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Other Musings

Then Sometimes, With Great Luck, (We) Will Succeed

As one year becomes another, I think about new beginnings.

It’s odd, the feelings we have about one year ending and the other beginning, isn’t it? It’s that joyful/sad emotion— melancholy mixed with hope—it pulls at us. The New Year is a kind of permission for all of us to let go of any and every thing that didn’t work and to look forward to and embrace the new. There’s a sense of heady expectation—new horizons, people, places, things, goals, dreams—we are almost childlike with expectations of what can happen.

That little twinkle, spark of what hasn’t even been created yet. The promise of that brings hope to the most jaded or skeptical among us.

One of my favorite movies, Forrest Gump, has that sentiment in a scene. Forrest is in New York City with Lieutenant Dan. They’re with a couple of ladies and the actress, Marla Sucharetza, “Long Limbs Lenore, says this:


Her expression, when she says it, is mixture of joy, sadness and then hope. Prose, poetry, and songs try to capture this juxtaposition of human emotions because it’s universal—we are all the same in this way. That’s why when we hear it or read it, it resonates with our souls.

So Long 2015

I look back on 2015 with gratitude, what it brought me and what it taught me. Here are a few things I’ve learned about life and about myself:

  • Don’t discount the life-altering lessons you can learn from someone older, someone elderly. They have knowledge of life that will astound you. Picture yourself how ever many decades ahead. What will you teach someone else?
Oh the places they've been!

Oh the places they’ve been!

  • You can’t please everyone so stop trying. Be the best you. The people who get you, don’t mind and the people who don’t, don’t matter.
  • Travel, even if it’s right around the corner from you. There’s always something you haven’t seen or experienced. Sometimes the best places are within walking distance.
  • There aren’t any missed opportunities. There are only decisions you’ve made and there’s a reason why you made them. Honor that. Life is full of endless opportunities and possibilities and what’s behind you doesn’t matter anymore.


  • Celebrate your health, your body, your mind. Each of us is truly a magnificent work of art and works of art come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Don’t spend your youth comparing yourself to someone else. It takes decades to come to this realization, so be easy on yourself.
You're GORGEOUS! Yeah, you are.

You’re GORGEOUS! Yeah, you are.

  • Stop trying to give up all white carbs. Give in to it every once in awhile. It’s okay.
Pasta. Cheese. Wine. Just say yes. Sometimes.

Pasta. Cheese. Wine. Just say yes. Sometimes.

  • The more you do something, the better you get at it. Consistency is key. As is showing up to do it.
  • You are never, ever, never too old to reinvent yourself. Take a class. Learn something new. JUST DO IT.


  • Never, never, never give up. (Winston Churchill said this. I love it so much; it’s on a block of wood I made and look at when I want to, well, give up.)
  • Relax. Everything will work as it should.
Relax. Take a load off. Everything will work out.

Relax. Take a load off. Everything will work out.

There’s much more but maybe we’ll explore those in the coming year.

Hello 2016

The title of my post is from an Ernest Hemingway quote:

For a true writer, each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.

Replace “writer” with whatever you are or hoping to be, “book” with your thing and use the correct pronoun. I think you’ll find it can apply to most anything in life.

music_for_peaceHere’s to hoping you succeed in any and every good thing you want in 2016 with great luck. I wish you that, but even more than that, I wish you peace. I wish that for us all. Inside us and outside of us. When we have that, we have everything.

Now, enjoy that song. Happy 2016!!!

What have you learned? What do you have in store for 2016?






About Brigitte



30 thoughts on “Then Sometimes, With Great Luck, (We) Will Succeed

  1. Oh Brigitte! I’m so happy to have found this in my inbox today. This in particular spoke to me: “There aren’t any missed opportunities. There caare only decisions you’ve made and there’s a reason why you made them. Honor that. Life is full of endless opportunities and possibilities and what’s behind you doesn’t matter anymore.” Love this. Miss you so much, my dear friend. Hoping 2016 is full of many new experiences for you, and tons and tons of happiness. xoxo

    Posted by Carly | December 31, 2015, 1:01 pm
    • Oh Carly! It is so wonderful to see you. I miss you so much too. Remember our meetings in the city? We had so much fun and you ladies inspired me so much. I wish the same for you, my friend. Here’s to the best year ever and all those endless opportunities and possibilities in front of us. xoxo


      Posted by Brigitte | December 31, 2015, 1:07 pm
  2. A worthy reflection for all to ponder. I love travel, but yes – close to home can offer much if one takes the time to look. Happy New Year to you … .and on to 2016 we go … cheers!

