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Things I’ve learned

Tim Linscott, Editor

By the time many of you read this, I will have already celebrated my 40th birthday.
It is a big deal to some, but to me, it is just another day,  as birthdays have become somewhat lost on me the last few years as I was usually working during the Czech Festival in Wilber.
However, the milestone did give me a chance to reflect on the things I have learned over the years.
I really have no sage advice or deep thoughts on any particular subject, just a few notes and observations I have made through the chasm of life. They include:
• When a child hands you a play phone, you answer it. I don’t care how tough, macho or cool you think you are, when a toddler hands you a phone, you say, ‘Hello?’ and begin talking to whomever is on the other end.
• There was a saying I learned in the press room of the Fairbury Journal-News: “We can take our time and do it right once or hurry and do it wrong twice.” Be methodical in things you care about in life.
• Enjoy the madness of life. When the kids are arguing, the dog is barking to go out, supper is burning on the stove, your phone is ringing and the television is too loud, all at once, enjoy it. Take a moment to enjoy it because someday, it won’t be around.
• If you don’t take your shot at something in life, someone else will take it. Great ideas float around the cosmos and if you don’t act on it when you can, it will find its way into someone else’s psyche.
• If you wait until you have enough money to afford having children, you will be 900 years old before you start. Even if you are a millionaire, you are never really financially (or emotionally, physically, etc.) ready for children.
• Your children will eventually see you as a person, not a parent.
• Never make your children feel like a burden. Life would have been different had you not had children, but that is not their fault. It could have been a lot worse without them. You had them, they didn’t ask to be born, enjoy their moments of appreciation.
• Kids know. Parents may never argue in front of their children, but children know when Mom and Dad aren’t getting along. They also know when they are getting along and quickly understand why the other kids came to be on the planet.
• Candy Crush isn’t as important as reading. Pretty much self-explanatory advice.
• In the face of reason, sometimes you have to stick your tongue out and give it a raspberry. On rare occasion kids need to jump in mud puddles, parents need to run through a slip-n-slide wearing their work clothes, or other generally bad ideas.
•Everyone has a friend who is full of generally bad ideas. As long as those ideas don’t break local, state or federal laws, it is okay to hang out with that friend from time to time.
• Family is still family. Even though families may not always get along, they are still blood and need to be treated with the rights and respect deserved as such.
• Take care of your health now before time takes it away from you.
• Never be a slave. Never live under the rule of a clock, job, hobby or vice. Moderation is the key to balance.
• If you are above ground, have air in your lungs, blood in your veins and a pretty good shot at tomorrow: it is a good day.
• God tests us every single day, some more than others. If life is tough and there are many obstacles, it means God thinks you are up to the challenge.
• You don’t have to say, ‘I love you,’ every day, but you have to demonstrate it by what you do every day.
• The best way to avoid looking and acting like your age is to not look or act like your age.