It’s my birthday today, a time for reflection and early-in-the-day drinking.

It’s pretty safe to say I’m well past the halfway point in my life, barring advances in cryogenics or any more broken mirrors. The road behind is longer than the road ahead, and I’m running out of change for the tolls. Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again who’s counting?

Here are a few things I would have done differently, if I could turn back time and get Cher’s voice out of my head. Hope you can learn from my mistakes.

  • Never give a Snuggie or a Chia Pet as a gift to a loved one.
  • Eat at your own risk in a “kosher-style” deli. “-style” means “not quite”.
  • Put your family first. That way you can hide behind them when the going gets tough.
  • Learn to speak another language, if for no other reason than the curse words are usually awesome.
  • Prejudice based on race, creed, color, or sexual orientation is always wrong. However, discrimination based on wardrobe or personal hygiene is completely justified.
  • Love is the answer, but I forget what the question was.
  • Drive for show, putt for dough, try not to take the sand wedge out of your bag. 
  • You never have a second chance to make a first impression, so let the expletives fly.
  • Eat dessert first. That way you fill up quickly and save money on the tip.
  • Professional athletes and celebrities aren’t “heroes” – the real heroes are found in comic books.
  • Respect your elders — they have wisdom to share and control your inheritance.
  • Practice random acts of kindness. Revenge takes careful planning.
  • If you’re married, or living with a significant other — never go to bed mad. That’s what couches are for.
  • Live every day like it’s your last, and you’ll never need to change your passwords.
  • “Love” and “sex” are not the same thing, but you’ll have fun trying to sort through the confusion.
  • Sow your oats while you’re young. Interestingly, as you get older you’ll still be relying on fiber to get you through the day.

It all comes down to the Golden Rule, found in so many religious and social traditions: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is the best thing you can live by, unless your neighbor is a dentist or plumber.