    Posted by aFrankAngle | December 31, 2015, 4:01 pm
  3. This is a very inspirational way to end the year. Picking up where you left off is going to be a lot easier tomorrow since you finished at such a high level.

    Happy New Year to you and your family, Brigitte.

    Posted by Allan G. Smorra | December 31, 2015, 4:55 pm
  4. What a wonderfully inspiring post. I loved it! So many positive words, and I love the images you chose to go with them. Particularly resonating for me are:
    “You can’t please everyone so stop trying.”
    “You are never, ever, never to old to reinvent yourself.”
    “Never, never, never give up.”

    Thanks for starting my soon-to-be New Year on a beautifully positive note!

    Posted by Carrie Rubin | December 31, 2015, 5:15 pm
    • Carrie what an inspiring comment from you! Thank you for that. I’m glad I wrote something that you can relate to and find inspiring. It’s such a pleasure to connect with a lovely community of bloggers (including you) who take the time to stop by with their wisdom. I hope you and yours have a splendid, safe, and Happy New Year!


      Posted by Brigitte | December 31, 2015, 5:32 pm
  5. That Shel Silverstein quote gives me goosebumps. He’s one of my all-time favorite authors and I have all his books on a shelf in my childhood bedroom. I might have to have my mom ship those to me so I can remember that since of whimsy and trust and joy.

    That Churchill quote is hanging in our home office. My husband admires him so much that he’s proposed we name our first boy Winston, in his honor 😉

    Posted by Erin E. | December 31, 2015, 6:59 pm
    • Hey Erin! We have much in common it seems. Isn’t Shel Silverstein just awesome? I mean, really. And yes, the Churchill quote has inspired me many times. I once had a dog named Winston and I think it’s a fine name. Very dignified. And cool. ;).

      I hope you and yours have a wonderful and Happy New Year! Thanks, Erin.


      Posted by Brigitte | December 31, 2015, 7:19 pm
      • To this day, I can’t think about The Giving Tree without tearing up. It’s happening now, eeek! Time to think happy thoughts.
        “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
        Would not take the garbage out!” Makes me giggle every time.

        Posted by Erin E. | January 9, 2016, 11:10 am
      • Now I want to read it AGAIN. 🙂 >

        Posted by Brigitte | January 9, 2016, 12:40 pm
  6. Happy New Year, Brigitte. I love this post! There is always so much anticipation with new beginnings – whether a new year or a new project! Then, you’re right, we get caught up in the need for perfection and lose sight of the opportunities to learn.

    Posted by Cathy Ulrich | January 1, 2016, 12:07 pm
    • Cathy, Happy New Year! Beginnings are always inspiring aren’t they? And exciting. I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful and creative beginnings (just think there are some you’ve not even created yet!) and to a beautiful 2016. Thanks Cathy.


      Posted by Brigitte | January 1, 2016, 1:13 pm
  7. Happy New Year, Brig. As usual, you’re being philosophical and thoughtful in a post, probably an easier way to be down South than when you lived up North. Unlike years past, I do not feel remotely melancholy about 2015 seguing into 2016. I feel ecstatic to be out of 2015. It was not a bad year, but it was an extremely challenging year for me and it blew a giant hole into my routine which, aside from going to The Grind, ushering Off-Broadway theater on weekends and hanging out with my friend, Milton, I was otherwise routine-less. My life has been very chaotic, but I am hoping that things will settle down considerably in the next month and I can establish a new routine and a return to what is normalcy for me: an easy rut.

