Tag: wisdom

The Morning After Stage of Life: Unsolicited (but sound) Advice

hard partying Wendover

I’ve entered the harsh morning-after stage of my life and I’ve got some solid advice for those who haven’t crashed on the floor of their youth yet to wake up with worms in their mouths and strangers drinking from their sinks:

1.  If you don’t have a strong sense of curiosity, you better cultivate that shit before your brain mummifies in the arid desert of your disinterest.

2.  If you hate insects you but your dearest dream is to become an entomologist – you’ve got some crazy-ass wires not connecting in your head and it’s time to find a new dream.

3.  There is no situation in which giving up your autonomy of person to another person is going to pay off in empowerment and anyone who promises that if you give it up to them you’ll know true love/power/spirituality is lying their power-hungry asses off so they can take your light off of you. Walk away from those assholes and fight like fucking hell to hang onto yourself.

4.  If you’re allergic to shellfish, don’t eat shellfish motherfucker.

5.  Always trust your first instinct.

6.  Sometimes the people who reject you because you’re not perfect have herpes.

7.  The trick to motivating yourself to do things you don’t want to do is realizing that most of the things you don’t want to do aren’t as bad as being shot in the gut by a 9 mm bullet and left to bleed out in an alleyway full of human excrement and cockroaches.

8.  No matter what else is going on in your life or how much things are falling apart – ALWAYS BRUSH YOUR TEETH IN THE MORNING WHEN YOU GET UP AND AGAIN BEFORE YOU GO TO SLEEP.

9.  Fake mustaches fix nothing. NOTHING.

10.  Always be kind to homeless people. Even if they’re panhandling and you haven’t got any change to give them, look them in the eye, tell them you haven’t got anything and wish them good luck. Smile at them. Statistics can prove that that could be you one day.

11.  The most precious commodity you can possess is the ability to see beauty through people’s vast imperfections, both physical, mental, and spiritual. Walk through your day with the humility of a human who knows its own small shadow and be open to seeing gorgeousness in all the humans you pass. If you can’t see physical beauty in the unconventional faces and bodies, you’re fucked. You’ll never see the hearts and experience inside of them.

12.  Be kind to people who hate board games, they’ll be loyal to you for life if you never pressure them to play and you don’t own a gun.

13.  Everyone has to break at least one promise they’ve made. The human who hasn’t done so simply hasn’t gotten there yet. It’s healthy to feel remorse about it. It’s healthy to move on. Learn to give yourself a fucking break.

14.  If forgiveness isn’t part of your life ethos then you’re a fucking asshole to yourself more than anyone else. This isn’t my first harsh morning on earth and I can tell you that forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and to others.

15.  Guilt is useless if you don’t learn from it and move on. It becomes a corrosive self indulgence if you let it take the wheel of your Mustang.

16.  Pretty sure even Jesus curses mosquitoes, so don’t sweat it if you find yourself cursing bankers, double standards, and weak beer.

17.  Always dress and undress in the proper order.


19.  You feeling horny and no one wants to get funky with your body? MASTERBATE, DON’T RAPE!

20.  You like polka dots and stripes and plaid and you want to wear them all at the same time? YOU’RE PRETTY MUCH MY KIN AT THIS POINT AND IF THAT SCARES YOU – IT REALLY SHOULD!@!(*^&^e$&$#$%%*(&^(*

21.  If you’re in a city where a natural disaster has struck and you aren’t helping the older folks get supplies, I’m pretty much going to have to kill you.

22.  Develop your own yardstick for success. From scratch. Preferably from an organic 50 year old piece of drift wood you found on the beach.

23.  Don’t expect the people who love you to support your crime spree.

24.  If you know how to pirouette, don’t hold back! Do it in the rain, do it in the Walmart parking lot, do it for yourself when you’re alone in your room and in deep despair and your heart is breaking – pirouette your fucking toes off for all of us who can never stand that tall or spin like that.

25.  Write your own eulogy. If you don’t do it someone else will and they’ll find a way to mention gonads even if you don’t have any just because it’s all about them anyway and your spirit can’t rest with that bullshit floating around the pulpit.

25.5  Love. Just love everyone the best you know how, including and especially your absolutely wholly flawed self. You’re beautiful, you freak.


