All over the interwebs, I'm told that I'm supposed to dance like no one is watching and love like I've never been hurt. I'm supposed to live fearlessly, forgive indiscriminately, and eat dessert first. I need to keep my chin up. Follow my heart. Let go of the past and embrace opportunity. Behave like my dog. Laugh like a child. I'm just making this stuff up now. I could go on for days.
Here's the thing: 90% of what gives these commandments their appeal is their design. They're carefully typeset or charmingly hand-lettered. They're writ large on rustic farmhouse-style faux-distressed wood. They feature frolicking children and adorable kittens.
They're worded irresistibly, too. Authoritative. Simple. And concise. How nice: The secret to happiness can fit right on my phone screen.
But here's the thing. Life isn't simple. It's full of deadlines and disappointments and dry cleaning. Sure, dancing and laughter are lovely, and I try to work them in as appropriate. But I've got other things to get done. I need to vacuum. Get my tires rotated. And floss my teeth.
And don't tell me what I'm going to regret on my deathbed, because frankly, my stint on my deathbed (if I even have that luxury) will be but a minuscule fraction of my entire life. It doesn't really count for all that much, in my book.
So, thanks for all the advice, Holstee and everybody else. I'll give it some thought. And then I'll get on with the business of living my unique life—with all its mundane challenges, delights, and experiences, and its irreducible complexity.