It’s my birthday and I’m 43-years-old! I really don’t feel like I’m 43 but according to the birth certificate, I am. That being said, I always wonder if I look 43. You know how that goes. You think you look young and fresh then you take a selfie and you’re like, “holy shit! I look like a curmudgeon!”
So with my 43 years, I’ve picked up on a few things. Some of you may agree with me and some not but I honestly don’t care either way. Below are some things I’ve learned and the habits I’ve had for decades. If someone were to ask me what I’ve learned, here is what I would say:
10 Things I’ve Learned Now That I’m 43
- Go ahead and listen to loud music. By the time you lose your hearing, they will have invented amazing hearing aids. At least that is what I hope or I’m fucked.
- Food isn’t the enemy. When you go on a diet that strictly forbids foods you’ve eaten your entire life (aka carbohydrates), you only end up bigger than before. I’ve seen this happen a million times. Eating healthy and moderation is the key.
- When driving, expect that everyone around you are idiots. Many are stupid drivers. Never assume that people see you, especially when walking behind a car in a parking lot. I think I stress this to my sons at least once a week.
- For every post on social media that depicts how amazing a person’s life is, people secretly know there are several posts that person never wrote because it detailed the problems are they are actually having. Don’t use social media as a smokescreen, it’s super thin.
- No one will leave the front porch light on for you. Only you can do that.
- Don’t ruin a moment that someone thinks is hilarious just because you don’t. The worst thing you can do is keep a straight face or say something sarcastic. If what they are laughing at isn’t funny to you, smile at the fact that they are laughing.
- Have things exactly how you want/enjoy them and ignore people who think it’s OCD or quirky. There is a pleasure in this. Years ago, I realized that I need exactly 7 ketchup packets for my fries. Anything less is not enough and anything over is a bonus. I also don’t like my food to touch.
- There are people out there that are oblivious. No matter if something is plain as day to you and me, these people lack the self-awareness to understand that their behavior is offensive. This is when that rule of only you can decide on your reaction to someone’s behavior, comes into play. Despite the truth in the rule, I personally hate it because it’s super hard to practice. I am getting much better at it.
- You shouldn’t get tattoos unless you’re confident you will have the money to alter or remove them. I use the tattoo as a metaphor because we change. If I had coffee with 23-year-old me, we probably wouldn’t recognize each other. Everything from our values and relationships to preferences change. 63-year-old me probably won’t recognize me now but that’s ok.
- No one is perfect and no one is worth envying. Even the most beautiful, successful person has some ugly stuff going on inside. This goes hand-in-hand with comparing yourself to others. Some folks are late bloomers. Life will have ups and downs and it’s really not worth your confidence to compare yourself to someone’s current peak.
So now that I sound like the damn Budha, I must stop typing and get ready to go out to my birthday dinner to a Japanese Steak House. This will be followed by us all smelling like an onion for the next 24-hours. Perhaps future me can figure out how to get rid of the smell quicker.