If I could offer one solid, “you can’t go wrong with this” tip for your future…”use sunscreen” would be it. Scientists have proved the long-term benefits of sunscreen, but the other advice and thoughts I spew out here weekly are purely speculative. Sometimes, taking a break from the “travel mindset” is just what the doctor ordered. And in the midst of a gray and cold winter, what better time than the present? Indulge me while I offer some unsolicited life advice for you.
- Get your local paper delivered to your home. Print feels good in your hands and it is a bargain—my local paper in Annapolis works out to about 4 bucks a week, but they often send out teasers for a lot less!
- Don’t worry about the future. OK, worry away, but understand that you have little control over the future. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things you never imagined. Of course, manage the future as best you can.
- Do one thing every day that scares you. Cold call. Speak to a group. Expand your business. Take a risk!
- Sing. If you are like me, make sure it is in the shower or in a karaoke bar more than 500 miles from your zipcode (my personal policy). If you have a good voice…let it be heard!
- Don’t waste your time on jealousy. If it was meant to be, it was meant to be—see paragraph on worry.
- Remember the compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you figure out how to do that, please let me know how!
- 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 what they wanted to do with their lives when they were younger. Heck, I am 52 and I still wonder what I want to do. It keeps me young—or so I tell myself!
- Enjoy your own 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.
- Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them—perhaps the most difficult for the men amongst us!
- 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.
- Travel (duh)! Live in New York City once and live in Northern California once, but leave before they change you—and they will. Explore!
- Accept the inevitable: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You 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. Learn from them. There is wisdom in their eyes.
- Don’t expect anyone else to support you. You might have a trust fund or a sugar momma (or daddy)—but you never know when any of them might run out.
All of those are personal life lessons; but trust me on the sunscreen.