A-Z Survival Guide to Life
Z – zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcba
This is the twenty-sixth installment in the A-Z Survival Guide to Life I am writing for my boys.
According to the Urban Dictionary “this is the sound you make when you vomit alphabetti spaghetti.” It turns out Alphabetti Spaghetti is a real thing. I did not know that.
It has been a long journey, on this A-Z Blog Challenge. In writing all these posts, I have reminded myself of the important things we need to remember in this adventure we call life. I have also learned things along the way. In doing this challenge, under the guise of the A-Z Survival Guide to Life, I realized there was a great deal of information I had never really verbalized, and I am glad I took the time to write all of these posts, because I feel like I have written the most important points down (at least all the points that came to mind).
There is an old African saying that says it takes a village to raise a child (and No, Hilary Clinton – you cannot take credit for that saying, although you try). With that thought in mind, I have included a synopsis of the comments I received on each post, and so you can say not only are you getting advice from me, but also from bloggers around the world. How cool is that?
So, for “Z” I am now going to regurgitate the most salient points of each post, backwards, starting with “Z”.
Z – zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcba – I can’t really “regurgitate” this as I haven’t even written it yet.
Y – Yo Momma’s Rules – These are rules, according to Yo Momma (me), that hopefully will keep you safe and allow to live your lives uninterrupted. According to the commenters, Rule 5 – “Live your life with integrity”, was the most important one and the starting block for all other behaviors. This was your Dad’s contribution to the post. He can be a most wise fellow at times.
X – X-ray Vision – This post was about my horrible adventures with the Sea Monkey scam. It turns out I wasn’t the only one who wanted Sea Monkeys, but only one other commenter mentioned he had been duped by dreams of training Sea Monkeys and had actually purchased the kit. No one dreamed of putting tutus on them, besides me. The bottom line here is I should have bought the X-Ray vision glasses, but the really special ones that clue you in on people’s hidden agendas and motives. If you were privy to this kind of information, think how much easier life would be.
W – Worrying – Here I tried to offer some tips and steps you could take to minimize and mitigate some unnecessary worrying in the areas of School, Work, Money and Relationships. Worrying will eat away at you, it will dull the beauty that surrounds you, and will just generally make you miserable. I had a few commenters that agreed with the advice wholeheartedly. There weren’t many comments and that worries me.
V – Video Games – Here I extolled the benefits of gaming and how it increases cognitive abilities, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving and minimizes real-life aggression. But I also said gaming must be done in moderation and not interfere with the responsibilities of life. Most of my commenters agreed with me, although I sensed my friend from Wales thought I was completely bonkers for giving such advice. Perhaps he is right. I must go away and drink a health potion (coffee) now, my life bar is on red.
U – UFOs – After a lengthy discussion with you both, more so the youngest of you two, I decided to write a post about what to do if abducted by aliens and taken aboard a UFO. I think most of the commenters really thought at this point in the challenge, I had lost my mind. One plus side to alien abductions might the potential for rapid weight loss in a short amount of time and according to you guys, learning the answers to life, which I always thought was simply “42“.
T – The Traffic Sign – This was probably a more self-centered post because at the point I reached “T” in the challenge I was really, really irritated about a little green sign that has popped up in the middle of the street in our neighborhood. I went on to try and make the post relevant to surviving life by saying there are signs everywhere and for the most part they are completely annoying. The most important point was that simply by erecting a sign, it does not excuse you from the responsibilities and accountability to whatever you are trying to protect and place it on the shoulders of the supposed sign reader – because they just are not reading the sign!
S – Stickybeaking – Stickybeaking is an Australian term used for people that are nosy and like to get into other people’s business. I have been trying for months to capture a photo of Mikey – the Great Dane, standing with his paws on the 6 foot fence and I was successful. Historically photos of cute a** puppies have been a draw to my little blog, but for this post it was not the case. Several people commented on the one point I made about keeping out of your future family-in-law’s drama. Seems like they may be speaking from experience.
R – Reminiscing – By far, this post was the most enjoyable post to write, but at the time, the saddest. I can honestly say that some of the best times of my life have been spent with you guys on our little adventures. Our road trips were never planned, they just kind of happened. I suppose the whole point to the post was I realize my time for creating your memories is almost over and soon you will off creating your own. That makes me sad and happy all at once.
Q – Quietude – Here I talked about the importance of finding a place that is calm and peaceful and rejuvenates your mind and your soul. For many of the commenters it was the ocean, or a lake that brought them peace and released their minds from the constant barrage of stimuli our world offers today. And for those who have kids – it was the bathroom.
P – Prevention – Obviously people have very little interest in commenting about prevention with the exception of two of my good blogging friends. I discussed taking care of your skin (you will be happy you did in 20 years), your car (perhaps you may have the car long after the last car payment is made), taking care of your pets and your teeth. I recommended you put a photo of your Dentist up on your bathroom mirror to remind you to floss regularly long after your last teeth cleaning. I thought this was a brilliant idea. Nobody else did.
