At the conclusion of my last book reading of my memoir The Tiffany Box, I tried something new. I’ve received many questions about how I gather so many quotes about life. I decided to share my method for gathering inspiring quotes, cute quotes, happiness quotes, funny jokes, quotes about love and motivational quotes. I took out a black, plastic index card file that I purchased at Staples for $2.99 and a handful of 3” x 5” notecards.
“This is my secret,” I said and held up a handful of cards. “I keep notecards in my purse, my backpack, my pockets, and my car. If I don’t have notecards, and I want to write down happy quotes or inspiring quotes, I use whatever is available. This means I jot down notes on receipts, school flyers and church programs.”
I have found that if I have a camera in my hand, I am more likely to take pictures. This is true with notecards. If I have notecards all around me, I am more likely to write down quotes that people say that make me laugh or inspire me.
I shared a few of the quotes from my index box with the audience. It didn’t take us long to start laughing. I try to write down the month and the year and who said what. If I remember later, I may write down contextual details. But usually all I need are the words to bring back an entire era in our family.
Our youngest teenager was asked to do the dishes by himself after dinner. He’s accustomed to doing dishes with his older brother, but his brother wasn’t home that night. In response to my request, he said, “Mom, I had to do dishes all by myself 7 nights ago.”
I read another notecard. The older brother returned from a trip. I inquired as to whether or not he had done laundry, to which my teenage son replied, “Your clothes get dirty? My clothes air out after about a day and then they’re clean again.”
I read another notecard where I wrote down a conversation that had occurred between my husband and me.
Dan: I’m really tired.
Kathleen: Go ahead and lie down. (Dan lies down.)
Kathleen: I won’t keep talking.
Dan: It’s ok if you keep talking.
Kathleen: But I want you to sleep if you can.
Dan: I’m used to falling asleep while you’re talking.
By this point at the reading, everyone had good stories to share. In one reading I read a story about how my children tricked the tooth fairy. This story reminded a woman named Susan of what her daughter had hidden under a pillow to keep safe—a Popsicle! Another woman named Sally shared a funny story about her 7-year-old son. She had just outfitted her son for baseball. Together they purchased him pants, a belt, a mitt, a helmet and a cup. Later when he was showing a friend his new uniform, the mother overheard her son say to his friend, “If you don’t wear a cup, you’ll get a concussion.”
These moments are the gold of our lives, the inspiring quotes, the cute quotes, the quotes about love. And what I shared with the audience, and I will share with you is that it is worth spending five dollars at staples on an index file box, a handful of notecards and a pen. It is worth taking the time to write down what the people we love say. These are the moments that truly fill our days with happiness and make us rich.
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