I turned fifty today. Yay, me! Not really.
Please do not leave me “Aw…Happy Birthday Karen!” comments because I will not pick you as my teammate when I play my next pick up game of shuffle board.
Turning fifty is not really that great but what choice do I have? The alternative is not that much better.
So instead of blowing out the million candles – I’m sorry, but that’s how many they will look to me
and having a slice of 1000 calories – because from now on, e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. will go to my waist, I’m told
I thought I’d list things I or we should remember – because, again, I’m told, I’ll forget if I don’t write them down.
But to be fair, I’m going to list 25 things I should remember first and I tell you 25 things you should remember.
I didn’t want you to feel left out….consider them my present to you on my birthday!
25 Things I Should Remember…
- Breathe – because I still can.
- Drink more – alcohol, that is.
- Sleep less – beauty sleep did diddly squat so far so I’m changing my circadian rhythm.
- Exercise more – I promise I’ll walk to my fridge and flex my biceps by opening it more often. And flex some more by putting various nutritional (and non-nutritional at my discretion) food items in my mouth. Often.
- Laugh more – I see myself in the mirror every morning so I think I’m good on this department.
- Travel – if dropping my college boy at his school by driving 12 hours in traffic through four states and around D.C. doesn’t count, then, I’m screwed with this one.
- …that chronological age might be whining at 50 and my body’s biological age is happily at 40, but my psychological age is rockin’ at 30! to the 90’s tunes!
- My “Accidental Recycler” is an impatient and fickle man who would love to change his car every year if he can but is married to me for 23 years. Either he forgot how many years he’s been married to me or I still “got it!”
- My two kids are envy of every parents but these hardworking, sometimes oblivious, respectful, sometimes self-absorbed teeny boppers actually still want to be my kids. After all, they do have a choice, unlike when they were born.
- My parents, also, want me around, still. And to leave me everything they own in their will, including their souvenir spoon collection from far away and exotic places like the Poconos.
- My brothers are not my kids and that just because one lives in Las Vegas doesn’t mean I’d find him on Texas Hold ‘Em on TV. But if you see an Asian male wearing a baseball cap and a pair of Ray Ban’s on ESPN’s Poker Championship, e-mail me. Or that just because one works in real estate in Manhattan doesn’t mean he will be working for Trump any time soon. But if you see a handsome Asian dude on Trump’s, “Apprentice”, e-mail me.
- My in-laws are rare and exceptional. They shouldn’t be called “In-Laws” but rather my second set of parents. Actually, in some ways, they are better than my own parents. (Don’t tell my first set of parents.) They don’t nag. They don’t tell me I should do it “this way or that” way. They don’t tell me I should call more often. Instead, they tell me, we are doing a great job in raising their grandkids. They tell me I should nag their son more (This alone is enough, isn’t it?). They tell me not to come home and don’t travel during the crazy holiday seasons. (Don’t you want to just adopt them?)
- Forgive and forget those whom I don’t talk to for silly reasons. I don’t want them coming to my funeral and regretting not talking to me while I was still alive. And they will come because that’s how we are. Silly.
- People I only exchange Christmas cards once a year aren’t really my friends. They are paid employees of Hallmark.
- My true friends aren’t the ones I talk to every day or who send me birthday cards every year. True friends know my middle name.
- Just because I don’t see, hear, taste, feel or smell doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and it does not matter. Quite the contrary. It’s the ones that I don’t know about that matter.
- The earth will survive without my meddling…..just not in a comfortable clean way though. So I have to meddle. That’s my forte. Meddling. Just ask my accidental recycler. He’ll tell you I’m a pro at meddling.
- I love purple. I might forget this and paint my wall in some stupid industry recommended color that I never liked. It’s time to paint in colors that I like, regardless what they say, damn it!
- Although I don’t eat meat, I eat fish and ….I love fish eggs. I know. It’s cruel. But although I won’t eat caviar – for ethical and financial reasons – I love raw or cooked fish eggs. Oy, all those thousands and millions of what could have been fish….maybe I’ll quit now. No, I can’t! What would Nemo say? I can pretend to be Dory and forget that those are fish eggs, can’t I? No?
- English was my worst subject. Grammar is my mortal enemy. Why do you need “a’s” and “the’s” in English language???
- Teach Emily how to use the sewing machine. It doesn’t matter if she’s going to be a doctor or a lawyer. Everybody should learn to sew, including men. I taught Andrew how to sew a button and gave him a sewing kit when he left for college. Don’t ask me if he still has it though.
- Always have a dog. My family is my saving grace. But my Rosey is my shadow, therapist, companion, and biggest fan no matter what I do or how I look.
