Friday, February 10, 2006


My father, Stuart Gordon Zicree, turned 75 the other day, which is quite an achievement for anyone! We celebrated in high style along with his wife Sherri at a splendid Indian restaurant. Great fun.

But most all, we were celebrating a miracle, for two years earlier at Christmas my father survived a series of strokes, a near fatal heart condition and stomach cancer -- all at the same time!

Remarkably, he's fine now, with all his faculties intact. To meet him, you would never dream he had been through all this. But because didn't expect to survive, he came out the other end of that experience totally at loose ends, not knowing what to do with the rest of his life, or why he was here, really.

So the two of us embarked on a journey of exploration to answer that question. On my side, I began asking questions of my older friends who were living full, joyous and creative lives, among them 85-year-old RAY BRADBURY and 95-year-old NORMAN CORWIN (who wrote the movie LUST FOR LIFE and still teaches at USC).

Along the way, I wrote some ideas, guidelines and suggestions for my Dad. I also find them very valuable for myself, because whether we're 25, 50 or 75, we all need to remain curious, connnected and committed to this incredible world we've been given, this miracle of the life we all lead.

What I wrote for my dad follows. Enjoy.



I will do something new today...
because I love my wife.
because I love my kids.
because I love my life.
because I'm learning to love myself.

I will talk less and listen more.

My answers will come by acting, not thinking.
By doing, not talking.
Through my heart, not my head.

I will embrace willingness.
I will meditate.
I will volunteer.
I will speak from love, be positive.
I will repay with gratitude and action.
I will be of service.
I will write thank you notes to my kids.
I will send a bouquet to my wife.
I will take guidance from others.
I will be open to what the universe offers.
I will do what scares me.
If I say something is "not me," I will recognize that's a good thing and then do it.
I will remember that life rewards the brave.

I will list what I loved...
at 10.
at 20.
at 30.
at 40.
at 50.
at 60.
at 70.
at 80.
(... and the things at eighty should be new and adventurous!)

Remember the power of yes -- saying yes to life, to love, to the universe.

I will give off a loving warmth and draw others to me.
I will keep negative thoughts to myself.
Complaining does nothing but drive people away.
Saying, "I don't know," is not the end of the conversation, but rather the beginning of how you find out.
I will grow.
I will learn.
I will risk being brave.
I will use this miracle well.
I will do things I have never done.

Remember to ask yourself, "Is that an explanation or an excuse?"

I will take contrary action.
I will jump before I'm ready and in the jumping be ready.
If my kids invite me to do something, I will do it without question at least once.

And here's my pact with you if you do the above: for everything you do that scares the shit out of you, I'll do one thing that equally scares me.


At 1:33 AM, Blogger Kid Sis said...

He looks like he just hugged a penguin!


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