Saturday, October 7, 2017

Things I've Learned

The original title of this entry was "Posthumous Notes." I had composed it staring open-heart surgery in the face, and post-dated it to publish far enough in the future that I could delete it if I survived the operation. I lived. And then I decided, just this moment, to publish it anyway. Maybe I'll add to this list or revise it in the future.

In no particular order, here are a few things that I've learned in this lifetime:

1. Shave with the grain; then against it.

2.  First drink a glass of water. Wait a moment. Then see if you still want it.

3. Try to remember the sage words of Special Agent Dale Cooper: "Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan on it, don't wait for it, just let it happen. It could be a new shirt from the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black coffee."

4. Never pass up an opportunity to hydrate or urinate.

5. In composition: your words may be the only thing that remains of you, so omit the needless ones. Do not impress; be direct and coherent; remember that you are engaged in an act of telepathy.

6. Women are stronger. They just are. If you disagree then thank the patient and tolerant women in your life for allowing your abiding delusions.

7. Just because it is legal and commonly consumed does not mean it is anything more than a low-grade poisonous drug aggressively advertised to you by avaricious villains.

8. Resist the temptation to seek help from those who are not qualified to give it.

9. We are encouraged - often required - to plot our paths at an age when we cannot know that those courses will be shortly unsuitable. Holding onto them once you are a different person is taking another person's medicine: potentially toxic.

10. Take the time, on occasion, to listen to the music that has brought you joy in the past. Do nothing else during this respite (unless you feel the desire to dance).

11. Don't forget to breathe.

12. Burn the candles before they melt in the attic. Wear the nice shirt for which a deserving occasion hasn't arrived. Wear that dress to the picnic despite the threat of dirt.