life advice

42 things I know about life

In honor of my 42nd birthday, I felt compelled to write a list of things I know to be true. Some are silly, some ideas are borrowed from those wiser than me, some are so obvious as to seem ridiculous, and some are just things that sounded good to me today.

  1. There are a lot of wrong ways to live but no right way.
  2. Sometimes it really is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. And more fun.
  3. Nachos are the perfect food for any occasion.
  4. Nobody knows what they are doing. We are all making it up as we go along.
  5. ‘Fake it til you make it’ works.
  6. If you count how many hours of sleep you’ll get, you’re guaranteed to sleep less than that.
  7. Living your life for good stories to tell at parties is not a bad plan.
  8. Fear keeps life small.
  9. People will try to get away with whatever you allow them to.
  10. Manners grease a lot of wheels.
  11. Don’t mess with the Philadelphia Parking Authority. When in doubt, you will get a ticket.
  12. Changing the size or shape of your body will not make you happy.  
  13. Tequila shots are a bad idea. Every time.
  14. If everybody is doing it it’s probably terrible or boring.
  15. You don't need "just one more". You just don't. Except for maybe hugs. Hugs are the exception.
  16. Giving other people the benefit of the doubt costs nothing and can save you a lot of trouble.
  17. Cats ruin furniture, break things, and vomit a lot but they make the cuddliest bed mates.
  18. No one else disappoints you. You allow yourself to be disappointed.
  19. Hurt people, hurt people.
  20. Getting lost is sometimes the best part of the trip.
  21. Walks in the rain are one of the greatest pleasures of life.
  22. Taking notes is a good idea. You won’t remember half of what you think you will.
  23. Kids will tell you all kinds of things if you are quiet long enough.
  24. Surprising the people you love is a wonderful way to make love a verb.
  25. Nobody is a mind reader. We rarely guess right and make all kinds of terrible choices based on these false ideas.
  26. Every relationship is its own beautiful struggle.
  27. Vulnerability is an act of courage. 
  28. Thoughts create reality.
  29. Liberation is taken. It’s never given.
  30. People spend a lot of time thinking about what they don't want to happen.
  31. The sea holds magical healing properties.
  32. People are good and want to help. They often don’t know how.
  33. Accidental naps are the best kind of sleep.
  34. Bringing someone their coffee just how they like it is a sign of true love.
  35. Politicians will always disappoint. People who go into politics have egos to serve. This doesn't make them bad. It makes them human.
  36. If you want someone else to change, start with yourself.
  37. An apology should never contain ‘but…’
  38. The news is harmful. Its purpose is to keep us afraid.
  39. ‘I don’t know’ are 3 very important words we don't use enough.
  40. The more embarrassing the experience, the longer you have to wait for it to be a good story for parties. 
  41. Small talk is boring. 
  42. Lists are fun to make although a pointless exercise.