1. If you don't have the time or inclination to read a whole book (as a temporary condition--if you haven't got time to read a book as a matter of fact we'll need to have a different conversation), read the New Yorker.
2. Put an onion in the fridge for a day or two before you need to chop it. Keeps the tears to a minimum. I don't know why.
3. Buy fresh packs of boxers, undershirts and socks every six months. And for each new item in, one should go out.
4. There is no shame in brownies from a mix.
5. Drink good coffee. It's a lot more expensive, but it's nice to greet each day with a small luxury.
6. Say yes as much as possible. To things that seem hard. And maybe not that fun. And that could result in a big mess. Yes is almost always more fun than no.
7. Except for drugs. Then, Just Say No. (Is that still funny in the future?)
8. Don't start smoking. Because you'll just have to stop, and it's really hard, and you'll get fat.
9. When I was a teenager and suffering from a complete lack of self esteem, my dad wouldn't let me eat ice cream out of the carton. He insisted it be decanted into a bowl from the set of good china. He said I could eat from the carton once I realized that I was worth the fancy stuff. What he meant was this: eating ice cream out of the carton (or Chinese food out of the takeout containers, or pizza off a paper towel) is a fun indulgence. But only if we know we're making a choice, not if we think we aren't worth dirtying a dish for. So, use the good china. As much as possible. Unless you don't feel like it.
10. You're never too old to enjoy a fresh box of crayons and a pad of thick paper.
11. Throw lots of parties and invite people you don't know very well. It's only awkward for a few minutes.
12. Growing your own vegetables is really incredibly satisfying. More than you'd expect.
13. As is baking your own bread.
14. Lots of people love making their own pizza. I don't really think it's worth the effort.
15. Go to Europe, alone, when you are between the ages of 19 and 23. Go for as long as you can. We'll pay for the first three months.
16. Once a year, skip out on school or work and stay home alone and play music, loud, and learn something new. How to use that camera that's always set on "auto." How to make a perfect steak. How to twirl a drumstick. Doesn't matter what. It's the sense of achievement you're after.