The paradox in this title is completely intentional. You see, if I’d just called it “Life Advice”, your thinking would be somewhere along the lines of “Who the heck does this twerp think she is to tell me how to live my life considering she most probably doesn’t know how to live hers?” And you’d be justified in that thinking because, well, I am absolutely a twerp. So, by putting “Twerp” in the title, I’m cleverly acknowledging the fact that a) I am a twerp and b) I’m not in any sort of position to give life advice to anybody, hence why this whole thing is sort of funny. And hence why you might enjoy reading it. Because quite frankly, who would ever want to read something called “Life Advice” (without the “Twerp”) on this perfectly happy Friday? (I realise the answer to this hypothetical question is probably lots of people – another thing I struggle to understand. I mean, I’m all for seeking inspiration and motivation from sources outside of my own mind and body – especially because I’m yet to find them there – but I’m more likely to roll my eyes at someone’s life advice than to take it on board.)
Behold, Life Advice From A Twerp:
Do not try and live every day as though it’s your last.
I fear you found that to be an anti-climax so please allow me to explain myself properly. Today is Friday, and for the first time in a long time I’ve had the day off entirely. No work, no study, no plans to meet friends…nada. It’s only mid-afternoon, and here’s a list of all the things I’ve already achieved:
- Went to the gym
- Washed, blow-dried and straightened my unruly hair
- Made two big batches of lentil soup; one for the freezer, the other for dinner and tomorrow’s lunch
- Swept and mopped the kitchen floor
- De-seeded a mother-fucking pomegranate*
- Phoned my mum
- Phoned my Yia Yia (grandma)
- Did a load of washing and hung it on the line
That’s more than I’ve managed to achieve it almost all of my days off to date. I feel on top of the world.
You see, when I was hanging my washing outside in the sunshine, I had an epiphany which has led me to this. The popular expression “Live everyday like it’s your last” popped into my head, and I laughed at it. Because if I woke up knowing this was my last day, I would most certainly not have spent it doing household chores and preparing meals for tomorrow and the days after. That would be ridiculous. But I’m perfectly happy with how I spent today. As far as “good” days and “bad” days go, this is a “very, very good” one. And I’ve done nothing worth noting, but everything worth doing. I feel good, and shouldn’t that be the aim of every day?
Here’s a list of all the things I didn’t do today:
- Run a marathon
- Learn to speak French fluently
- Write a novel
- Lose 5 kilograms
- Discover the meaning of life
And it doesn’t matter.
No longer will I tell myself to live every day as though it’s my last. I’m quite convinced that is very, very bad advice. You see, there have been days in the past where I’ve been so stressed and worked-up about not achieving my life goals (see above), that I’ve wasted days entirely. And that’s a problem – much more of a problem than the fact that I failed to learn to speak French in 24 hours.
Realistically, we’re not going to be able to achieve everything we want to achieve in our lifetime in a single day. That’s silly. So instead of setting out to spend your day as though you’ll never have another one, how about just setting out to spend your day so that at the end of it, you can look back and tell yourself “that was a bloody good day!”
For me, today still isn’t over. I might finish my book. I might read a magazine. I might tidy my room. I might write out some French verbs. And all of these are perfectly worthwhile ways to spend a day – whether it’s the last one or the first of the rest of them.
How’s that for Life Advice From A Twerp?
*Mother-fucking pomegranate de-seeded in order to make a delicious Moroccan salad, just ‘cause. This further achievement was not included on the list for fear of bragging. NB: Favourite pale-blue jumper currently soaking in NapiSan. Kitchen wall requires re-painting.