First, i wish you many, many happy returns of the day, Angel Girl. That's a rather old fashioned way of saying that i hope you have many more birthdays to celebrate, that you live a long time.
Your mother asked for a coffee chat on what advice i would give my 10-year-old self if i could go back. The problem i have with the topic is, i could have said it, but would i have listened? In fact, if my self from twenty years in the future came back right now to give me advice, would i heed it? Would any of us? Would we even be able to do so?
Some things take time or experience to learn, and sometimes there's no substitute for that. If i could have told myself not to be in a rush to grow up and get married and have kids, would my 10-year-old self be able to even imagine not rushing? It's all very well and good for you, Mrs. Over 50, to come back here and tell me this, you've gotten to do these things, i can imagine her saying. But i haven't, she would add, then maybe even say, i don't have your memories, and i want to make those memories, they will make me what i become.
If i slow down, i can hear her say, if i decide to take different paths than you took, if you give me a head's up and i do things differently, how do i know that different will mean better? How do i know i won't miss all the great parts in trying to avoid the worse parts? Can you really guarantee i will get there, albeit more slowly and better prepared?
No, i would have to tell her, i cannot make that guarantee.
This leaves me with only a few things to say to my 10-year-old self, mostly things i do wish i could have learned earlier.
"Trust in G-d and tie up your camel," the Persians say. This can be taken a couple of ways. First, you are going to meet people you think you can trust, and sometimes you will be right and sometimes you won't. Tie your camel a bit more often until you've seen whether the person in question has more camels than their life story indicates they should have. Second, don't expect The Almighty to bend the laws of the universe to cover you because you aren't paying attention to the small details.
"Remember to dig the well long before you are thirsty" say the Chinese. The self-discipline you are acquiring and the learning you are doing right now are digging the well you are going to be drinking from for the rest of your life. You can't grow up to be whatever it is you want to be if you don't work to dig the well properly now.
"After the ship has sunk, everyone knows how she could have been saved" is a byword of the Italians. If you ever find yourself surrounded by people who know better than you how you could have and should have done this or that, get new people around you. Get people who understand that you often have to make decisions with limited information, and who won't preach at you if it doesn't turn out quite the way you thought.
"When the fox preaches, look to your geese" the Germans will tell you. Remember that one every time a politician opens his/her mouth.
Once again, i hope you have a wonderful, fun filled birthday today, and many more to come.
Barbershop Quartet Day -- founding day of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America
Be Kind to Lawyers Day -- after all, you will need one someday, for something
Buchenwald Liberation Day -- at 3:15pm local time, by the Third Army
Children's Day in Florida -- FL, US
Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia -- Philadelphia, PA, US (in conjunction with the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia; through the 17th)
Eight Track Tape Day -- do you remember those; someone who fondly does has a day to honor them
Festival of Unmediated Play -- just go out there and have fun, like kids do
Full Pink Moon -- a/k/a Full Sprouting Moon, Grass Moon, Egg Moon, White Moon, Virgin Moon, and Fish Moon; in other traditions
Bak Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka
Tagu Full Moon -- Myanmar
International "Louie Louie" Day -- a song that caused such a stir it deserves a day; on the birth anniversary of its composer, Richard Berry
Juan Santamaria Day -- Costa Rica (commemoration of the hero of the Battle of Rivas)
Laotian New Year's Eve -- Laos (celebrations last through the 15th and sometimes beyond; at the start of the monsoon season)
Liberation Day -- Uganda (fall of Idi Amin)
M&M Crisis in Space Day -- on this day in 1996, American astronaut Shannon Lucid reported from Space Station Mir that she was out of M&Ms; it was the only thing she regularly requested for resupply in her 188 days there!
National Cheese Fondue Day
National Library Worker's Day -- US (always the Tuesday of National Library Week)
National Pet Day / Pet Day USA -- US (it's about the love, so adopt, don't shop!)
St. Antipas' Day (spiritual student of St. John, mentioned in the Book of the Revelation of St. John)
St. Stanislaus' Day (Patron of soldiers in battle; Cracow, Poland; Plock, Poland; Poland, where he is celebrated on May 8)
World Parkinson's Disease Day
Spelman College is founded, 1881
Joss Stone, 1987
Tricia Helfer, 1974
Vincent Gallo, 1961
Bill Irwin, 1950
Ellen Goodman, 1948
Meshach Taylor, 1947
Peter Riegert, 1947
Louise Lasser, 1939
Richard Berry, 1935
Tony Brown, 1933
Joel Grey, 1932
Ethel Kennedy, 1928
Oleg Cassini, 1913
Jane Matilda Bolin, 1908
Dalia "Dale" Messick, 1906
Percy Julian, 1899
Lizzie “Lillie” Bliss, 1864
Charles Evans Hughes, 1862
"On Your Toes"(Musical), 1936
"Matthäus-Passion/St. Matthew's Passion"(Bach BWV 244), 1727
Today in History:
William III and Mary II are crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain, 1689
The last execution for witchcraft in Germany takes place, 1775
President Abraham Lincoln makes his last public speech, urging a spirit of concilliation during reconstruction, 1865
The Shogunate is abolished in Japan, 1868
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is organized, 1876
Ellis Island is designated as an immigration station, 1890
Spain cedes Puerto Rico to the United States in the treaty ending the Spanish American War, 1899
The US Navy aquires its first submarine, designed by John P. Holland, 1900
Albert Einstein announces his Special Theory of Relativity, 1905
The International Labour Organization is founded, 1919
The Stone of Scone, the stone upon which Scottish monarchs were traditionally crowned, is found in Arbroath Abbey where Scottish nationalist students had taken it from Westminster Abbey, 1951
Britain agrees to Singaporean self-rule, 1957
Apollo 13 is launched, 1970
The Apple I is created, 1976
Ugandan dictator Idi Amin is deposed, 1979
The London Agreement is secretly signed between Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres and King Hussein of Jordan, 1987
Australia beats American Samoa in a 31-0 win, the biggest ever in an international match of football, 2001
The French ban of Islamic women's face coverings goes into effect, 2011