It's funny, I've been wanting to post something all week, but I didn't have much time or a lot to say and today I found my inspiration courtesy of Baz Luhrmann.
Unbelievable as it is to me, Baz's songtalk "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" came out 10 years ago and it continues to be every graduating class's "song" for what you can and/or should do in life. As I was running an errand this morning, the song came on. It's been a while since I heard it and the words are as true for grads as they are for anyone at EVERY point in life. I couldn't help but well up and think just how applicable this is to me and so many others right now. I attempted to jot down the lines from the song that meant the most to me, but I found it was the nearly the entire song, so I narrowed them to a 11 and combined a couple of them. These include my experiences and my take on life's little lessons:
1. Don’t berate yourself: but we're so good at it! Seriously, just don't. In terms of what I'm experiencing right now, this is what it is and only I can change it, but I'm not going to beat myself up over shoulda, coulda, wouldas.
2. Remember compliments, forget the insults: definitely remember the compliments, but I totally get that it's not easy to forget the insults. I think BOTH inevitably make you stronger, but focus on the GOOD.
3. Read the directions even if you don’t follow them: in general, I read the directions AND follow them. It saves me a heck of a lot of pain and time.
4. Accept certain inalienable truths: if someone has their mind made up or has an opinion of you, accept that you might not be able to change it. As much as I wanted to change someone's mind in order for me and my family to be in a better place, there was no way I could have...their mind was made up a long time ago. It's their loss--see #1.
5. Don’t expect anyone else to support you: never have, never will. In terms of being laid off, I've never really felt entitled to something. Sure, I wanted my job and all the things that came with it, but in the end, I was going to make a change, they just beat me to it. Keep your independence, love and embrace it, and follow your own path.
6. Don’t worry about the future—worry, but understand that it’s as effective as it is to solve an algebra problem with bubble gum: good luck with that not worrying thing. Yes, I worry, but I'm such the optimist that I believe in my heart of hearts that everything will be okay. Keep things in perspective and when you think about all the things that could happen to you, this is nothing in the grand scheme of things.
7. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do in your life: I think the lucky ones are the people that don't know exactly what they want to do. I find happiness in what I'm doing right now--could be something different tomorrow. That's the secret.
8. Do one thing ever day that scares you: I haven't been doing this in recent times, but I am now. See last week's post, I did something different and ended up feeling pretty good about it.
9. Get to know your parents/be nice to your siblings and understand that friends come and go: I'm good friends with my parents and thankful for it. I'm so incredibly thankful for them and my friends, including the ones I haven't spoken to in eons and may never again. These people will support you through thick and thin. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
10. Dance and Sing: I have kids, so there comes the inevitable bouncing in the driver's seat and singing to the kids' songs to entertain and laugh with them. On a particularly beautiful Friday a couple of weeks ago, I was driving across the West Seattle Freeway and had the windows down, sunroof open, music blaring, and I looked at downtown Seattle and screamed "I love Seattle!" I do...I love it. It's home. So, in addition to dancing and singing--no matter where you do it, I recommend a good scream every now and again.
11. Wear sunscreen and Floss: do it...trust me. I've had one skin cancer scare--nuff said. As for flossing, I've experienced a week bit of pain with a receiding gumline, so definitely floss. Keep yourself healthy--your body is connected and taking care of one part affects everything else, so take care of it all.
I'm off to enjoy the weekend with friends. I hope you do, too.
P.S. I'm getting my business card published in a book thanks to Cards of Change. Go and post your card and have some fun!