I wanted to hate Dallas Clayton’s new children’s book for adults. I really did. His success (almost) smacks of elitism because yes, this is the same Dallas Clayton that dated Shannyn Sossamon. And yes, he’s been touted by everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Justin Timberlake to Joaquin Phoenix* for his self-published debut An Awesome Book!. It’s even on the top of the list of best books for children on GP’s infinitely mock-worthy, yet strangely fascinating GOOP website.**
But I don’t.
Instead, I found It’s Never Too Late to be a sweet, charming reminder to appreciate every single day. The book begins by asking “What if today was your last day?”. What would you do? What would you have learned? How would you feel? What would you care about? In order to avoid getting overly sentimental and saccharine – because the book did remind me of the very true saying that the days are long, but the years are short – I thought I would share a few of the useful life lessons I’ve picked up along the way.
- I’m still not sure at what point in life you’ll start feeling like an adult, but my best guess is sometime after 30. I imagine it’s about the same time you start feeling comfortable with yourself. (Please tell me this happens at some point.)
- The only time a flight delay isn’t annoying is when you’re running late.
- Conversely: The only time a flight is delayed is when you’re on time.
- Never sleep with your roommate. Just don’t do it.
- If possible, when painting a room, try to pick the right paint color the first time.
- It’s gratifying to be perversely straightforward. But remember to be nice too.
- Boasting that you never boast…is inherently boastful.
- Never take anything I say too seriously.
- And finally, things will always go wrong. Sometimes everything goes wrong at once. Or at least it seems like it. Sometimes your car’s headlight will burn out, your washer will break, your boiler will go out, your dishwasher will catch on fire, and you’ll develop bronchitis – all within a three week span right before Christmas. You’ll be (rightfully?) depressed, but take heart; at least you’re not dead.
(Things sometimes go right, too.)
So as you can see, I’ve become infinitely wise in the twenty some odd years I’ve been a functioning human. While I do actively try to appreciate the little things, Dallas Clayton’s new book is a simple reminder to do so – because the world could end today, tomorrow, or fifty years from now. Regardless, make decisions that make you happy. That’s what matters; though don’t forget to pay your bills and to be kind. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed It’s Never Too Late***, 3/5. If you see it around, take five minutes to flip through it. You won’t be sorry.
What I really want to know is what you’ve learned as an adult? Any life lessons that you care to share? Are you good at slowing down and appreciating the little things? I’d like to think I am, but there’s always room for improvement.
A kids book for adults calls for an adult version of kids food – Martha Stewart’s Mac & Cheese. I had a severe milk allergy as a child, my early years were devoid of all things dairy. I’ve made up for this sad fact as an adult.
*To clarify, I don’t know if would actually be considered praise, but Joaquin Phoenix did read aloud from it in the rather eccentric I’m Still Here.
**I don’t know whether to love or hate GOOP. On one hand, it peddles the sort of rampant materialism that irritates me (why yes, you do need a $250 personalized pillow case and hey, if you buy six, the price goes down to $225 each – bargain). On the other, she included the fabulous The Art of Fielding on her gift guide for men. I believe I lean more towards the latter because on said gift guide for men, GP also recommends letting the men in your life know they are special by buying them a cannabis candle (no worries, it’s legal).
***I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.