Friday, February 15, 2013

30 things at 60

As I enter my 60th short year on this planet I began to think about what I’ve learned. It’s what old men do, this memento mori, thing.  The list is short which certainly indicates I have much more to learn, for which I am glad.  The list also contains things I’ve said before which likely indicates that I haven’t learned all that much.

Not recording this as guidance for anyone. It’s written for me and I imagine that I’ll remember a few things after it’s all down that I should’ve mentioned. Thank goodness there’s an edit function to this thing.

1.    There is nothing sexier than feeling the skin in the small of a woman’s back as you hold her.

2.    An unexpected kiss on the back of the neck is magic, to give and to receive.

3.    Make-up-sex is great, but preemptive-sex is better. Afterwards, you’re likely to forget what pissed you off or was about to piss you off in the first place.

4.    Family matters. Especially family with whom you grew up. For better or not, these people helped to create who you are even if you’ve learned things and created your own set of values different from those originally presented to you.

5.    Learn about your family and how it came to be. Not all of it is going  to be glorious or interesting, but it might explain the path you are currently traveling.

6.    Expand your family to include others with whom you do not share blood lines. There’s a small number of special people in my life who have become family and I am the richer for bringing them into my heart.

7.    Not everyone is going to like or love you. Accept that and move on to surround yourself with those who do.

8.    Support artists, writers, musicians and makers before supporting anything else. They contribute to your life and to the world much more than we will ever imagine.  A society is remembered in higher regard about what it created than what it conquered.

9.    Good books are a gift from an author that you cannot repay, except to buy more of their books. And tell them that you liked their work, it’s one of the reasons they do it. The same is true of artists, musicians and makers.

10.  Don’t hesitate to put down crappy books. Time is too short to waste on them.

11.  Listen to all kinds of music. Give new music a chance to work on you. Not all pop music is crap. Most of it, but not all.

12.  Walking is underrated.

13.  Walking in nature is underrated. It’s probably the best thing you can do for yourself and your spirit.

14.  Don’t try to convince others to believe as you do in matters of religion and politics. Even if they are completely wrong in every conceivable way, your argument is a waste of precious time.

15.  Try to understand why others believe the way they do in matters of religion and politics. You may learn something, even if they are wrong in every conceivable way.

16.  Learn to tolerate many things except ignorance, hate and intolerance.

17.  Cooking and preparing food for yourself or others is a noble endeavor. Remember where the food came from. It should instill great respect of how this world helped sustain your life.

18.  Finding the perfect glazed donut is an ongoing quest and likely never to be found. The search continues.

19.  Laugh often and make others laugh, especially at yourself. I mean, really…we’re pretty foolish creatures, after all.

20.  Pain and discomfort signifies that you are alive.

21.  I’m learning to think more critically. Hard to do at times, but it’s why I don’t believe in ghosts but believe in ghost stories.

22.  If you’re going to be helpful to others, do not put qualifications on your generosity. If you’re going to give a few bucks to a homeless fellow, don’t tell him that he can’t use it for booze. Otherwise, just keep your pocket change for something else.

23.  America may or may not be the greatest country in the world. It really doesn’t matter.  But continually trying to make it the greatest country in the world is worthwhile as long as we’re using worthy and objective criteria.

24.  I understand that professional sports is a commercial enterprise.

25.  Admit you’re wrong and do so the instant you realize it.

26.  I like dogs better than cats. I won’t go into why. See item 14.

27.  I am not my car. I am my character.

28.  Babies are magic. They make you talk funny and create the desire to smell them. But they also become teenagers, so there’s that.

29.  The universe is bigger than we can ever comprehend but we should leave this place better than we found it, or at least try a little regardless of our minor footprint.

30.  It appears that the universe is governed by incredibly complex mathematical concepts that will remain elusive for generations to come. I’m lousy at math which is why I try to understand it as best I can with my limited resources. Still, it’s a great thing to ponder and remain in wondrous awe.
The other thing I've learned is that I tend to go on too much. Forgive my lenghty didactic. I am really happy to be celebrating another birthday. The alternative really sucks.

1 comment:

Lynn Wainess said...

I miss you, Terry. Thanks for these thoughts. Wish we still lived closer. xoxox