A Manifesto on the Summer and What Lies Ahead

September, for me, is the transition month. No sooner do I say my annual farewell to summer, then life pace speeds up.  Personally, the school year begins and with it, homework! Exams and extra-curricular activities fill the house white board.  Increased responsibilities and accountability for me and my son, now a freshman in high school.  The days are longer and nights shorter. Professionally, Labor Day marks the time when Judges resume full schedules and the cases that waited patiently during the summer, now need immediate attention.  Deadlines converge and trial dates approach. More time on the road. Instead of the weekend serving as space between the weeks, they now are vital to focusing on the “big projects” that are set aside as I extinguish fires and slay dragons.  The Mayor of Crazytown. 

This September there’s an added twist. I’m turning 50. Half a century.  I’ve proudly been an attorney, advisor, counselor for more than half my life. For 26 years, I’ve been privileged to serve the healthcare industry across nearly every continuum of care. My life has been defined and shaped and my character developed in so many ways by you – owners, operators, caregivers, lawyers, risk managers, insurers and their insureds. I am grateful for this industry fellowship and to the many teachers who took the time with and interest in me during the first half of life. I’m inspired and curious about the second half. Therefore, who better to share “Manifesto 5.0” than with ya’ll? 

I’ve learned to consider that great love and great achievements involve great risk.  Not getting what I want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. Take nothing personally.  Remove drama. I always try to do my best. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. If something is wrong, don’t blame others. Ask, how can I help to make it right? Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. Never try to be clever. Always try to be wise. Go there. And then go deeper. Respect others even if they disrespect you. Be straight, be honest, and always do what you say you will do.  If you’ve hurt someone, make amends as soon as possible. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Laugh all the time. Be patient. Take a personal inventory every night. Keep your body moving.  Visit nursing homes and other places where people need you and be the light in someone else’s tunnel. Be impeccable with your word. What’s most interesting lives on the edges and deep in the intersections.  Take responsibility for all your actions. I’ve learned the rules so I know how to break them properly. Stand up for injustices – against others and yourself. Be no bystander.  Trust yourself.  Don’t make assumptions. Communicate clearly. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship. Spend time alone every day.  Being glamorous is awesome. Get annual physicals and move your body every day. Smile as often as you can, especially at strangers. Be generous with your time and resources. Love a pet. When a friend dies, live greater for having loved.  Learn one new thing every day. No one cares about the extra ten pounds we obsess over. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values. How I love in my home and the atmosphere I create are the foundations for life. Pray.  Let the past go. There is only now. Teach others and achieve immortality. Be kind and gentle to the earth. Care for yourself as you would your child and closest friend. Travel anywhere! Go places you haven’t seen before. Keep a journal. Write letters. The best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other. Become your own revolution. Be the voice of a child and an elder. Advocate for them. Keep your side of the street clean.

I am not alone. Mentor and sponsor.  Judge your success by what you had to give up getting it.  Zendoodle often.  Be deliberate .  Work hard with joyful exertion. Build on what comes easy to you.  Never take shortcuts. Keep a safe distance from people who seek honor. Use your time well. Our days are numbered. Learn to live life on life’s terms. Seek the friendship and collaboration of those who are strong where you are weak.  When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. Love conquers all. 

Rebecca Adelman