54 Life Lessons: Reflections by a Writer Turning 54

  1. Riding a bike is still fun.
  2. Wearing plaid is fine for other people.
  3. A clear desktop is essential to a clear mind.
  4. Deep-fried oysters are a sometimes food.
  5. When the coffee’s bad I tend to keep drinking it, so stop already.
  6. Eating popcorn is wonderful but hard on the teeth.
  7. The day that I don’t want to exercise is the day I must.
  8. There’s an important difference between present/perfect and present/progressive.
  9. Julia Childs is right about butter.
  10. It’s a lot of work to have fun (e.g. camping) but do it anyway.
  11. The second glass of wine is never as good as the first glass.
  12. When I’m feeling down I should either a) vacuum or b) clean the kitchen counters.
  13. If a show is worth watching once, it’s worth watching twice.
  14. If something isn’t worth watching, just stop.
  15. Life is too short to spend it pleasing other people.
  16. I will get cranky in hot weather. Plan accordingly.
  17. It’s important to close the loop.
  18. My favorite tense for the verb “to write”? is “I have written.” The way to the perfect tense is through the progressive tense.
  19. Eating a bowl of grits for breakfast is the first step to a happy day.
  20. Mark Twain is right about most things.
  21. It’s okay that I don’t like other people’s dogs.
  22. Beware of buying multi-packs or sets of anything.
  23. Do the dishes immediately, with the people who ate the meal.
  24. Juice glasses are worth the cupboard space.
  25. Always carry sunglasses.
  26. Peppermints make sermons seem shorter.
  27. A medium heel gives the best arch support.
  28. Don’t hang onto books. If they’re good, pass them on. If they’re not, give them away.
  29. It is never safe to buy M&Ms.
  30. A V-neck may be flattering but I don’t have to wear them.
  31. Stephen King is right about adverbs.
  32. I’m the mother, so my mood sets the tone for the family. Deal with it.
  33. If I don’t write the book, Oprah will never interview me about it.
  34. It’s okay to admit I enjoy buying groceries.
  35. Always have an extra ink cartridge on hand.
  36. Kitties!
  37. It’s easier to clean my husband’s closet than my own.
  38. Buy the better quality sox.
  39. Sisters are special even when they’re a pain in the neck.
  40. It’s not a good idea to buy aspirational? clothes.
  41. Having people over for dinner twice a month is about right.
  42. Playing music while cooking is almost as good as drinking wine while cooking.
  43. The best part about being a preacher is living with next week’s text in your head. It is possible to do this without being a preacher.
  44. Non-stick frying pans need to be replaced more often than you think.
  45. Twinkle lights are good year-round.
  46. It’s very helpful if I can notice when I’m feeling defensive.
  47. If I ever live in Minnesota again I need to have an attached garage. Alternatively, I could never live in Minnesota again.
  48. McDonald’s soft-serve is my favorite treat. There, I said it.
  49. Always carry purse-pack Kleenex.
  50. When I’m feeling weighed down, I should get rid of some clutter.
  51. Cheap shoes are a bad idea but cheap purses can be very cute.
  52. It takes effort to read, so make the effort.
  53. Turkey or Tuscany? Alaska or Australia? Keep dreaming.
  54. I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. And that’s okay.


2 responses to “54 Life Lessons: Reflections by a Writer Turning 54”

  1. terrific list, ruth!
    i have to play music while cooking, too.

    1. Thanks Patti. And both wine and music while cooking is the best, right?

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