The Gift of an Ordinary Day Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir by Katrina Kenison
3,024 ratings, 3.77 average rating, 659 reviews
Open Preview
The Gift of an Ordinary Day Quotes Showing 1-16 of 16
“Not a day goes by that I don't still need to remind myself that my life is not just what's handed to me, nor is it my list of obligations, my accomplishments or failures, or what my family is up to, but rather it is what I choose, day in and day out, to make of it all. When I am able simply to be with things as they are, able to accept the day's challenges without judging, reaching, or wishing for something else, I feel as if I am receiving the privilege, coming a step closer to being myself. It's when I get lost in the day's details, or so caught up in worries about what might be, that I miss the beauty of what is.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“When we focus on what is good and beautiful in someone, whether or not we think that they "deserve" it, the good and beautiful are strengthened merely by the light of our attention.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“...there is no such thing as a charmed life, not for any of us, no matter where we live or how mindfully we attend to the tasks at hand. But there are charmed moments, all the time, in every life and in every day, if we are only awake enough to experience them when they come and wise enough to appreciate them.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“Life finds its balance. Children grow up. Second chances come along. In the meantime, I could choose to savor this moment. What good would it do to allow annoyance to interfere with gratitude?”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“A balanced life has a rhythym. But we live in a time, and in a culture, that encourages everyone to just move faster. I'm learning that if I don't take the time to tune in to my own more deliberate pace, I end up moving to someone else's, the speed of events around me setting a tempo that leaves me feeling scattered and out of touch with myself. I know now that I can't write fast; that words, my own thoughts and ideas, come to the surface slowly and in silence. A close relationship with myself requires slowness. Intimacy with my husband and guarded teenage sons requires slowness. A good conversation can't be hurried, it needs time in which to meander its way to revelation and insight. Even cooking dinner with care and attention is slow work. A thoughtful life is not rushed.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“It's easy, given the times we live in and the implicit messages we absorb each day, to equeate a good life with having a lot and doing a lot. So it's also easy to fall into believing that our children, if they are to succeed in life, need to be terrific at everything, and that it's up to us to make sure that they are-to keep them on track through tougher course loads, more activities, more competitive sports, more summer programs. But in all our well-intentioned efforts to do the right thing for our children, we may be failing to provide them with something that is truly essential-the time and space they need to wake up to themselves, to grow acquainted with their own innate gifts, to dream their dreams and discover their true natures.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“I know I can't make time slow down, can't hold our life as it is in a freeze frame or slow my children's inexorable journeys into adulthood and lives of their own. But I can celebrate those journeys by bearing witness to them, by paying attention, and, perhaps most of all, by carrying on with my own growth and becoming. Now it dawns on me that the only way I can figure out what I'm meant to be doing is to try to understand who I'm meant to be...I will not waste this life, not one hour, not one minute. I will not take for granted the blessing of our being here...I will give thanks...”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“One thing we've learned this summer is that a house is not an end in itself, any more than "home" is just one geographic location where things feel safe and familiar. Home can be anyplace in which we create our own sense of rest and peace as we tend to the spaces in which we eat and sleep and play. It is a place that we create and re-create in every moment, at every stage of our lives, a place where the plain and common becomes cherished and the ordinary becomes sacred.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“...home is less a location than a discipline. It is a way of being, a domestic, considered attention to familiar routines and the small, essential details of everyday life. From now on, I promised myself, home would be wherever I was, not the place that I one day hoped it to be. I would create it by being present. I would try to do better.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“I don't wish for the red house back, not really, yet in a way, I wish for everything back that ever was, everything that once seemed like forever and yet has vanished . . . Standing here on an empty hilltop in New Hampshire, as a bulldozer slowly pushes the debris of a small red house into a neat pile, I allow, just for a moment, the past to push hard against the walls of my heart. Being alive, it seems, means learning to bear the weight of the passing of all things. It means finding a way to lightly hold all the places we've loved and left anyway, all the moments and days and years that have already been lived and lost to memory, even as we live on in the here and now, knowing full well that this moment, too, is already gone. It means, always, allowing for the hard truth of endings. It means, too, keeping faith in beginnings.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“One of the greatest challenges I've faced as a mother-especially in these anxious, winner-takes-all times-is the need to resist the urge to accept someone else's definition of success and to try to figure out, instead, what really is best for my own children, what unique combination of structure and freedom, nurturing and challenge, education and exploration, each of them needs in order to grow and bloom.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“If you want to be reborn,' it is written in the Tao Te Ching, 'let yourself die.' This is what I've been having trouble with, the fact that letting go can feel, at times, like a death. Someday, I know, I will lose everything. All the small deaths along the way are practice runs for the big ones, asking us to learn to be present, to grow in faith, to be grateful for what is. Life is finite and short. But this new task, figuring out how to let go of so much that has been precious -- my children, my youth, my life as I know it -- can feel like a bitter foretaste of other losses yet to come.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“If some essential part of me was already disappearing as my children moved into increasingly wider orbits, well then, I wanted to rech out and claim something else to take its place.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“Home was this whole perfectly contained universe--town, friends, acquaintances, the streets we traveled every day...And we were about to leave it all.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“When we focus on what is good and beautiful in someone, whether or not we think that they “deserve” it, the good and the beautiful are strengthened merely by the light of our attention.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
“When we focus on what is good and beautiful in someone, whether or not we think that they 'deserve' it, the good and the beautiful are strengthened merely by the light of our attention.”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir