next morning as I was printing out the final pages. I am very comfortable in the chaos that is, as the article says, “the unstructured world of work” and have the “A”s to prove my strategies (mostly) worked for me, but I still always wish I had the discipline to work well without crazy amounts of pressure.

 

In acknowledgment of the writer’s flaw I will likely never entirely exorcise, here are some musings about procrastination.

 

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” – Mark Twain (from More Maxims of Mark)

 

“Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.” – Steven Wright

 

“But indefinite visions of ambition are weak against the ease of doing what is habitual or beguilingly agreeable; and we all know the difficulty of carrying out a resolve when we secretly long that it may turn out to be unnecessary. In such states of mind the most incredulous person has a private leaning towards miracle: impossible to conceive how our wish could be fulfilled, still – very wonderful things have happened!” – George Eliot (from Middlemarch)

 

“From now on I hope always to stay alert, to educate myself as best I can. But lacking this, in Future I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind to see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out. We never sit anything out … We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” – Ray Bradbury

Happy Monday Quotes #27: Sweetness

I’ve been listening to some sweet little love songs this morning, and, while plotting my return to music, finished writing a few of my own late last week/over the weekend. Because sweetness is underrated, here are a few delicious quotes on that fuzzy, warm, gooey feeling when you realize your proverbial pockets are full of it.

 

“Full many a gem of purest ray serene/The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:/Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,/And waste its sweetness on the desert air.” – Thomas Gray (from “An Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard”)

 

“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.” – Chuck Palahniuk (from Diary)

 

“Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.” – Andy Rooney

 

“It is the tenderness that breaks our hearts. The loveliness that leaves us stranded on the shore, watching the boats sail away. It is the sweetness that makes us want to reach out and touch the soft skin of another person. And it is the grace that comes to us, undeserving though we may be.” – Robert Goolrick (from The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life)

Happy Monday Quotes #26: Compromise

I’ve been exceedingly hard on myself lately, as life has been throwing some cogs in my usually fast-turning wheels in the form of unpredictable weather, disappointments, illnesses, deaths and other unexpected, unfortunate events that have prevented me from accomplishing  everything both personally and professionally that I want to accomplish on my desired timeline. As a result, I’ve had to make a few compromises with myself and cut myself some slack. And I have not enjoyed having to do this. The word “compromise” when it comes to art I create, work I do for others and my half of friendships, relationships, etc. is a very dirty word in my vocabulary.

 

For instance, last week, something had to disappear from my schedule. And it was Happy Monday Quotes. I know no one is waiting with breath drawn for this post every week. But I still felt lazy. And then, I decided to take Thursday off, because it was the most logical day to take a break, vowing I would work through the weekend to make up for it. Unfortunately an unplanned ER visit on Saturday and necessary recovery time afterwards threw that whole plan out the window. Even as so many aspects of my life are filled with love and joy, there are still some aspects that haven’t quite caught up yet.

 

We all need to go a little bit easier on ourselves sometimes and realize that a day,  a week, a month or even a year of slowing down does not mean we are lost causes. Life will force us into mandatory break mode when we think we don’t need it, but often it is to help us rest our hearts and heads to grow into what we are becoming and be ready for the bountiful times that will show up to delight us when we least expect them.

 

Here are a few quotes about the beauty of compromise.

 

“To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul – would you understand why that’s much harder?” – Ayn Rand (from The Fountainhead)

 

“Can compromise be an art? Yes–but a minor art.” – Joyce Carol Oates

 

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat, my father used to say; it bothered me, I didn’t see why they would want to skin a cat even one way.” – Margaret Atwood (from Surfacing)

 

“They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?” – Princess Diana

 

Happy Monday Quotes #25: Questions

I was trying to figure out how to theme this week’s “Happy Monday Quotes,” and I was coming up blank. As I started to think about asking people on Facebook and Twitter for ideas, I realized how much of my life is spent asking and answering questions.

 

I really love asking questions. Even when they bring something unpleasant to the surface, this unpleasantness presents the potential for growth. And when I find out something new, unexpected or delightful, of course, my world is changed for the better. I was taught by parents, teachers (the good ones) and others to ask a lot of them, because that is the only way to learn about how all the fascinating things in the universe work, plus about how people’s brains think and how their hearts feel. (However, truth be told, exposing my secretly-tender underbelly enough to answer those pesky feeling questions when they are asked of me is not easy at all, but I digress …)

 

So, here are some quotes on the theme of questions of all types — big, small and in between — that lead to new discoveries and a richer experience of the world.

