It’s Been Four Decades – This Is My Advice

Turning forty years old.

I thought it was some massive achievement. Worthy of streamers, champagne and a surprise trip to Lake Tahoe. Hnausa Provincial Park, but it’s all good.

At fifteen I learned to be flexible because life changes on a dime. My life has changed since my roaring 20s. And so has the way I perceive the world.

Whether you’re a teenager, early-20s or older, here’s a list of advice. What I’ve learned. Wish I knew. Hindsight views. And general “do’s” and “don’t’s.”

  1. The best therapy is a long road and loud 80s music.
  2. Document life! Take photos and make videos, but don’t forget how to live in the moment.
  3. You might move once. You might move thirteen times (like me). You will lose things in the process. Items can be replaced – as long as it’s not the family pet.
  4. Those items could be concert t-shirts. Learn to let go. Meat Loaf‘s gone, like a bat out of hell.
  5. Don’t iron a polyester blazer on a cotton setting. You’ll ruin both.
  6. Apologize to people you’ve hurt. However, don’t apologize just to make yourself feel better.
  7. Don’t apologize upon request. You are not a radio station.
  8. Live alone, especially in your late teens and early-20s. Cook pizza at 11 p.m. Drink coffee at 1 a.m. Binge watch movies. Learn to love your solitude.
  9. Make your real first job memorable. Write about it. Document it. (Hnausa Cadet Camp, 1992)
  10. Grandparents are in our lives part time. Make them feel loved all of the time.
  11. Visit and call your parents often. Love your parents always.
  12. When you’re out of laundry soap, chopped regular soap is not an acceptable replacement.
  13. Hold family and friends close who make an effort to stay in your life.
  14. If you can’t cook a turkey when you’re thirty, who cares? Some people can’t cook Kraft dinner.
  15. Never leave the house without brushing your teeth.
  16. Look in the mirror before leaving the house. You might have Ketchup on the tip of your nose.
  17. If your apartment’s broken into, do not enter. They could still be inside. (In my care, they were)
  18. Ditch the Windex. Use vinegar. Ditch Pledge. Use a micro-cloth.
  19. Recycle and upcycle.
  20. Job experiences are valuable. You’ll savour them in hindsight. And you’ll work with some pretty cool people.
  21. However, don’t let your ego win. As a cameraperson told me, “You’re not a brain surgeon. You’re a reporter,” a.k.a., stay humble.
  22. Learn when it’s time to end a relationship. Learn when it’s not.
  23. You decide when to stop Throwback Thursdays.
  24. Don’t stop participating in a sport you love.
  25. Be an ear for a friend in crisis. They’re likely to return the favour.
  26. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a job for ten years or two months. Learn what you can and accept it’s time move on.
  27. Don’t be a meanie. Play nice. Play fair. Be a gracious loser.
  28. Be a hugger. Because everyone loves a hugger. Be loveable. Because everyone’s loveable.
  29. Get a plant. If it dies, buy a cactus. If it dies, get another and don’t over water it.
  30. Understand not everyone will understand you. And it’s understandable. And it’s okay.