Life Lessons

39 Words of Wisdom

Today is my 39th birthday.

I’m not quite “over the hill” yet, which is actually kind of a depressing term if you really think about it … who celebrates somebody’s birthday by reminding them how much closer to their ultimate demise they’ve just become?!

I certainly don’t want to talk about that, so instead I thought it might be fun to share some positive things that I’ve picked up during my 39 years on this spinning, blue orb that’s been hurtling its way through space for far longer than I’ve been around. I’ve learned a lot in my time so far – whether or not any of it could be construed as “wisdom” is for someone else to decide, but if you’re curious about what a guy like me thinks about life at this stage, then pull up a slice of birthday cake because you’re in the right place… 😉

  1. It’s of the utmost importance to be kind to anyone who touches your food.
  2. The key to making great bacon is baking it in the oven.
  3. No one will fight for the things that are important to you more than you will.
  4. Stand up to bullies. You have more power against them than you know.
  5. There are a lot of awful people in our world today who are selfish and greedy and narrow-minded and ignorant, and many of them are much closer to us than we ever would’ve imagined. Fortunately, there are also a lot of good people to ensure that we don’t have to stand against them alone.
  6. It’s ok for your dreams to change as you get older.
  7. Take the time to play with your kids.
  8. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
  9. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is frozen happiness.
  10. Surrounding yourself with other passionate people can be the best source of inspiration.
  11. Not replacing an empty toilet paper roll is an act that will almost always come back to bite you in the ass later.
  12. Holding the door for people is a really simple way to do something nice for somebody that requires almost no additional effort on your part.
  13. It’s hard to take an adult seriously who complains about another adult using swear words.
  14. Kids have the power to both delight and destroy. Be prepared to shift from one emotion to the other quickly.
  15. Unless you’re a massage therapist, telling someone to relax almost never actually has that effect.
  16. Life is complicated. Try to give other people the benefit of the doubt.
  17. Customer service tends to be awful when companies don’t give employees what they need to do their jobs.
  18. There’s no such thing as an inappropriate joke – just inappropriate times to tell them.
  19. Patriotism is about holding your country to its ideals, not turning a blind eye to its mistakes.
  20. You don’t have to answer every call/text/email the moment you receive it.
  21. It’s pointless to waste your time arguing with strangers on the Internet.
  22. Disregard medical advice from people who aren’t actually licensed medical professionals.
  23. Civil rights are the most important rights.
  24. Self care is really, really, really important! There’s a reason why flight attendants tell us to “Secure your own oxygen mask first before helping others.”
  25. Cleaning your home when it is filled with toddlers is next to impossible.
  26. You don’t have to have an opinion on every single issue you come across.
  27. “Online friends” are friends just the same.
  28. If every other driver seems like an asshole, it’s probably you.
  29. Magic is still being able to enjoy the things that you loved as a kid now that you’re an adult.
  30. The best thing you can do for your kids is be a good example.
  31. The older you get, the more plates you have to keep spinning at the same time.
  32. Fair warning – about seven years in is when everything in your house will undoubtedly start to break.
  33. It’s important to know how to manage your money.
  34. Spend your time making creative things that you enjoy and don’t worry about whether other people will enjoy them, too.
  35. Don’t look down on the generations that came after yours, particularly if their respect is important to you.
  36. Girl Scout cookies are the exact same cookies as the ones you can buy any day at the grocery store for half the price.
  37. Sometimes it feels good to do absolutely nothing.
  38. If you don’t make time for something, it might not be as important to you as you think.
  39. Do what makes you happy.

That last one is probably the most important piece of wisdom that I’ve picked up in my 39 years, so whether you like taking pictures of your lunch to post on Instagram or making YouTube videos of yourself playing your favorite video games or even writing jokes about the random happenings in your own life … do that, and enjoy it.

Because the people who will tell you, “That’s stupid…” and “You’re wasting your time with that…” tend to be the ones who aren’t happy with their own lives, so don’t let them drag you down, too.

We only get one life on this Earth, and as I now find myself regrettably approaching that halfway point known affectionately as “over the hill,” it seems to go by a whole lot faster than any of us would really like.

Live what you’ve got your own way and don’t let anybody else tell you that something you enjoy isn’t worth enjoying.

Unless you enjoy murder or something … I mean, definitely don’t do that! 

But otherwise, go nuts…

Photo Credit: © Thomas Bethge / Adobe Stock