Monday, March 16, 2009

Prose Listy Prose

I always thought I would hate getting old. That in itself surprised me because I really didn’t like being young either. But I don’t mind it that much. Of course, I’ve just really started on the getting-old train. I have a good twenty years or so to test that premise. I guess it has to do with learning new things. If I have a constant passion, it is to learn things. Usually trivial things that won’t help me fix the roof or increase my paycheck; but the thirst for knowledge is always there.

My life is an endless list of lists, and I’m feeling listy. Here are some things I’ve learned about life and getting older.

Just about everything you cared about in high school is bullshit. Other than the people you surround yourself with, all that Breakfast Club stuff is a bunch of poop. What’s with John Hughes anyway?

Put everything near your keys. You can’t leave home without the keys so make a pile and you won’t forget.

Accept mess. Life, essentially, is messy. Cleanliness and an anti-bacterial home literally mean lack of life. Try not to sweat the mess. No one really cares.

Ooh! That’s a big one. Quote usually attributed to Bob Hope: “When I was young I cared about what everyone thought of me. Then I got older and I didn’t care what anyone was thinking of me. Then I got even older and realized no one was ever thinking of me.” Damn, I love that quote.

There is one thing that is most certainly relative and that is comedy. Funny and unfunny are like fair and unfair. Completely fabricated human concepts.

Tooth care is important. Tanning isn’t.

…and then I broke form. I was about to write "Do what you love…” but I realized what a pompous hypocritical line that would be coming from me. Why? Because I didn’t. And that is worth writing about.

I believe and understand that sentiment. I honestly do. Now. Until just a short time ago I thought it belonged on the Oprah show or a cheap bumper sticker on one of those coffee-colored Oldsmobile SUV’s. That feeling seems like something I’d embrace. I’m one of those touchy feely guys that never was on a real sports team as a youth; I was never coached I never had a mentor…but I knew that. Right?

Well, no. So many adages over the years encapsulate an idea so succinctly it becomes a replacement for the idea itself. (If I were a better writer I’d have an example.) But this one is lacking. The adage should read: Do what you love…or it will haunt you for the rest of your life. You will spend day after day trying to avoid it like a dental appointment and you will only fill your life with doubt and regret and you will become detached from that thing and then you won’t know who you are, why you should still be breathing and what you will do with the remaining minutes and seconds you have on Earth.

It won’t fit on a bumper sticker. Unless you wrap it around the car a couple of times.

It could be the American in me. We like nuts and bolts answers to problems. We find the Zen in everything by doing.

I needed to know that I must do what I love. Not should, or should try. All this stuff I’m doing right now, this fluffy crap I’m writing is my thing. Plan or no plan, I have to. So do your thing or else!

One more: Don’t put whole garlic in the fridge. Does much better on the counter.

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