What I’ve Learned in 57 Years

Well, my friends, I had another birthday this week. And, as the title of this missive indicates, this one marks 57 years on the planet. My father taught me from a very young age that I had a responsibility to give back to my community and in an effort to do just that, every year I compile a list of all the things I’ve learned over the course of my life and share it with those closest to me. And, by “those closest to me”, I mean “anyone willing to click on a link”. And, this year, readers of The Betafiles get the benefit of my accumulated wisdom. Do you people know just how lucky you are?

Buckle up, kids. Here we go:

  • While you have to age, you don’t have to get old. “Age” is the chronological record of how long you’ve been alive. “Old” is a way of thinking; a mindset, if you will. You can be that old guy standing on his porch, yelling, “Get off my lawn!” or you can be that amazingly cool lady who’s been places and seen things and loves sharing those experiences with other, younger folks who haven’t. It’s your choice.
  • There is nothing like being greeted by a dog that hasn’t seen you in while. It doesn’t matter whether you were gone 5 days or 5 minutes, a dog is always ecstatic when they see you again. That is a level of gratification cat lovers will never know. And, I feel sorry for them.
  • Saying “I’m not a racist, but…” is a good sign that you might actually be a racist Or, at the very least, that you’re about to say some racist crap. If that phrase ever crosses your lips, you might want to reconsider what you’re about to say.
  • That every time I think it’s impossible for Lord Dampnut (anagram of “Donald Trump”) to make things worse, he finds a way to do just that. Like ticking off Canada. Seriously, how do you make the nicest, most polite people on the planet angry?
  • Adulting is like a dog going to the vet. At first, you’re all excited about it. Then, you realize what all it entails and you’re like, “Oh crap, this is what they meant?!?”
  • The American Revolution was born in taverns in a time when people drank a lot. Which means the idea for this country quite possibly sprang into being when Thomas Jefferson had one too many told the rest of the Founding Fathers, “Hey, y’all. Watch this!”
  • A group of giraffes is called a tower. There, that’s something you know now.
  • Being a grandfather is awesome. It’s all of the fun and none of the responsibility! If I’d known just how great it is, I’d have skipped being a dad and gone straight to granddad. Yes, I know it doesn’t work that way. But, it should.
  • That giving up certain things may add years to my life. But, it may not add life to my years. Once, I gave up caffeine because someone told me I might live ten years longer. Of course, giving up caffeine meant giving up coffee. But I did it, and it was the worst thirty minutes of my life. At the end of that span, I decided those years wouldn’t be worth living without coffee, so I took to that delicacy again. With gusto.

Of course, that’s just a portion of what I’ve picked up in journey up this five-terraced summit. There’s more, but I’m hanging on to that until I see what you people do with these bits. Until the next time, nerds!

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