Some people’s expressions stay with you for a life time. My mathematics teacher Ms Stageman framed her lessons with a warm and smiley “never to panic”, and my friends and I would quip “never to panic” almost in unison for many years after when faced with a daunting situation.
An expression that’s top of mind at the moment is Pnina Fenster’s “onwards and upwards”. Though I’m not sure who originally coined the phrase, Pnina, the once-editor of Marie Claire Magazine signed off her monthly letters with a trademark inspiring “onwards and upwards”. Every time I say it to myself, it makes me smile as I reminisce back to my fun Marie Claire days, but there’s also such a truth to those words.
Loathe to be stuck, I’ve been making some fairly brazen decisions of late, all in pursuit of movement and moving forward. And though there’s a fine line between bravery and foolishness or naivety, “onwards and upwards” helps me to remember that change can be a good thing. Yes, there can be virtue and sensibility in the safe choice, but when our intuition tells us to do otherwise, I think (and I’ll let you know) that it’s wise to honor it.
May we all be blessed with the right balance of spontaneity and stability, adventure and routine, and charge forward toward our most full lives. “Onwards and upwards”. Oh, and on the way I guess a “never to panic” wouldn’t hurt too.