Wisdom I’m Old Enough To Share Today

Last night I discovered that I had two fingers completely impaled by open tweezers and I couldn’t figure out if I needed to go to the doctor to get them out – if there would be too much blood or if I could even bring myself to remove them and I wanted some kind of anesthetic to make it easier but suddenly I found myself pulling them out painfully slowly – and painfully.  I didn’t have time to rejoice because I had to go to the school auditorium to see a performance but I couldn’t find a seat I could stand to sit in – I needed to be able to see everyone coming and going – and I couldn’t find anyone I knew.  Which is just as well because I had to leave early anyway to attend a meeting in my crisp white prim fifties dress and heels and red lipstick which I immediately regretted when I realized who the meeting was with.

A total snake oil salesman trying to convince me and another male teacher to engage in some nefarious scheme.  We watched his presenting with gathering outrage that he would think we would be involved in such a scheme.  We were especially horrified when he wouldn’t stop trying to convince us to get on board even after we realized that zombies were headed for the building.  Other people took shelter in the big room and some of us were trying to close windows and lock them and I was having difficulty with some of them and those who weren’t helping at all were criticizing how I was trying to jimmy the locks shut and the blinds down and I was getting angry and telling them they should get off their asses and help because THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING YOU GODDAMN SIMPLETONS!

The two doors to the room weren’t working properly either and no one would help me figure out how to secure them so the room would be safe at least for a while and then things were a blur and the zombies came and everyone was terrified and I stopped caring if the idiots who didn’t help were killed or not and then I was outside down the hill because I’d managed to get out to help someone else and now I had to come back but I couldn’t see any zombies even though I knew they had to be there somewhere and I couldn’t figure out where to take cover and my attire was ridiculous and I wondered if anyone had been left alive.

I counted my change at the bus stop.  I couldn’t find the right change.  I dug in my bag, in my pockets, in my coin purse.  I couldn’t find enough dollars and I could see the bus turning onto the street…

That’s how I spent the first several hours of being 43.  I woke up looking a bit haggard but I managed to get a couple extra hours of dreamless sleep between 8am and 10:30am.  It’s my birthday today and I have been married for 20 years!

It is the custom, once you get this far in both life and (happy) marriages to have accumulated some wisdom and to think everyone wants to hear it.  I’m no fool and I figure you all have your own hard-won wisdom and don’t need mine, but this is MY blog so I’m going to list whatever wisdom I can scrape from the cranial cave today.

Wisdom that I am now old enough to share:

  • No matter how far you fall from your own expectations, never give up on yourself.
  • Don’t let other people’s expectations of you influence you more than your own.
  • Don’t measure your success by anyone else’s yardstick.  Develop your own yardstick for what success means and stick to it come hell or high fucking water.
  • Be kind to yourself.  It’s the only way you’ll encourage yourself to become even better.  I have to work on this one every single day.
  • No matter what kind of relationships you have in your life – you always share the responsibility for their quality and nature and outcome.
  • If you are in a relationship that is destructive – you have the power to get out. It might be the hardest thing you ever do, it might be the scariest thing you ever do – but if you’re an adult you have the POWER.  Use it.
  • Staying married “for the sake of the kid(s)” is never good for the kids.
  • Don’t marry someone you don’t respect.  Don’t marry someone you don’t LIKE.  Sex is such a small part of partnership.  Romance is insignificant compared to good companionship and shared interests.
  • If you hate your life – change it.
  • Wear the best shoes you can afford.
  • Accept help and support from others when you need it and it is offered.  You will have plenty of opportunity to repay the kindness.
  • Don’t keep score.  Only assholes keep score.  The need to keep score is almost always a sign of a heart grown small through calcification.  The more you keep score the more unhappy you’ll become, the smaller your heart will get.
  • Learn to let go: of expectations, of stuff, of bitterness, of the past, of ideas, of garbage, of fear, of unhealthy relationships (friends, family, partners, any unhealthy relationship), of places, of ideals, of prejudices, of broken chairs, of hurt, of self doubt, of habit, of weight on your shoulders, of need, of desire, of dreams, of fabric, of hate, of hesitation.
  • Learn to set boundaries even when it makes you uncomfortable to do it.  You’ll become a lot less uncomfortable once you have good boundaries set up.
  • Always keep fun in your life – whatever that means to you.  You don’t have to like games, balloons, limericks, dirty jokes, parlour games, clowns, or confetti – but if those things are fun to you – ENJOY THEM OFTEN!*
  • Laugh.  Do it often.  From the gut.  If your life is no laughing matter right now – I suggest you find shows or music that makes you laugh.  Saturday Night Live and Mob music does it for me.  My kid also makes me laugh often.
  • Learn to listen to others.
  • If you have emotional or mental challenges – get help.  You get to decide how to manage your own mental and emotional health but it will be infinitely easier to discover what tools will work for you if you know what you’re dealing with.  Getting a diagnosis and getting help doesn’t diminish you as a person: it empowers you.
  • If you hate where you live: MOVE.
  • Wear your favorite color often.
  • Always be honest with yourself.  Even if you can’t be honest with everyone else – always be honest with yourself.  It will simplify your life and help you make better decisions.
  • Have a Pippa in your life.
  • Don’t evangelize any aspect of your life.  Inspire people by example, don’t preach.
  • It’s okay not to read or listen to any news.
  • Cultivate forgiveness.  Of yourself and of others.
  • Be awake to possibilities.
  • Live in the present as much as possible.  Unpack your boxes and hang your pictures.  Plant your garden and make friends as though you’re never going to move.
  • Don’t worry about enjoying EVERY MINUTE of parenting, or work, or vacations, or adventures.  No one needs that kind of pressure.  Enjoy the enjoyable and complain about the dismal.  It’s your right as a human being to experience whatever you experience honestly.  You don’t owe it to anyone to be happy all the time.
  • It’s okay to enjoy dressing up or owning diamonds.  No amount of frivolous fun can diminish the quality of your spirit.  Loving frills doesn’t mean you can’t be a feminist or a scientist or an athlete or a businessperson or anything you want to be.
  • Conversely – not liking frills or jewels doesn’t make you any less of a woman.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • If zombies are headed for your house – don’t argue about how to properly shut the windows – just nail those fuckers closed!

