|10 things I've learned in 5 decades
||[Dec. 19th, 2007|08:16 pm]
|||||more wild + crazy Sagittarians plz, kthxbye.||]|
_perihelion_ delights me by having commemorated His Day, and by the manner in which he chose to do so.
Said man has startled me with his actual age throughout the entire time I have known him, due to his looks, his tastes, and his often disarmingly carefree public persona. It is as though he were perpetually a twenty-three year old, and that twenty-three year old preternaturally wise. This is even without mentioning the hypnotic and appealing way in which he dances (all true). By far the most generous person I know, it's intriguing to me that this is his first point.
Check it out.
half a century of life, laid out for your edification. laid out in lessons learned. you might wish it a bit more positive . . . but, hey, its my life.
1) be generous. in fact, be generous beyond reason. some people will tell you that your generosity will be returned 3-fold. those people are on crack. other people will tell you that your generosity will be returned in kind. they also are delusional. what will happen is that your generosity will be returned in unexpected ways. and the unexpected will change your life.
2) in my experience, most people think of other people as just some cheap knockoff of themselves. they count other people's successes as luck that they've not gotten. other people's failures as a lack of work that they've committed to. these people ignore the sheer diversity of the human experience. the massive differences in psychology, physiology, philosophy and personal history that characterize us all. in other words, they are dumb-asses.
3) suffer not an asshole lightly. not only will this improve the quality of your life but that of those around you was well. it's true, this will garner you some enemies. but really, that's not such a bad thing. as surely as a man without friends is ill-defined, a man without enemies is just as ill-defined.
4) hope is a cheat. hope is what brought about the light-bringer's fall. don't wait for it. don't pursue it. don't look to it for fulfillment. your life is in your hands. yours and yours alone. all other hands have their own agenda.
5) the trouble with oaths of the form of "death before dishonor" is that eventually, given enough time and abrasion, they separate the world into just two sorts of people . . . the dead and the forsworn. 
6) work as hard as you play and play as hard as you work. both are required for a full life. if you find yourself just waiting for your workday to be over, never engaged and excited. if you find yourself doing the same things over and over again in your playtime, waiting and hoping for for something more. your only living half a life. get off your ass and do something about it.
7) go with your strengths. life is full of potential and possibilities. but not all of those are yours. carefully map out which possibilities are yours and which (I'm sorry) are not. ardently pursue to the point of mania those which are yours. let go of those that aren't. don't just ignore, suppress or deny them. let them go.
8) always have a plan B. especially when making plans of a long term or permanent nature. relying on the continuance of some preexisting condition for your long term plans is just setting yourself up for failure if things fall through and you don't have a backup plan. and that's nobodies fault but your own.
9) I've never found the fountain-of-youth. but I did find the fountain-of-age. and I decided not to drink. over extending yourself will age you, prematurely. choose your responsibilities with care and deliberation . . . or get buried under a life of forever trying to catch up.
10) the universe is vast. time is long. everything changes. learn, grow, adapt and flourish . . . or be left behind.
 credit Lois McMaster Bujold