Later this month I will turn 50. I’m not bothered by this at all and I dearly want to celebrate (which Covid makes hard) with the people who make my life better: friends. Whatever I am allowed to do to mark the occasion, I know it will be permissible only outdoors and of course with very few people. Something I can do in honour of my birthday, with as many people as I want—including you—is share this list of fifty ruminations about life. I present them in a list because the internet loves a list. Oh, hey, that’s number 1.
2. No gum has yet been invented that keeps its flavour long enough.
3. To celebrate her birthday, Queen Elizabeth II awards honours to others. It wouldn’t hurt to follow her example of giving on one’s birthday instead of receiving.
4. Support public libraries.
5. Take the higher road: don’t press the car horn in aggravation.
6. I can learn anything with enough patience and willpower to do tasks I don’t enjoy.
7. Quality, economy and efficiency: one can never get all three.
8. Hope is something one chooses and the decision is faced daily.
9. If you want a close relationship with your teens, wear them when they are babies and don’t allow them to cry themselves to sleep.
10. Don’t drink water; that’s where fish pee. Kidding. You still should drink it. Not kidding about the peeing part.
11. Unless you are dead, the laundry is not done.
12. It’s easy to make a good impression: listen more than you speak.
13. I’m bored of french fries.
14. For the sake of your mental health, talk to another human being, in real time, every day.
15. The most embarrassing thing to happen to me lately is I got a rash on my neck because I forgot to rinse the conditioner out.
16. Vote or you’ve no right to complain later.
17. If you don’t study the arts along with STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] there will be no variety in blossoms.
18. Some people need to be judged by their actions; it will cause you less grief.
19. Public transportation should be free and frequent. Otherwise, folks will never give up their vehicles.
20. Public education is a necessity. Even post-secondary training should be paid for by the state.
21. There is a positive correlation between higher taxes and happier countries.
22. Some days are so hard you get a gold star just for making it to the end of the day.
23. Obey author Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s uncle: when things are going really well be sure to notice it.
24. Make something. It feels good to do so.
25. If you think you are tired, try being a parent.
26. The book I wish I wrote is the autobiography: How I Became a Person with No Problems. [No, there is no such book that I am aware of.]
27. An easy way to hurt yourself is to participate in social media.
28. I wish someone would invent gum that flosses our teeth for us.
29. Cultivate friendships with people much different in age from yours.
30. Ketchup is an insult to the chef.
31. If I could own any artwork in the world to look at every day it would be a garden by a landscape architect.
32. It is harder to write this blog entry than I thought it would be.
33. Be on friendly terms with your neighbours on both sides and across the street.
34. When someone asks if you have the time do you ever answer, “No, I’m busy now until the weekend.”?
35. The older I get the more I prefer my own bedroom to a hotel room.
36. If your mother is cold you must put on a jacket. It says so in all holy books.
37. I’ve practised what I preach. Guests to my (Zoom) birthday party will be treated to a magic show.
38. Cats own humans. If you think you are exempt you are wrong because cats own the internet, too.
39. I’m a fan of precipitation in summer but not in winter or fall. Spring could go either way.
40. Sadly, there is so much more sugar at the grocery store than just the bags in the baking section.
41. If I were wealthier I’d hire a chef, full-time.
42. The last thing I did for the first time was qualify for an advanced improv class from Second City in Chicago.
43. A meal I would not mind eating every day for the rest of my life is high tea.
44. If I had nine lives I would master nine languages.
45. I am envious of people who knew what career they wanted by the end of high school and got it right.
46. Books are never as funny as the blurbs say they are.
47. I’m only 2 in Covid years. Huzzah!
48. The worst meal I had recently was cake for lunch. Or was that the best?
49. Dairy builds bones, meat makes muscles, fruit and veggies give vitamins, and mom’s love does the rest. I know these to be true because my son composed this poem for a Mother’s Day card during his early teens.
Though number 49 is not made of my words, it illustrates my number 50 perfectly: there is no greater gift than the loving thoughts and/or actions of another. Thank you for reading my list.