Yesterday was a milestone birthday. At these times, most people begin to think about what they’ve learned in life. I made a list, then edited out all the things that everyone would put on such a list. Here are the ones that are left over:
–After a natural disaster, taking a shower at the large animal vet’s outdoor horse stall is better than not taking a shower at all.
–The two best pairs of shoes for after a disaster are the two pairs you didn’t take–a pair of hiking books and a pair of flip flops.
—-No matter how much you wish it were true, a non-working freezer won’t keep food frozen even if you duct tape it shut.
—It’s OK to cry when you are burying all the tomato sauce you froze just two weeks ago that spoiled in the freezer.
–It’s OK to tell the roofers who are putting a new roof on the house “Don’t leave the propane tank on the roof when you leave for the day.” It is also OK to check to make sure they did.
Same is true with asking them to check to make sure all the torches are really turned off. Even if they think you are a controlling, crazy woman.
–When your house burns and the roof collapses through your studio, the person who complains about the mess the fire fighters made in your yard is not your friend.
–The person who complains that her house smells of smoke when yours went up in smoke in also not your friend.
— Your friend is the one who helps you dig through the ivy for the tiny things the fire fighters threw out of your studio.
–A great friend is the one who brings you lunch and cold water and listens to you say the same things over and over.
–Yelling full voice at people who are taking pictures of your burning house and blocking the firefighters is OK, even if you are in the South where women don’t yell or curse.
–Putting things in the attic sounds smart after the flood, but after the fire you realize there are no safe places for photographs and keepsakes.
–When all your writing samples either got drowned in the flood or burned in the fire, no client will believe the story, so don’t even try to explain why you don’t have samples.
–People who send you emails telling you what you should have done differently deserve to be put on Ghanian spam lists.
–If the new house comes with a pool, don’t think about how much of a pain it is to maintain a pool until you have floated on your back and watched a zillion stars come out. A little maintenance is worth a world of mental health.
–Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. See her work at QuinnCreative.com