Cat Wisdom Wednesday

It’s Wednesday, so I figured it was an appropriate time to put up a new Cat Wisdom.  I’ve chosen this quotation by Helen Keller:

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

Here’s to living the daring adventure!

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Cat Wisdom Wednesday: Skating

One of my greatest pleasures is the feeling of gliding across the ice, legs and arms gracefully extended, able to feel the energy stretching out to my fingertips. Or spinning quickly on a blade, laying my body back and stretching my arms up above me while my hair blows about with the speed I’ve created.

These are pictures of me, about 7 years ago:

Jumping

Layback Spin

Spinning

This winter, I began teaching ice skating lessons at a rink in the area.  It’s an outdoor rink, and I teach basic skills. I’m really enjoying it.  It’s helped me to remember why I fell in love with skating in the first place – around 17 years ago.

Certainly, it was enchanting – the feel of the brisk air around you, as you jump and twirl on the edge of a blade.  And the daredevil, athletic side of me loved the idea of jumping around, as my brother would call it, “on frozen water with knives on my feet.”  But it was more than that.   Whether it was performing for a crowd or skating on a practice session with no spectators at all, skating was the most fun sport I had tried (and it still is).   I love the challenge, to strive to always be ever so perfectly balanced, but not to let on how difficult it is.

But much preparation went into it, and at practice sessions I had to try again and again, learning how to teach my body the exact movements needed to land a difficult jump.  So that’s why I’ve chosen this as the new quotation for my Cat Wisdom Wednesday series, from George Bernard Shaw:

I learned to speak as people learn to skate or cycle, by doggedly making a fool of myself until I got used to it.

Cat Wisdom Wednesday

It’s time for a new Cat Wisdom Wednesday.  This week, I’ve chosen a quote that talks about going for something that’s challenging and learning along the way:

Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.

~Mark Victor Hansen

Cat Wisdom Wednesday

I haven’t updated the Cat Wisdom in months, and I think it’s time.  Since I’ve been sleeping, eating, and thinking T! constantly these days, I decided to go with a quote about entrepreneurship.  This one is from Apple’s cofounder Steve Jobs, and I like to think that Husband and I have been following this one these past two years:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Late Cat Wisdom

I intended to choose an Obama quote yesterday and post it, but it turned out to be a very long day. When I got home at about 8, I had some water, took a shower, and went to bed. I thought I’d get up again later that evening to spend a little time with my husband, but I ended up staying in bed all night until I got up for work this morning! It was great to get the rest…

Anyhow, what I wanted to say was that I am so excited and happy that Obama will be the Democratic Party’s candidate for President! I watched both Clinton and Obama’s speeches on Tuesday night, and I got chills listening to Obama. It was a good time to once again pause, consider, and celebrate the fact that he made it, that he’s the first black candidate for President for one of the two major parties in American politics.

There was a great NYTimes article, Many Black Find Joy in Unexpected Breakthrough, about how people are responding – primarily, by feeling more optimistic about race relations in America than most of us have in a long time. Within the article, Obama is quoted as saying in an NBC interview:

Probably the most powerful story I heard was today at a conference, a woman came up to me. She said her son teaches in an inner-city school in San Francisco and said that he has seen a change in behavior among the young African-American boys there in terms of how they think about their studies. And, you know, so those are the kinds of things that I think make you appreciate that it’s not about you as an individual. But it’s about our country and the progress we’ve made.

It’s very moving to me to hear about how this is affecting and motivating some of our country’s youth. I believe that a lack of similar role models (from similar backgrounds) really does on the whole affect us as we grow up and set our career goals and life plans.

I’m not sure that Hillary Clinton is my favorite candidate for VP (because I disagree with some of her politics, wishing she was more liberal, and because I am turned off by her methods of traditional politicking), but I sure do salivate at the thought of a black and a woman leading the nation from the white house next year! Just the fact that it’s a real possibility gives me more pride in America than I’ve had in years.

