Sunday, August 15, 2010

Things I have learnt...

I'm sure I'm not alone in that I hate the supercilious edge offspring get vocally when they show you something on the computer. In fact there's often more edge than... well, non-edge. Each word dripping with so much condescension you could bathe in the damn stuff. All thick and glutinous and highfalutingly how-can-you-not-know-and/or-grasp-this annoying. Which is one of the reasons why I've so enjoyed all the research I've done over the past week, about how the middle-aged brain is actually a thing of awe. Slightly forgetful perhaps, but nevertheless an ever-bubbling concoction of experience and knowledge and skill and competence, all overlaid with the almost-effortless ability to multi-task. In short, our bodies might be slightly slower, and thicker, and saggier - but our damn minds are amazing.

So to honour this, and also as a type of affirmation moving forward (see? topical and political and a little bit witty - that's verbal multi-tasking at work), I thought I'd share a sample of things that I've learnt during the past half-century. So here goes:
  • When those fuddy-duddy types said there was always a price to pay - they were right.
  • Pushy people get further - which makes me a little bitter.
  • Computer keyboards are not as fond of wine as I.
  • Never eat a large bag of liquorice the evening before an important speech (or forum, or workshop - or any event which requires leaving the house the next day).
  • Children don't need to be spanked. Seriously.
  • What goes around doesn't always come around. Worse luck.
  • In 100 years time people are going to look back in disbelief (and/or fury) that we couldn't organise a concerted effort against climate change.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after using a muscle relaxant such as Deep Heat - especially where subsequent use of said hands involves sanitary products.
  • 'Traditional' values are often (not always but often) anti-women.
  • Nothing lasts forever.
  • Middle-aged women are not supposed to have the same size waist as they had as a girl. It's unfortunate, but it's life.
  • Gravity's a bitch.
  • Not everybody is reasonable. Unfortunately.
  • Always put the toilet lid down before throwing fresh toilet rolls into the basket beside it.
  • Beware the overly jealous guy - it's not romantic.
  • Gay marriage is a no-brainer, just like equality for all.
  • And euthanasia. Bloody hell.
  • Anybody who tries to point-score politically off the misery of humanity (i.e. we'll stop the boats) doesn't deserve to have it pay electoral dividends. We're better than that.
  • Life really does change irrevocably once you have children. No matter what you said.
  • Always look on the bright side - assuming that there is one. And if there's not, move away from the shadows. As soon as possible.

Of course there's masses where those come from - after all I've had fifty years to collect them - but I'll show my compassionate side by not boring you with more. And naturally you may not agree with some of them, just like I may not agree with yours. But if there's one thing I've learnt above all else, it's that we'd all be a lot better off if we could, sometimes, just agree to disagree. And keep an open mind so that we never stop learning new things. Even if it involves the computer.

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