I turned 40 in July. Typing that just feels wrong. Wrong and true. There is no stopping the march of time, or the Ides of March. And in the face of what was most assuredly to be my official "turning old" event I decided to write about my feeble wisdom. 24 unique points of free advice. Better write it down before senility sets in and it becomes 24 points that are all the same point or one point that starts with "what" and ends with "is my name?"
This was written in July and actually posted to facenbook. But facenbook is not public and besides I want to delete the stupid Word doc with all this so might as well post it here too.
Now that I'm 40 I'm pretty sure everyone wants me to drop my nuggets of wisdom…that obviously come with being old. Most of these have amazing stories behind them...most of which I have forgotten.
40 nuggets would be appropriate but I got tired of writing and needed a nap.
1. When I was 17 I thought that I had time to burn. It was like I was watching a giant candle smolder slowly through the night. Now that I’m 40 the candle has somehow turned into a sparkler. And some little kid is waving it around all crazy. “Hey, hold that still, you’re gonna burn down the house!”
2. Asking your wife, "Is that what you're wearing?" is not how you find out if she is ready to go. This phrase will most assuredly end with no one going anywhere. This is an "end game" scenario. Do not try to fix it. The damage is done. Any words that happen to fall out beyond this point (like, "I'm sorry" or "Baby, you look great in that") will be forged into coffin nails for later use.
Of course, if you do say this phrase - and are smart enough to realize your mouth has just launched a cluster grenade - you MIGHT be able to recover it by quickly following with, "...because I don't think you can get any more beautiful!"
3. When I was a teenager I arrogantly grouped most everyone older than me into the "useless" category. Now that I'm 40 I've expanded that group to include most teenagers.
4. I have lived long enough for my generation’s music to make a “comeback.” When did it ever leave?
5. With frightening accuracy my parent’s warnings about my future life have all come to pass. Except the one about “You’ll see, when you have kids.” But that’s probably only because I haven’t had any kids yet.
6. I used to be the center of the universe. When did that change?
7. Take care of your teeth and your hair. Brush them both softly.
8. I used to think that people at 40 were ancient. I mean, they didn’t appreciate any of my music, didn’t understand my hair and clothing choices and were just totally out of touch with what was going on in the world.
Oh man. Is that what kids are thinking about me?
10. God loves you, no matter what. Just ignore that guy on TV.
11. Now That I’m 40 I have learned, contrary to my Brother and Wife, that driving over the speed limit while constantly changing lanes and passing everyone is a complete waste. It may gain you a little time but it will cost you much more in lost gas mileage and possible tickets.
A 240 mile trip at 65mph will take approximately 3 hours and 42 minutes, assuming your car gets 30mpg on the highway. At that speed you will consume 8 gallons of gasoline. At $3 per gallon that's $24 bucks.
However, mpg decreases over 60/65mpg for most cars. So, if you drive 80mph your gallon of gas will actually cost you $3.72 or $29.76. That's almost 6 dollars more! And what’s even worse: constant passing, braking and accelerating can add an additional 30% to the cost of your fuel.
Now your speeding and reckless driving will make your trip cost $38.69, all so you can get there 45 minutes sooner.
Only someone over 40 would take the time to research and calculate all this.
12. Just because you are talking and everyone else is laughing doesn’t mean that you are funny.
13. Real love is a choice, not a compulsion.
14. “Young Folks” by Peter, Bjorn & John is so rad!
15. Finish college. It doesn’t matter if your degree is in Ancient History or P.E. – just having one matters.
16. Don’t get in to something you don’t want to have to get out of.
17. Credit cards lie. Learn to balance your own checkbook and stop spending when you are out of money.
18. Don’t yell at or insult other drivers. They can’t hear you and they don’t care. If you must yell at them, make sure you have a good one prepared ahead of time.
“You need to get your license checked!” is not a good one.
19. Be consistent. “Unpredictable” is fun but you’ll find that most people will keep their distance.
20. Remember that other people have bad days too. Choose every morning to have a little grace for the people you meet. “A kind word in time of need is like water to one on fire.” or something like that.
21. Finding your soulmate requires you to stop looking.
22. It's pronounced "Or dervs" not "Whores De Vores"
23. Just smile and keep waving.
24. Skip dessert. Always.