I have known me for nearly 29 years. I have yet to meet myself at 65 full of sage wisdom and a few gray hairs, but I am sure joyful the insecure lanky me of 15 has long grown into a beautiful, smart woman. I think 29 will suit me well… Once I settle into the last year of my twenties, at least. I admit it is taking some getting used-to, this twenty-nine thing. I still recall my mom being in the final 365 days of her twenties… twice! I am sure I will handle myself better than that, keepin’ my fingers crossed.
Life has been one helluva ride so far. Tonight, I reflect back on who I was then, who I am right now, and what all of this will create as each day moves forward. Here are some things I have learned (I feel like sharing tonight!) In no particular order… Here goes:
1) Don’t eat Miracle Whip. There is nothing miraculous about it.
2) Get a cat. But make Sprinkles poop outside! Nobody likes a house that smells like Sprinkle’s feces!
3) IF you can’t get a cat, rescue a well-behaved pup from the shelter. He’d be grateful for his lifetime… And call him Ghandi. Cause that way, he’ll always make you inspired.
4) Fall in love. Real love. The kind that sticks to your ribs and adds a little meat.
5) Have your heart broken. Just once. That way, the next time you’re lucky enough to fall in love, you appreciate the hell out of it.
6) Fight fair. IF you cannot fight fair, start yelling. IF that doesn’t work, definitely throw something. When the cops get called, say HE did it! If you cry, they’ll totally believe you and send his ass to jail for… what? Oh, yeah, he left the toilet seat up again.
7) Eat a crap-ton of cake. I mean, so much cake that you have to crap… a ton.
8) Laugh at yourself. Cause, to quote Jack Handey, “I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it.” None of us do, man.
9) (If you don’t know Jack’s stuff, or don’t think it is funny, go find yourself a funny bone… start there, then go back to number one and try again. I promise you there is still hope.)
10) Have some kids. Start with one. If that one is still unscathed by the time it is, eh, 3 or so, do it again. Stop when your boobs get saggy. Unless you know a really good plastic surgeon… Can I have his number?
11) Who cares if you get wrinkles?
12) Have sex. All the time. And when you’re not having sex, make sure you’re talking about it, to anyone and everyone around you. People LOVE that. Especially your boyfriend’s parents.
13) Buy a REALLY nice couch. Then cover it in plastic because you had a kid or two. Then resent those marker-toten’, booger havin’ offsring because every time you try and sit on your really luxurious living room furniture, you’re reminded that you never should have had children; they ruin all your nice stuff.
14) I recommend hard wood floors. And nice rugs. Easier on the knees.
15) Make friends with your neighbors. That way, when they hear you yelling at your kids, they won’t call CPS on you.
16) Call your family. No, really. Right now. You won’t regret it. Does anyone know the number to heaven? 911 probably…
17) Wear red lipstick. It’ll make you feel pretty. Like Taylor Swift.
18) Do something you love, every day. If you’re like me, you’d write. If you’re Taylor Swift, you’d write AND sing. If you’re you, find something you enjoy, that pleases YOU and only YOU, and do THAT THING. Every single day.
19) Stop smoking. It is bad for you.
20) Tell your daddy you love him. He gets all smooshy when he hears his daughter say that, even if all he responds with is, “You too, honey”, you can bet he shed a tear. Just for his baby girl.
21) Eat more chocolate. We only have one life. Chocolate should be a regular part of that.
22) At least once, we should all take ownership of a house. A home, really. I don’t think we’re adults until we willingly sign a stack of documents that states we owe a lender thousands upon thousands of dollars. Plus, paint! It’s YOUR house!
23) If you suck at math, embrace the suck. Too many times I’ve been told I “should be” better at math. I hate it. And I’m not ashamed of that. If you suck at something, just accept it. 2+2=5,782. WHAT?!
24) Spell good though. And use well grammar. We all needz 2 uze are branes, u kno!
25) (That was REALLY hard for me to write that last sentence. Note to self: Edit #24 later!)
26) If you find the man of your dreams, because he fixes your vertical blinds, wipes your kid’s butts, and happily sings in the car to ZZ Top, don’t ever let him go. Plus, he’s probably got a great butt, so way to go.
27) Read a book. Or 300. Because writers love it when people read. Start with Born To Run. Even if you don’t care about running, cause that dude can WRITE the pants off a virgin!
28) Learn about Jesus. Now, I know, I know… This one is purposefully placed it seems. But dang it, we all need a savior! He’s the coolest one I know!
29) On that note, go to Church! And stop talking about sex in Church! I didn’t mean “all the time”… why did you listen to me?!
30) When you’re making a list of thoughts, and you get to number 30, and it is 11:5-something at night, you should probably stop and go to bed. Because you have work tomorrow, don’t you?
I hope by the time I really am 29, I will have done most of the things on my list. Especially the plastic surgery thing. Oh, wait, you missed that? Yeah, I asked for phone numbers… and a discount. Two kids, geesh. So not fair. I hate you, genetics!
Anyway, in all seriousness, we all have our own journeys ahead of us. As I am about to round yet another bend, and add a few more days to my life story pages, I hope that I continue to learn, to grow, to love deeper, laugh boisterously, and hold onto what really matters in life. My children, my family and friends, my kitties, my lover (and his fine behind), and my Lord. Life is precious, life is too short. We only get one go at this. One shot.
Make it count. But, stop at 30.