As a countdown to my 35th birthday last summer (and therefore now on the short side of 40…ugh), I posted something that I had learned over the last 35 years every day, for the 35 days leading up to the day of my birth. I was surprised at how many people followed those posts and more surprised by the fact that many of those same people said they liked them. Here they are in one place for your convenience:
Number 1: Never do shots with Marines, no matter how much it seems like a good idea at the time. It never goes well.
Number 2: That whole saying “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”…it’s pretty true. Unless you’re driving to Las Vegas….then it’s ALL about the destination.
Number 3: You can’t measure your life by someone else’s stick. You may not have accomplished a certain thing by a certain age or done things the way everyone else does, but it doesn’t matter as long as you are happy with your choices. Thanks for teaching me that, Kenan.
Number 4: Sinatra is always cool. Anyone who says different is just being argumentative.
Number 5: As I’ve gotten older, my physical wounds occur easier and take longer to heal, but my emotional wounds mend more quickly. I guess that’s good, but I still wish I could do a “James Brown” split without tearing a hamstring.
Number 6: Something I learned from my dad; a handkerchief is to a gentleman, what duct tape is to MacGyver. It just always comes in handy.
Number 7: Some things in life are like really good leftovers. They’re just better the second time around.
Number 8: You don’t have to agree with everything a person says to agree with one thing a person says.
Number 9: There is a fine line between grand romantic gesture and stalking. And it has less to do with the action itself and more to do with how the woman views you. You can stand outside with a boom-box held over your head all day long…if she doesn’t already kind of like you, it ain’t gonna work…
Number 10: There are certainly people out there who have it better than me, but there are also a lot of people who have it worse…and I mean A LOT. Remembering that always makes me feel better and sad at the same time.
Number 11: Dreams rarely, if ever, come true. But goals can be met every day.
Number 12: (Another lesson from my dad) When people talk about you, you’re a legend. When you talk about you, you’re a shithead.
Number 13: (Reminded of this by Jean Haynes): Be mindful of what you’re doing…more people are paying attention than you think.
Number 14: A Sunday spent lounging in the pool, is never a wasted day.
Number 15: Unless she walked in with you, never buy a woman a drink in a bar.
Number 16: In Honor of George Steinbrenner (and this is only my observation based on 35 years of experience): Most Yankees fans are kinda douche-bags.
Number 17: 35 is a larger number then you expect.
Number 18: Over the years, supporting issues on both sides, I learned that Republicans aren’t as heartless as you think, Democrats aren’t as open-minded and neither side has all the answers. Anyone that can’t see the other side’s perspective on at least some of the issues isn’t a “Through and Through” Party member…they’re basically just a sports fan.
Number 19: When I get some new bit of “stuff” it’s awesome, but as time goes on I always get more enjoyment looking back at photos of trips I’ve taken or events I’ve gone to then I do from finding my first generation iPhone in a desk drawer. Conclusion? Stuff is stuff, life is better.
Number 20: Don’t listen to what they say; sometimes it’s okay to eat fast food. It all depends on the place…and the portions. I’m looking at you In and Out, Chick-Fil-A, Five Guys, Fat Burger and The In Field.
Number 21: It can only take one thing to throw off an entire day, but then again it often only needs one thing to put it back on track. The problem is you never know what either of those things is going to be.
Number 22: The maxim “You can do anything if you put your mind to it” isn’t entirely true (I will never be able to dunk a basketball, for instance)…but you can do a hell of a lot more than you think or even thought you would.
Number 23: If something written on the internet can be taken the worst way possible…it will be.
Number 24: Never make any major life decisions when tired or hungry. Actually, it’s usually a good idea to try to make as few decisions as possible when you’re tired or hungry. And never go to the grocery store hungry….that’s just asking for trouble.
Number 25: Bacon is awesome. I like eating it. I don’t care if it’s “murder”, bad for you or a fat and not a protein. I’m not going to eat it at every meal, but I will keep eating it. Life is too short to not eat bacon.
Number 26: Knowing a thing and doing a thing are two very DIFFERENT things. The former seems to me to be very easy; the latter is much more difficult. And to make matters worse, I usually KNOW that I haven’t DONE the thing immediately after I missed my chance to do it…
Number 27: I can no longer drink different kinds of booze at once. And I don’t mean different kinds of liquor in one evening; I mean I can’t even switch from liquor to beer without losing most of the next morning to hangover country. I have no idea how they do it on Mad Men.
Number 28: Don’t let life get in the way of living.
Number 29: While our past shapes who we are, it should not define us. Learning to let go has been one of the longest and most difficult lessons I’ve ever had to learn. I still haven’t gotten an A yet, but I’ll keep taking the class.
Number 30: Friends should be the people who make your life easier, not harder. I’m not saying don’t give a pal a ride to the airport or pitch in to move that giant sofa, but don’t stay friends with people who always need money, who never do what they say they will, and who just make everything more difficult. Life is trying enough without people who make it more so.
Number 31: Hard work, tenacity and excellence in performance will only get you so far. Unfortunately, the rest is how much ass you kiss.
Number 32: It’s important to remember that sometimes, what you think is funny ISN’T, but more importantly, what you don’t think is funny, sometimes IS.
Number 33: Never underestimate the sheer awesomeness of a goodnight sleep.
Number 34: After 3 decades, I still have to double-check my math. I was one day off when I started this whole thing!
Number 35: I think the whole point of all of this is to be happier more often than not…and preferably with a really high percentage difference. Stick with the things that make you happy and change the things that don’t. And remember what makes you happy won’t necessarily make someone else happy…and vice versa.