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Julie, Liz, Sheila, Monica, Lian Dolan

  • Not every conversation changes your life, but any conversation can.

  • Some people find out much too late in life that they are not the center of the universe. This must come as a real blow at age twenty-one or forty-one or sixty-one. Luckily, in a big family you know this from birth.

  • My parents were graduation experts. ... After a ceremony, my parents usually had postgraduation production notes about how to 'tighten up' the event for next year. ... They were particularly fond of the one-hour graduation ceremony. In their minds, if managed correctly, any number of students could graduate from any type of institution in sixty minutes.

  • Never think about what time it is where you came from. This is the surest route to mental exhaustion. Do not constantly remind yourself as you are making your way to an 8 a.m. breakfast meeting, that it is really 5 a.m. for you. This is not healthy thinking.

  • 'Which one are you?' is a question the members of big families hear all the time. ... Growing up in a big family you're surrounded by people a lot like you — you share rooms and friends, take the same bus to school, learn to swim or ski or sing together; your voices sound alike; people say you have the same hair or eyes. Despite what some may think, group identity can be very liberating. It allows you to focus on the things that are unique to you. ... Being in a big family forces you to develop those special traits early. After all, who will you say you are if someone asks?

  • ... I can now measure many of my friendships in decades. This is the upside of middle age.

Julie, Liz, Sheila, Monica, Lian Dolan, U.S. radio show personalities, writers