I’ve been 40licious for six months. It’s been amazing, really, the journey to here, so far. The best way to mark it, I think, is to outline 20 things I’ve learned since I got to this point.
1. Sometimes you just have to let things go. Take the high road, especially when ego is involved. Mine or otherwise.
2. Sometimes you can’t figure out the route to the high road until after you’ve passed it, and by then it’s just a faraway squiggly blue line on a map.
3. Dogs and egg yolks: No.
4. PMS is kind of like some weird sneaky parasite demon that makes you do all kinds of whacked-out stuff. It’s just best to schedule around it.
5. It pays to buy good face cream. I am particularly fond of Kiehl’s Abyssine Cream SPF 23 for day, and Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Plantidote serum and cream before bed.
6. It’s OK to tell your shrink you’re not coming back. Very liberating, actually.
7. In terms of furniture, less is more. I got rid of my rugs and love how my floor looks now.
8. Try something new that makes you uncomfortable. I took an art class last weekend from the lovely Tinkerbellian Annie Wharton and I feel like my life has changed. She unlatched a new door for beauty and truth. Now if I can just nail F on the guitar …
9. Good work follows you and pays you back when you least expect it.
10. Family is everything. There is nobody I’d rather be with, now that I understand the proper dosage. They have the basic dossier on you and love you all the more for it.
11. Better to spend $3,000 on an amazing trip that you’ll remember for the rest of your life than do some stupid stock gamble with the money.
12. Never, ever trust your instincts on the stock market.
13. There is an intrinsic irony in making jam: Fruit ripens at the hottest time of the year, and you have to be standing over a hot stove for hours to make it. There’s really no way out of that one.
14. I would put my hard-earned principles aside if it meant that someone else would be deeply, deeply hurt. Kind of like the Dalai Lama would do.
15. You will really only eat half as much popcorn as you think you will. Just get the small.
16. There is great liberation in not having to be right all the time.
17. There is power in stillness and silence.
18. When you love a book or find it particularly useful, buy at least five copies of it and give it away.
19. It costs about $50,000 to adopt a child, $20,000 to go through the state system and get one that’s hard to place, and $100 (or more if you serve good tequila) to throw a last-man-standing dinner party.
20. Republicans can be cute and funny and charming and even big-hearted. In fact, this whole political labeling thing makes absolutely no sense. One of my dearest friends, who considers herself an “R,” is socially liberal but fiscally conservative. I consider myself a “D,” and I am socially liberal and fiscally conservative. So, um … I guess we’re voting for the same person.