19 April, 2009

For my son on his 8th birthday - 100 Rules to Live By

Another year has passed (already). Every day I marvel at this person you are becoming (I still see you as the little guy in the photo). Soon you will be the one giving me advice (or at least just telling me what to do), but before that happens I have a few words of advice that I should pass on to you. So I've complied this list of 100 rules or quotes mostly made up of things that I have learned or would have benefitted from myself. This list is by no means exhaustive and you may not agree with everything, but trust me, if you follow half these rules you'll do ok.

  1. Know how to eat a lobster.
  2. Never, never rest contented with any circle of ideas, but always be certain that a wider one is still possible. (Pearl Bailey)
  3. Know which utensil to use and when.
  4. If you do get into a fight, hit back, hit hard. Make sure he goes down.
  5. Use your napkin.
  6. Women love it when men smell good.
  7. A rainy day can be just as beautiful as a sunny day.
  8. Make sure you have two sets of keys in case you get locked out.
  9. Remember birthdays (especially your mother's).
  10. Unless you are at the gym, never wear white socks.
  11. White shoes can work, but you have to be confident you can pull it off.
  12. Know your cuts of meat before you order at the butcher. He'll respect you more and you'll get a better cut.
  13. Try to see life the way your art teacher taught you.
  14. Be kind.
  15. Don't be embarrassed to ask for directions.
  16. Know how to dance.
  17. Use dental floss and keep good dental hygiene. None of which should be done in public.
  18. Be a good swimmer, but always fear the water. It is more powerful than you are.
  19. Make sure your professors know you by your first name.
  20. A white, button down shirt always looks good.
  21. Know how to use an iron.
  22. Know how to tie a Windsor knot.
  23. The 70s produced some excellent music.
  24. Make sure you can rock out to the same music as your dad. It'll give you something to do together when he gets old.
  25. The only jewelry you should wear: a wedding ring and a watch.
  26. Don't be the last one to say "Good morning".
  27. Listen to children, they have very wise things to say.
  28. Respect animals.
  29. Own a good set of china and a set of every day dishes.
  30. Some days you may be too well to go to work.
  31. Take a road trip.
  32. Once in your life work in the service industry, it can tell you a lot about human nature.
  33. If you need to take time off between high school and university, but not too long or you will never go back.
  34. If you see someone looking at a map, offer directions.
  35. Being a kid is fun, but being an adult has its moments too.
  36. Look at people when you speak to them.
  37. Know how to drive a stick shift.
  38. Know when it's enough.
  39. Putting it in writing is forever.
  40. Don't spend all day baking croissants when a great patisserie is around the corner.
  41. Respect the earth.
  42. Swim with the narwals, don't just limit yourself to dolphins.
  43. Have children.
  44. Always bring a hostess/host gift.
  45. Never take the first swing, but stand up for yourself. You'll only have to do it once.
  46. Vote. If you don't vote you don't have the right to complain.
  47. Watching old movies with someone you love is special.
  48. Don't let anyone make up your mind for you.
  49. Know where you came from.
  50. Know when to not say anything.
  51. Be selective about revealing personal information.
  52. Our whole lives are governed by time, measure it with a fabulous watch.
  53. Have a dinner party at least once per month.
  54. Compliment others.
  55. Good sportsmanship = good character.
  56. Know how to cook both dinner and dessert.
  57. Chocolate can be considered health food in certain circumstances.
  58. Red is definitely your color.
  59. Believe in something.
  60. Your childhood friends will be amongst some of your most important relationships and the ones you will remember.
  61. Don't leave laundry under the bed.
  62. If you only have time to do one chore, do the dishes.
  63. Don't take crap.
  64. Someday there will be something more important than bionicles.
  65. Sing.
  66. Watchout for sharks and not just the kind that swim.
  67. Don't tip for bad service.
  68. Bragging is really unattractive.
  69. Just because someone says "I love you" you don't have to say it back. Unless it is your mother.
  70. Women love shoes. Don't understand it, just know it.
  71. Know how to take good pictures.
  72. Know a good joke or ice breaker.
  73. Don't waste your money on inferior wine.
  74. Listen to opera.
  75. Own a stylish overcoat.
  76. Comb your hair and brush your teeth before you leave the house.
  77. Don't expect life to be entirely easy. Sometimes the things most worth having you have to work for.
  78. Read literature.
  79. Travel. Go everywhere you can, but always come home.
  80. Open doors, pull out chairs, stand when someone comes in the room. This has nothing to do with feminism and everything to do with good manners.
  81. Never correct someone publically unless they are an asshole (sorry about the language).
  82. Patience is a virtue, unless it's not.
  83. Be physically active.
  84. There are 2 things you should never compromise on; a bed or shoes because if you are not in one, you are in the other. (this bit of advice is thanks to your paternal grandmother).
  85. You don't always have to be in the driver's seat, sometimes the passenger's seat has the better view.
  86. Save your money.
  87. Never accept things at face value. A little insight can go a long way.
  88. Read the instructions first.
  89. Carry kleenex.
  90. Invest in real estate as soon as you can.
  91. Don't make excuses. No excuse is better than a bad one.
  92. It's a fact, no one's cooking is as good as your mom's.
  93. Turn your phone off after 9:00 pm.
  94. The more languages you speak the better, but choose your languages and your language wisely.
  95. The problem with winning the rat race is you're still a rat. (Lily Tomlin)
  96. Lying on your back looking at clouds can be a great way to spend a day.
  97. Accept your actions, everything is for a reason, and move on.
  98. Own a tool set and know how to use it.
  99. Be yourself, no one is more perfect than who you are.
  100. No matter where you go or what you do, your dad and I will always be there for you and love you to pieces.
Happy 8th birthday my beautiful boy.


StunningAnnaK said...

I only have time to skim this, but it is making me tear up! Marking for later! Your son is so lucky that you wrote this for him!

Almost Precious said...

Some very good rules to live by.