Year End Reflections: Holiday Quotes

Copyright 2016 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2016 Artisans Workshop Designs


Many cultures, spiritual and religious traditions celebrate during this time of year. It’s been this way for millennia, reaching back to ancient times when humans lived in small tribes.

Even though the following quotes mention Christmas, substitute the name of your special holiday and the meaning still holds true.


My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that? ― Bob Hope


As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the sameDonald E. Westlake


There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions. — Bill McKibben


Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves. ~Eric Sevareid


Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. ~ Francis Pharcellus Church


When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness. ― Bob Hope


May these quotes inspire you to generously and compassionately share the spirit of the holidays throughout the year.


Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Year End Reflections: It’s Okay to Feel Down Part 3– Old Faithful


There are many people who feel left out, overlooked, or forgotten this time of year.  No wonder those around us can feel down and out of sorts.

If this describes you, a reliable way to pull yourself out of the doldrums is to volunteer.

Here are a few suggestions:

~stop by a nursing home and read a short holiday story or poem to the residents–or just sit with someone who usually has no visitors;
~visit an elderly neighbor who can’t get around like they used to;
~help a local organization gather gifts and food for people of very limited means;
~deliver holiday meals to shut-ins;
~offer to babysit for a friend’s kids so your friend and his/her spouse can enjoy a quiet holiday date night;
~volunteer to run errands for a single parent friend.

Let me know which one of these suggestions worked best for you.  Let me know, too, if you came up with others not mentioned here.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Year End Reflections: It’s Okay to Feel Down Part 2–What to Do

As we said yesterday, it’s okay to feel down this time of year in spite of what friends, loved ones, Hallmark movies, and advertisers may tell you.   We discussed a few things you can do to take care of yourself if you’re feeling down.  Here’s another tip to keep in mind:

The important thing is to not isolate yourself.  

Phases of solitude are not the same as isolation.  Solitude is stepping away from people and the world for a period with the intention of returning to it at some point, feeling refreshed.  It can be meditative, a way to reconnect with yourself.  It can help you get a handle on where you are in life and it can give you the space and peace to work on a new project or take your life in a new direction.

Isolation, on the other hand, is shutting yourself off from people with the intention of severing ties and connections either mentally, emotionally, or physically, or some combination of these.  It’s usually motivated by hurt so it’s natural to want to step out of the stream of life in order to heal.  But it becomes unhealthy when you stay there.

If you’re feeling really down, more so than what you feel is natural or normal for yourself, please contact a professional or someone who’s trained to help those in distress or crisis:

~contact your religious leader or spiritual advisor;
~contact a counselor or therapist;
~contact a health care professional;
~call a prayer line;
~call a crisis hotline;
~meet with a trusted and compassionate friend or loved one.,_Science_Museum_and_Victoria_and_Albert_Museum_staff_members_sing_carols_in_the_central_hall_of_the_Natural_History_Museum_03.jpg,_Science_Museum_and_Victoria_and_Albert_Museum_staff_members_sing_carols_in_the_central_hall_of_the_Natural_History_Museum_03.jpg

But if you’re feeling out of sorts, then here are a few suggestions of where you can go and what you can do to stay connected but not have the pressure of interacting with others:

~Sit in a coffee shop and sip a beverage of your choice;
~Go to your local library.  Read the newspaper, a magazine, or a book;
~Attend a group event such as your town’s tree lighting ceremony or the carol sing or the annual snowman making contest;
~At this time of year, churches usually host special concerts that are open to the public and are often free;
~Civic organizations sponsor fundraisers this time of year such as pasta dinners or pancake breakfasts–why not give one a try!
~My favorite thing to do:  drive around different neighborhoods and enjoy the lights and decorations on people’s homes.

Try one of these suggestions to help yourself stay in touch.  Let me know which one worked best for you–or if you’ve come up with your own.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Year End Reflections It’s Okay to Feel Down Part 1

It feels like an affront to this time of year to feel down; it seems the whole world is joyful and expects you to be happy and excited, too.

I came across a good article about feeling down and how it’s okay to feel this way.  Along with the recommendations it makes, here are a few of my own:

~Be honest with yourself that you’re feeling low–don’t sugar coat it or ignore it;
~Get rid of the self-judgment and self-punishment–give yourself permission to be glum;
~Give yourself the space you need feel this way–to understand and process your feelings;
~Be kind and tender with yourself–gently ask yourself why you’re feeling this way (what were the causes) and, even more gently, ask yourself what you might be able to do about it.

