As you graduate, some thoughts from my mobile office

By MaryHelen Swanson, editor

A lot of people will be giving you advice as you graduate, count me among them, Class of 2012.

These thoughts I share today came to me while in my mobile office – my car – as I drove home the other night when the sky was blue and the sun was warm.

You already know that tomorrow is the beginning of the rest of your lives.

What you make of your life from now to the end is your legacy to this world, to your loved ones, to your community, but most importantly, to yourself.

You already know that you will be in the real world now, and more than likely you will be making your own decisions. And that’s something you’ve wanted to do since you were 13, right?

Now this real world that you are about to become a part of is not generally like the one displayed in the happy graduation cards or in modern-day movies. And every storyline doesn’t always have a happy ending.

I’m not trying to be a downer, for this is truly a wonderful time in your life. It’s just the truth.

Still, I want to share a few things that have become important to me over the years.

Perhaps, like me, it will take you years to realize how life all comes together, but on the chance that you read this and you at least consider what I have to offer, it might save you some hard knocks along the way, so here goes.

In this life, it’s better to expect the unexpected than to think you know how everything is going to work out.

Never take anything or anyone for granted!

Go ahead and make plans and dream, but if you wake up in the morning, know one thing – that being alive is the only absolute for the day.

You should understand that the best plans might not prepare you for what life really has in store for you.

Therefore it is important to be flexible, it’s the best way to handle whatever each day gives you.

Do the best with what you are given at any moment in time.

Don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t obsess about things like multi-tasking, but take everything one step, one day at a time.

Live your life so you can look in the mirror each night and say to the person looking back at you “You’re OK.”

Have a great life, young people, cry hard if you if you must, be serious about many things, but lighten up as often as you can. It just makes your whole life much better, mentally and physically.

You may not win awards in life, you may not gain riches, you may not become so famous that your name is a household word, but as Abraham Lincoln said, “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

Do your best, always do your best!

That’s my advice, take it or leave it.

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