What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.
I'll never forget what the year 2007 brought me: Kathie Lee Gifford. We met by happenstance at a restaurant in New York City, she agreed to fill in on the fourth hour of Today, and what followed was an eleven-year professional and personal relationship I truly treasure. One of the Today producers still likes to joke with me that I was "just wandering the halls of NBC" until she came up with the idea to invite Kathie Lee to cohost on the fourth hour. Pretty close to true. Kathie Lee absolutely set me on a path I'd never imagined for myself. I'm still amazed-and grateful-that meeting just one person can change your day, your year, your life. Thanks, Kath, and cheers to a new year!
You don't have to move mountains. Simply fall in love with life. Be a tornado of happiness, gratitude, and acceptance. You will change the world just by being a warm, kind-hearted human being.
This is sooooo my mom. I swear she falls in love every day with something new she's discovered-a restaurant, a book, someone she's met. When she arrives for a visit on the train, I'll meet her at Penn Station. "You're not gonna believe who I met on the train!" And then she introduces me to her new friend, and we take pictures together. My mom is-and always has been-someone who is constantly soaking up whatever a new day has to offer.
And if I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?-Sana Dabbas
I must admit, I'd never include myself out loud, but this is a great reminder to love ourselves and actually think it once in a while. After all, "I love me" sounds much better than "I'm not good enough," doesn't it?
Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly.
I think we're born with wings. It just takes a while to test them, like when we first jump off a swing or pedal like crazy when a parent lets go of the bike. I just knew I was soaring when my dad launched me into the air from the pool, my little foot blasting up from his laced fingers. Try not to forget we've had wings since forever.
I am better off healed than I ever was unbroken.
After I had surgery to remove cancer in my breast, a kind nurse gently cleaned around my wounds as I stood in front of a mirror. There we were . . . me, her, and my broken reflection. Who in the world is ever going to want to see this or be near it? I was overwhelmed with fear and insecurity. Fast-forward to now, when, thankfully, I have a man in my life who loves me beyond and for my scars. Scars mean we've healed, that we've grown stronger. They are the very thing that cuts through the BS regarding what matters in life and who we want to share it with. Don't you think it's our scars that connect us?
Be careful who you pretend to be. You might forget who you are.
I think as we get older there's less pretending. Year after year, our internal blueprints develop into a solid structure where we move about the world as ourselves. Still, I like this message-a reminder to keep it real.
Do not judge. You don't know what storm I've asked her to walk through.-God
On the twentieth anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School, I interviewed both survivors and people who had lost family members that day. I was absolutely blown away by the strength of spirit and love in the room. One mother, Beth Nimmo, lost her seventeen-year-old daughter, Rachel, but vowed to go one step further beyond just forgiving the gunmen for killing her daughter-she met with one of the shooters' mother. "We both lost our children, but she had all the shame, the reproach," Beth said, "and the hate." Before the meeting, Beth asked God what to say to Sue Klebold when they sat before each other. "The Lord said, ask her who her son was before April 20, 1999." When the women met, Beth said the question touched Sue, who began crying. "She said, 'Nobody wants to know anything about my little boy that I raised,'" Beth recalled, through tears of her own. "I saw a mother's heart."
So, if you are too tired to speak, sit next to me, because I, too, am fluent in silence.-R. Arnold
When my father died suddenly when I was in college, I walked around in a fog. I deliberately didn't wear my glasses so everything remained out of focus; my earplugs stayed in, blaring music. One day in class, as a test was under way, I just snapped. I can't do this. I'm outta here. I got up and grabbed my backpack. On my way out the door, the professor said, "If you don't take this test, you're going to fail." I couldn't have cared less. My friend Peggy Fox, who was also taking the test, picked up her backpack and followed me out. When we sat down at a picnic table by the duck pond, Peggy didn't say a word. Her mere presence was enough to comfort a small piece of my broken heart.
When you look into your mother's eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.
For the last eleven years and counting, I've called my mom each day at 11:01 a.m., right after the fourth hour of Today when I get off the set. Every time, she sounds like it's the first day she's seen me do the show. "Oh, you were amazing!" she'll say. "I just saw you and I cannot believe the purple dress!" Or, "Oh, Hodie, I can't believe it! How do you seem so rested?" Now, usually you get the parental pom-poms in spurts . . . but not with her. They're always shaking. After I adopted Hope, it wasn't long before my mom started to ask me when I was getting off maternity leave. She missed seeing me every morning! When I popped back for one day during my time off to watch the Thomas Rhett concert in Rockefeller Plaza, she taped the show and texted me the clip. "Amaaazzzing!" she wrote with lots of a's and z's. C'mon! Only now, with daughters, do I have some idea about how my mom feels about my siblings-Hala and Adel-and me. My entire perspective on that depth of love has changed forever.
If you ever get caught sleeping at work, just slowly raise your head and say, "In Jesus's name I pray."
I'm not promoting this, but I am laughing out loud at it.
Never be defined by your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence.
This is such a refreshing perspective on the past. It really shouldn't be a ball and chain we lug around, should it? Maybe there's something we can redefine today to feel more free.
Actually, you are good enough.
Tell yourself. Tell someone else. Spread the word.
The elimination diet: Remove anger, regret, resentment, guilt, blame, and worry. Then watch your health, and life, improve.-Charles F. Glassman
Just like sugar and salt, some of that emotional stuff can be addictive, can't it? When we think about our New Year's resolutions, maybe we should add cutting back on the negative self-talk, too.
Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.
-Voyage of the Dawn Treader
So true. I think when we fight through challenges, Destiny-in her own time-takes notice. Okay . . . I see that muscle of yours. I've got something special planned for you.
Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your problems.
I agree, it's almost always best to focus on what's going right in your life-except on a girls' trip. In a hotel room or on a beach somewhere, girls are gonna wear out their problems until the Doritos and dip are gone. Then, after a grocery run, they're gonna rehash the same problems while laughing their heads off, so . . .
Copyright © 2019 by Hoda Kotb. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.