Friends in their 60s share life lessons for Kylan at age 23

September 27, 2013

Create and practice your own celebratory rituals.

That’s one life lesson that emerged while enjoying our own celebratory ritual.

For six years, five friends who worked at the High Museum of Art 33 years ago gather on Tybee Island every September.  We celebrate our shared history, the present here and now, and the art of conversation.  From our new vantage point of being in our early 60s, we brainstormed lessons we wished we knew when we were young.  In honor of Jeroy’s friend Kylan who is 23, we came up with this inf ormal manual for a meaningful life we call Life Lessons for Kylan. 

Old friends

Old friends

Will he appreciate and grasp the wisdom here?  Or is it necessary for him to stumble into these truths by himself?  Kylan is a well-mannered, inquisitive and gorgeous kid who impressed us all with a rare maturity for someone so young.  That’s why we wanted to give him a head start on concepts it took us many decades to learn.

Even after the margaritas and bottles of wine fade, the list still rings true.  What would you add?

Life Lessons for Kylan at age 23
developed with love by elders of the High Museum of Art – Barbara Archer, Julie Mesmer, Lisa Frank,
John McCadden, Jeroy Hannah and guest Ann Bond

Practice the art of face to face conversation.

Be a great dancer.

Appreciate the arts as a lifelong pursuit.  Examine and investigate poetry, visual art, music, literature and dance of all kinds.  (Exposure to classical and Baroque music is especially important).

Practice gratitude.

Love yourself before you can truly love another.

Write thank you notes.

Explore and be knowledgeable about international cultures.  Learn a second language.


Become a very good cook.  The ability to make a great omelet is especially valuable.

Know your culinary herbs and spices.  Learn how to make a killer cocktail.

Do your own laundry.

Be neat and clean.  Keep order in all areas of your life, personal and professional.

Practice discipline.

Keep all options open, being careful to avoid burning bridges.

Avoid envy and jealousy.

Rid yourself of guilt and regret; both are wasted emotions.  Overcome fear.

Practice forgiveness, especially with yourself.

Marry a rich man.

Behave authentically and ethically.

Build a network of high quality people who are filled with integrity.

Aspire high.  Dream big. Get the best education and the best on-the-job training you can find.  Good looks are not enough.

Be punctual.

Seek out mentors at every stage of life.

Befriend old people.  Learn from them.

BEst 2Be feisty to the very end.

Remain curious throughout your life.

Choose to be happy.  Laugh a lot and practice humor.

Engage with a diverse array of friends, especially those who have different backgrounds and ways of thinking than you do. Surround yourself with friends who stimulate your creativity.

Appreciate nuance and subtlety in art, in nature, in people, in everything.

Enjoy and understand nature’s complex, interconnected systems.

Think before you speak.

Don’t give yourself away cheaply.

In politics, choose love and compassion.

Find your life’s passion and dedicate your time and resources to it.  Give back to society for the greater good and make the world a better place.

Maintain your health, especially through diet and exercise.  Learn anatomy to understand the human body’s complex, interconnected systems.

Cultivate a healthy mind in a healthy body.

Create and practice your own celebratory rituals.

Life is too short for negativity and being bitter.  Walk away from people who live with negativity and prefer to cling to it.

Entertain well.  Be a gracious host who invites gracious guests.

A stiff penis has no conscience.


One Comment

  1. wow.. Lisa what a wonderful collection of wisdom! thank you for sharing.. I was nodding to many of these with a smile.

    thank you for sharing this..
    see you soon my wise and wonderful friend!

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