It’s 2pm and I’m still in my pyjamas.  It’s time to get dressed, get made up, and open some champagne to celebrate!

Cheers to 43!!

*Those things are my personal definition of MISERY, but not everyone can hate games like I do.

Straight from the Jugular project

This is my first fry project.  It has nothing to do with books.  I almost caught the oil on fire.

I’ve been taking a little break from the novel to work on a few blurb projects for Christmas presents.  I made a little book of all our pets for Max.  I know that he’ll treasure it because I scanned all the good pictures of Ozark that I could find and of the babies (Pippa and Penny) and Chick and the Chickens.  I also included a little section for all the insects and other creatures we’ve run into in our daily lives like the Praying Mantis that we found in our kitchen.  I also finally made a scrapbook of my trip to Scotland to see my dad get married.

There’s a third project I’ve been working on.  I put together a book of “wisdom” and observations with some of my very best photos called “Straight from the Jugular”.  This one I will put in the Blurb  book store so people can buy it if they like.  It’s like Dustpan Alley Lite.  I am a magpie of words and thoughts and this is the nest I’ve built with them.  It is filled with gems like this:

“Doing laundry is like taking a summer vacation in a food processing plant.”

“It doesn’t matter why you missed the bus, it doesn’t matter what might have happened if you hadn’t missed the bus.  You missed the bus.  It’s not coming back.  The best thing you can do is wait for the next one and when you catch it, enjoy the ride.”

“Invitations to grow my penis are always so tempting, and yet I still hold back.”

The subtitle I have now is “Wisdom, with more swearing” but there are surprisingly few swear words in this little book.  This book is full of things to think about, common sense, truth, ideas, observations, and some very good advice like this:

“If you and someone else exchange terribly mean words and only one of you apologizes for it:  make sure you’re the one who apologizes.”

As soon as I can come up with a good subtitle and a succinct description of this book I can proof it and offer it up for sale.  Not that I’m going to ask you to buy a copy (it’s expensive to get these printed and so selling Blurb books is a lot like selling any books: you need a magnifying glass to see the profit margin if you’re the author) but I want this to be available.  Writers have a hunger to publish.  I’m going to go the traditional route for Cricket and Grey.  I don’t think I want to self publish my novel but this little project is something I wanted to do for myself and for anyone who misses me and the headaches I give you with all the heavy thoughts I bring to this magic world.

So here are some possible subtitles (this is just a brainstorm):

  • Wisdom, with More Swear Words
  • The Bloody Truth, Common sense, and How Much Laundry Sucks
  • Still coming up with reasons not to jump after 40 years
  • Observations and Advice from a Happily Unsuccessful Suicide

Oh well.  I am dry.  I am stalled.  I’m very happy with this little book and yet I can’t even come up with an adequate subtitle or description.

It’s the little book of meditations for people who don’t float on levitational joy.

It’s the book of meditations for people who think meditation is stupid.

It’s support, thoughts, and advice to enjoy when no one else will tell it like it is. (very subjective, of course)

(I am going to end this post gracefully now, without yelling, screaming, or pounding the walls in frustration.  Shhhhhh.  I’m leaving the room now.)