15,636 Lessons I Have Learned About Life

Dad throws lightning bolts. 🙂

It is a dark and stormy night. Outside the temperature is in the low forties, certainly a far cry from the weather you see in the picture above.

I’ll let you try to determine whether I am the guy with the mustache and the fedora or the larger gentleman who has immortalized half his ass on the Internet. Stop staring, it makes me squirm.

One of those nifty “days alive” calculators says that I today is the 15,636th day of my life, hence the headline. That is because I believe that not a day has gone by where I haven’t learned something about life.

Some of those lessons may be repetitive but I am certain that I could come up with one for each day. Don’t test me because I don’t make promises that I can’t keep.

TheJackB is a writer. That means I am an unhinged lunatic who suffers from a tormented soul and is prone to bouts of happiness, anger, sadness and all the other emotions a man can feel.

Ok, that really doesn’t make me any different than any other person but I like to think that I am. Don’t we all want that. Don’t we all want to be special.

Lately I have had great fun writing anonymous letters that I stick into books. I write notes that tell people they are special, important and wonderful. I tell them that they mean the world to someone and that they make a difference in their lives.

These notes get stuck into random books all over the place. I haven’t ever seen someone open one so I haven’t the foggiest idea if they are spreading joy and laughter or are the subject of scoffing and derision.

I haven’t done it to be important or to gain any sort of accolades. I did it because as I said I have been exceptionally frustrated. I feel like the world is angry and I figure it might be kind of fun. Don’t know how many I’ll do or when I will stop.

I am not the first person to do this and I probably won’t be the last.

English: Thomas The Tank Engine, (a rebuilt Hu...

English: Thomas The Tank Engine, (a rebuilt Hunslet Austerity tank) photographed at Ropley station on The Watercress Line in Hampshire, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


That is Thomas the Tank Engine. He is a really useful engine and was once the apple of my son’s eye. We went to visit Thomas somewhere around 2003 or maybe it was 2004. I really can’t remember.

But what I do remember is the look in my son’s eyes and the smile on his face. It was one of those moments I talk about. For those who are new here what I am referring to this is this. Life is a series of moments in time. My task is to try to recognize and be aware of every single one of those moments.

I want to burn them into my memory banks. But I don’t want them to all be a collection of what I remember. I want them to be a collection of what I am doing now and what I am doing later.

That is because I want to live today.

It is one of those 15,636 lessons I learned. I am really good at getting lost in the past. Ask me about my favorite moments in time and I can share many with you. I am not saying that it is bad to look back because it is not, at least not as long as you don’t live there.

I’ll let you in on a secret. That story that I am working on, the one that I want to turn into a book is focused on two people. I suppose you could characterize it as a bit of a love story with elements of comedy and drama built in.  It is not what I would have imagined I’d be writing but it is what has developed.

Anyway, the two people in this story are caught up in what happened in their past. The male character has spent a lot of time looking backwards but my goal is to teach him to look forwards. I don’t know whether they are going to find their way back together or not, they haven’t told me.

But what I do know is that they won’t do it unless they live in the present and look towards the future.

That is the “castle” from our old house. That is the backyard I once tended. My children didn’t want to move. They talk about that castle and how much fun they had in it. This picture is about six years old or so. That is how they remember it.

Me? I don’t remember it as being that clean. That is because the kids got big and forgot about it. It was really fun when they were really little but when they got bigger it wasn’t the same. So it got dusty and it filled up with leaves.

I used to dust it off and wash it off but that was to keep it from getting to be unmanageable.

The difference between their memories and mine is that I remember what it was most recently and not how it used to be. That is not easy to do. Life is filled with changes. Some of them can be unpleasant. That might be because you don’t like change or because it really is.

This blog is filled with moments and memories from the past as well as dreams for the future. Sometimes I am surprised that people come here to visit and read because so many of those moments/memories are personal in nature. I can’t help but wonder if I am boring people.

Yet at the same time it reminds me that even though they are personal memories and personal dreams they aren’t necessarily all that different from other people so it provides another way for us to connect.

And those connections are tied into building those moments in time that I want to build and collect….

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  1. Gary February 29, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Just want to let you know that you are NOT boring me. Your memories are personal, but they are the same as mine – yours is a castle, mine is a trampoline…a very dusty trampoline.

  2. Kristen Daukas February 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Crap. By my loose math calculations, I am 59 days older than you. I think I just lost a memory because of that age difference.

  3. Angel Collins February 28, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Thanks for sharing this story, glad you have learned something.just always learn from your mistakes.

  4. Gina February 28, 2012 at 9:56 am

    That’s a lot of life lessons. I’ve got you beat by a few thousand and learned many through hard knocks as well.

    I like these stories of yours. Very sweet and sensitive particularly when you’re speaking of your kids.

  5. Betsy Cross February 28, 2012 at 5:31 am

    I’m glad that you are you and that you tell the stories that only you have to tell. That’s why people read them. They can relate.

  6. Stan Faryna February 28, 2012 at 4:32 am

    15,636 lessons, Jack! Sheesh – that makes me dumber than I thought I was. Honestly, I don’t know if I could rattle off ten without blinking.

  7. Julie February 28, 2012 at 3:25 am


    I think it’s because everyone sees their life as a series of snippets, and they don’t always know why they remember the things they do and forget others. When they read yours they remember theirs.

    For instance that photo of the playset just took me back to my own kids’ version plus a snapshot of what I did as a kid (Weebils under the coffee table – hey, I was an only child). I wonder how my own kids will remember their childhood and how that will compare to my version.

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