It’s my birthday today, and I turn the big four-oh. That’s right. I’m forty. Good lord I never thought I would reach this age.
Part of me has been reflecting upon the things I have learned over the course of these forty years, and I’ve come up with the requisite list. But to put it into context, let’s call this the List of Things I wish I knew when I was Twenty.
- Beer comes in flavors.
- Hollywood produces hype better than they produce entertainment.
- Most television news is entertainment disguised as “the public’s right to know.”
- Rock and Roll is best typified by bands of which most people will be unaware.
- Hip Hop and Rap are better once you understand the context from which they arose.
- There are good Country Music artists out there if you look hard enough.
- Cynicism is a defense mechanism, albeit sometimes a necessary one.
- Sarcasm puts many people off.
- Respect is earned before it is given.
- Money may not buy happiness, but it certainly keeps depression at bay.
- Friends are people who are willing to listen to your problems without giving advice.
- Being a friend entails limiting the amount of times you talk about your problems.
- Celebrate your friend’s successes.
- Always compliment the chef when the food is free.
- It’s okay to admit you don’t know something.
- It’s possible to get a decent education without spending thousands of dollars.
- There’s always something new to learn.
- Art is about taking your mind on a jog.
- Religion and Spirituality are not the same thing.
- Only share your burden when it’s not possible for you to carry it alone.
- Become strong enough to carry your burden as long as possible.
- Send postcards when you travel.
- Start your own library in your home.
- Focus on one thing that you want. When you get that one thing, get a new thing to focus on.
I’m sure I could come up with a much larger list.
So yeah, I’m forty. And while the above list sounds nice, the truth is that when I was twenty I would have ignored almost all of the above. Over the course of the past twenty years, I’ve learned enough to realize that, not only was I pretty ignorant then, but I’m still rather ignorant today.
Oh, and for those of you wondering, tonight I’m celebrating with Sashimi, pie, and Scotch. In that order, but not at the same sitting.