what would you tell your great grandchildren when you meet them?

I come back to this list regularly especially when I need a pick-me-up if the world has gotten to be too much--some of the sweetest bits of advice from an older generation. Here are my favorite bits.

1. The most important person in your life is the person who agreed to share their life with you. Treat them as such. 3. Stuff is just stuff. Don’t hold onto material objects, hold onto time and experiences instead. 4. Jealousy destroys relationships. Trust your significant other, because who else are you supposed to trust? 5. People always say, ’’Make sure you get a job doing what you love!’’ But that isn’t the best advice. The right job is the job you love some days, can tolerate most days, and still pays the bills. Almost nobody has a job they love every day. 7. Years go by in the blink of an eye. Don’t marry young. Live your life. Go places. Do things. If you have the means or not. Pack a bag and go wherever you can afford to go. While you have no dependents, don’t buy stuff. Any stuff. See the world. Look through travel magazines and pick a spot. GO! 8. Don’t take life so seriously. Even if things seem dark and hopeless, try to laugh at how ridiculous life is. 11. Nobody ever dies wishing they had worked more. Work hard, but don’t prioritize work over family, friends, or even yourself. 12. Eat and exercise like you’re a diabetic heart patient with a stroke — so you never actually become one. 14. Don’t take anyone else’s advice as gospel. You can ask for advice from someone you respect, then take your situation into consideration and make your own decision. Essentially, take your own advice is my advice… 17. Appreciate the small things and to be present in the moment. What do I mean? Well, it seems today like younger people are all about immediate gratification. Instead, why not appreciate every small moment? We don’t get to stay on this crazy/wonderful planet forever and the greatest pleasure can be found in the most mundane of activities. Instead of sending a text, pick up the phone and call someone. Call your mother, have a conversation about nothing in particular. Those are the moments to hold onto. 18. Pay your bills and stay the hell out of debt. If I could have paid myself all the money I’ve paid out in interest over the years, I’d be retired already. 19. If you have a dream of being or doing something that seems impossible, try for it anyway. It will only become more impossible as you age and become responsible for other people. 20. When you meet someone for the first time, stop and realize that you really know nothing about them. You see race, gender, age, clothes. Forget it all. You know nothing. Those biased assumptions that pop into your head because of the way your brain likes categories, are limiting your life, and other people’s lives.

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