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Friday Thirteen

As soon as I stepped out into the rain yesterday to take my walk, I was considering deleting yesterday’s post. I’m still considering it. It’s much harder for me to reveal that than I thought it would be. For now, though, I’m going to leave it there, and follow-up it up with something a little more light-hearted.
Last night, I dreamt that I was in an 80s movie. Of course, I didn’t realize it was an 80s movie until after the fact, but the plot was a typical 80s movie plot. The parents were out of town. I threw a big party. I pined after the popular girl. Several things went wrong. By the end of the two hours, though, everything seemed to work itself out, and I was giving advice to my younger brother about how I managed to pull it off. I don’t have a younger brother, but apparently the dream-me doesn’t know that.
Anyways, I thought I gave some pretty good advice, and decided to turn that into a belated Thursday Thirteen…
THIRTEEN THINGS I WOULD SAY IF I WERE DELIVERING A SPEECH AT A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION
1) TAKE NOTHING SERIOUSLY – Life happens too fast for you to waste time focusing your attentions on things that don’t matter.
2) TAKE EVERYTHING SERIOUSLY – Life happens too fast for you to ignore the important things.
3) LEARN THE DIFFERENCE – What you consider important and not important will end up defining who you become in life. Decide who you want to be, and what is important to that person.
4) LISTEN TO PEOPLE – Instead of waiting for your turn to talk, keep your mouth shut and listen to what everyone else is saying. You will learn what’s important to them, and who they really are. Only speak when you can improve upon the silence.
5) LAUGH AT EVERYTHING – Nothing is above humor, and nothing is better than a full-bodied belly laugh.
6) NEVER BE AFRAID TO LOVE – It’s far too easy to turn your heart off. Turning it back on takes more work than you can imagine.
7) NEVER REFUSE A HELPING HAND – Without friends, life isn’t worth living. If you don’t have any friends, go make some. Today. Right now. Turn to your right and to your left, and introduce yourself to those people.
8) DO ONE FOOLISH THING EVERY DAY – Everyone should be able to laugh at themselves. But know that there is a difference between foolish and reckless. You can tell your grandchildren about the foolish things you did. But someone else may have to tell people about the reckless thing you did.
9) NEVER TAKE MONEY FROM A TITLE LOAN OR PAYCHECK ADVANCE CENTER – These places are only good for one thing, and that is keeping you in their pocket. Learn how to manage your money right now, or you will begin to dig a hole that you will spend a good portion of your life trying to climb out of.
10) WRITE SOMETHING DOWN EVERY DAY – Whether it’s a poem, a journal entry, or the next chapter in your novel, write it down. Whether you ever plan to share it or not, write it down. There’s something therapeutic about taking your emotions and thoughts and pouring them onto paper. (Or onto a blog)
11) WORRY MORE ABOUT THE WIDTH OF YOUR SMILE THAN THE DEPTH OF YOUR PAYCHECK – Dave Barry once wrote “You should not confuse your career with your life.” He’s a wise man. Every job will have its downsides. Find one that has a tolerable amount, and look forward to going in to a job you enjoy.
12) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY – Too many people would rather point their fingers and assign blame. Don’t be one of them. Stand behind everything you do, whether it was right or wrong, and accept the rewards and consequences of your actions.
13) FIND BEAUTY IN EVERYTHING – It sounds hokey and overplayed, but if you can find three beautiful things every day to be thankful for, it will improve your outlook on life. Today I am thankful for receiving that beautiful piece of advice so that I could relay it.

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