Smith Says: Here I am at 52
So, here I am at 52. How’d THAT happen? Just yesterday I was 22 and eating tofu for the first (and last) time.
Speaking of time, it’s amazing what can go down in 12 months. In the last year, my husband and I have traveled near and far, coped with elderly parents, buried a loved one, bought a boat and tiptoed through the minefield that is married life. (Widdle Baby and I are happily wed, but anyone married longer than six minutes understands the “minefield” reference.)
I like to think I learn a little more with each passing year; otherwise, what’s the point? Thus, some truisms I’ve learned (or re-learned) in the last year:
• It’s never too late to give yourself a happy childhood.
• Chocolate is over-rated. So is bacon. (Ducks and runs for cover.)
• People without grandchildren probably won’t appreciate the video of your grandson warbling “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” in the Pre-K talent show. If they’re friends, they will listen politely. If they’re not, don’t bother.
• Exercise every day. It will change your life.
• Psychiatrists say if we pretend to be happy by smiling and acting cheerful, in a very short while we ARE happy. So, fake it til you make it.
• You were not put here to be perfect. Unclench your jaw and relax.
• When people ask, “How are you?” all they really want to hear is “Fine.”
• If you feel like you don’t matter, adopt a dog. You will soon realize you’re the most important person in the universe!
• Frozen yogurt tastes as good as premium ice cream. Truth.
• It’s not too late: Decorate for Christmas, even if you don’t feel like it. A dozen mini-lights wrapped around a potted cactus is better than nothing.
• Nobody likes a complainer. Check yourself.
• People who constantly post photos on Facebook of their perfect projects, perfect child, perfect meals, perfect home and perfect vacations (“Off to Austria for another fabulous ski trip!”) are… wait for it… perfectly boring.
• And people who unfriend you on FB are probably just shallow and jealous, like me.
• I am so over Paula Deen.
• If you wouldn’t want to see your behavior featured on CNN Headline News, don’t do it.
• Shop locally when you can. (Most of the time, you can.) It helps your neighbors and makes you feel good.
• If you don’t know how to cook, sew or clean, you’d better look hot in a little black dress.
• Yes, I’m Episcopalian. No, I don’t want to talk about it.
• Never miss an opportunity to miss a meal. You won’t explode or drive the wrong way on I-26 and the world won’t end. (Unless you’re an insulin-dependent diabetic, and in that case, why are you listening to me and not your doctor?)
• I sin, you sin, everybody sins. Don’t judge.
• Envy is normal, but I think it goes away as we age. I used to be so jealous of what other people had I couldn’t sleep at night. Now I couldn’t care less. I still don’t sleep, but it’s nice not to care.
• If you think you need pepper spray, you need pepper spray.
• Hang on to the people who make you laugh. Truly funny friends are hard to find.
• The worst movie I’ve seen in the last year—possibly in the last decade--is “Dark Shadows.” I fell asleep.
• If you’re over 17, you know the difference between right and wrong. Do right.
• Go with the flow; it’s easier to float.
Julie R. Smith, who realizes none of this will matter if the Mayans are right, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.