Things I’ve learned the hard way.

If you end up going to the store to buy a frozen pizza because the dinner you cooked for yourself turned out burned / underdone / over seasoned / icky / downright terrible – don’t try to scrimp and save. Go with the good stuff. Buying some cardboard-esque Su-per Valu Pizzzzza disaster will never, ever redeem your failed dinner.

Listen to one new album a week. It doesn’t have to be music that’s been newly released; new-to-you is just good, perhaps better. Bonus points for picking something completely outside of your preferred genre(s). Ask friends, coworkers or complete strangers for ideas and go! Oh and also: stick with it. If it’s immediately clear that this will not be your cup of tea, turn it down and keep it on in the background as you do whatever else it is you do. Check in from time to time; maybe the first few tracks were meh. Maybe the next few are more to your liking. Maybe the whole thing is shit. Maybe you’ll love every note. Point is: you’ll never know if you never listen.

Get rid of shit you’re not using. If you set something aside with the intention of using it “one day,” please resign yourself to the fact that that day will not ever fucking come. Get thee to a Goodwill! Purge, purge, purge! Clothes, household items, books, knickknacks… it’s amazing the amount of crap you can remove from your possessions and still somehow be a completely functional human being. And did I mention how downright wonderful you’ll feel afterward? It’s unreal.

Do not apologize for things for which you are not actually sorry. After awhile, you’ll cheapen the phrase. It becomes empty, and even if you think you mean what you’re saying… you probably don’t. At least, not after saying it a million times in a million situations. So think long and hard the next time you offer an offhand “Oh, I’m sorry!” and perhaps respond with something a bit more appropriate.

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