6. The Pre-Dark Bedtime
Going to bed early is one of the greatest luxuries there is. Because everything, repeat EVERYTHING, is going to seem better when you're well rested.
7. Helping an Aspiring Whatever-You-Are
Admit it, no matter how invested you are in your "pulled myself up by my bootstraps" mythology, at some point you must have been helped out in one way or another by an older-and-wiser executive/restaurateur/teacher/artist/whatever. Maybe someone scored you your first interview, maybe she passed along a job lead, maybe she just offered you a gem of eerily relevant advice. She might not even remember it. But you do. It's possible your life wouldn't be the same without it. So yes, of course, you're too busy, but take a moment to look over a friend's niece's résumé or have lunch with someone who thinks they want the soul-sucking job you used to have.
8. After the Final No
There is something you've been saying no to for years. Only you know for sure what that is. It might be a slight matter—a daring haircut, a second slice of pie. It might be a deeper, primordial thing—allowing yourself to dive into a friendship with the abandon you once afforded love affairs, revisiting your religion—but it's there somewhere, huddling between the maybes and impossibles. As Wallace Stevens wrote in his poem "The Well Dressed Man with the Beard," "After the final no there comes a yes; And on that yes the future world depends."
9. A Bath Before Dinner
My grandmother taught English at a public high school—and came home to four children to contend with. So she made it her habit to, as soon as she'd walk in the door from work but before she started making dinner for the family, go into the bathroom, lock the door and take a bath with a peanut butter sandwich and a mystery novel. This is the bath we all need in our lives. The bath has to happen before you are too tired (when instead of relaxation time, it becomes a risk-of-drowning time). The moment to oneself can be put off indefinitely, until the possibility dissolves, as it will, if you blink. It doesn't matter that you need to do a million things first. It doesn't matter if you took a shower earlier. It's not about getting clean. It's about getting calm.
10. When Love Is on the Line
Always—you know this—say yes to love. It is, after all, the only way to live.
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