Sometimes our bodies can betray us. Something goes wrong and healthy cells are replaced with broken cells: Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune diseases, etc. Mental health can become diseased too: Depression, anxiety, compulsive behavior, suicidal thoughts. The very good news is that good medical care is available for all of these things. That, along with the love and support of family and friends helps our bodies to heal. Physical illness is obvious. Sometimes people keep their mental pain a secret. Please promise me you’ll never keep any pain you’re going through a secret.


Let's talk about what armor you choose. People use all kinds of props and attitudes to try to protect or soothe themselves. Often it's that armor that ends up being much worse than the scary problems they were trying to avoid in the first place. Developing a healthy set of armor is crucial. Let's talk about some healthy ways to make ourselves feel better. Reference Brene Brown wholeheartedness.


Sign up for typing class. (Keyboarding)


Your life is way bigger than one relationship. Or one grade, or one job, or one choice, or one event, or one gift. Make room for all of it even when some of it will most certainly hurt.


Sometimes it feels really good to say “no.” (Or “no thank you.” Or “$@!#% no!”)

14, 20

Become habitual about doing that which makes you feel good and yourself and fulfilled. If it’s running, make running a habit and dedicate time for it.

16, 21

change the wifi password often. Hold it hostage until chores are done. Work first, play later.


A red brow line is an early sleepiness cue. If you notice the skin around baby’s eyebrows seems red, they’re ready for a nap.


On a job interview, mention a high-level educational goal such as MBA or law school. Their estimation of you will go up without them even realizing it. Your offer will be higher. Also follow, up with a brief but we’ll-written (professional) thank you note/email whatever.

17, 19, 21

Defending yourself from a bear: NEVER run from or turn your back on a bear. Remember the rhyme: “If it’s black, fight back. If it’s brown hit the ground, if it’s white like Similac, frozen bear gonna send u back.” - Mamadou Ndiaye


You should feel safe with friends. They shouldn’t try to get you hurt or in trouble. Anyone who makes you feel unsafe is not your friend.


Great reminders for how to deal with belligerent kids.


Plastic stackable dresser - 5 drawers labeled for days of the week. Put outfits in each. No drama emergencies on school days, the week’s wardrobe is planned out.


Stuff will happen and you’ll think “I can’t get through this. I can’t go on.” In the moment it really feels that way. But ...You will survive. You’ll find a way. Never give up on yourself. I never will.


Professor Scott Galloway’s advice: Paraphrasing his standard wedding toast: “1. Express affection and desire. Everyone wants to be wanted. It’s healthy and it is part of what makes your relationship singular. 2. Never let your wife / girlfriend be hungry or cold. Two thirds of the really awful arguments you’ll have it’s because someone is hungry or cold. Carry blankets and protein bars. (You’re welcome.) 3. Don’t keep score. Decide what kind of friend / son / daughter / spouse / employee / human being you want to be, and practice being that. Put the scorecard away.”


Theme: Dignity


Meditation isn’t about a quiet mind, it’s about training a distracted mind to remain in the present. Focus on your breathing for one minute (set a timer.) Every time your thoughts wonder, gently bring your focus back to your breath. You may have to do this 10, 20, 30 or more times during those 60 seconds…but eventually you’ll get better. When you do, increase to two minutes, then five, all the way up to 30 minutes or even an hour.


Sometimes I think the best way to take care of them is to teach them to take care of others: Littler kids, sick or disabled, those who’ve been left out.

5-7, 1Infant-12

I want to talk about when NOT to join in. Friends are great and feeling like we belong feels so good. But there are times I hope you muster the courage not to go along: Never cause anyone or anything pain in order to be liked. Don't confuse cruelty for humor. Never participate in things that may cause harm to yourself or others. Can you think of some things you want to make sure you don't go along with?


If it makes you happy it doesn't have to make sense to anyone else.

11, 14, 20

Always hold the door open for the next person.


Practice “going without.” Talk about how nobody gets what they want all the time. We should learn how to just choose to go without something we want. Get them in on the discussion and pick something every day to do without.


Don’t take criticism from people you wouldn’t take advice from.


You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. What’s something worth being hated for?

11, 14, 17, 21

It’s hard to accept that the world can be so cruel and unfair, but sometimes accepting it and focusing on what part of it you CAN change is - I’ve learned - the key.


Don’t be “too” sure of yourself. There’s always a chance you could be wrong, so be open to what others are saying and consider the possibility they could be right. They very easily could know stuff you don’t. Their experience could be a lot different from yours, so just be careful of insisting you’re right.

15, 21

Start playing Jokers and Marbles. Get it on Amazon or Etsy.


SAT prep


You will never be good enough for the wrong person. This truth is profound and one I wish I learned a lot earlier in my life. Stop tripping over yourself to please someone who doesn’t get you.


Read Admiral William McRaven’s autobiography Sea Stories.