Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Top 10 Important Things

My phone rang pretty early Sunday morning. It was my Uncle Bob, calling to wish me a Happy 40th birthday, which was very sweet and unexpected. He was waxing philosophic about milestone birthdays, remembering his angst at turning 40 (he is in his late 70s now), and he said a very interesting thing. A few interesting things, actually.

He remarked that he makes it a habit on milestone birthdays to make a mental journey to examine all of the knowledge that he accumulated over the previous decade, and take time to appreciate the growth that he had accomplished. He also said that he once read that with the passing of any person, an entire library of information and knowledge is lost with the passing.

He's a smart man, and am going to take his advice. So, in no particular order, here is the summary of knowledge gained in my last decade of life:


  1. If you work for a company, and said company has a meeting to dispel all rumors of layoff, you are getting laid off.
  2. Buy one, get one half off isn't really as good a deal as it sounds. It really means 25% off.
  3. When you have a baby, you will need half as many baby clothes, but twice as many diapers as you imagine you will.
  4. Children have some kind of internal switch that gets thrown that makes them do naughty things when you are on the phone.
  5. When you leave an emergency room in the middle of the night, relieved that your kid can breathe again, nothing else really seems to be all that important.
  6. No matter how many promises kids make to take care of puppies, the puppies WILL become your responsibility.
  7. Ditto for parakeets, hamsters and fish.
  8. When you start wondering why the family traditions are slipping, its time for you to take them over.
  9. Solemn, Southern graveside funerals are NO PLACE to learn that your dearly departed uncle has a biracial daughter exactly your age, standing right beside you
  10. Unfortunately, not ALL people get smarter as they get older.

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