Ruby! I'm not waiting until March 31 to write this post... my procrastination levels are low this month! I had a lot of ideas swirling around in my head for this month, and I'm finally settling on this piece of advice (after all, I still have 9 more posts of advice to write!)...
Work HARD, but play hard.
You, my love, are of a different generation. You, my daughter, are of a generation where kids are raised differently than the way your parents were raised. You, my girl, are going to be raised differently than many of your peers.
And because of that, you must keep these words in mind when everyone else seems to be on a phone/ipad/computer/tv/electronic device. Keep these words in mind when it seems that everyone else is being handed whatever they want. You will not be handed everything. You will learn the value of working for what you want.
Hard work opens doors. Hard work makes you strong. Hard work teaches determination, integrity, ethics. Hard work, in whatever you do, is the key...
...The key to being able to play. You can't always play. You can't always relax, or be lazy, or be doing the fun stuff.
Why? Because you won't appreciate it. You won't enjoy it as much. Seriously.
It is cyclic.
When you work hard, for example, in your job, you'll earn the cash that allows the play. Play encompasses a wide variety of ideas here: extreme sports, hiking, travel, manicures, spa, shopping sprees, etc... Work hard to be financially responsible, and you'll be compensated with the ability for extrinsic rewards and intrinsic feelings of pride, success, achievement.
When you work hard to take care of your body, whether it is lifting, yoga, running, etc, you'll be rewarded with the ability to use that body for anything you want. It will heal faster from injury or illness. Work hard taking care of yourself, and use that body to take you down any path you choose to play on.
When you work hard to take care of meaningful relationships, you'll have people to join in the play. Travel partners, or hiking buddies, or shopping friends...humans are normally social, and memories are more, well, memorable when you have someone to remember it with.
I was raised with a philosophy of work hard. That was about it... there wasn't much room or encouragement for excess play. And play NEVER happened before the work: play had to be earned. And play could be taken away too. I'm not trying to be my parents: I don't want you to remember your childhood as days of weeding gardens, cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming until you get the perfect lines in the carpet, folding laundry, and mowing grass... but I do want you to know, that with enough hard work, you can find a balance of enjoyment in life. I know people who work so hard that when there is no more work to do, they don't know how to have fun or play. I can't imagine that life! But you also have a responsibility to yourself, and society, to contribute. To make the human race better...a life of only play won't do that.
Find the balance, my dear. I'll be working right along side you, whenever you need me, but I'll also be there to plan the next "play"... whatever it may be.