 

“Where do one’s fears come from? Where do they shape themselves? Where do they hide before coming out into the open?” – Agatha Christie (from The Moving Finger)

 

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.” — Rainer Maria Rilke (from Letters to a Young Poet)

 

“Indeed, the only truly serious questions are ones that even a child can formulate. Only the most naive of questions are truly serious. They are the questions with no answers. A question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limit of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence.” – Milan Kundera (from The Unbearable Lightness of Being)

 

“An infinite question is often destroyed by finite answers. To define everything is to annihilate much that gives us laughter and joy.” – Madeleine L’Engle (from A Circle of Quiet)

Happy Monday Quotes #24: Laughter

The past couple months have been a little rocky on a few fronts, but one thing I’ve had in spades, thanks to friends, family and other favorites, is laughter. While my stomach is one of the ways to my and many others’ hearts, laughter is always the direct route to endearing all of me. In honor of all the one-liners, forwarded memes, impromptu stand-up routines, elaborate concept jokes and parody songs that just keep flowing in a steady, delightful stream, here are a few quotes on laughter.

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” — Oscar Wilde (from The Nightingale and the Rose)

“The earth laughs in flowers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“…it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials.” – John Steinbeck (from The Grapes of Wrath)

“There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.” – Erma Bombeck

“Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can; all of them make me laugh.” – W.H. Auden

Happy Monday Quotes #23: Acceptance

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the many different types of acceptance. This concept seems an especially fitting thought for the week of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday — a time when we think about the differences and similarities between all of us as humans and enjoying the thankfully colorful world in which we live.

 

Like everyone else on the planet that has a soul, I have definitely struggled with self-acceptance and with acknowledging and even embracing my many imperfections. I have kind of a double standard when it comes to acceptance and love, because, while I am a harsh critic of my own imperfections and feel endlessly frustrated by the (many) mistakes I make, I often end up loving people because of rather than in spite of their flaws. Because, it is our flaws that make us most vulnerable and in which we can see our grittiest, down-and-dirtiest and also most beautiful humanity. And it is that humanity that makes real change, growth and deep connection with each other possible.

 

In the spirit of loving ourselves and each other and accepting the good, bad and grey areas within, here are a few quotes about acceptance.

 

“What’s been important in my understanding of myself and others is the fact that each one of us is so much more than any one thing. A sick child is much more than his or her sickness. A person with a disability is much, much more than a handicap. A pediatrician is more than a medical doctor. You’re MUCH more than your job description or your age or your income or your output.” – Fred Rogers (from The World According to Mister Rogers)

 

“The boy continued to listen to his heart as they crossed the desert. He came to understand its dodges and tricks, and to accept it as it was. He lost his fear, and forgot about his need to go back to the oasis, because, one afternoon, his heart told him that it was happy. ‘Even though I complain sometimes,’ it said, ‘it’s because I’m the heart of a person, and people’s hearts are that way. People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren’t, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because, when these things happen, we suffer terribly.’” – Paulo Coelho (from The Alchemist)

 

“Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.” – Helen Keller

 

“to love life, to love it even/when you have no stomach for it/and everything you’ve held dear/crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,/your throat filled with the silt of it./When grief sits with you, its tropical heat/thickening the air, heavy as water/more fit for gills than lungs;/when grief weights you like your own flesh/only more of it, an obesity of grief,/you think, How can a body withstand this?/Then you hold life like a face/between your palms, a plain face,/no charming smile, no violet eyes,/and you say, yes, I will take you/I will love you, again.” – Ellen Bass (from “The Thing Is”) (I’ve used this quote before, but it bears repeating.)

New Year, New Press Kit

The New Year’s Music Press Kit Special is still on!

 

Now through February 1, update your press kit with new photos and a one-sheet bio at a special discounted rate! I’m teaming up with professional photographer Richard Lurie of Kitsune Media NYC to offer musicians and other performing artists a press kit update bundle, which includes my short-form bio package plus your choice of a 2-hour portrait photo shoot or shots of a live performance at nearly 20 percent off our normal service rates.

 

Quantity is limited, so please email me today at julia@juliarogers.com for questions about rates, the process and to book your sessions!

 

Take a look at some of Richard’s work.

 

And, of course, you can check out the Julia Rogers website for bio samples and more!

Happy Monday (Tuesday?) Quotes #22: Beauty

The holidays put me a bit behind on my “Happy Monday” quotes, but I didn’t want to let another week slip away, so here are some for your Tuesday.

I had quite a few ideas for quote topics today, but I decided to go with “beauty.” I have been noticing a lot of beautiful moments in my life lately — sometimes small, sometimes huge, overwhelming and all-encompassing. But all of them add depth and richness to my existence, make me aware I am human and incredibly fortunate to have thoughts, eyes, blood, skin, nerve endings and emotions.

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” – Anne Frank

“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.” – Edgar Allan Poe (from Ligeia)

“As if you were on fire from within./The moon lives in the lining of your skin.” – Pablo Neruda (from “Ode to a Naked Beauty”)

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” – Marcus Aurelius (from Meditations)

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