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December 18th, 2007


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08:06 pm - 10 things I've learned in 5 decades
half a century of life, laid out for your edification. laid out in lessons learned. you might wish it a bit more positive . . . but, hey, its my life.

#1) be generous. in fact, be generous beyond reason. some people will tell you that your generosity will be returned 3-fold. those people are on crack. other people will tell you that your generosity will be returned in kind. they also are delusional. what will happen is that your generosity will be returned in unexpected ways. and the unexpected will change your life.

#2) in my experience, the majority of people think of everyone else as just some cheap knockoff of themselves. they count other people's successes as luck that they've not gotten. other people's failures as a lack of work that they've committed to. these people ignore the sheer diversity of the human experience. the massive differences in psychology, physiology, philosophy and personal history that characterize us all. in other words, they are dumb-asses.

#3) suffer not fools and assholes lightly. not only will this improve the quality of your life but that of those around you was well. it's true, this will garner you some enemies. but really, that's not such a bad thing. as surely as a man without friends is ill-defined, a man without enemies is just as ill-defined.

#4) hope is a cheat. hope is what brought about the light-bringer's fall. don't wait for it. don't pursue it. don't look to it for fulfillment. your life is in your hands. yours and yours alone. all other hands have their own agenda.

#5) yes, everyone is unique. we are all, each and everyone of us, individual little snowflakes. that said, very, very few people are truly different.

#6) work as hard as you play and play as hard as you work. both are required for a full life. if you find yourself just waiting for your workday to be over, never engaged and excited. or if you find yourself doing the same things over and over again in your playtime, waiting and hoping for something more . . . you're only living half a life.

#7) go with your strengths. life is full of potential and possibilities. but not all of those are yours. carefully map out which possibilities can be yours and which (I'm sorry) can not. ardently pursue (to the point of mania) those which are yours. let go of those that aren't. don't just ignore, suppress or deny them. let them go.

#8) always have a plan B. especially when making plans of a long term or permanent nature. relying on the continuance of some preexisting condition for your long term happiness is just setting yourself up for misery if and when things fall through. and that will be nobody's fault but your own.

#9) I've never found the fountain-of-youth. but I did find the fountain-of-age. and I decided not to drink. over extending yourself will age you, prematurely. choose your responsibilities with care and deliberation . . . or get buried under a life of forever trying to catch up.

#10) the universe is vast. time is long. everything changes. learn, grow, adapt and flourish . . . or be left behind.

addenda #1) the trouble with oaths of the form "death before dishonor" is that eventually, given enough time and abrasion, they separate the world into just two sorts of people . . . the dead and the forsworn. [1]

addenda #2) wisdom

addenda #3) lying

addenda #4) organized religion

addenda #5) career


[1] credit Lois McMaster Bujold

Current Music: Sarah McLachlan, Elsewhere
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[User Picture]
From:silas7
Date:December 19th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
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This. This here?
This is wisdom.

Actually I disagree a bit about #4, but I think we are thinking of hope as different things.

Edited at 2007-12-19 01:47 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:badriyaz
Date:December 19th, 2007 02:48 am (UTC)
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I think hope is only what you have now and what you can make of it. Hope must be realistic or hope becomes that cheat, but that doesn't mean don't hope at all. Hope for making the best of where you are/what you have, and dream about something more. If hope becomes fulfilled, perhaps you are a step closer to dream.

Also, this post brought to you by a bunch of work holiday party booze. Woohoo!
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:07 am (UTC)
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thank you, sir. you are too kind.
[User Picture]
From:morbidiqua
Date:December 19th, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
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1) I think generosity can be paid in kindness as well as wealth and often wealth is repaid in kindness by those without it and vice versa. Sometimes people feel scorned by what they think they are due however... when they take for granted a person's generosity. Such is life.

8) I live by with money and time. Plan B is ALWAYS a good idea. You don't have the money until you have it in your hand... really until you have spent it. The money was never yours until it was spent by you. Nothing is a sure thing. And when everyone else falls through the netting you have one last A-HAH! Since I tend to have many failsafes in my life I usually can forsee my fall... though I set my sights as realistically as possible... a fall is inevitable and a few nets beneath my feet can help me save my friends too.
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
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I meant generosity in the nurturing, helpful, kindness sort of way too. as I'm sure you do too. :)
[User Picture]
From:tashewolf
Date:December 19th, 2007 02:17 am (UTC)
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Absolutely fucking brilliant; I hope you had an otherwise fulfilling day with glee in it.

(I don't suppose you would let me post this to http://community.livejournal.com/uncensored_lj/profile? And no I don't know how to do the LJ community tag. Please let me know.)

You are, for the record, one of the most generous and playful and bullshit-free people it has ever been my pleasure to know.
[User Picture]
From:tashewolf
Date:December 19th, 2007 02:17 am (UTC)
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Let me know if I can post it, I mean. I'll live without knowing the stupid LJ community tag. ;)
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)
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no problem. go wild with it. :)
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
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thank you. 50 was a pretty good day. 50 + 1 day was kinda hung-over . . . but that's to be expected.
[User Picture]
From:tashewolf
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)
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Yeah, 30+1 was my first hangover... so I do hear you.

