Finding Worldly Wisdom in Cautionary Cliches

04/27/2015 04:45 pm ET | Updated Jun 27, 2015
Yuji Sakai via Getty Images

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

It has almost been a year now since my husband had a major back operation. I'll be frank -- it sucked. The weeks that followed, filled with more pain than my husband had ever experienced and more stress than I had ever handled, seemed to be an all-expense-paid trip to Hell that we never planned to take in our 30s. But it didn't kill us. As it turned out, it only made us stronger.

With each passing year, I become more aware that simple clichés -- the ones I never really paused to ponder before -- exist because of their timeless truth. And if you embrace and reflect on the words you once considered trite, you will be amazed at the guidance and hope they can offer.

When a door closes, a window opens.

I credit God -- you can credit the Universe or whatever is your bag. The bottom line is, "every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end" (thank you, Semisonic.) Disregard that the immediate view from the proverbial window may not be what you think you want. Simply know that you can't possibly discern the full vision until you have safely evacuated that burning building.

We lived a comfortable life, in a house I adored, in a city I had dreamed of calling home since I was four years old. We had wonderful friends, and I had a job that the little girl I once was would have freaked to know she nabbed. However, it was a solid two-salary life we had built around a rat-race industry, and returning to his fast-paced profession wasn't going to be in the best interest for my husband's recovery for a long while. Holding the door to that life open for his return may have been was possible, but at what cost -- literally and figuratively? When you feel the heat, stop staring at the closed door, find your window and jump.

They grow up so fast.

Our Plan B took us to the other side of the country and a world away from the life we had known. In the year it took us to return to relative normalcy, I looked up and our daughters' baby faces had disappeared into chiseled cheeks and Peppa Pig no longer fully consumed our DVR. This journey our little family took timed succinctly with one chapter in their lives ending and a new one beginning.

I thought I had grasped it before, but it took a whirlwind year to fully realize the truth -- they really do grow up so fast.

What new moments will I capture if I "stop and smell the roses"? What priorities will you rearrange when you realize that "you can't take it with you"? What decision will I make differently knowing "what goes around comes around"? What will you gain when you embrace the notion that "you get out what you put in"? What comfort will I find believing that "every cloud has a silver lining"? What disappointment will you avoid when you "don't put all of your eggs in one basket"? What contentment will we all discover when we trust that "home is where the heart is"?

There was much that could have been gained if I had thought earlier about these cautionary clichés or marinated in the wisdom that can be found in age-old sayings. But I won't "cry over spilled milk" because you know what they say ... "hindsight is 20/20."