Goodness me! What a wonderful month.
I found a rhythm and have been finishing one book each week. There are some noteworthy gems to be found in literature from across the pond.
Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed novel, Remains of the Day, forced me to reflect on ideas of integrity. As the narrator, Stephens, recalls his years as a butler through turbulent years of service (and world wars), I wondered: How can we claim to take pride in ourselves if we are not acting in accordance with our deepest values? Honesty and uprightness, duty and responsibility, sacrifice and pride in a job well done—all essential elements of character that unfold in this wonderful tale.
Quotations to consider:
“Once you’ve got a man on the canvas, that ought to be the end of it. You don’t then proceed to kick him.” (87)
“…too many people believe themselves capable of working at these higher levels without having the least idea of the exacting demands involved. It is certainly not suited to just anybody.” (172)
Also fantastic was María Dueñas’ novel The Time in Between. As war—aftermath and precursor—ravages Spain and Europe, one young woman finds strength to continue (and fight back).
Quotations to consider:
“Propriety and honor were lovely concepts, but they didn’t give you food to eat, or pay your debts, or take away your cold on winter nights.” (109)
“…wherever I chose to direct my course or lay down the foundations of my life, there it would be, my normality…Normality was simply whatever my own will, my commitment, and my word accepted as such.” (488)
Last big mention goes to the Iron Lady, Golda Meir. Her autobiography, My Life, was remarkable and humbling. The sentiments echo those from above and present a code for life. Know your goal. Choose your path. Act with intention. Because “nothing in life just happens. It isn’t enough to believe in something; you have to have the stamina to meet obstacles and overcome them, to struggle.”
Which one of these books will you read?
Labrinth’s ballad Jealous is a heartbreaking track. If you need a soundtrack for rainy day, this is it. And if you need a pick me up, check out his insightful interview.
Everyone concedes the importance of maintaining health and fitness. We often try to “motivate” ourselves with new and exciting workouts or diet fads. What’s actually needed is a good dose of consistency and a little discipline. It’s wonderful to feel motivated and inspired in your workout routines and in your kitchen flair, but at the end of the day if you can’t maintain the momentum with consistent habits, you won’t see the progress you were hoping for. It might not be glamorous to go for a 20 minute walk every day. However, the person who walks every day of the year will be in better shape than the one who joined a gym in January and quit by the end of February. Be consistent in whatever workout you choose to do—and spice up your life with a puzzle or two. (I did this 1000 piece puzzle in 3 days. It was TOUGH!)
Tell me what’s good with you.
Peace and love,