Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Scattered Life Wisdom

What happens when those little bits of life wisdom come your way, but your children are too young to understand what you're telling them? Why, write the advice in your blog, of course, with a tag line of "things I need to tell my kids," so they can have a look twenty years from now.

My father-in-law, Jim Zitzman, had a great list of maxims he shared with the students he taught, a compilation he called, "Mr. Z's Helpful Suggestions on Mending Your Evil Ways and Leading a Happy and Rewarding Life." Although some of his suggestions are philosophical in nature (e.g., "Always swing for the fence."), my favorites are the more practical ones like, "Be the first to say hello." Simple things like saying hello make a big difference, don't they?

In that vein, some practical advice for my kids:

1. Attend every wedding you're invited to. It's a joyous occasion you can be part of, the bride and groom will appreciate it, and you may not see your friends at the wedding again for many, many years.

2. Try HARD not to say anything while you're angry or frustrated. Words march off, and they don't come back. Simmer down, then address the problem.

3. Never refuse an offer of food or drink. The question isn't whether you're hungry or thirsty; your host is offering you friendship. Accept it.

4. Never lie.

5. You can't really gauge your feelings unless you're well-rested. If you're feeling blue, get a good night's sleep and think about the problem the next day. And don't forget to eat.

6. Never miss a receiving of friends when a friend's family member has died. Your friend needs the support, it doesn't take long, and it's the best way to show you care.

7. Have a hobby. Or two or three. (Note: TV is not a hobby.)

8. Focus on the positive.

Love you guys!

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