*This post was written during ChicagoNow’s Blogapalooz-Hour for November 2015. During Blogapalooz we are given a prompt and we have one hour to post. This is today’s prompt: “Share your favorite quote (or quotes) — from a philosopher, author, comedian, politician, friend, family member, movie, whoever — and write in detail about why it resonates and has meaning for you.”
I have always liked quotes. I like them so much that when I was a teenager I started collecting them in a book that still waits for me every time I go back home to Spain. I still like to go through its pages and see how much my interests and needs have changed as I have gotten older. As I have grown up.
I can name so many, that I would need way more than one hour for all of them. Some of them immediately come to mind.
“Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere”. Mae West said this, and for a good while I tried to put it into practice with all my might.
I then moved on to Les Brown, who said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”. That one got me through graduate school: a masters in literature and 5 years of Teaching Assistantship.
“Sabes mejor que yo que hasta los huesos sólo calan los besos que no has dado” always comes to mind when I have to make a big decision. It’s a line from a song by one of my favorite singers, Joaquin Sabina. I like that song so much that it was the name of my old blog. It’s title is “Y sin embargo“, and this line says something to the line that the kisses that stay with you are the ones that you never gave. Carpe diem, they say.
But if I have to choose one quote that has helped me carry on for the last eight years of my life, which were the hardest and most rewarding, as it often happens with motherhood, I would have to go to a Disney movie for my choice.
I had watched my share of cartoon movies with my nephews and niece when I lived in Spain. Actually, it was more like watching The Jungle Book 450 times, since that was my godson’s favorite movie. I can still sing the whole thing (in Spanish, of course, porque es “lo natural”), as we watched it so much that the videotape broke.
But that didn’t even get close to prepare me for what would come once I had kids. We have watched in theaters anything that has been released in the last eight years, and we own a copy of anything released prior to that in one format or other.
My favorite quote for the last few years comes from one of those movies. It is the mantra I repeat every time I am tired, about to give up, overwhelmed, multitasking, lost, not knowing how to keep going or if carrying on is even worth it.
“Pull yourself together!”, said Edna Mode in my favorite scene in The Incredibles. The scene is powerful and very funny, because you have this tiny lady with a superb bob hitting Elastigirl, a superhero, with a rolled newspaper and telling her to stop whining and start acting. Which is something that I have to tell myself often. On a daily basis, I would say.
I have to pull myself together every day when I have to reign on the schedules of four busy people, go to work, find time to grade, write, vent, go out, drive kids to places, drive kids to therapies in which I have to sit and that I later have to reproduce in my house, get groceries, cook them, eat them while I feed one kid with each hand, deal with the drama of seeing my parents quickly age 5000 miles away.
And whenever I feel like I can’t keep up with my life, I repeat Edna’s words. And while I remember her scene, a smile never fails to show in my face.
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