33 Self-Improvement Thingees to Read and Then Quickly Forget

05/03/2015 11:28 am ET | Updated May 03, 2016
M. Blazoned

I don't know about you, but I'm overwhelmed by all of the numerical lists that have somehow found the exact number of things I need to do... or give up... or add...or change... in order to be a happier, more fulfilled, better person. All of this well-intended advice is making me question how much bandwidth I have to devote to self-improvement at this point in my life.

For one thing, I can't remember any of them. I mean, some of the content is good information, but the moment I read it, I forget it. This is on me, I know. But I'm honestly admitting that I have zero ability to retain any of this information and I'm starting to wonder if it's just me. Are you guys reading this stuff and like making mental notes and putting it into action in your lives? Or are you reading, nodding in agreement, shouting out an "amen" and then immediately going blank on all of it, like me? I need to know.

When I see these lists, I get to wondering: How did they come up with the number of things? Did they start with 10 and then get to 23 and were like, screw it, I'll just switch the number? Or are there really, exactly, 23 Ways to Have a Better Marriage? Can it be that there are 7 Things I'm Doing Wrong in the Grocery Store? Then my mind switches to pondering if there is any sort of order to these lists. Are the most important things first? Or are the most important things last, David Letterman style? Or, maybe, just completely random? No one knows. No. One. Knows.

Ultimately, I have to ask myself...have I gotten to the point where I can't read paragraphs anymore? Do I need a list in order to keep my banal mind from losing interest? These questions are swimming through my head, probably the culprits for keeping me from remembering what I'm reading.

And seriously, even if I could remember them, or make sense of the numbering, how many more things can I add to my plate about self-improvement? The answer is... none. I can't. I know I should, but I'm tapped out. This morning, I read something on Facebook that was like, not only do you have to act, but dream... not just plan, but believe. Blah, blah, blah. The very idea of this exhausts me. I think I might have reached maximum density for becoming a better person. Maybe that's what being middle-aged is all about... reaching the tipping point of self-actualization where you are like, "Oh, screw it. This will have to do."

To celebrate this new awakening, or, OK, fine, capitulation, (potato, potahto), I decided to make a list of 33 things that you can read and quickly forget because they are completely unnecessary to remember and/or enact in your life. To save you the wondering... this list is in no particular order. Please, it's barely proofread. And the number of things is completely arbitrary. Full confession: I started out with 22 and ended up with 33. Who could stop me? [Insert maniacal laugh]

Please enjoy reading them and equally enjoy, guilt-free, forgetting them and not incorporating any of them into your life. But, before you go blank, might I suggest sharing the blog first? I mean, come on... here's your chance to be a real Facebook hero and share something wonderfully useless for your friends so we can all take a collective deep breath and remember we are freakin' fine, just the way we are. Billy Joel would not lie.

33 Self-Improvement Thingees to Read and then Quickly Forget

  1. You should keep breathing. In and out. Or out and in. I'm pretty sure either way works.
  2. Laughing is super good.
  3. Some people suck and you should avoid them.
  4. Your hair is freakin' fine.
  5. Your marriage is probably no better or worse than anyone else's. Unless it is super sucky, then maybe get divorced. I dunno.
  6. Your kids are both annoying and magical, depending on the lighting.
  7. Dream. Hope. Believe. Achieve. Or, maybe sometimes... Take a nap. Go to the movies. Kill some time doing nothing.
  8. Lose the weight, don't lose the weight. It seriously doesn't matter to anyone else. We are all way more interested in how we look. A population full of narcissists has some perks.
  9. I hope you dance. Well, honestly, I don't really care. Maybe you dance like Elaine.
  10. Netflix will probably make your life slightly better.
  11. Your mother-in-law probably likes you well enough, or doesn't much think about you at all because she's got a life too.
  12. Don't return gifts. It's too much effort. Just say thank you and stick it in a drawer and regift it or give it away.
  13. Wear sunscreen, but dial down the insanity of it. 50 SPF for an hour at the park at 4 p.m. is a bit obsessive.
  14. Just be yourself. Which requires knowing who you are. Which requires tons of self-actualization. Better idea: Just be.
  15. Walking seems good and fairly harmless.
  16. Learn to whistle or don't. Who would even think of whistling as something you need to do or not? Me. I'm insane. Screw whistling.
  17. Don't stand on the sidelines at karaoke. Or do, because maybe you hate to sing in front of others. How would anyone know but you?
  18. Vacuuming sucks. I'm non-negotiable on this one.
  19. Don't hoard catalogues. Recycle them. You're being weird.
  20. You're far too old and set in your ways to switch toothpastes. The taste of a foreign toothpaste will freak you the hell out.
  21. Let someone buy your lunch. If you owe someone something in return, it will help keep you alive, or so I have theorized with no research. Keep in mind I also think ceiling fans get tired.
  22. When you lose something it isn't really lost. It's still somewhere. Just not with you. So, whatever. Maybe it's happier.
  23. Try not to kill anyone. I mean, really... don't harm people or animals. What's wrong with you?
  24. Happiness is ____________. Insert whatever you want there, but don't kid yourself. Happiness is a massively complicated concept deceptively put in a bubbly little word, although Charles M. Schultz might have gotten closest with "a warm puppy."
  25. If you stop biting your nails... nothing, at all, in your life will change.
  26. Eat a meal you enjoy every now and again without thinking about the calories. Is ice cream a meal?
  27. The only thing proven to give you instant, blissful self-actualization, intense happiness and peace on earth is reading and sharing my blog. What? It's true. Duh.
  28. Love is all you need is not entirely accurate. Water seems somewhat essential.
  29. Crying is a bummer. But feeling the sadness emotion is a good reminder you're not a robot. Are you a robot? Enter the string of characters to prove you're not. 

  30. Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 9.35.08 PM

  31. Robots are cool. Especially the kind that cry. I digress.
  32. You'll never understand the world. You only know like .001% of the people in it. That's a totally made up percentage based on a very limited knowledge of the number of people on earth and zero knowledge of the number of people you know.
  33. There are only so many hours of the day and people you like. Choose wisely.
  34. Thirty-three things is the perfect amount of unnecessary things to read and forget to remain completely the same person you were before reading this blog. I'm a damn genius.

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