At the end of each year I like to make a list of 50 things I’ve learned and re-learned. Here’s the skinny on my 2010.
1. Cutting meat at a Brazilian steakhouse is complicated when your right hand is in a cast.
2. Especially if you’re right-handed.
3. Brett Favre should have quit when he was ahead. Let’s hope Derek Jeter will.
4. The novel MAJOR PETTIGREW’S LAST STAND by Helen Simonson is both charming and satisfying.
5. MODERN FAMILY is as funny this year as it was last year.
6. Carrying several Jell-o salads on your lap while riding a snowmobile is challenging.
7. It’s worth it to keep speaking to family members even when you don’t feel like it.
8. Some people (hello, Ruth!) make turning ninety look easy.
9. There is no more stunning place on earth than northern Utah—unless, of course, it’s southern Utah.
10. Public school teachers should be paid more than professional athletes. Seriously.
11. Although I will say that Deron Williams is a local treasure.
12. I wouldn’t love peonies nearly so much if they bloomed all year.
13. Running never really gets easier.
14. Given a choice between winter rain and winter snow, I’ll take snow, thank you.
15. The movie INCEPTION is as inventive as everyone said it is.
16. It’s sad, though, that I rarely want to go the movies these days.
17. Have you noticed how you spend the first half of your life acquiring stuff and the second half of your life getting rid of it?
18. Thank you notes are still a good idea.
19. Oscar Wilde was right: life is far too important to be taken seriously.
20. On the other hand, athletic contests matter. GAME ON.
21. I don’t care what they say: a good vegan cupcake is hard to find.
22. It’s an insanely long drive from Salt Lake City to Eugene, Oregon—but way worth it when a new grandbaby is waiting for you.
23. Things often get worse. But then they get better. Until they get worse again. But then sometimes they get better again!
24. It is SO NOT TRUE that urine reduces the pain of a jellyfish sting.
25. Learning to say “no” is important. But you should still say “yes,” too.
26. You know what? Salt Lake City has excellent restaurants.
27. The Chicago Cubs will never win the World Series. Period. End of sad stupid story.
28. It doesn’t break my heart that I’ll never have to help another adolescent male wade through THE SCARLET LETTER again.
29. Um, they should mention in pre-natal classes that you never stop being a parent.
30. A great book for kids is often a great book for adults, too.
31. The Salt Lake bakery formerly known as My Dough Girl (now re-appearing as RubySnap) makes a great cherry chocolate cookie.
32. My husband never wanted a Wii. But he got one for Christmas anyway.
33. And btw I am only 46 in Wii Fit years. Which is much younger than I am in dog years.
34. Yeah, I know. Stieg Larsson is all the rage when it comes to Scandinavian Noir, but I like Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum and Arnalder Indridason much better.
35. My son tells me that B.B. King and Buddy Guy put on a great show at Deer Valley this summer.
36. The powers that be are well served by a loyal opposition.
37. You say good-bye to your children’s childhood when you say good-bye to an old pet.
38. Taking offense is stupid: most people don’t intend to give it and why let the person who does have power over you anyway?
39. I love dogs but they don’t belong at the farmers’ market.
40. Speaking of farmers, I miss the orchards whenever I go home to Utah County.
41. And speaking of Utah County, I lost a part of my heart when the old Provo tabernacle went up in flames.
42. The good thing about winter is that you’re allowed to put on your pajamas at 5:30 if you feel like it.
43. People can surprise you. That’s the big surprise.
44. Here’s the deal about your 50’s: you finally understand that life is terminal.
45. On the other hand! By the time you’re 50, you have a pretty good idea of who you are and how you want to spend your time.
46. It’s possible that the road trip you took this year was worse than my brother’s, although unless you hit a deer and also got stuck behind a highway patrolman shooting cows because they (the cows) were on fire, I seriously doubt it.
47. Change is hard. But so what?
48. At the end of the day, America is an amazing country.
49. And life IS beautiful.
50. Still, it’s time for the holidays to be over so we can all get on with it.
Happy New Year!