Today is May, 10th 2023. Which means that I am now forty years old. Each decade, I toss another 10 items onto this list from 2013.
As always, presented as advice to my younger self, exactly ten more things that I (think I kind of) know:
- If and when you’re able, walk more. Walk more frequently and walk longer distances. If possible, walk everywhere.
- Spend one moment outdoors each day, preferably while sitting.
- Wear pants with zip-closure side pockets. In reasonable circumstances, nothing falls out of a zippered pocket.
- Raising children is a very efficient way to be confronted, each day, by the naked reality of the person who you actually are.
- Time is a wonderful editor. When possible, allow work to sit for a while before revisiting and finishing it.
- Don’t move house too often, as it can be hard and expensive. But, don’t overestimate how hard it is: it is possible. You can and sometimes should try living somewhere new.
- Experiment with caffeine enough to understand exactly how it makes you feel and then decide how to consume it. Maybe even deciding not to consume it at all.
- Find a way to regularly think of your life that allows you to remember that it is both finite (definitely) and long (hopefully). Thinking in years (40/77) is probably too abstract and thinking in days (14,600/28,105) is probably too stressful. Try weeks (2,080/4,004), months (480/924), or even seasons (160/308).
- Write more. Write more for your present self, for your future self, and sometimes for others.
- Read more books and less of nearly everything else.