A Handful of Lemons: Seven Things I’ve Learned So Far in 2019

Your kids go back to the places you took them years ago but the places aren’t as special as they remember. They’re worn out, faded, smaller than their recollections and they are disappointed. You’re not surprised. No place keeps the glow it had when both the parents and the kids were young.

If people are in a certain mood, say they’re tired or frustrated, any suggestion you make will be taken as criticism. Most people know this but find it irresistible to weigh in on every topic. I’m hoping age brings me wisdom on this habit. As a mentor once told me, “You don’t have to say everything you know.”

A snow day is one of life’s enduring gifts. As a friend of mine once said, “I am always good with not doing things.” I love rescheduled meetings, cancelled classes, closed buildings. It’s like instant dread removal, not that I dread that many things but I dread a fair share of them for no particular reason. A snow day is totally dread-free. Like a pond with no weeds.

The lecture reflex in some folks is like a steel trap around a possum’s leg. Nowhere is this truer than on social media where an offhand remark can spark a torrent of annotated analysis as if the target hadn’t him or herself ever read a newspaper or thought a thought larger than cookie crumb. Remember the sage advice: “You don’t have to say everything you know.”

Marie Kondo. Two things here: 1) getting rid of stuff you don’t love (things that don’t ‘spark joy’; and 2) folding. Plus her bangs and tiny skirts make her fascinating, so doll-like but obviously human and quite rich. I’ve been ditching a lot of stuff I don’t love, using something of an expansive definition so it isn’t just stuff.

Overcoming the first moment of something is a huge deal. For instance, early tomorrow morning I’m going to volunteer at a new homeless warming room. So all day I’ve been obsessing about what door I should go in. This is nuts because if it isn’t one door, it would be another. But the right door is a metaphor for doing something new. But once I find the door, it will all be cool.

Research says there’s a likely connection between gum disease and Alzheimer’s. It’s chilling really to think that lackadaisical flossing could bring such a gargantuan punishment. You can’t get all those skipped nights back, you just have to sit your old self down and wait to see what happens. This is a bummer after I had worked so hard on having a regret-free life.

2 Comments on “A Handful of Lemons: Seven Things I’ve Learned So Far in 2019

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