Thursday, October 11, 2007

Forty-one and Counting

For a number of years through my twenties I composed a letter each year that added one life lesson I learned for each year I had lived.


I recognized the foolishness by the time I reached my thirties and so stopped the list. Life lessons are not always maxims that fit into a pithy sentence.

Now that I’m in my forties, I just don’t care!

It is not that I don’t care about the life lessons; it’s just that I don’t care so much about sharing them – life’s lessons are lessons that come from life. It really does not matter to me the lessons you’ve learned and you probably don’t want me preaching my lessons to you.

Well – maybe the life’s lessons that involve physics (sticking metal in an electrical socket, etc.) would be some things you can use, but do you really care that I’ve learned that single men my age are usually single for a reason?

Does it matter that I’ve learned that quality underwear can make a bad day at work so much better?

Does it matter to you that even though I’m a former English teacher I don’t think punctuation is necessary and that I can run clauses together to display a sense of urgency if that is how I want my writing to read for I’ve learned that communication is far more important than a syntax perfect paper.

Maybe you could benefit from understanding how, despite all the social reasons for rejecting it, my faith is a cornerstone of my character and that I believe maintaining an abiding sense of joy creates resilience and makes life worth living.

I could go on for thirty-six more, but I don’t really want to appear as foolish as I did in my twenties. I’ll just spend the next 366 days (leap year) figuring out lesson forty-two (see "pop culture" reference).

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