Old Lady Learning from 2016

As part of my annual Year in Review process, which I give myself till Chinese Lunar New Year to complete, I am providing the following wisdom free to you, my public. Wisdom appears in no particular order.

Don’t make to-do lists. Make did lists.

Except for appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, and deadlines (and these too are just to ease your mind, because you should remember them with your brain) do not write down any future events or lists of tasks to complete in your calendar or agenda. If it’s important to do, you will remember to do it. If you can’t remember what you think you are supposed to do, you are either doing too many things, or you don't want to do the thing, or the task is unnatural to your current lifestyle—if you make larger adjustments, that task will proceed easily. For posterity and for the sense of satisfaction it brings, write down what you accomplish each day, even if it is “nothing.” Also take note of historical events, animal and plant sightings, new people met, major purchases, and weather oddities. These will all be of use to your biographer. I learned this from looking through my great aunt's 1972 datebook. She bought a very nice color television.

Make a good-faith effort to speak the language of any creature, and you will have a peaceful, affectionate relationship.

Strong drink is a scourge of the globe.

Alcohol should be used only as a cleanser, a flea killer, or an anaesthetic during otherwise unmediated medical procedures. I have been dry since August 21. Get ready for some Woman’s Temperance–style testifying on here. Religion isn't the opiate of the people: The opiate of the people is alcohol and opiates. They are both effectively used by their producers and consumers to hide the fact that there are too many people, we live in an unjust world, we have outgrown our resources, and it's all going to shit. Bottom's up.

Put regular sugar in the blender to make powdered (confectioner’s) sugar.

Christmas is for children and Christians.

Facebook doesn’t have to be a huge waste of time and a problem, but see “Strong drink.”

And it doesn’t even kill fleas.

Baking solves many problems.

Meaning, like, using the oven to cook things.

Hormonal imbalance is real. And treatable.

Citrus Dawn kills fleas.

It's very hectic and time consuming for, in this case, the rabbit, but it does work. As I soaped and rinsed and flea combed away at Jane Heyre in the warm roasting pan bathtub-within-a-bathtub, it was very hard not to imagine I was picking off Americans storming the beach at Normandy. Goddamn those little fuckers. Which made the fleas the Allies and me the Axis powers. Fleas are very impressive animals. I spent an hour at it before calling it a storming, and it was exhausting, but I killed a lot of fleas. They would probably have won the war, though. If you can afford it, 9lb.-and-under Vectra also works, and a couple of weeks after application the fleas are gone and the rabbit is still here.