Thirty five things2

An article from PopSugar dated June 7, 2017 suggested thirty five things you’ll regret in life. I personally feel that the number is low by several orders of magnitude but I thought I would give a curmudgeon’s perspective on these things.

1.Holding grudges

Naw, this is part of my fabric. How can you be a true curmudgeon without holding grudges as long as possible?

2. Not going to the dentist regularly

I would go more often if the fluoride rinse came in better flavors, like scotch or bourbon.

3. Losing touch with friends

I get reacquainted the moment they win a lottery.

4. Stressing yourself out too much

It’s nothing that can’t be remedied by heavy drinking or recreational drugs.

5. Letting fear stop you from trying something

Review Jackass: the Movie first.

6. Not traveling enough

Apply regret number 5 to your visits to North Korea, Iran, Syria and Yemen.

7. Burning bridges

I burn bridges only when I get to them.

8. Keeping toxic people in your life

See regret number 1.

9. Being overly strict with your diet

No problem.

10. Hating yourself

Hating others comes first.

11. Not being there when someone needed you most

If someone needs a curmudgeon most, they are in trouble.

12. Treating your parents poorly

Even a curmudgeon loves his parents. What did they ever do to deserve me?

13. Worrying about money so much

It’s nothing that can’t be resolved by winning the lottery or straight sevens at the one-armed bandit.

14. Letting the little things get to you

See regret number 1.

15. Living life based upon what someone else wants

Unless that someone else is your spouse, family or pet.

16. Staying angry at someone

See regret number 1.

17. Not saying “I love you

Can you imagine a curmudgeon saying “I love you?”

18. Ignoring your body

Personally, I try to ignore my body as much as possible.

19. Overworking yourself

No problem.

20. Not spending enough time with family

Even a curmudgeon agrees. I do tell my family that “I smile because I am related to them; I laugh because there is nothing they can do about it.”

21. Listening to haters

See regret number 1.

22. Not taking that much needed vacation

If only someone else would pay for it.

23. Having enemies

See regret number 1.

24. Treating someone badly

Unless they hurt your family, friends or pets.

25. Worrying so much about what others think

The more I think of others, the less I think of others.

26. Not going for that dream job

If only Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs had called me. Maybe they did not have my number.

27. Not taking care of your physical and mental health

I avoid both physical and mental activity as much as possible so as to preserve both.

28. Being close-minded

See regret number 1.

29. Doing the bare minimum

At my age I am not doing the bare minimum, I am conserving energy.

30. Being afraid to take more risks

Are you one of those people who will avoid risk to make it safely to death?

31. Not enjoying life more

See regret number 1.

32. Being selfish


33. Closing people off

Also ditto.

34. Not giving back

I always give back, usually with the back of my hand.

35. Letting someone other than yourself be in charge of your happiness

Unless that someone else is your spouse, family or pets.

That’s it for now; thousands more to follow.

In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself

 I have always liked this poem by poet Wislawa Szymborska.

In feeling bad1

Wisława Szymborska-Włodek (2 July 1923 – 1 February 2012) was a Polish poet, essayist, and translator.  She was described as a “Mozart of Poetry.”  She was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature “for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.”


In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself

By Wislawa Szymborska

The buzzard never says it is to blame.

The panther wouldn’t know what scruples mean.

When the piranha strikes, it feels no shame.

If snakes had hands, they’d claim their hands were clean.

A jackal doesn’t understand remorse.

Lions and lice don’t waver in their course.

Why should they, when they know they’re right?

Though hearts of killer whales may weigh a ton,

In every other way they’re light.

On this third planet of the sun

Among the signs of bestiality

A clear conscience is Number One.


Preferring regret to bestiality, I will accept the moments that my conscience is not always clear and that it is okay, from time to time, to feel bad about yourself.

[As long as you don’t make a habit of it.]

This WILL Happen to You

Death and taxes (in some form or another) are inevitable.  But I am writing about the one other inevitable event that will happen in the life of each and every one of you.

There exists, right now, an item that you have been meaning to rid yourself of for some time.  No, it has to be inanimate.  You can’t count your spouse, the overgrown teenager living forever in the spare bedroom, Betsy the dog or grandpa.  It’s inanimate but something to which you attach value – dollar value, sentimental value or business value – that gnaws at your psyche because you haven’t done anything about it and for which you know something needs to be done.

It can be an old car that, given enough time (like a half-century), will become an antique.  Same thing with that old coffee table that you got from a family member or at a yard sale that does nothing but collect dust and gives you a nasty bruise in the shins when you rap against it after going down the steps into the basement.  Or it could be that box of old accounts at work that your previous boss (or you) couldn’t throw out because someday, somehow the accounting department will want to do research on it.  That item exists and you know exactly the item I am talking about.

And, finally, the day comes.  Today, and I really, really mean it, I will 1) donate that old clunker to charity; 2) put that coffee table out for the trash or 3) dispose of that box of useless accounts.  You steel yourself up for the event, pick up your courage and DO IT.  Done!  Forever! Gone!  Thank God it’s over!

Within a week of THE EVENT, the following happens: 1) Hey, whatever happened to your old junk of a car?  Do you know that there is a collector paying TOP DOLLAR for one of those cars regardless of its condition?  The guy is nuts but I just made a killing selling him mine.  You can, too.  2) What happened to that old coffee table in the basement?  I keep Grandma’s priceless brooch hidden in the drawer and now the table is not there.  The whole family would be heartbroken if something happened to that brooch.  3) Boy, it’s a good thing that you held onto the Amalgamated Company records.  We’re being audited and without those records we are up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

Now it may not be a car, a coffee table or a box of old accounting records.  Whatever it is, you are going to make a decision about it and regret it almost instantly.

Death.  Taxes.  The item.  Yes, it will happen to you.

Have a nice day.