.Directions – My 41st Birthday.

I believe there are two kinds of people: Alive people and Not Alive people. Alive people are engaged in the act of living, attuned to others, present in the moment, and “a little bit shiny”. Not alive people, on the other hand, exhibit and almost spiritual dullness. They are dampened, muted, and view life at a distance.

I am an alive person who turns 41-years old today. Wow! Happy birthday to me. The past year has been an amazing one so far with lots of changes.

Because I am a visual thinker, it helps me to take notes and refer to them often. I take notes all the time and everywhere. I want to share my notes from one year that I jotted down in my little Moleskine notebook and that are daily reminders that life is awesome no matter what it throws at you. Do not take my notes to be literal, all-encompassing, or fitting in every context. This is just what works for me.

And always remember: There are lots of lavender bushes out there, waiting patiently to be sniffed.

  • If you don’t know what someone’s talking about, ASK.
  • Little by little, become yourself.
  • How to become rich? 1. Make a lot of money. 2. Don’t spend it.
  • Articulate what you love about the ones you love.
  • Empathise with caution, practice compassion with abandon.
  • Go for a walk. Don’t bring your phone.
  • Excuse yourself and tend to yourself.
  • Saying “Drive Safe” magically shields any person you say it to from getting in an accident, so say it to everyone, all the time.
  • Know that terrible and wonderful things will befall you, regardless of your anxiety and yearning.
  • Do not use “balls” to mean toughness. The testes are extremely sensitive, I have heard.
  • Captivate your audience. Dazzle them with your wit and grace. Falter and remind them you are human.
  • Remember that the likely explanation for the symptom you self-diagnosed as an obscure cancer from reading WebMD at 1 a.m. is: Bodies are weird.
  • Think about what you will miss most when you are dead. Do more of that.
  • Repeat a word until it makes you laugh. Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss…..
  • One possible solution to this dire, urgent problem is to go to bed and deal with it in the morning.
  • I am plenty. I have plenty. (Say it out loud)
  • Require decency of your friends, no matter how long you have known them.
  • Dispense advice if it is asked for. Otherwise, dispense love.
  • Think about how proud your past self would be if they could see you now.
  • Think about death enough to appreciate life, but not so much that it eclipses life.
  • Treat children like human beings. But also like children.
  • Let other people be other people.
  • Be kind to customer service workers on the phone. Firm, but kind.
  • Write down your daydreams, night dreams, and things you say in conversations. (Sometimes making art is just paying attention)
  • Travel far distances to see old friends.
  • Talk to yourself sweetly, like you would speak to a scared child. Issue forgiveness gently and easily.
  • There are many kinds of beauty and your kind is one of them.
  • Look up. What do you see? What do you hear, smell, feel? Isn’t it fun to be alive?
  • Conjure specialness from think air. Invent holidays, traditions, and surprises. Ice-cream Tuesday?
  • It is okay to be pretentious, but set it down every once in a while and maybe go to Legoland.
  • If at first you park badly, repark.
  • Keep the exclamation points in your email. What the hell, add a smiley face ! 🙂
  • Make new friends: through other friends, through common interests, on the street, on the internet, through one person bering brave, no matter how many friends you have, no matter how old you are.
  • Avoid anyone who is more than 2% cruel.
  • If you are lying awake imagining art you want to make, get out of bed and make it.
  • When you meet someone from somewhere, ask if they know the one person you know from there. It’s worth a shot!
  • If you find yourself obsessing about everything you don’t have, give something away to someone who needs it more.
  • When something is good, enjoy it. Things are allowed to be good.
  • Consider that you might be wrong and correct course.
  • When people ask you how you are, tell them how you really are. So they will tell you how they really are, unless you don’t care how they really are, in which case it is fine to say “fine”.
  • You don’t need a good voice to sing.
  • Let the people you love the most tell the stories they love to tell, even if you have heard them before. For everyone else, politely stop them mid-sentence.
  • Your partner should get you through the hard times. Your partner shouldn’t BE the hard times.
  • When someone you know is grieving, overcome your discomfort and reach out.
  • Eat!
  • Ask new friends about their friends. Learn about their little universe of love and admiration, and you will become a part of it.
  • Say goodbye with gusto each time, just in case.
  • Treat it as sacred and it will become sacred.
  • Take pride in being the least frustrated person at the airport, in traffic, waiting in line….
  • Listen to yourself when you talk.
  • Live with people who already love you and will easily forgive you for accidentally breaking their favourite cup.
  • Respect the natural world and it may tolerate us for a bit longer.
  • Accept rejection as a grand indication that you are trying.
  • When complaining, consider why. Is it because you actually want something to change? Or just want support and affirmation? Or love to complain? When, warn those around you so they know whether to offer help, chime in, or tune out.
  • Say thank you with details. Example: “I know you worked very hard at that presentation. Thank you for sharing that knowledge with me.”
  • You might die soon, or they might die. Or we all might. Make peace and hold each other close and never leave someone in anger and fighting without saying sorry.
  • Never make your bed with a monkey in it.
  • Leaning forward in your chair when someone is trying to squeeze behind you isn’t enough. You have to move our chair.
  • If you have portraits of yourself up allover your house, people are going to think you are conceited. Replace them with portraits of me.
  • Answering every question with “You got it, girlfriend!” can apparently be irritating to others.
  • Be happy. Do things that make you happy within the confines of the legal system. Do things that make you feel good and proud. It can be almost anything. Name something. Yes, sure, try that.
  • Help people. Help someone. Show someone you care. Say something nice. Smile. Make eye contact. Hug. Kiss. Get naked. Laugh. Laugh as much as you can.
  • Find out who you are.

I don’t mean to tell you what to do or how to live your lives, but those are some of the things that have worked for me. And I believe with all my heart and should that even if we try the teeniest tiniest bit we can make this world a much happier and healthier one. And if we try even harder, we can do some pretty spectacular things.

Oh, one more thing talking about spectacular: My fifth book “Apparently, there were Complaints” has been published by Morawa and can be ordered very soon everywhere where you can purchase books. What an awesome birthday gift indeed.

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