This weird little Christmas holiday virus seems to be the gift that keeps on giving – every day it’s a new and different symptom, and although I am feeling better – i.e., functional – I am far from being my usual energetic and healthy self.  For example, my cough is now almost all gone but my sinuses seem to want to kill me softly, with their extreme pressure of a song.  It’s enough to make a person pull out the neti pot, and I do not make that move lightly.

Back when my cough was the symptom of the day, I was taking Halls’ cough drops when I noticed something on the individually wrapped candies.  I looked closely: on each wrapper was written “Nothing you can’t handle” and “Don’t waste a precious minute”.  Inspirational quotes on my cough drops.  This seems like the thin edge of the wedge.

Is it me, or is the vast volume of inspirational quotes making them superfluous?  Everywhere you look, there are little nuggets of precious wisdom; from Lululemon bags to my favourite but very pretentiously named Yogi tea, from billboards for a “better Calgary” to the massive influx on my Facebook news feed.  It’s like, to paraphrase a modern quote, drinking from the firehose of motivational sayings.  Don’t even get me started on Jack Layton’s final letter to Canada: the first time I read it I felt somewhat uplifted; by the fortieth time I read that love was better than anger and optimism better than despair, I felt more irritated than inspired.

This is not to say that I am a cynical sourpuss – or if I am, that will surely change momentarily, given that it’s Friday and I’m planning to test the theory that red wine is medicinal.  When I was young, my grandma had “Desiderata” hanging on the wall of her home, in between framed embroidered pictures of flowers in baskets with such maxims as “Grandchildren are a gift from God” with all of our names surrounding it.  I would look at “Desiderata”, and even at a young age it spoke to me.  As I hit the bumpy road that is the young teenage years, I would remember “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” and I would feel peace.  Her “Desiderata” was the one thing I wanted from her possessions when she died; I had it reframed and it now hangs in my living room wall.  I look at it every day, and every time I read “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world” I feel that it really IS a beautiful world.  Everything I believe in is written in “Deserata”.

So I suppose that is my inspirational quote, the one that inspires me.  Perhaps someone out there is being inspired by “Don’t waste a precious minute” on their cough drop wrapper; I suppose it’s possible.  Or perhaps we should treat the constant stream of motivational sayings the way we do fortunes in fortune cookies – with a “in bed” addendum on the end.  Like, “Nothing you can’t handle – IN BED”, or maybe “Do not do to others what you would not want done to yourself – IN BED”.  Or even – and this is a nod to all the hockey fans out there, I am a Canadian girl after all – “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take – IN BED.” 


  1. Ha! I also noticed the cough drop wrappers. Seriously, you don’t have enough to do in the cough drop factory, now you’re trying to buoy me up? I’M SICK. I DON”T WANT YOUR INSPIRATIONAL CLAPTRAP.

    I believe that is what my husband and I actually said to the cough drop wrappers when we saw them.

    They, being wrappers, didn’t give a damn.

    I’m with you re: the quotations. Someone said recently that facebook has turned into all the emails our old aunties used to send..all photos and inspiration and frankly that’s why I prefer to hang on twitter.

  2. Comedy gold, baby. “My sinuses seem to want to kill me softly, with their extreme pressure of a song.” “Inspirational quotes on my cough drops. This seems like the thin edge of the wedge.”

  3. I hope you feel better! I like the occassional inspirational saying but overused, they are just a dime a dozen and have little effect or I guess inspiration. I really like the idea of a word or a phrase. I think I will try to find mine. I guess they can be grounding…remind you who you are. My temporary phrase is ‘Go Pats!’ Until I find mine.

  4. Oh hi pinterest and your overflowing stock pile of inspirational quotes that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside for a whole 2.5 seconds and then I forget you.
    Colds suck.
    Nothing can make colds better.
    feel better soon.

  5. heheheh.

    i agree — too much of it and the message — which was likely valid to begin with — gets diluted, and yuck.

    feel better.

  6. I’ve noticed a lot of quotes going around lately. I think maybe because of Pinterest.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  7. Hope the wine helped.

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