I'm reading a new (to me) Anna Quindlin book called Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake..a memoir and sharing of her wisdom. I like her writing and I like her wisdom. As I was reading, it struck me that hitting 50 really sparks the desire to start spouting advice to whomever is listening. And you, dear blog readers, are kinda a captured audience. Mostly though, I want to get something written down for my kids because I'm not sure they are currently paying attention, what with puberty and all. It's my mother's day present to myself.
1. Emma told me the other day that she figured out you either break up with people, or you marry them. Break up until the cows come home...until you figure out that bright, shiny, and loud has got nothing on steady, quiet, and loving. Your future is greatly impacted by which wagon you hook your star to....and if I may be so bold, your dad is a pretty damn fine prototype. As I type this, he is picking up your cousin from college in the rain. Steady as he goes.
2. Hang on to your friends. Especially as you continue to break up until the cows come home. They will see you through it all and you will circle back around to each other, no matter how far you travel. Being with them feels like being home.
3. Family is a big deal. I left a chunk of mine down in Texas and as they have aged, I have pined for them. I had to leave to figure that out so I'm going to request that you figure it out without the leaving.
4. Hang on to being a Unitarian Universalist. As Luke says "We include everyone except people who do not include everyone." Standing on the side of love, compassion, and the right to figure out what we believe ourselves is part of your New England heritage. Even though you asked for a gun after our last youth group trip:)
5. The Greeks had this ideal that you should balance intellectual pursuits, physical pursuits, and spiritual pursuits. I think as long as you define those things for yourself, it is a good place to check in...Am I in balance?
6. You are going to hurt people when you are young pretty substantially. Forgive yourself and vow to do it less as you get older. I have found a spiritual practice has helped me with this.
7. Try some crazy ass things that will lead to a scar or two.
8. Get arrested for protesting or March on Washington, whatever fits your style. Believe in the power of standing up against oppression.
9. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Things are just not that serious, no matter what.
10. Tell the truth even when the telling of it feels like it might ruin something. I fully expect one of my friends to tell me this list errs on the side of pompousness. They will forgive me because it's mother's day, of course.
Finally, always love each other. You two are my greatest accomplishments and I am so very proud of who you are!
And a big shout out to my mom, for teaching me all of the above:)