I can’t believe it, but we have yet another niece graduating (and a nephew graduating from college but he’s not the sentimental type)! And graduation always makes me reflective and feel the need to impart my wisdom. Okay, my wisdom hasn’t gotten me a national TV show or a Pulitzer, but it also hasn’t landed me in jail or on a hit list (at least, none I’m aware of)! So here are a few tidbits I hope our niece comes to learn and maybe you can share these with some kid in your family that listens better to somebody they don’t know! lol. Or maybe you just need your own little reminder:
First off, say farewell to your frenemies. Do it nicely. High school (and the business world and the PTA and the bar) is all about the people you like on any given day, hate on any given day, are jealous of on any given day, and can’t wait to get rid of on any given day. Today, you get to get rid of them. Do so gracefully. Wish them well. Cry over what was and what will be in all its scary glory, and then keep your mouth shut. You don’t have to burn a bridge, you can just choose not take that route anymore.
Old Money is still the best Money
Secondly, remember where you came from. Be loyal. Friends and family are just like clothing. The new is exciting and fun and always nice to have for special occasions, but the old stand-by pajama pants and prom t-shirt from 10 years ago will be comfy and reliable and what you need on a bad day. Same with the people you surround yourself with. It’s okay to have new people in your life, but don’t ditch the old. Dance with the one you came with. They brought you here.
Don’t be a Hater!
Third, the world may be screwed up, but you don’t have to be. I really like that Mother Theresa quote about how the world may hate or do wrong, do good anyway. There are plenty of screwed up people, situations, and moments in life. Rise above.
Better to change your mind than to not use it!
Fourth, it’s okay to change your mind. Not 500,047 times, but when you need to, go ahead. If the major isn’t right, switch it. If the friends aren’t the right circle, ditch ‘em. If the job is somewhere else, try it. We all have a plan. Sometimes, we stay on that path. Sometimes, we take the road less traveled and that makes all the difference… (Yes, Robert Frost, you were right.)
Humble and Kind, just like Tim McGraw says. Please!
Fifth, be humble. Never think you’re better than. There are those that have a lot to put on their résumé and there are those that could but don’t have to. There will always be people telling you how great they are and there will always be people that are just great. Be the great. Don’t think you’re owed anything. Hope floats when you realize your cup runneth over. (Yes, love that movie!)
It all comes out in the wash…
Here’s the bottom line: there will be crappy times when people die, your basement floods, your kid gets sick, and you want to crawl into bed and sleep it off. There will be times when you sit with a drink in your hand, look up at the blue sky, look around you at the group of people talking and laughing with you, and you’ll soak it in. Life isn’t easy, but it is doable.
Take God with you.
Build the right relationships.
Find your little piece of happiness and live in it.
Laugh when the wheels fall off. Then, put ‘em back on and bolt those sonofabitches down and take a roadtrip.
Happy Graduation, little girl! May life always treat you kind…
Any words of wisdom you’d like to share? Any of those ring true with you? Got a graduation you’d like me to speak at? lol. Tell me.
Halleluyah! Yee-haw! Holy Guacamole! As Randy “the dawg” Jackson would say, “We got ourselves a hot one right here!” And with that, break out your razors. It’s time to shave your legs or your scruffy, Santa Claus beard. Cake on the Degree Anti-Pit Drip and slather the sunblock on those pasty white parts! We’ve got a happy weather day!
Hunt down the tank tops and shorts stored in hiding. Un-box the flip-flops. And screw the To-Do list! In fact, I’ll even allow you enough time to kick it into the shredder to make it official. Then, get your pale ass outside!
I really don’t care what you do once you get out there, but don’t let life pass you by. Take down the Christmas lights. Head to the park with the kids. Put out a new Welcome mat. Raise an American flag in the breeze. Read a mag on the front porch steps. Pick up the sticks from the yard. Wash the windows. Put down the fertilizer. Plant some daisies, carrots, or your ass on a chaise lounger. Dust off the cooler and fill it full of fun (otherwise known as some beverages of alcoholic clarity). Call over the neighbors, or the family, or the people down the street you actually like. Uncover the grill. Throw on the burgers and brats (As my dad would say: don’t be afraid to pour a little beer over them for good measure). Dig out the paper plates and kick back with another brown bottle or a frothy, girly umbrella drink (we won’t judge).
These are the days we don’t get back. And by don’t get back, I mean who gives a crap if your dishes are done, your couch has a trail of granola bar wrappers on it, or if the 55 emails in your inbox are ignored? There’s gonna come a day where we can’t run down the front steps grab the mail, the dog, and the groceries out of the backseat in under 5 minutes. I’m just sayin’. Robert Frost wasn’t a legend because he could rhyme any better than anybody else. It was because he was all about smelling the roses off of Old Man Jones’ place instead of hanging the laundry on the backyard clothes’ line. Now, I’m not necessarily a rose-smellin’ girl, but I can catch a whiff of barbeque a mile away. I’m quite familiar with the squirrels playing tag in my backyard, and I can snuff out a friend at an open-air cover-band concert with the best of them. I know I’m starting to sound a little like Barbara Walters but maybe she’s right – maybe it’s time to take a little time to enjoy the view, especially the view from your deck you paid an ungodly sum to put in because you were “going to use it all the time” but that would only be accurate if you meant to answer phone calls from work when the house has too many screaming kids in it.
So turn off the phone. Throw the briefcase in the car. Grab the smeared-up sunglasses and the Sunday paper, it’s time to relax in the sunshine with a cold one and a grilled something-or-other. And don’t argue, we don’t have time for it! But tonight when you hit your cold pillow with a contented smile, don’t forget to be thankful to whatever powers that be in your world – your wife for tolerating you, fate for putting you here, or God for giving you this day that you actually got to rejoice and be glad in.