Monday, December 30, 2013

Graduates and Explorers of the World in New Zealand



Last week I sat in an auditorium in anticipation of my daughter, Miss Christine. receiving her diploma from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was one of those moments you can not imagine when your child is a toddler learning their ABC's and scooping sand out of the sandbox, it seemed a life time away and then, all of a sudden..your child is standing on stage receiving a University degree.  It was one of those moments a parent beams with pride…sandbox memories a cherished memory.

While preparing for our trip to New Zealand, I read through notable and inspirational commencement speeches (as you do). The ones that stir the imagination and motivate graduates. One in particular stood out for me. It was presented by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, in a speech he gave at Princeton University in 2010. He presented the graduates with questions …simple yet thought provoking ones. He suggested the graduates build themselves a great story and take time to think about the choices they make.

Christine, Graduation Day
"Tomorrow, in a very real sense, your life--the life you author from scratch on your own..begins.
How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?
Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?
Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?
Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?
Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?
Will you bluff it out when you're wrong, or will you apologise?
Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?
When it's tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?
Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?
Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?
I will hazard a prediction. When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story."


It's true isn't it? Whether 80 years old or 20 years old, we never stop writing our story, it's our story, past, present and future. We make choices, some wise..some not so wise. We do crazy things, fun things, we cry, we laugh…we live. Above all we learn…we never stop learning. I am just excited about life at 56 as I was at 21. I pray that never changes. ;)

At the end of each year I ponder the choices I have made and think on what lies ahead of me. I am not one for declared New Year's resolutions…I tend to keep them quiet and make a deal with myself. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but either way, I look to a new year with hope and promise.

With that, I wish for you….a year filled with all of your desires and if not all…the best one of them all.

Write yourself a great year…be an explorer of the world and above all, have fun!

I look forward to sharing it with you… ;)


How to be an Explorer of the World


Happy New Year!! 

Jeanne xxx

37 comments:

  1. Congratulations!

    And choices:)

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  2. A great feeling to see your children graduate and see them enter the world, start their journey and create their own story. Congratulations Christine.

    Thank you for list of 13 creative things to do to explore the world.I can use them.

    Inspirations for my new year are:
    "Find a way"- from Diana Nyad-long distance swimmer swam from Cuba to Key West, Florida
    "Create your big adventure"- from Roz Savage-rowed solo the Atlantic Ocean
    "Enjoy life"- from Olga Kotelko, a 92 year old woman competes in Senior Track & Field

    I hope these people with their examples will help me in my commitment to pursue good health and life adventure.

    Happy New Year Jeanne. Happy New Year Mr. H.

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    1. Love your inspiration Edgar, all new to me as well. Christine thanks you for your good wishes..
      Happy New Year to you and your family... ;)

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  3. Congrats...YOU are so right!
    Thanks and my you be blessed in 2014!!!

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    1. Thank you Sue...Happy New Year to you and yours...xx

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  4. Dear Jeanne

    How proud you should be of Miss Christine's accomplishments. Graduations to me are like wedding and funerals I cry at all. Jeff Bezos speech says it all and then you topped it off with how to be an explorer.
    Sir Ernest Shackleton's coat of arms read: Fortitudine Vincimus "by Endurance we conquer" and, incidentally, his ship was called Endurance. Wishing smooth sailing to you and your family as we embark on a New Year.
    Helen xx

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    1. Thank you Helen...endurance shall prevail! Happy New Year and best wishes...happy to be sharing another with you. xx

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  5. Congratulations! I cried at both my son's ( 1st Geography ) and my daughter's ( 2nd Fine Art and Art History ) graduations. Still very proud now! Love and Best Wishes for 2014, Jane x

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    1. I agree Jane...the best feeling even through the tears. Sending you warm wishes from Saigon for a wonderful year.. xx

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  6. Congratulations Christine!
    Beautiful post, I'll remember starting the new year of exploration.
    Happy New Year!

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    1. She thanks you kindly...and I do too!! Happy Creative Wishes for the New Year... xx

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  7. Congratulations Miss Christine! All the best to you as you embark on a new path. Happy New Year to you Jeanne and to your family. Looking forward to great adventures this Year!

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    1. Thank you Pamela...I know Christine appreciates your well wishes. Looking forward to sharing another year with you...stay warm! xx

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  8. congats to Miss Christine! what a proud mom you must be + i loved your list for the new year, so timely. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. Love a list Peggy...and this one is so simole. Happy New Year to you and yours.. xx

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  9. Happy new year dear Jeanne.Enjoy the rest of the holidays and continue to share your thoughts with us. We all love dropping in to read them.

