Running On Sober

I'm not empty, just sober

Words For The Weekend (“The new years come, the old years go”), Volume 23

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 12/29/12 (Volume 23). I hope you enjoy them too.

I am currently enjoying a “mini-hiatus” from blogging, so this weekend’s quotes are reposted from Volume 5–one of the most viewed editions. I’ve also included a couple of poems to ring in the new year. I wish you all a safe and joyful New Year!


Have no fear for giving in, Have no fear for giving over, You better know that in the end, It’s better to say too much, Than to never say what you need to say again… Even if your hands are shaking, And your faith is broken, Even as the eyes are closing, Do it with a heart wide open. Say what you need to say, say what you need to say… ~ John Mayer, from song “Say (What You Need to Say)


There’s something about sober living and sober thinking, about facing long afternoons without the numbing distraction of anesthesia that disabuses you of the belief in the externals, shows you that strength and hope come not from circumstances or the acquisition of things, but from the simple accumulation of active experience, from gritting the teeth and checking the items off the list, one by one, even if it’s painful and you’re afraid. ~ Caroline Knapp


When you no longer believe that eating will save your life when you feel exhausted or overwhelmed or lonely, you will stop. When you believe in yourself more than you believe in food, you will stop using food as if it were your only chance at not falling apart. When the shape of your body no longer matches the shape of your beliefs, the weight disappears. ~ Geneen Roth


Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that’s what maturity is all about. ~ OSHO


Trying to reason with an addict was like trying to blow out a lightbulb. ~ Anne Lamott


If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self pity, suffering and tears. ~ Don Miguel Ruiz


Never despise small beginnings, and don’t belittle your own accomplishments. Remember them and use them as inspiration as you go on to the next thing. When you venture outside your comfort zone, wherever the starting point may be, it’s kind of a big deal. ~ Chris Guillebeau


If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.


Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; But remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. ~ Epicurus



An oak tree and a rosebush grew,
Young and green together,
Talking the talk of growing things-
Wind and water and weather.
And while the rosebush sweetly bloomed
The oak tree grew so high
That now it spoke of newer things-
Eagles, mountain peaks and sky.
“I guess you think you’re pretty great,”
The rose was heard to cry,
Screaming as loud as it possibly could
To the treetop in the sky.
“And now you have no time for flower talk,
Now that you’ve grown so tall.”
“It’s not so much that I’ve grown,” said the tree,
“It’s just that you’ve stayed so small.”

~ Shel Silverstein


The Year by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.


Fragments for the End of the Year by Jennifer K. Sweeney

On average, odd years have been the best for me.

I’m at a point where everyone I meet looks like a version
of someone I already know.

Without fail, fall makes me nostalgic for things I’ve never experienced.

The sky is molting. I don’t know
if this is global warming or if the atmosphere is reconfiguring
itself to accommodate all the new bright suffering.

I am struck by an overwhelming need to go to Iceland.

Despite all awful variables, we are still full of ideas
as possible as unsexed fruit.

I was terribly sorry to be the one to explain to the first graders
the connection between the sunset and pollution.

On Venus you and I are not even a year old.

Then there were two skies.
The one we fly through and the one
we bury ourselves in.

I appreciate my wide beveled spatula which fulfills
the moment I realized I would grow up and own such things.

I am glad I do not yet want sexy bathroom accessories.
Such things.

In the story we were together every time.

On his wedding day, the stone in his chest
not fully melted but enough.

Sometimes I feel like there are birds flying out of me.

Copyright © 2009 by Jennifer K. Sweeney. From How to Live on Bread and Music


Categories: Words For The Weekends

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18 replies

  1. Great set! (Though I wasn’t so keen on the Shel Silverstein poem).
    Happy New Year, RoS, and I hope you and yours have a fantastic 2013!


    • Happy new year to you too Guap!

