Life’s Playlist…. Memorial Day… America the Beautiful / God Bless America performed by David Phelps

Advice to the Graduates….

As the calendar moves from May to June a large segment of our population takes part in their own proverbial turning of the page.

It is graduation season and millions of high school and college students will begin a new phase in their lives.

As these young people start moving on, I thought it would be a good time to get some sage words of wisdom from a member of the “seasoned” community in advice to the young whipper-snappers who are about to take over the world.

Without further adieu, allow me to introduce this honored statesman, intellect and philosopher who will depart these words of wisdom…….

me.

OK, sorry to disappoint but that is the best I could do on such short notice, after all I have only known graduation day was coming for the last 364 days!

Instead of statesman, intellect and philosopher, I’ll just do the best I can.

While not words that will change the world, I do believe these brief thoughts can change a young person’s direction and help make life a bit easier and more enjoyable.

 

DREAM HUGE – this is your moment, don’t let any dream be too big.  Dream your dream and then find a way to make it a reality.  Don’t mistake wanting to do something with making it a reality, dreams take planning and work to come true, but when you make it happen, the hard-work required is worth it…. go for it!

CHANGE YOUR MIND – nothing says that you must have your entire game-plan laid out the day you graduate.  Try something, if you don’t like it don’t be afraid to change your mind…. often!

FIND YOUR TRIBE – as someone who didn’t always fit in during my high school years, I found my “tribe,” during college and my 20’s and these are the people who shaped my life and led me into adulthood.  Find the people who make you your best and then embrace them.

RESPECT YOUR ELDERS – trust me, you will be an elder before you even imagined it possible.

ERASE “I WILL NEVER” FROM YOUR VOCABULARY – I will never be fat, I will never let my kid do that, I will never work weekends, I will never get fired, I will never, I will never, I will never…… yes you will so erase the thought!

GO ON AN ADVENTURE – find something you are passionate about and then drop everything and chase the passion.  Join a campaign, backpack the countryside, run a marathon, just do something.  You will have your entire life to do what is expected of you, do something for a purpose greater than yourself or a challenge that will change you forever.

LEARN TO COOK – no explanation is necessary, just learn to cook.

MAKE MISTAKES – there is nothing wrong with making a mistake, there is nothing wrong with making many mistakes.  The best way to handle a mistake is apologize, move on and try your best not to repeat the mistake again.  We are humans, not perfect, so don’t be afraid to screw up.

LAUGH – every single day, find a reason to laugh.  If for no other reason, than it just feels good!

DON’T FORGET WHERE YOU COME FROM – all I wanted to do when I was young was escape where I came from.  As I got older all I wanted to do was come home.  The people you grew up with will be there when life gives you joy and sorrow.  Don’t forget the people who shaped you and supported you and above all else, shared a common experience that will be looked back on with joy for the rest of your life!

That’s it, sorry I couldn’t find a great philosopher and intellect, just words of advice from an old guy at a keyboard.

Congrats on your graduation, there is a big, beautiful, amazing world out there waiting for you……  go conquer it!

Before Facebook…..

Yesterday, while doing my weekly grocery shopping, I ran into a friend I have known since childhood.

Her husband and pooch had recently been injured in a car accident and I caught up on how their recovery was going.

We went about our way and then I ran into her again in the bakery.  I asked about a mutual friend who had been undergoing some life struggles and she let me know that our friend was doing well and moving forward.

I laughed as we were talking and asked “what did we do before Facebook?”  You see, Facebook is where I found out about both of these ongoing life events.

She responded back, “we talked on the party  line!”  We laughed and went on about our shopping.

As I wandered up and down the aisles of canned goods and, meats and dairy, I pondered, what DID we do before Facebook?

For the sake of conversation I use Facebook to encompass all social media.  The term could easily be, what did we do before Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat or any of the other social media platforms that I am not cool enough to comprehend.

No matter the format, what did we do before Facebook?

  • We used our phones for talking.  We actually picked up the receiver, got a dial tone, punched in a number and talked to the person on the other end.
  • We actually looked at people when we walked down the street.  We sometimes even nodded or said hello!
  • When we went to the bathroom, we did our business and left.  With the inception of social media, my bathroom breaks have grown longer and longer.
  • We didn’t overshare.  I am COMPLETELY guilty of this, I get it, but we overshare now.  It seems as though we are more worried about what our next posts will be instead of living our lives.  When was the last time you went to a concert and just enjoyed the music?  Now, we try to make sure we can get the perfect shot or video.
  • Our computers and phones were used for computing and phoning.  In this social media world we now live in, my computer is open to Facebook from the time I get up until I go to bed.  When I am not with my laptop, I have my phone in my hand.
  • Our search for a fulfilled life now competes with other’s photos and posts.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.  When I didn’t know that my friends were at the hottest club or movie premier, I could handle it, now I suffer from FOMO anxiety!
  • Emergency room visits for walking into walls and fountains were practically non-existent prior to social media overtaking our world.  Now when someone walks into a wall, you can be assured their faces were in their phones, finding out what excitement other people are experiencing in their world.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a critic of social media.  I love it and utilize it to the fullest.  I know what you had for dinner and you know the same about me.  I know who loves Trump and who hates him.  I know when you have a kidney stone and you know when I feel excited or frustrated, it is all a part of social media.

What I fear is that, like you, our lives are becoming more about our social media posts and less about life.

Social media is a wonderful part of our lives, when we use it as a supplement, not a forerunner.

While social media has its downfalls, the benefits of these photos, posts and videos far outweigh the negatives.

Through social media, I stay in touch with family and friends around the world.  I celebrate their joys and cry for them when they suffer.

Our world has been made smaller through social media.  Prayer circles for loved ones who are suffering or being witness to the first kiss of a new husband and wife allows us to narrow our circle and become one humanity.

I love seeing your children on their way to prom, or first steps, words and life milestones from your bundles of joy.  My heart grows stronger when I see complete strangers stop in their tracks to honor a fallen soldier as his body is received back on American soil.

Our world is a complex place, filled with a humanity that moves at the speed of light.  This world is brought together through social media, so if I don’t hear from you by phone or a knock on my door, I don’t take it personally, I know you are out living your life, like I am.

Keep sharing, I enjoy watching your adventures and hope you will forgive my overshares, it’s a big beautiful world out there, let’s experience it together!

Life’s Playlist….. Imagine performed by Pentatonix

RIP – John Glenn

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John Glenn

1921 ~ 2016