Even though I am TOTALLY TWENTY-TWO YEARS OLD, of course!

Thank you for your permission, sweetness, for your reply, for your self, and for letting me know you had a goodish time!
[User Picture]
From:badriyaz
Date:December 19th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
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I find those actually very positive lessons. Some of them I've learned, some of them I'm still internalizing, some of them I intellectually recognize but haven't gotten there yet. But all of them I think are a recipe for a good life worth living.
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)
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thank you. I try. ;)
[User Picture]
From:subatomicsatan
Date:December 19th, 2007 03:21 am (UTC)
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You speak wisdom, Sahib.
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:11 am (UTC)
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but not when I'm drunk. let's be clear about that, not when I'm drunk. ;)
[User Picture]
From:ketchara
Date:December 19th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC)
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*hugs*
i miss you. alot.
happy birthday!
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
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thank you. good to hear your still around too. :)
[User Picture]
From:nepenthe01
Date:December 19th, 2007 04:06 am (UTC)
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#2 - it's really easy to fall into this trap. I have to remind myself all the time that other people have different experiences and are seeing a different reality than me.

#7 - also one of the hardest things to learn!

#9 - Uh oh I think I am drinking from that fountain right now. At least I feel like there was some magic point where my work started to take over more and more of my existence (though it's the same 8 hours I'm spending) and boy do I feel older. I've been pondering how to push it back into a normal level of engagement. Of course, I can imagine another interpretation of this same set of words. Well....I guess I'll know the answer in 18 years. :-)

Finally Happy Birthday!
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
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I fall into these traps ll the time. skin my knuckles climbing out again. then trundle along until I fall into the next one.

thank you for the birthday wishes. :)
[User Picture]
From:bunnymonster
Date:December 19th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC)
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wise words...
thanks for posting this entry, fortuitous timing as I needed to hear some of this and take it to heart.

and happy (belated) birthday :)
xo
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:21 am (UTC)
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your birthday wishes were not belated. they were right on time. and welcome, as always.
[User Picture]
From:bunnymonster
Date:December 20th, 2007 12:22 pm (UTC)
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oh good!
saw your post about the party and thought I had missed it :) blessings to you...xo
[User Picture]
From:frederic
Date:December 19th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC)
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Just added this to my LJ memories. I was half expecting something akin to "Everything seems better in life after a beer or two; drink wisely"...
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)
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Everything seems better in life after a beer or two

that's way better than mine. I might steal it. ;)
[User Picture]
From:julishka
Date:December 19th, 2007 05:31 am (UTC)
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happy birthday baby!

i disagree with the hope one. to me hope is synonymous with goals so yeah, i always have hope or look for silver linings, but hey, that's why you like me, right? a down to earth pessimistic optimist. aka, mopey perky goff.
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
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thank you oh perky one. :)
[User Picture]
From:sirendipity
Date:December 19th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)
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Wise words from a wise man.

It was good to see you smiling so brightly on Monday. I hope you had a wonderful birthday.

*hugs*
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
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It was good to see you smiling so brightly on Monday

I might just have been drunk, ya know. :)
[User Picture]
From:spitcurl
Date:December 19th, 2007 02:57 pm (UTC)
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I sometimes have to remind myself of 6) & 8), because sometimes I get caught up in what I am doing, or planning, or I'm wrapped up inside my own head and forget to deal with the here and now. Overall, I'm right there with you on all of these.


But I believe in all of those except a slight variation on 4). Hope keeps me sane. Hope pushes me to keep going when I feel devastated, defeated, or lost. But I do not look for hope to give me gifts or salvation from afar, I just hold on to it to lift me up out of my own moods, and keep pushing and going towards the things I am striving for. Hope that relies solely on outside forces is foolishness.

For me, hope plus a bit of pragmatism is neither optimist nor pessimist, but somewhere in the middle.

I for one am glad to know you for as long as I have. :)
[User Picture]
From:_perihelion_
Date:December 20th, 2007 01:26 am (UTC)
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thank you. I am sure you will be much more gracious and wise than I when you are my age.

[User Picture]
From:spitcurl
Date:December 20th, 2007 02:36 pm (UTC)
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I am sure you will be much more gracious and wise than I when you are my age.

Well, I'll let you be the judge of that when we get there, deal? ;)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 20th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
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Have to raise a glass to #4 and #9. Hope has gotten me into some of my worst situations - I try to stamp it out as it's *never* right. But I realize it may work differently for other people (see #2); maybe it's got something to do with our Sagittarius outlook...

And as to the fountain of age? Screw that shit. You can lead me to it, but you can't make me drink! Pour us a mind eraser instead! :)

-S.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 21st, 2007 04:11 am (UTC)
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Correct.
[User Picture]
From:liza
Date:December 21st, 2007 04:11 am (UTC)
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11) Log in.

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