I wrote a review of Maria Shriver’s book I’ve been thinking. Here are my detailed notes on the book. These are her final thoughts.
There is nothing about life that’s predictable, so stop trying to predict it. Find every excuse you can to celebrate it.
Stop wishing you were a different age. Love the age you are.
Stop worrying about what others think. It’s a huge waste of your time.
Stop wondering if God is listening. Just have faith he is.
Be grateful to anyone who has ever loved you or tried to love you.
Know that bad stuff happens in life. You think you won’t be able to withstand it, but you can, and you will. Just as you have before.
Be kind to your body because it will be with you for life.
Trust me when I tell you this: Diets are a waste of time. I’ve tried them all.
Don’t believe people who tell you they can eat anything and still be that skinny. They’re lying!
Moderation in everything but laughter.
Don’t be scared to be a parent.
Trust your heart.
Make friends with your children’s friends. They’ll make you laugh and give you valuable intel.
Keep a pair of clothes from high school. Not to check if you can still fit in them, but for the memories they hold.
Hold your children over and over again, and then let someone hold you.
Get smart about money as early as possible.
Save something from every paycheck.
Buy comfortable sheets because you’ll spend a lot of time on them.
Know that no matter how smart you are, you can’t change someone else.
Stay out of other people’s business. Dealing with your own is a full-time job.
Be kind because everyone else is struggling, too.
Don’t engage in gossip. It always comes back and bites you in the butt.
Don’t mistake gifts for love.
Stay connected with your childhood friends and introduce them to your grown-up friends.
Make yours a generous tribe that’s connected not only to you, but to one another.
Spend time alone when you’re young, so being alone won’t scare you when you’re older.
Write thank-you notes to people for their time and their wisdom.
Regard both of those as gifts they’ve given you.
Look people in the eye when you talk to them.
And at least once, look into someone’s eyes for five minutes straight. You’ll learn something.
Sit down to family dinner every night. If you can’t do it every night, pick a night and make that a can’t-miss-it Family Night.
Play games with your kids. (My favorites are Capture the Flag and Uno.)
Give your children a Get-Out-of-School Pass to use for a special day with you.
Keep an open table and an open mind.
Be of service.
Travel with your kids. It will broaden their horizons and strengthen your bonds.
Don’t assume anyone is better than you or you are better than anyone else.
Don’t ever sit out an election. Living in a country where every vote counts is a gift. Use yours.
Stay connected to your siblings, and don’t come between them and their partners.
My four brothers are my past, my present, and my future—and I love their wives.
It’s a privilege to take care of your parents when they’re aging and ailing.
Learn how to turn off the critical voice in your head as early and often as possible.
Every year write down your regrets, then burn them and leave the ashes where they belong: in the garbage.
Listen to your gut. It knows more than anyone you’re asking for advice.
Practice prayer and meditation.
It will keep you in contact with yourself.
Never think your work life is more important than your family.
Don’t think bad stuff won’t happen to you. Learn how to push through.
Head up, shoulders back, keep on trudging.
Don’t allow anyone to shame you. If you don’t let them, they can’t.
Get good at forgiveness. You’ll need to practice it throughout your life.
Know that forgiving doesn’t mean going back to what was. It means going forward with love.
You get to decide what that looks like.
If you want forgiveness, ask for it.
Get good at letting go.
Don’t expect people to be perfect. Just as you aren’t, neither are they.
Learn how to communicate in your own home. If you can’t find your voice, get help. And don’t think that reaching out for help (see number 50) is a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.
Therapy isn’t a waste of time. It can save a friendship, a marriage, your life.
If you marry and it comes to an end, don’t let anyone tell you that you’ve failed—and don’t tell that to yourself, either.
Be grateful for the love you had, the memories you made, the lessons you learned.
If you do have a self-pity party, make it short, and then move on.
Don’t see yourself as a victim. See yourself as brave.
Be brave enough to write your own story—and then rewrite it.
Be brave enough to try love after your heart has been broken.
Spend time in nature. It calms the mind.
Spend time with people who see you, celebrate you, and want the best for you.
Have faith that your best days are ahead of you, that your next frontier will be the most fulfilling time of your life, and that you deserve to be seen as good enough just the way you are—including by yourself.