Take heart. There are lots of terrible things in the world - Poverty, disease, injustice, natural disasters...Thankfully, good FAR outweighs the bad: Love, Faith, Art, friendship, healing, creativity, community, innovation, beauty and renewal to name just a few. Focus on the good. Relish in the countless expressions of goodness. Work hard to preserve, protect, and advance them.


Respect people’s privacy. No snooping, eavesdropping, peeping, etc.


Invest in a laminator, a label maker and a glue gun. You’ll be glad you did!


Hold yourself to account when you screw up but give yourself some grace. Instead of “I’m such a terrible person” ask yourself “”How can I make up for this? What can I learn from this? How can I do better next time?”

10, 12, 15, 19

Grandpa didn’t drink coffee, but when he was in Korea he used to drink it just so he could hold the cup and keep his hands warm. (During the Korean War be enlisted in the Marines with a bunch of his buddies right after high school.)

14, 21

Protect women from gross men: First, don’t be gross. Second, resist the urge to go along with the pack when they get gross. Third, and this is going to take courage, tell them to knock that sh*t off. Never make a girl feel uncomfortable to get a laugh. It’s not funny, it’s scary and demeaning and will teach her you can’t be trusted.

10, 14, 17, 21

I’m cool with “C”s. Do good work but don’t put too much pressure yourself.


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.


Great career advice from tv producer Tara Schuster: Be the best at the worst job. You’re a lowly intern, you’re not gonna get asked to sit down with the boss and strategize. But say the boss likes coffee, and the office coffee machine is unreliable. Fix the machine. Keep it in tip-top condition. Make a contribution to the company in small ways, consistent with your level of ability (which at this age is low low low. NO ONE likes a 20-something who thinks he/ she knows it all. Or knows anything really.) Listen, learn, anticipate needs and surpass expectations doing the little things. Be polite, kind, ethical. Be on time (early.) Yes, compete but also help others look good and succeed. NEVER never trash-talk a colleague, client, boss or subordinate. Don’t suck-up either. Mostly just listen, work, make yourself useful wherever you can. And have fun. You’re gonna do great, bunny.

18, 20

The opposite of addiction is connection.

11, 14, 17, 20

Summers in Ireland and UK Drama camps? I could work from there while he did his thing.

12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

Keep stories about younger years to tell them later: You used to call yellow “lellow” etc. Ten years from now you think you’ll remember this stuff but you won’t.


Theme this year: Self Control (Repeat every year until age 99)


It matters more “how” you go to college than “where” you go to college.


Teach how to carve a turkey.


Learn to recognize invitations from the Lord - invitations to look at beauty. Invitations for compassion, for learning and for love.


You don’t have to choose to be single forever to enjoy being single for now.

17, 21

Crushes are fine but I beg you not to waste your time and energy obsessing about someone. Really it’s just a way to hide, to feel something without risking anything. F that. Turn your attention to something creative, constructive or productive. Make art, train for a race, volunteer or get a second job. Discover WHAT you love. Pursue that and your people will be there.

15, 17, 20, 21

Life is hard. But it's not so hard you can't figure it out. You're going to be fine. xoxo


Being numb is not the same thing as being happy.


Letting go isn’t something active. Rather, it’s something you stop doing. Stop hoping. Stop fooling yourself. Stop wishing things were different.

17, 21