O – Organize – I said this was the stepping stone to adulthood. I like that, even if I did come up with it. This is actually a pretty boring post and based on the comments, most people agreed. But to really have a useful Life Survival Guide – an entry on becoming organized must be included. With the exception of being organized in the morning, I don’t think we have really talked about important documents or preparing for tax time.
N – Nothing – I must admit this was a total cheat and my attempt to get caught up as I was lagging so far behind in my posts. Very few of my blogging friends were amused because all the post said was – This page has intentionally been left blank. I think I may have committed some major blogging faux pas.
M – Moxie, Marriage and Money – As I said in the post, I love alliteration. Maybe I am a poet and I don’t know it. The point of this post was to say one must maintain their individuality, even when married and money (or the lack thereof) is something that can absolutely ruin a marriage. Honestly, after re-reading the post, it did seem a little disjointed and kind of a stretch. Most of the commenters agreed the last line was the best – about not letting me ever hear you have a room designated to yourself – a “Man Cave”.
L – Laughter – In this post I wrote about how important it is to keep laughter in your life. Even when you are successfully ensconced in your career, married, and have children you must maintain a sense of humor. Not taking yourself too terribly seriously will make life much easier and more enjoyable. You are really going to need to laugh a great deal when you become the parents of teenagers. And when you are older, you can laugh at all the young whippersnappers who think they have life figured out, but don’t. My commenters agreed that laughter was very important, and one of my funnier commenters said he and his wife laughed on those rare occasions when they were not running in slow motion along the beach. What a funny, funny guy! His comments always make me laugh!
K – Kitchens – This is all about setting up your first kitchen, what to look for, and what you need to have to make your kitchen functional. No one found this very interesting at all and I received only two comments on this post. And no one appreciated the fact that I found the photo of Julia Child’s kitchen which is now on display, I think at the Smithsonian. That kind of bummed me out.
J – Jobs – In a condensed form, I gave you the basics of what you need to do to get a job and keep a job. And as one of my friends commented – when you are self-employed, you don’t have one boss, you have a whole slew of bosses, because every single client is your boss. That is a good tip to remember especially if you both plan on beginning a Personal Trainer business. You are going to have to deal with some really tight-assed (figuratively, not literally – or else they wouldn’t need you) people.
I – Impatience – Patience is a virtue (so they say, I am not exactly who “they” are, but they sure have a lot of good advice). In this post I talk about dealing with things which occur in your life, with patience, because impatience, and flinging yourself about will get you nowhere and may in the long run make things worse. We discussed areas such as education, fixing and assembling things, cooking, waiting in traffic and life where learning to be patient might be helpful. My commenters had a lot to say about impatience and wrote to say they appreciated the tips. Apparently “Impatience” is something that affects a great number of us. Hurry up reading this, so we can move on to the next one!
H – Horror Movies – Here I talked about all the things we could learn from horror movies and apply to real life. My commenters loved this post, especially the last line about the vampires with skin that sparkled in the sun. This was kind of a silly post, but there are lessons to be learned.
G – Gut Instinct – This is advice about listening to your intuition, your inner voice. People, deals, houses and all sorts of other things may look great on the outside but may not be so great on the inside. Based on the very few, but exceptionally thoughtful comments I received on this most, my gut instinct tells me the majority of my blogging friends did not find this to be useful advice.
F – Fathering – Hopefully this is advice that will be needed way off in the future, after you have finished the majority of your education. I used the guidelines I gave you in D-Dogs and built upon that. One of the commenters thought that I should have switched things around, perhaps they are right. I guess I did it that way because you have experience in caring for dogs, and have had the honor of sharing a house with dogs most of your lives, so I thought that was an experience you could relate to. Anyway, most of commenters mentioned the last line about Dads saying they have to babysit their own children and how that infuriates them. I’m right there with them on that one!
E – Entertaining – As the title indicates, this is about entertaining in your home and how to prepare for guests. The few commenters I did have, suggested it was an “entertaining” post. I guess most people are not entertaining these days, you don’t ever hear of people having cocktail parties anymore.
D – Dogs – We were just talking about this the other day, well, several weeks ago, about how strange it is that two distinctly different species of animals (humans and dogs) can live together and thrive off of another. I wonder if the aliens find this puzzling. Anyway, I go over the things you should consider before bringing a puppy into your house. It is a great responsibility and a privilege to be the owner/human of a dog and you must do your part to make sure it is a meaningful relationship for all parties involved. My commenters agreed and especially liked the part about choosing the dog over the girl who you find out does not like dogs.
C – Complaining – Now, I can complain just as loudly as the next person, but no one ever listens. I talked about Bodily Complaints, Work Complaints, Complaining about your spouse (don’t do it), and even covered Consumer Complaints (I compared corporations to the Honey Badger – who doesn’t give a sh*t, I even included a video). Really the only people, with the exception of one, who commented, were my blogging friends that stick with me through thick and thin. And because of them, I am not complaining about the response to this post.
