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:

  1. If and when you’re able, walk more. Walk more frequently and walk longer distances. If possible, walk everywhere.
  2. Spend one moment outdoors each day, preferably while sitting.
  3. Wear pants with zip-closure side pockets. In reasonable circumstances, nothing falls out of a zippered pocket.
  4. Raising children is a very efficient way to be confronted, each day, by the naked reality of the person who you actually are.
  5. Time is a wonderful editor. When possible, allow work to sit for a while before revisiting and finishing it.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. Write more. Write more for your present self, for your future self, and sometimes for others.
  10. Read more books and less of nearly everything else.