      That’s actually one of my favorite Shel poems. It’s so multi-layered. Both the rose bush and the tree are following their natures–it’s not the rose’s fault that she stays “so small”, (she is made to flourish, smell sweet, spread out, and be a source of joy to others; she couldn’t grow sky-high even if she wanted to), nor is it the tree’s fault for growing tall. At first glance I always thought this poem was about the tree outgrowing its past, and the rose staying stuck and resentful, but in age I can now see the rose’s perspective too. Sometimes we simply grow apart and in different directions and that can be sad.

      It’s totally cool though if you weren’t crazy about it. ;)


  2. “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; But remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. ~ Epicurus” Hands down, my favorite! C, Thank you for always putting together an incredible weekly inspiration. I look forward to the inner machinations of your Running on Sober mind. You have truly enriched my life this past year. Looking forward to an outstanding 2013. Thank you for your friendship. Lisa


    • I love that too Lisa. It reminds me to slow down and be grateful for where I am and what I have and how I worked hard to get here. That, for example, one time being nearly 20 months sober was beyond my wildest wishes, as was running a marathon and having a calm, serene passing of days without created drama.

      I am so grateful for you Lisa, thank you for being a friend and for giving so much of yourself to help others.


  3. Love these, especially: “If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self pity, suffering and tears.” I must get this man’s book. I had an old friend who talked about him and gave me a book by Carlos Casteneda. Thanks for this! Hope you are enjoying your hiatus!


  4. Wonderful and inspiring as always. Have a beautiful New Year!


  5. Osho speaks volumes and resinates with my core. I’ll have to add that to my little green book of random collected quotes… I have a few little books now, and they are becoming as treasured as my few precious few jewels. Very much appreciated… thank you and blessings for an enlightened year ahead… may happiness reign supreme.


    • Hi A! Oh boy, I could do a whole volume dedicated to OSHO–and maybe I will! He does not mince words at all. His writings on anger and emotion have been very helpful for me.

      I thought of you earlier yesterday… I FOUND A YOGA STUDIO! I am going to meet the owner this week, but all keywords you suggested (including holistic) were mentioned. They are even offering a Pranayama Breathing workshop soon. I am very excited–thank you so much for encouraging me. You’re such a blessing to me!


  6. I think this is my favorite of all your posts.. Living sober is akin to living with grief.. we have to simply keep the thoughts “I am Love, I am strength, I am …)..We manifest what we think..
    So many wonderful quotes here.. I wish you nothing but sunshine, courage, love, excitement for your new year!!
    Happy New Year!!


    • Thanks Lynne! That was back when I wasn’t so consciously focused on theme, just content. I may try to get back to that place…

      Great point about living sober and living with grief being so similar. Most people who get sober, if not all, go through that exact grieving process. I still grieve the loss of “my friend” who was always there until it turned on me. But just as I grieve my mom, I can’t live in the past and I can’t not feel what I have to feel. I just have to keep moving forward…

      I’m really glad we “met” this year!

      (I just mentioned you and your Four Agreements post to a friend earlier in comments!)


  7. Thank you for all these great quotes. I’ve decided to call 2013 “the year of letting go”. Not so much a resolution but an attitude. The Epicurus quote perfectly sums up where my head will be as I move forward into this next year. Wishing you all good things…….


    • “The year of letting go” I like that a lot Elle. That’s a great theme / attitude for the year. A fellow blogging friend, Michele at MishedUp, gave me the great idea to pick a theme word for the year instead of making resolutions. I plan to write about my words this week (I couldn’t pick just one!)

      Did you ever see the movie Garden State? It featured this amazing song, “Let Go” by Frou Frou:

      “So, let go, yeah let go
      Just get in
      Oh, it’s so amazing here
      It’s all right
      ‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown…”

      May your 2013 be filled with joy, health, laughter and letting go…


      • Love this song..actually have it on my ipod!! Looking forward to your theme words all the great thoughts you’ll have to share in 2013!!