For my new Cat Wisdom quote, I am taking an excerpt from the closing of his nomination victory speech on Tuesday night. Many times during the speech, Husband and I cheered, clapped, hollered, and high-fived, despite the fact that we were alone in our apartment. But this part not only gave me chills when I watched him deliver the speech but gives me chills now, as I reread the text:

In our country, I have found that this cooperation happens not because we agree on everything, but because behind all the labels and false divisions and categories that define us; beyond all the petty bickering and point-scoring in Washington, Americans are a decent, generous, compassionate people, united by common challenges and common hopes. And every so often, there are moments which call on that fundamental goodness to make this country great again.

So it was for that band of patriots who declared in a Philadelphia hall the formation of a more perfect union; and for all those who gave on the fields of Gettysburg and Antietam their last full measure of devotion to save that same union.

So it was for the Greatest Generation that conquered fear itself, and liberated a continent from tyranny, and made this country home to untold opportunity and prosperity.

So it was for the workers who stood out on the picket lines; the women who shattered glass ceilings; the children who braved a Selma bridge for freedom’s cause.

So it has been for every generation that faced down the greatest challenges and the most improbable odds to leave their children a world that’s better, and kinder, and more just.

And so it must be for us.

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.

Cat Wisdom Wednesday: Einstein on God

Last week, I read about a letter containing Einstein’s thoughts on religion that was auctioned for $400,000. I haven’t been able to find the full text of the letter, but this article seemed to provide a good amount of information about what was in it.

From all that I can read, I agree with Einstein’s more nuanced views on religion and God.

So the new Cat Wisdom will be a quotation from the letter itself:

The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.

Cat Wisdom Wednesday: There goes the world, off of my shoulders

Lately, I’ve been remembering strongly a song that I used to play back when I was in my final year of high school (2001-2002). I can’t remember for sure when it was – whether it was after I had decided to stop competing in figure skating, whether it was after I was accepted to my top choice college and had worked out with my parents for me to attend that school in the fall, or if it was something else during that time. It was a time of big changes and of my decisions about what to do with my own life, and it was a time in which I left some things behind which had made up a lot of who I was up until that point. I felt like I was shedding my skin, and I felt freed by the opportunities ahead of me. I remember at the time that the chorus really struck a chord with me, as well as the last verse about the comfort of your cage and your secrets, which I felt, I think, about my bulimia. Now, the chorus still strikes a strong chord, but also some of the first and second verses speak to me more strongly.

Anyhow, I find it very therapeutic to just listen to the music and the melody and belt out, “There goes the world, off of my shoulders!” So I’ve decided to use a quote from this song for my new Cat Wisdom. The song is Quasimodo by Lighthouse, and overall it feels very fitting to this point in my life too. So, here are the song lyrics, which I took from sing365.com (I couldn’t help it, I felt the need to emphasize the parts that speak to me about this particular experience):

you can be right
and I’ll be real
honesty won’t be a pain that you’ll have to feel
cause I don’t need your approval
to find my worth
I’m trapped inside of my own mind
afraid to open my eyes cause of what I’d find and I
don’t want to live like this anymore

CHORUS:
there goes my pain
there goes my chains
did you see them falling
because this feeling
that has no meaning

there goes the world
off of my shoulders
there goes the world
off of my back
there it goes

does it scare you that I can
be something different than you
would it make you feel more comfortable if I wasn’t
you can’t control me
and you can’t take away from me who I am

CHORUS

have you ever felt
like your only comfort was your cage
you’re not alone
I’ve felt the same as you
have you ever felt
like your secrets give you away
you’re not alone
I’ve been there too
cause everyone is looking
and everyone is laughing but I think
everyone feels the same
everybody wants to feel ok
everybody wants to
everybody wants to feel

there goes my pain
there goes my chains
did you see them falling
because this feeling
that has no meaning

there goes the world
off of my shoulders
there goes the world
off of my back
cause I don’t want it
I don’t want it
you can’t change me
you can’t break me

there goes the world
off of my shoulders
there goes the world
off of my back
there it goes