Explore everything imaginable – especially your neighborhood. Get to know a local small business owner simply because you’re 110% interested in their story and how/why/when they started their shop – not for one second because it’s of benefit to you.
Call your siblings for other reasons than just to bitch about your parents. And call your parents to ask them about something instead of asking them for something.
If you’re lucky enough to still have Grandparents, don’t just call them – go to them – however many modes of transport that may take. Hold their soft, wilted, wrinkled hands with care and answer the same question however many times they may so ask it. Look them in the eye and be grateful. Because you wouldn't be here without the infinitely harder life they lived – the ones that physically paved the path for you to be reading this right now on Facebook.
Don’t always post pictures of your life's "most best" Kodak Moments...Character is actually recognized by what we do when no one else is watching.
Take the time to call a restaurant the next day when you’ve had exceptional service the night before. Ask for the manager -- she’s used to receiving shitty tirades from disgruntled patrons so it’s entirely a win-win. Tell her how the server made your night different than the other nights you’ve been there – because you’ve been there before so you already expected the food to be great -- but how her presence was an unexpected present :)
And PS BTW while on the topic...
Be sure to give your leftovers away.
You've clearly already eaten.
Stop for 3 seconds at Stop signs when you’re driving – and while you’re at it, stop at the giant white line that’s there for a reason…When you’re in a car, you don’t think about how blessed you are so don’t take the chance of messing up the life of a pedestrian or a bike rider going about her life. AND DON’T TEXT WHILE YOU DRIVE BECAUSE YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE IF YOU DO. READ THIS LINE AGAIN. I’M SERIOUS – IT’S. WHY. I’M. YELLING. AT. THE. SCREEN. WHILE. I. TYPE. IN. ALL. CAPS.
Pick a cause. DONATE.
And if you have no money, give blood.
Get involved locally. If shit doesn’t exist in your 'hood
then invent it. Volunteer.
SMILE AS MUCH AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE :)
Try and remember people’s names. FOR REAL. And if you don’t remember (or you’re a shitty listener in the first place) then ASK. But ask sooner than later if you’ve forgotten (and work on being a better listener if you’re “prone” to forget...) as there’s nothing more awkward than boozing on a 9 hour flight abroad (witnessing a complete stranger go all ambien on you) and then waking up in another country knowing exactly who it is that they blame yet not remembering their name.
Have an extra drink if it makes you feel happy,
but certainly not if it makes you an asshole.
Tell people how you feel. Let them know how unbelievably strong, special, and inspiring they are... Maybe even how much you enjoy living vicariously through their supposedly awesome lives ;)
Stop letting the unwritten rules of social “me”dia rule your life... If a status or a picture brought a smile to your face, “Like” it and write a comment saying as such. Who gives a flying fuck if you’re the 1st person to do so and no other peanuts from the gallery happen to be online at the time. BE CONFIDENT.
Set friends up on dates….better yet, on “friend-dates” if you think they would enjoy each other’s company…I’ve had the pleasure to have a hand in four marriage introductions which have currently resulted in two BEAUTIFUL baby girls (with one more on the way this May!)
You were put on this Earth for a reason -- a reason SO much bigger than your own personal being -- and that reason is to spread love.
TAILGATE! Encourage sportsmanship at every age. Root-root-root for your home team, if they don't win it's a shame... (UGH! f%#@ing Cubs & Bears)
Don’t be a stranger to a Soldier...You'd ask an athlete for a picture to post on Instagram -- why not someone who has dedicated their life to your country at a fraction of the pay?
RESPECT YOUR FREEDOM.
Go to Zoo Lights.
Put up twinkling lights.
"Close the lights" when you're not using them.
Figure out why you have your middle name.
Follow-up when you say you will.
Be there when you’ve said you’ll be.
Be on time.
RUN WHILE YOU CAN...
Literally, emotionally, metaphorically.
If it aint broke, USE IT!
Click your heels together: at least once like you're following the yellow brick road and again when you're feeling as if "there's no place like home."
Be sure to say, "Thank You!"
Tomorrow is not promised.
(READ & REPEAT)
LOVE ON ANIMALS.
CARE DEEPLY FOR NATURE.
RECYCLE EVERY.SINGLE.THING YOU CAN
Go "off registry".
Make it personal.
Catch a firefly. Let it go :)
Google "Baby Otters"
Be well read. Even if just the daily news...You are a citizen of this world and you have a moral obligation to better society as best you can. Register to vote. Like, right now.
Write. SING! LEARN. Listen. TRAVEL.
And when I say "write", I mean the real deal. Not just status-update-hocus-pocus...I mean FOR YOU. Keep a journal. Blog a bit. Scribble on napkins. Jot notes on your hand. Shoot yourself an email. Record a voice message of your thoughts.
Write handwritten letters. Mail mail.
Don’t let your penmanship slip!
Archive your life.
Be good to others.
Be honest. Be genuine. Be kind.
Be sincere when empathy calls.
Attempt to kiss the feet of an infant... if it slightly/kinda sorta/entirely wiggs out the mother, give her a hug and mean it. More importantly, offer to buy her a drink (she deserves many).
Dance in your kitchen, it's why it's there. Duh.
Do a random act of kindness no matter how big or small.
READ ALOUD TO OTHERS.
Laugh. And mean it.
Uncontrollably, contagiously, laugh :)
Slow your roll.
Celebrate small victories.
Believe in second chances
(but never a third)
Know firsthand that Happiness is an inside job.
Put “it” in the Universe.
that you are worthy of LOVE.
But above all, in 2014,
It’s a good color on you :)
Happy New Year