The important things are to be honest and gentle with yourself.

Let me know in the comments below how this technique worked out for you.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Year End Reflections Thoughts to Ponder when You’re Feeling Down Part 2


This is another quote from Pleasures of Life by Sir John Lubbock.  It sums up a technique that I’ve found helpful when I’m feeling down.

If we do our best; if we do not magnify trifling troubles; if we look resolutely, I do not say at the bright side of things, but at things as they really are; if we avail ourselves of the manifold blessings which surround us; we cannot but feel that life is indeed a glorious inheritance. ~Sir John Lubbock

It’s important to gain perspective on the trouble.  I do this by taking the time to think it through–seeing where I stand with it and, if I’m able to at this time, to think a little bit about the worst case scenario and what I might do about it.  Then I call a trusted and wise friend or loved one and talk it over with them.  I’ll do a little more thinking on my own about what we discussed.

But then, I make sure I take the time to step back and breathe–metaphorically and literally.  Gazing out the window at Mother Nature is restful and restorative, and it also helps me reconnect with the Flow of Life.  When I do this, I find I can begin to be glad I have a window to gaze out of and that there are interesting and beautiful things to see.  Although I look out onto trees and a suburban scene, even if you see a cityscape outside your window, that, too, can be restful and restorative in its own way.

I can delight in watching birds and animals living their lives–or enjoy myself people watching if I happen to be in a more urban setting.  Doing this pulls me out of the direness of my troubles and I begin to feel more hopeful.

Describing this technique here can seem like I go from glum to gloriously happy in about two seconds.  That isn’t usually the case.  Depending upon the trouble it can take hours or even days or weeks working with this technique before I begin to restore my equilibrium.

As the quote says, though, to do my best each moment, accepting the fact that some days my best is more than and better than other days; doing my best to keep everything in perspective; and doing my best to enjoy the little bits of wonder and awe in each day.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Year End Reflections Thoughts to Ponder when You’re Feeling Down Part 1


This morning I was thinking about Friday’s post on Strong Emotion and pondering what I’d say to you.  Of course I could say the old bromides that tell you to “buck up” and “look at the bright side” and “you have so much to be thankful for”.  While these are true and can be helpful at times, when you’re feeling down and someone says any of these to you, if you’re like me, you want to punch them in the nose for treating your mood so flippantly!

As I looked for something that respects you as well as helpful to you, I turned to a book I’d come across entitled Pleasures of Life by Sir John Lubbock. 

I found two thoughts that resonated with me and today I’d like to share one with you.

Life indeed must be measured by thought and action, not by time. ~Sir John Lubbock

I thought about this quote when I talked to a friend who is a caregiver by trade.  She was telling me that recently one of her client’s passed but in the last few weeks of her client’s life, he was able to reconnect with his son from whom he had been estranged for decades.  She was telling me that those last few weeks of his life were some of his happiest.  Right before he died, he shared with my friend that the sweetness of the few weeks of reconnection far and away made up for the decades of estrangement.

The message I get from this story and this quote is to not fret over how much time I may have left and not lament the time I’ve already had that I may have wasted.  Instead, my energies are better spent making sure that my thoughts and actions are in line with the wishes of my heart and soul.

If I can do this, then perhaps I, too, might know the sweetness of days well spent.

What about you?

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Year End Reflections More Quotes to Make You Think


Here are a few more quotes that can help you have a fresh perspective on yourself and your life.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.  ~Dalai Lama

Civilizations greatest discoveries and inventions have come out of failures, disasters, and mistakes.

Ask yourself “What’s good about being where I am right now–all that is happening and isn’t happening; all that’s gone my way and all that hasn’t?”  Jot down all the thoughts, impressions, and ideas that come to you.  Don’t judge them, don’t edit them, and don’t dismiss any of them!  And, nothing is too small or immaterial or “dumb” to include!!

Dreaming is, after all, is a form of planning.  ~Gloria Steinem

Now take the ideas you generated from the first quote and plug them into your daydreams and see where they take you!


Let your mind go–have fun!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,