Tag Archives: Inspiration

Ladies and Gentleman of the Class of 2013

10 Jun

As graduations continue this week for our local public schools, I wanted to offer some words of advice to the Class of 2013….

cap throw

In June of 1997 Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich wrote a column titled, Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young. The column was written in the style of a commencement speech, with Schmich offering her own advice for the graduating class of 1997 such as “Don’t worry about the future,” “Floss,” and “Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.”

In 1999, Australian film director Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + JulietMoulin Rouge!The Great Gatsby) contacted Schmich about licensing her words. Shortly thereafter, Luhrmann recorded Australian voice actor Lee Perry reading the column over a dance track to create the song Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen). The track received airplay in the U.S. in 1999 and quickly became a Billboard Top 100 hit.

Schmich’s words of advice still ring true today, and I would like to offer it to Cannon School’s class of 2013.

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Good luck, ladies and gentlemen. May you be successful in your future endeavors. May your lives be full of love and support from your family and friends. We will be cheering you on as you go out in to the world to pursue higher education or begin a career.

Monday Motivation: Guillaume Néry

6 May

Monday can be a tough day for many of us to find our motivation. To help get this Monday going, here is an inspiring video I saw a couple of years ago. Humans have achieved some amazing feats.

Guillaume Néry is a French world champion freediver. In 2010, Guillaume performed a special dive “base jump” in to Dean’s Blue Hole in Long Island, Bahamas. Dean’s Blue Hole is the deepest blue hole with seawater in the world. While Guillaume did not reach the bottom, an almost impossible feat at a depth of 663 feet, he completed the following special dive on a single breath.

Freediving is a dangerous sport and should only be performed by professional divers.

Kids Get It

5 Feb

Last night while we were sharing our best and worst parts of the day, Robert told us that his best part of the day was spending time with God. He told us that he played with God outside and felt God while he was at the Writing Center in his class….

I felt something warm and I thought, “is God in my shirt?”

I am thankful that our oldest son already feels God’s love and gets it, even at 5-years-old. ♥

A Message of Hope from Mr. Rogers

14 Dec

My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the families, school staff, first responders, and community of Newton, CT. ♥ Hug your families close today and pray for such senseless acts to end. It’s hard to make sense of tragedies like this, but we must have HOPE.

‎”….I know how tough it is some days to look with hope and confidence on the months and years ahead. But I would like to tell you what I often told you when you were much younger, I like you just the way you are and what’s more, I’m so grateful to you for helping the children in your life to know that you’ll do everything you can to keep them safe and to help them express their feelings in ways that will bring healing in many different neighborhoods.”

Mister Rogers

Watch A Message of Hope on PBS. See more from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Creating Your Masterpiece Show 065: Who is showing up? YOU or your representative??

28 Apr

Creating Your Masterpiece Show 065: Who is showing up? YOU or your representative??

Leah Turner and Jennifer Lee do a FANTASTIC job on their podcasts!

Try not to be fearful about who you are as a person. You are fabulous just as you are – perfect as you are.

Words of encouragement from two great ladies! :-) Each podcast I listen to inspires me to become the true artist of my life!

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