August 2nd, 2012
Stuff to do on family vacations
Swimming, snorkeling, cooking. Hiking, kayaking. Beer pong. Charades. We tried beer pong last night, apparently a game that is played all over the world which somehow Mark and I had missed.
We played with good beer because I just can’t do Natty Ice or something like that without hurling. Mark and I are not skilled players and as you begin to lose and have to drink more beer, well, your playing goes down hill.
Steve’s played this in England and in Laos and seemed to have the global rules for the game. Playing with him made me think that if this were an Olympic sport, he’d be internationally competitive.
Today is a grey day, the clouds filtering in, you can see the ocean but not far out, it’s raining into the pool and the whole air looks like you’re in a green world. I like the spongy green air like you’re alive inside green mist.
Steve turned 21 today. At 21, you have your whole life ahead of you. He feels immortal. He wants to skydive, to bungee jump, he wants to fly. He’s going to New Zealand and plans to learn surfing there. Maybe play more beer pong.
If I had any advice for both of my kids, it would be this.
1. Have joy. Enjoy yourself. Too many people forget that simple thing. They whine, they complain, they wish their life was different.
2. If there’s anything you don’t like about your life, change it. Or at least change your attitude about it. (Some things you can’t change. You’re taking care of your paraplegic brother, you can’t make him well, but you can change your attitude.)
3. Don’t ever feel sorry for yourself. If you do, others will feel sorry for you, and it’s not fun to get negative attention.
4. When someone compliments you, thank them. Don’t deflect the compliment, be with it. Positive strokes are good.
5. Fall in love and get crazy at some point, but don’t stay crazy.
6. Spend your waking hours thinking.
7. Spend your waking hours creatively.
8. Spend your waking hours living fully in your physical body.
9. You’re not better than anyone else, just different.
10. Travel and expand your mind. (I didn’t mean that kind of expansion.)
11. Celebrate life. Celebrate rites of passage. Celebrate.
12. Don’t sweat the actual small stuff. Instead solve the actual big stuff –relationships, people, changing yourself and the world. It isn’t all small stuff, but most of us confuse what’s big and what’s small.
13. Don’t be one of the disciples. Be a leader. You never know where disciples get lead.
14. Expect greatness of yourself.
15. Be that greatness. Be amazing.