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    1. You are a sweetheart Loree, thank you. Looking forward to reading along with Stories and Scribbles this year..Happy New Year my friend...xx

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  10. SHE did it!!AND you did it too……………a VERY proud day indeed.XXX

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    1. as SHE picks herself up and get ready for ANOTHER..xx Thank you Contessa..your enthusiasm cheers me to no end.. Happy New Year..xx

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  11. A lovely post Jeanne..
    Congratulations to Christine, and to you a very proud mum for sure.
    I have had the pleasure of going through all 4 of my children going through university and achieving their dreams.
    At 66.. I have the same thoughts I had when i was younger. To search out new things..keep my mind active. keep priorities in place.. watch my grandchildren grow.. The eldest nearing entrance into university.
    I am not sure where you are at the moment.! Wherever you are.. I wish you and your family
    a very wonderful blessed New Year.. May all your dreams come true for 2014.
    best wishes... val xx

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    1. Thank you Val...you are my inspiration! I will hold that thought and send wishes to you for a wonderful year..xx
      PS..we are back in Vietnam ;)

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  12. Congratulations to you daughter! I love this post and have also really been enjoying your instagram photos of Australia! Cheers to a happy and healthy 2014! xoxo

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    1. So glad Sandy...IG is so much fun! Happy New Year to you...I hope you get to travel to new destinations..and many of them. xx

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  13. Jeanne a Happy New Year to you! Congratulations to Christine, and to you as well. This is an exciting time for you both!

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful Christmas adventure in Australia, I have never been and now it is at the top of my list.

    I hope the new year brings you and your family, good health, happiness, many adventures and peace.

    Xxelizabeth


    P.s. I hope that this summer if you are in NH for the garden show we can meet for a coffee, or a beer.

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    1. Happy New Year Elizabeth...Australia is definetly worth a visit, especially if you can add New Zealand to your time frame. I am hoping to see many NH and VT gardens this summer...a coffee or beer would be lovely, even better at Tahilla Farm. "Martha" will be waiting (if she does not fall over in the ice storms) .. xx

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  14. I just love this, Jeanne and such perfect timing with the start of the new year, and I know you are so proud of your daughter. Thank you for all of the inspiration and wishing you all the best in 2014!!

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    1. Thank you Kristy and Beth...I should thank you! You have inspired me all year with ideas for Tahilla Farm. You two are the best, Happy New Year! xx

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  15. Hello dear Jeanne
    How lovely to know you have just been back in New Zealand!
    Such an exciting time when your first child graduates from University - Congratulations to Christine - the world is now her oyster!!!

    Wishing you and your family "Health, Happiness and JOY in 2014".
    Shane in New Zealand
    XOX

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    1. Thank You Shane...it was lovely to be back in New Zealand. I miss it so...
      Wishing you a wonderful year, I look forward to sharing it with you..xx

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  16. That is one of my most favorite graduation speeches Jeanne. Congrats to your daughter...I remember being there...mine are 33 & 30 now. I totally agree with the resolutions...try to everyday enforce them sometimes successfully...sometimes not...Happy New Year my dear...I know you are embarking on a new road next year...as am I!!

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    1. Thank you Cindy...and warm wishes to you for the New Year..I look forward to following along and picking up more fab tips for Tahilla Farm. xx

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  17. Happy New Year to you too! What a wonderful closing post. I can't believe I have visited here for 2 years now. It seems a bit crazy and wonderful at the same time. I certainly do anticipate all of the wonderful collections of stories in the future just waiting in the wings of life!

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    1. Same to you Sarah...it is hard to believe it has been two years...I am so glad we connected! Before you know it we will be looking at another graduation! Sending you and your family best wishes for a wonderful New Year..xxx

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  18. Leslie in Portland, OregonJanuary 5, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Congratulations on Ms. Christine's graduation from university, Jeanne. A momentous occasion for a mighty accomplishment! Embracing wholeheartedly How to Be an Explorer of the World, Leslie

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    1. Thank you Leslie...and don't you just love that we can be an explorer of the world at any age. ;)
      Happy New Year my friend and best wishes for a fabulous one. xx

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  19. I just sent you an email Hello but am still getting caught up on all that I have missed here at Collage of Life. Will you please send my heartfelt congratulations to Christine? She looked so lovely and excited on her graduation day. It is such a wonderful time of Life, isn't it?

    I loved both of the quotes that you shared and I agree, important to keep in mind no matter what our age!
    Gros Bisous,
    H

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. Just a few words or a
few paragraphs, no matter. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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