Mom wrote these letters of advice to her eldest Grandchildren and since them more came along! We feel that this advice is good for all of us:-)
“Always seek the positive. Always laugh; have a generous sense of humor. Be silly! Laugh at yourself. Find humor in all situations. Do not take life too seriously. Find harmony in life; don’t seek conflict. Love yourself and love others and know that others love you.
Be a leader of yourself, not a follower of others. Live by a code of ethics. Be proud of your accomplishments. Take pride in what you do; apply yourself to important tasks. Desire both intellectual and emotional knowledge. Learn from others. Listen with an open ear, but know that not all you hear is the complete and/or actual truth. Seek your own truth. Form your own opinions. Follow your own convictions. Accept and learn from failures or wrong doings; as they are a part of life. Forgive yourself. Understand that we all make mistakes .
Accept and embrace change as a part of life. You, others and things will change throughout life. Know that you can change at any age. Make positive changes and embrace a “can-do” attitude. If you cannot change an unpleasant situation, change your attitude about it.
Be patient! Be patient with yourself and others. Changes in life take time. Recognize you cannot and should not get everything you want (think you need) immediately. Patience will hopefully grow with maturity and age. Know that you must compromise at times. Compromise is an important part of personal and professional relationships. Compromise and move forward.
Develop friendships. Cherish your family and friends. They are the Jewels of life. Be loyal to special friends. Think the best of others and treat others with understanding, kindness and respect. Don’t expect others to think like you do. Know and accept that each individual is different, and he/she thinks and reacts differently. Do not try to make others be like yourself. Embrace their individuality and diversity and accept them for who they are. Lend an ear or shoulder for their troubles, but don’t drown in their sorrow. Try to remain non-judgmental. Set limits when appropriate and realize there may be people you should avoid, as their continuous negative behavior or attitude can bring you down. Realize they are not your friends. They may be selfish and self absorbed, and do not care enough about how their behavior affects you. Dismiss them with a smile and move on. Do not make enemies. Someone you previously disliked may later be your new boss or future in-law.
Do not hold hate or bitterness in your heart, as these emotions will destroy you. Acknowledge the feeling of anger, and try to let it go. Take a short time to feel hurt or pain in life. Find strength to endure difficult and painful times. Accept that you may never know why this happened to you. Know that healing from physical and emotional setbacks takes time. Be positive about your recovery, and you will heal faster. Accept help and friendship from others. Know you will pay it forward by your kindness to them or others in the future. Dismiss feelings of guilt or shame. Forgive yourself and others. Know that unhealthy or unhappy times will pass. Learn from the experience, and move on.
Find passion in special activities or things that you like. Find friendship, passion and intimacy in a special relationship in your adult life. Passion is an important component of life. One is never too old for passion.
Do not let small details burden you. Enjoy the bigger more important things in life. It’s OK to leave some undone chores. As your maternal great grandmother Margaret Cassano used to say: “Why stay home and make the beds (clean house etc) when there is an opportunity to do something better (more fun). Margaret enjoyed life for nearly 95 years, and no one was hurt by any bed left unmade one day.
Feel good about yourself. Recognize your special talents. You do have special talents. Use your talents to please yourself and others Be self confident. Keep healthy; eat well; exercise. Try to sleep well, and get enough rest and relaxation. Sing; dance; listen to the music of nature and the arts. Marvel at the magnificence of nature. Smile. Be happy! Make yourself happy! Love life! Find Love!
And again, LAUGH! “