    Posted by lameadventures | January 1, 2016, 5:11 pm
    • Hey V! I’ve really missed your posts and humor. I do understand those years that are so chaotic that you’re glad to see them end! Been there, my friend. We don’t realize how much our rituals and routines mean to us until they are severely disrupted. The light at the end of the tunnel is that things will settle in and settle down and you’ll be back in your rhythm, one that feels good, soon. You can take a big exhale and relax I hope. As far as the South being easier, I don’t think so. There are things I like and don’t like just like any other place, you know?

      I wish you, yours, and of course Milton a fantastic 2016 with serenity, fun, and every other good thing your heart desires.

      Thanks V! Please write some funny for us. 😀


      Posted by Brigitte | January 1, 2016, 5:34 pm
      • Awww, thanks, Brig. I knew I was heading into unchartered territory when I took on this goal a year ago, but I truly had no idea what was in store or how hard it would be. I like easy. I like simple. This has been nothing but hard and complicated. When it’s done in the month ahead, I might be able to revert not just to easy and simple, but to easier and simpler. Oh happy day to that! I am a dedicated sloth. I wish you, yours and your critters all the best in 2016, pal.

        Posted by lameadventures | January 1, 2016, 5:46 pm
  8. Well said Bridgette. You packed a lot of wisdom into your blog. I’ll read it again. I’ve always been a big fan of New Years as a chance to look backward and forward. I do each with equal relish. –Curt

    Posted by Curt Mekemson | January 2, 2016, 12:55 am
  9. It might sound strange but I always read your posts with your voice in my head, which sounds warm, comforting, and sympathetic to me. I’ve never heard your voice but somehow I kind of think I already know what it sounds like. My heart twisted a little at the part about there being no such thing as missed opportunities….. because you’re right! I’ve spent a lot of time worrying and second-guessing when it comes to skipping out on certain things or situations but exactly like you said, it was a deliberate choice I made and there was a reason for it. My logical brain knows all of this but my emotional heart isn’t always so convinced until someone else comes along and tells me that I’m not a loser for not wanting to do the things other people want to do. Wishing you all the best in 2016!

    Posted by lillianccc | January 2, 2016, 11:34 pm
    • Lillian what a sweet thing to say — thank you. I imagine you are a very compassionate, intelligent, and wonderful person yourself as your posts are always beautifully introspective. I do know what you mean about worrying and fretting and everyone does it – the second guessing. But I really believe something within us knows what to do and then we just do it – make the decision.

      Years ago I made one of those big life changing decisions. Like you, moving to a new place with a new job alone. I fretted until the moment I drove away. A friend of mine was there and I said to him: What if this is the wrong thing to do? He said: B, if it was the wrong thing you wouldn’t be doing it.

      Simple, huh? 😉

      Thank you Lillian and here’s to an awesome 2016!


      Posted by Brigitte | January 3, 2016, 11:59 am
  10. Happy New Year, Brigitte! Those are some great tips.

    Posted by susielindau | January 3, 2016, 11:01 am
  11. This post sometimes reminds me of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”, only in past tense.
    I’ve learned that my love is beautiful and it grows stronger. I’ve come to really appreciate the promise that we made to each other long ago about growing old together and accepting, empathizing and/or commiserating as we age. I have learned to love the changes and to see so much more beauty in you.
    I am looking to the future with some trepidation for retirement, will we be totally prepared, and with the knowledge and happiness that I’ll be on that journey with you, my partner.
    Thank you for a wonderful and thought provoking post. I love you.

    Posted by Jeff | January 5, 2016, 11:02 am
  12. These words ring so true — wonderful reminders as we forge ahead in the New Year. (Don’t you just love those wise words from Shel Silverstein?!)

    Posted by Kat at travelgardeneat | January 6, 2016, 5:07 pm
  13. Ah, Brigitte, I knew I would find wise words from you to start this New Year! You chose a wonderful set of ideas for the year. This is one to keep coming back to when I stumble during the year. 🙂

    Posted by jmmcdowell | January 7, 2016, 8:45 pm
    • Hey JM and Happy New Year to you! What a sweet thing to say — thank you so much. I look forward to your words of fiction, wisdom, and whatever gems you decide to share with us on your posts this year as well. 😉


      Posted by Brigitte | January 8, 2016, 8:16 am

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