Favorite Quote

This post is part of a series called “35 Days of Favorites”, in honor of my 35th birthday. You can read more about the details here

Last year, I shared my favorite quote here. It was a good one. I still have it up on my fridge.

But there’s another quote that I’ve loved for a long time, and it’s been especially clear in my mind this past year:

Life a life you're proud ofsource

I first heard it while watching the movie Benjamin Button, which was haunting and beautiful and worth crying over.

But when I read this quote on its own later on, that last part stuck with me: “I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”

It’s easy to become stuck. It’s also easy to become discouraged, and get into the habit of complaining, and blaming everyone else for the things that are not going well.

But the strength to start over? To me, that goes right along with joy coming in the morning, and fresh mercies every day.

My dad is the greatest example to me of someone who has the strength to start over.

Because his dad was sick, my dad had to drop out of school when he was in the eight grade so that he could help run the family farm. But lack of schooling never held him back for a moment, and he has accomplished a wide variety of things in his life – farming, shipping grain to third world countries, designing play structures, traveling all over the world, renovating homes for retired missionaries in Florida, and the list will go on for as long as he lives.

I clearly remember a talk we had when I was in high school, while I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I tend to fall into the trap of perfectionism, and thinking there is only “One Right Choice” in any given situation. I was a complete wreck when it came to figuring out my future.

How could I possibly decide, at the age of 18, what I wanted to do for the rest of my life?

There was a lot of pressure at school to get this figured out, but I remember my dad asking, “Why do you need to know that right now?”

That night, he told me I had a whole lifetime to figure out what I was going to do with it.

And he said that if I ended up doing something I didn’t like, I could just change it.

Have the strength to start all over again.

It reminds me of this quote by Mary Oliver:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

We get one life – but not one chance.

At any point, we can start over, start fresh, and figure it all out again.

I never want to get stuck, and I don’t want to be afraid to change and learn and grow.

I want the strength to start over, live this life well, learn from my mistakes, and do better the next time.

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I love a good quote, so share your favorites with me!

7 thoughts on “Favorite Quote

  1. I read this in a book when i was about 13 and it stuck with me and i don’t even remember the book. It said an excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.

  2. Great quote Kendra! So true! I am saddened by the fact that so many people just “give up” at some point. If only they knew the great things they were capable of, and that it’s never ever too late to start. A quote that helped me get “started” a couple years ago is from Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon – “The framework I found which made the decision incredibly easy was what I called – which only a nerd would call – a ‘regret minimization framework’. So I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and say, ‘Okay, now I’m looking back on my life. I want to have minimized the number of regrets I have.’” Thanks for your great blog Kendra!

    • That’s a great quote! I have often thought about not wanting to look back on my life with regrets, but I haven’t come across a specific quote about it. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. “I have sought how I might make God more loved by other souls…and have not found any other or more powerful way than kindness.” Lucie-Christine (1844-1908)

    That’s my most recent favorite.

  4. Pingback: 35 Days of Favorites: Space to Organize! | Ordinary Days

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