My blog buddy Rosie turns 26 tomorrow, and for the occasion, she wrote a blog post about 25 things she has learned in her first 25 years.
I have 21 years and one day on her (I found out recently my birthday is the day before hers), but I figured I’d spell out some thoughts from my first 47 years on this side of the grass.
Some will be things I’ve learned. Some will be opinion. You may disagree with the opinions, but remember this bonus pearl of wisdom I’m about to share …
… I’m always right. (Smile)
1. It is better to be right than popular. — Anyone can be popular if they kiss up to enough people, but it’s hollow. Right lasts.
2. We are all hypocrites. — Most of the time, excusing or defending what we like while not doing so to what we don’t is harmless human nature. Just don’t do it for cynical reasons, or to overlook something you should be dealing with.
3. Laugh whenever you can. — Even if it’s just for a moment, laughter makes everything better.
4. No one gets here alone. — Everyone has people who influence their lives, hopefully in a good way.
The good parts of my personality, for example, came from my parents. Most of the bad stuff, I learned on my own.
5. You can be a good influence. — It doesn’t have to cost much, if anything, and you shouldn’t hope for credit. But the world will be a better place for it.
6. If someone chooses you to be their friend or romantic partner, that’s some powerful stuff. — Don’t ever take it for granted. They don’t have to put up with your bull.
I should know, since my wife has put up with me for years.
7. Time spent raging can be better spent thinking. — I forget this one approximately all the time.
8. You are the only you that you have. — All you can do is be the best you possible.
9. You will care what other people think of you, and that’s fine. — If you say you don’t, it’s a defense mechanism. You’ll eventually figure that out. Just consider the source of whoever’s judging you.
10. You get to be you every day. — Meanwhile, people who treat you badly have to be themselves when they roll out of bed every day.
11. Unless they’re hurting others, there’s not much reason to worry about what people do with their lives. — So don’t.
12. If all your learning is in a classroom, you’re doing it wrong. — Dealing with people is its own education.
13. You will often hate the thought of going to the gym, but you will always feel better once you do. — If only because it lets you take your mind off everything else.
14. People who you care about will have opinions and do things that drive you insane. — If the relationship matters to you, you’ll learn how to deal with it.
15. Modern art is a scourge. — Seriously, I don’t know how anyone can like that stuff.
16. Seasons are overrated. — Winter in the Northeast is one of them.
17. Social media can be lots of fun, or it can completely suck. — Obviously, you want the first, but if it’s the second, don’t let it influence your view of yourself as a human being.
18. Baseball is the greatest game ever. — And it always will be.
19. Hate-reading/watching/listening is worthless. — Life is short, so when you have the choice, why would you spend your free time voluntarily doing something you know you’re not going to like?
20. You will screw up … a lot. — And I’m not just talking about cooking something badly or forgetting an appointment. No, you’re going to screw things up with people you care about … a lot. Swallow your pride, and make it right.
21. Nostalgia is a great thing, in its place. — That place is fond memories and laughs about days gone by. That place is not trying to make it your life now.
22. The customer isn’t always right. — That includes you, by the way.
23. First impressions, especially bad ones, are often overrated. — If you’re going to write someone off based on when you first meet them, think about whether you’re being too harsh.
24. Airports can be inconvenient, planes cramped, people annoying and customer service nonexistent, but flying is awesome. — I can eat dinner in Boston and lunch in London. Entirely different worlds are hours away.
25. If someone is madder at themselves than you are at them, let it go. — All you’re doing at that point is piling on for no good reason.
26. There are things I refuse to do just because … I don’t do them. — And some of them are downright silly, but I still won’t do them.
27. Being the sober guy in a room full of drunk people can be entertaining. — It’s even more entertaining when you’re the only one who remembered what happened the night before.
28. Dogs are fine, but cats are better. — Sorry.
29. Bacon is overrated. — Sorry.
30. So is coffee. — Sorry. (Actually, I’m not sorry for any of the last three items.)
31. There is a scientifically proven way to become a morning person. — It’s called “Getting your butt out of bed.”
32. Sometimes, the pain in your stomach isn’t gas; it’s your gall bladder. — In a related note, sometimes fasting before gall bladder surgery makes you so hungry that you’ll say out loud you’re willing to do something crazy like eat carrots.
33. Those who are, don’t have to tell you. — No amount of talking can prove how smart/tough/hardworking/brave/whatever you are.
34. We muddle. We do not hang. — Brother Pierce will explain.
35. Christmas music should be banned until the day after Thanksgiving. — I am willing to negotiate a time on Thanksgiving night, but no sooner.
36. Things change all the time. — There are a million ways to explain it, but I’ll go with this one … I once thought I’d never be caught dead sending a text message, and now I do it constantly.
37. Even if you’re a brilliant debater, sometimes it’s just not worth it. — And believe me … I am. But my blood pressure doesn’t like it much.
38. It is possible to be both cynical and idealistic. — Which is how you can assume the worst and still be upset at something just because it’s unfair.
39. Surprises for Christmas and birthdays, good. Surprises on random days … not always. — This applies especially to unexpected phone calls from your parents.
40. Every 10-year birthday is supposed to have some kind of meaning. — But do they, really?
41. Do not talk about a no-hitter while it’s in progress. — It’s a silly tradition that has nothing to do with whether the pitcher will finish the no-hitter. Still, don’t do it.
42. I’ve never liked the expression “Don’t worry about things you can’t control.” — Seems to me that’s exactly what I should worry about. Why worry about things I can control? I control them!
43. A brilliant song is an amazing work of art. — The creation, the thought behind the words and the music is something my brain can’t comprehend.
44. Not my thought, but I really liked it.
45. Are there things I would have done differently? Maybe, but I wouldn’t be where I am now. — And there’s plenty about where I am now that I like.
46. I want to keep doing this for as long as I can. And by “this,” I mean “living.” — I don’t know what’s next. I do know what’s now.
47. Time flies. — As if I needed any proof, I’m 47 today.
The picture at the top is me on the Brooklyn Bridge. My wife took it.
Wanna do a guy a birthday solid? If so, consider donating to the 5K I’m walking on Sunday.