My birthday is approaching and my daughter composed these things that she claims to have learned from me. It’s been a rough week and she wanted to encourage me. Needless to say, she succeeded.
I pray that I did impart these values because I have worked to achieve them in my life. However, I am a veteran parent and I know better than to claim to have contributed to my children’ successes or to have caused their problems. At soon-to-be 59 years of age, my legacy is about all that matters to me. If you are like me, you feel as if your life experience might best serve as a warning to others of things NOT to do.
So I’ll share my daughter’s observations – and consider them in light of her young legacy of nationally ranked distance runner – tough former fighter – insanely high academic achievements in multiple degrees at different schools – Renaissance personality – and all camouflaged in a petite little size.
- Laugh often and genuinely.
- Embrace your nerdiness, and find other nerds to marinate in the nerdly juice with you. Nerd bonding is the most exquisite kind of bonding. 🙂
- Fight for the people (and pups) and causes you love, even when you’re fighting alone.
- Look for nuance in all situations, even when it hurts to do so.
- Be more generous than some people think would be “sufficient” with your resources and your time.
- Never miss the chance to hug someone you love.
- Be willing to answer the phone at 3 am when it’s someone you love who is calling.
- When sh*t hits the fan, kick into warrior mode and stay there til said sh*t is no longer on your ceiling fan…even if it takes a while! No one likes sh*tty fans, after all. 🙂
- You can never have too many books.
- Don’t be afraid to veer away from your schedule. The best adventures and memories are most often spontaneous.
- Having ADD is actually a benefit: it makes you more creative!
- Dress in your power clothing when it’s time to kick a$$ and take names.
- Going to counseling and taking medicine is a sign of courage and strength, not weakness.
- The outdoors are a marvelous therapist.
- Dogs aren’t really dogs: they’re furry angel-children, and should be spoiled as such!
- Introverts can still be awesome public speakers and teachers.
- Follow your career passion, even if it doesn’t pay well and even if it isn’t the most popular choice.
- Courage is being scared, but still doing the right thing, even though it scares you!
- Be outrageously kind to service industry folks, both with words, actions, and through being “mufaka” (not sure how to spell that one, but you know what I mean).
- Take the people you love’s concerns and drama seriously enough to let them vent to you a bit, even if you don’t quite understand what they’re upset about!
- Give yourself the introvert time you need to recharge, and don’t feel badly about it.
- Being strong doesn’t just have to mean having big muscles: it means an inner strength and ferocity of spirit.
- Try to look for the good in other people, even when you really, really, really dislike them!
- Sometimes, waiting til the last minute is best, because then you work super, super fast!
- It’s ok to be a good writer but to not enjoy writing!
- Be a Labrador for those that you love, and a PO’d Doberman against those who seek to wrong them.
- Life is too short to take it seriously all the time. Be goofy; smile; and the word will eventually smile back at you, if even just for one brilliant moment.