B – Beds – Of all my posts, this received the most comments. Is nobody sleeping well anymore? Or was it because we were only just beginning the A-Z Challenge and nobody was worn out yet? Beds and the bed accessories are so important because without a good night’s sleep the days are interminably painful and long. If you take away one piece of advice from this entire survival guide, make sure you don’t skimp on your bed or the things that go into making a bed simply scrumptious. Oh I am so glad I am almost done with this regurgitation, so I can go take a nap.
A – Annoying People – Another of my more popular posts. People have a great deal to say about the annoying people they encounter, from the Instigator, to the Downers and the Self-Centered types. Honestly, I could have gone on and on about all the annoying people I encounter. Makes me wonder though, if I find so many people annoying, do they in turn find me annoying? Hmm…I hadn’t really given that any thought.
Well that’s it. What have I learned by doing this blogging challenge? I have learned that people are most concerned with having a comfy bed, taking care of their dogs and laughter. Those are all really good things.
I hope that someday you will both read this A-Z Survival Guide to Life and find some of the advice useful. I will be around to answer any additional questions, you can count on that. Not around, like “in your face” around, but on the periphery, cheering you on as you start on your next adventure called Adulthood.
Categories: A to Z Challenge, Life's A-Z Survival Guide
I thought this theme was particularly wonderful. The fact you talked to your sons about these posts, engaged them, helped them think critically about things – well, what can I say? We need more moms like you willing to have real conversations with their kids. I think you should put this in a book, if for no one else – your sons. Great job! I thoroughly enjoyed taking this journey with you.
@sheilamgood at Cow Pasture Chronicles
Sheila, thank-you so much. I am glad it is finally over, even if I am 2 days late in completing the challenge. And thank-you for your kind support. This last post almost did me in.
You did great! Be proud.
Congratulations on rising to the challenge. You succeeded wonderfully!
Thank-you. I am so glad it is done. Thanks for all the support and encouragement along the way!
You’re welcome! 🙂
Oh what a sheltered life I led never having vomited alphabetti spaghetti. Your words of wisdom are with the boys now and I’ve no doubt they’ll use them as a life checklist and probably pass the knowledge on as their own to their own children. Quick, make sure you Copyright it.
I still maintain there’s book in this or at least a ‘House Rules’ document you can sell at the seaside.It’s too good to let it stay just within the family.
xxx Sending Hugs Galore xxx
Thanks David. I have never, ever eaten Alphabetti Spaghetti – looks scary. My husband says I should do something with these posts as well – I’m thinking about it. Thanks for all your kind words of encouragement through this challenge. I sure am glad it is over, so I can stop thinking up adult like things to say.
This is a beautiful thing you’ve done, summing up a lifetime of parenting wisdom. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Thank-you so much. It turns out I have more, because I thought of P- Procrastination, B- Bathrooms (maintaining a clean one).
Thank you for the advice 🙂
Anytime, I have lots!!!!!
Great job! This was one of my favorite A to Z themes by far.
You did an incredible job…I stand in awe!! Every letter I read is full of wisdom and insight with that only a parent can offer…well done!
Thank-you so much!!! I must say it drained every ounce of collected wisdom I have gathered over the years, right out of me. Too bad I don’t follow all of my own advice, but it seems it might be easier to give advice than follow it – sometimes!!!
Wonderful way to end the challenge. Congrats.
Thank-you for following along!!!!!!
This was one of the best A-Z challenges I’ve read. I still think it’s publishable if you ever feel the urge. Super job.
Thank-you so much!!!! My husband is trying to talk me into publishing it. Thanks for all the encouragement!!!!!
Well, there you go. It really is clever and light hearted, with so many gems of wisdom in there. I hope you do too!
I know I am way late to the party, but I am so enjoying these and plan to go back and read them all! A fantastic idea and so well written. Thank you for sharing them and I love that Z is the summary post, it is like a road map for which ones to read first! 🙂
Thank-you Marcy!!! There are some that are a bit bland, but I struggled coming up with topics for some of the letters.
Congratulations on completing the challenge! I love the recap 🙂 Great way to complete a month of intense blogging.
It was pretty intense, but I am glad we did it and I am glad it is over for this year!
I could repeat your comment verbatim 🙂
what a great way to wrap up the challenge. I’m a bit behind on my blog reading as usual and even writing so I look forward to catching up as well as getting some collaborations done, one in particular where the dude keeps asking me if I’ve worked on his track yet.
Have a great week.
I am glad you are doing well. I am always behind on my blog reading, not enough time in the day. You have a great week too!!!!
This is definitely one of the most unique A-Z challenges I’ve read! I must admit I didn’t manage to read them all as I am behind on blog reading but the dentist bit above did make me LOL! And I liked ‘Nothing’ – I thought it was clever! 🙂
Thanks so much. I was wondering if my dentist would think it weird if I asked him to do a selfie with me? I enjoyed doing the theme but it hurt my brain trying to be mature and wise.