I’m 36 years old and one day. I am another year older, wiser, but still not any more mature.
36 things I learned in 36 years – in no particular order:
Make your serving size. Leftovers aren’t good. They just aren’t. There may be a few recipes or meals that hold an exception but I can’t think of anything worth mentioning. Eat the serving size in front of you. Seconds are better than leftovers.
Eat and exercise like you have heart disease and diabetes. Because you will if you don’t exercise. This one is not fun. I know. But it’s necessary and maybe, just maybe, it will become fun.
People will think what they want to think. Let them.
If you’re bored, sleep. I think I heard on the radio that sleeping a lot has health benefits. I don’t really know the science behind it but it made me fist pump in the car because I’m good at naps.
Tell your partner “thank you” a lot. Whether they do an errand on their own or if you ask, always say thank you. I caught on to this from watching Scott’s cousins and their wives live with me for a week. I don’t think I say thank you enough. Thank you, Scott. And Scott’s cousins and wives.
Drink the whiskey. I mean, it was a good time. And if you want to know, one of Scott’s deer antlers took the picture on a timer at 4 a.m. because they lost their hooves in a hunting accident. Those cousins’ wives, I tell you.
Use google. The smartest people I know google the answers to their questions before saying them out loud. Deer (plural) do, in fact, have hooves.
Drink the vodka. By this point, you’re probably thinking I’m an alcoholic. I am not. I couldn’t write every day if I was. We were “Russian” into a dry wedding. And I don’t know what to say, except it’s
Christmas Thanksgiving and we’re all in misery, Clark.
If someone shows up in a similar dress as you – let it go. Emily and I did not coordinate dress colors. No one believed us. But like I said before – let people think what they want to think.
Hug goodbye. Scott taught me this. I’m learning. It’s awkward. I like high-fives better.
Don’t be so hard on your body when you’re young. Your joints, your back, your muscles, your skin especially – they remember and they will fail you when you’re 36. Exactly that age – 36. Shit starts falling apart. This advice is probably useless to anyone reading this because too late.
Moisturize your face every night. I got a manicure a couple weekends ago and the lady doing my nails asked if I was married. I laughed because I knew where this was going. She asked if I had kids. She asked how old my kids are. She dropped her mouth and my hand when I said 11 and 8. And I was I like, hell yes. I moisturize. And honestly – I wish more men would moisturize. You wouldn’t look so damn old next to your wedding pictures.
You can cuss a little. Bitch, motherfucker, Goddammit – it’s ok. No one gives a shit.
Everyone has a story.
Read the book. You know. The book. Whatever Netflix show you’re binging on – there was a writer behind the words said out loud. I bet the words are much better in your head than out of someone’s mouth.
See your dentist every six months. I like nice teeth and I love getting my teeth professionally cleaned. I get cavities too. I’m not perfect. But the older you get, the more you will thank me for this piece of advice.
Have children when you’re in your 20s. Babies and toddlers will suck your soul. Get it over with while you’re still fertile.
Have children when you’re in your 30s. Babies and toddlers will suck your soul. Enjoy your own youth before you take over someone else’s. I don’t know the real answer this – other than babies and toddlers will suck your soul at any age.
Karma is real.
Go outside. Do something. Go on a walk. Go to a park. Explore your city. Your day will be much better.
You need to be brave to grow old. I heard my dad tell my Grandma that.
Ask for a friend. Sometimes all you have to do is ask for a friend and you’ll find one. My favorite extroverts always ask if I want to hang out. My favorite introverts never do and then I never do because I, too, am introverted. So ask. Ask if you need a friend.
A gravesite can be strangely comforting.
Give writers credit. If someone moved you, made you laugh, made you say me too – and you chose to share those words on social media, do not pass them off as your own words. That’s called plagiarism. Give the credit to the writer. Memes – I’m talking about memes, people. It’s hard making someone laugh in under twenty words. Go ahead. Try it. Hopefully no one steals it.
While I have you here – give photographers respect. Ask what their copyright policy is on those Christmas photos before you share them.
Talk to your daughters about periods, boobs, and shaving her legs. No, don’t sit down and have a heart-to-heart. That’s weird, Full House. Get out of here. It’s easier if you’re light-hearted about it. Wear a sports bra under that shirt, you don’t want your nips showing. I smile, she laughs.
Talk to your boys about wieners. I don’t have any advice on how to do this nor do I want to know but you should do it.
Dogs are a part of the family. I’m just sitting here, looking at these bitches on my white couch and I’m thinking, “I love those little shitheads.”
Boiled peanuts are delicious. Have you tried them? You should. They’re only sold in the south and in my Kansas City crockpot.
Christmas music is not the devil. It’s lovely and it makes me feel warm. I’m busting out my ice skates and hot cocoa this weekend.
It’s OK to want to sleep in twin beds instead of a king if you’re married. I said sleep. I would love to sleep in my own bed instead of waking up to dragon fire breath’s dead arm on my throat. Scott thinks this is a terrible idea and he did not love the Flintstones as a kid.
People are not who they seem online. I want to say this is about FakeBook over there but no. This is about me and it’s something that bothers me a lot but I’ve realized there are others like this too. I don’t know how many people have told this to me – “you’re funny when you write because it’s not who you are in person.” I mean, I think that’s a compliment.
Know your worth. I’m not writing for free anymore. Becoming an author this year changed that for me because I’m not who I am in person.
Don’t say “please stop growing” to babies and kids. Because sometimes babies and kids do stop. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. Let them grow.
Don’t call people “bruh.” My kids say that and that’s just a ridiculous term to call someone. Oh God. My 36 is showing.
Always tell your mom “happy labor day” on your birthday. It’s her day too.
And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”