- I can bang out Fur Elise and Moonlight Sonata on the ivory like it’s no one’s business.
- Always dream. Without it, there is no reason to go to sleep or wake up in the morning.
- The best part of my journey is yet to come. And the next time I write 25 things to remember will be just one thing – “Man, I had a great life!“
25 Things You Should Remember…
- I love you!
- Brush your teeth every morning. You would be surprised how many people don’t know how oral hygiene affects your heart health, which affects your mood and ultimately affects how cranky you’d be towards me. So this was all coming from my selfishness.
- Drink glass of warm water, the first thing in the morning. This is just one of many sage advice from my mother-in-law. She’s generous that way. I told you my in-laws are amazing!
- You are only leasing this planet temporarily. You don’t own it. Take care of it. And return it in the condition when you leased it. Your children will be leasing it next and you wouldn’t want to give it them broken or filled with garbage. You don’t do that when you return your leased car, why would you do that with the one planet we all share?
- I love surprises. The good kinds.
- Pass your time actively and not passively. Watching T.V. is not an active way to spend time, no matter how many times you have to yell at the screen or flex your Extensor Pollicis Brevis muscle, it’s not an active activity. In fact, it shouldn’t even be called, an activity.
- Never go to sleep angry. It’s bad for bruxism.
- Surround yourself with positive and happy people. Your time is limited. Why would you want to waste it with people who drag you down? You do that well all on your own. You don’t need help on that department. It’s about time other people help you, not hurt you. Ditch those who don’t add to your happiness.
- Love those who want to be in your life. They are smart enough to know that you are cool so, act cool and love those smart people.
- Do one kind act a day. The universe knows. It pays you back hundred times over.
- Don’t pick your nose in public. It’s just not a pretty sight to see someone picking his nose in public. I know it’s one of those bodily acts we all do – admit it! – but in public? Purleeeez. It’s just not pretty, no matter whether you are in France or middle of nowhere. Someone is noticing. Trust me. And yes, I can see you through the car window too.
- Along with #11, don’t spit in public either.
- Drink responsibly. And that goes for even soda. You don’t need to drink 5 cans of Coke a day to feel alive. If 5 cans of soda is what it takes, then, you need to sleep more and or have sex less.
- Listen more and talk less. You don’t learn anything by talking. If you are talking, you already know the subject. If you listen, you learn what you don’t know.
- Even if you are not political, take a stand and learn to feel one way or the other. It matters.
- Money doesn’t buy you happiness, but you knew that. But money buys food for those who don’t have the basic staples for survival. Send a buck or two to an organization that you feel passionate about. It’ll feed a person, save a life, or even an animal.
- Life really is short. Live it to the fullest. That’s not an empty cliché. It’s really true. Who knew I’d be writing this on my fifth birthday. Freaking FIFTY! So, before it’s too late, do something you always wanted to do. Whether it’d be learning to tango, traveling to Osh Kosh, or learning how to speak Swahili. Do it before you lose all your marbles.
- Electronic gadgets can make your life easy but it can’t create life. Don’t rely on it as if your life depend on it. Unless you’re talking about a defibrilater, no gadget will make a difference in your life or death.
- One week from today, earth’s population will reach 7 billion. If you have claustrophobia, I feel for you. If you feel lonely, may be you haven’t heard the news yet? Where are you hanging out?
- Live as if you were dying. There are many Steve Job’s quotes but this is my favorite and no, I’m not dying. But I’d like to live as if I was dying, from now on.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish. ~Steve Jobs~
- Listen to music. Pick a genre. Having music permeate the air and into your brain, not only soothe your mind but there are cellular changes that will happen. Pick your favorite and let it transport you to a place that inspire you. Mine is piano music, whether it’s Beethoven, Mozart, or Chopin, and sometimes even George Winston. Piano music always brings me back to my roots. It’s comforting as a bowl of hot soup in my soul.
- Don’t say “Sorry”. Apologize. Saying sorry is never enough. If you did commit an act that needs repentance, apologize and explain what you shouldn’t have done. Saying ‘Sorry” doesn’t mean anything. And better than that? Don’t even be in the position where you have to apologize. Think before you speak and think before you act. There are ways to pick up spilled milk but not words.
- Bookmark this page and read it over tomorrow. It’ll bring a different meaning the second time around.
- Don’t remember my birthday but remember your own. And thank your mom and dad for having you. Birthdays are really their day.
- Even though I said these last 25 things were for you to remember, it was really for me. They just didn’t come to me when I wrote the first 25 and I was too lazy to change the format. But seriously, I wish you the best today and the rest of your life. Trust me, it only gets better.
Happy Birthday to all of you for being born. After all, without all of you, would there even be a reason to remember these things for?