Wash When Dirty – And Other Life Advice

John bought a shirt recently (thrifted, of course) and I had to smile when I saw the underside of the tag:

Wash this when dirty.

No complicated instructions, just a healthy dose of common sense.

And it got me thinking – wouldn’t it be great if life came with a bunch of giant tags?

How about:

  • Sleep When Tired
  • It’s Okay To Say No; or, Just Say Yes
  • Eat When Hungry
  • Drink More Water
  • Breathe
  • Be Kind
  • Cry When Sad
  • Smile When Happy
  • Laughter Is Encouraged

Alas, life doesn’t always come with handy labels. But I did get a kick out of this tag. (Side note: does anyone else say they “Get a kick” out of something? It means to find an object or situation funny/interesting, but I don’t know if it’s a localized colloquialism or a broader social phrase?)

Any “tags” you’d like to suggest?

Header photo by PlanetCare on Unsplash

23 thoughts on “Wash When Dirty – And Other Life Advice”

  1. This is such a cute post. πŸ™‚ I have nothing to contribute, but Sleep When Tired and Eat When Hungry are excellent pieces of advice!

    (I say “get a kick out of” too!)

    1. Somehow I have a hard time remembering Sleep When Tired and Eat When Hungry though…and get tired and hungry (AND GRUMPY) as a result.

      1. Indeed! Hilariously, I actually heard Abby lecturing Levi on this topic (and quoting the Golden Rule as part of her argument) the other day.

  2. I definitely say “get a kick out of.” It’s funny to hear the phrases Paul says because it highlights what we say often.

    That clothing tag is very funny! And yes, sometimes we need some very basic instructions. On a podcast, I think maybe Lazy Genius, she talked about how if you think everyone hates you, eat something; if you hate everyone, go to bed. I thought that was funny.

    1. That Lazy Genius (or other podcast guru) quote is brilliant – and almost always perfect advice.
      I always, always feel better after I clean something up, so I should just have a big sign on my wall that says “Clean” or “Put Something Away. You’re Welcome.”

  3. I have a “be nice to your future self” sort of mantra. If doing something right now will be super helpful to Future Me, I should just do it. I don’t always succeed, but I try.

    1. Oooh this is a good one! I tried to explain this to my daughter recently, but in not as succinct a way and I don’t think she really got the concept.

  4. Oh yes, we definitely say “get a kick out of it” over here! I sometimes feel like it’s a bit of a middle-aged mom kind of thing to say, but no shame- I say it all the time.

    It’s been….a week for me, so far…just some stress/ emotions/ life feeling kind of irritatingly heavy and anxiety provoking for a wide range of reasons. So this post and list made me smile. I would have smiled at that tag, too. I love things that are so blatantly obvious and simple like that. Or anything that sort of strips away all the extra, distracting layers of life and just zooms in on the underlying truth of it all. I remember my 6th grade teacher had a sign in her room that said, “The only things you HAVE to do in life are die and pay taxes.” Haha. I always remembered that- stuck in my mind. πŸ™‚

    p.s.- I think this might be the shortest post you’ve ever written?!? Did you forget the rest?!? hehehe!! kidding!! πŸ™‚

    1. Well, I guess I’m a middle-aged Mom, so this fits!
      Ugh – sorry to hear it has been a tough week. Hope this weekend is restorative and next week feels lighter.
      I know – posting short poems and three-word taglines; what have I become?

    1. I tend to overthink/overcomplicate a lot of things in life…hence wishing I had a whole bunch of these tags as daily reminders in my day.

  5. What a great label/tag! That would have made me smile too. We don’t really use the expression ‘get a kick out of something’ here in the uk although I know what it means. I was trying to think of what we would say instead of that and I don’t think we really have an equivalent. We would probably just say that it made us smile, gave us pleasure/great pleasure depending on the circumstances.

    I would add to be kind – to yourself and others. I think we can often be very hard on ourselves, harder than we would be on others in our life.

    I would also add to your list pause/pausing to give yourself time to think before rushing in/reacting. Great post πŸ™‚

    1. Think Before Speaking (or Acting) is such a wise one.
      Maybe you’ll start saying you “get a kick” out of something and start a new European trend?

  6. Ha ha, I love that tag. I like that whoever designed it went a little out of their way to make people smile.
    We do say “got a kick out of” but I’m not sure if a lot of people say it around here anymore- it might be an older saying?

  7. I love that tag. Nothing like stating [what to me would be] the obvious. I’d add to your list: don’t water dead plants. Yes, I say that I “get a kick” out of something. I think it’s a saying that is used widely among English speaking people.

  8. If life was always that simple, right?

    I feel like the tag is in the same category as the common sense warning here in the US to not microwave your cat LOL but a little bit of common advice is definitely needed sometimes.
    I’d add “always be kind” and “one step at a time”.

    P.S. Definitely learned (as a non-native speaker) and am using “getting a kick out of something” regularly!!

    1. I’ve NEVER heard the β€œdon’t microwave your car” one!! I have to admit – that is great advice, although hopefully obvious to most cat owners?
      One step at a time is such great advice that translates well into day-to-day life. So much feels overwhelming when viewed in totality, but when we just start small and do one thing at a time to move forward, real progress can be made!

  9. My goodness, that is fantastic!! What straightforward advice…. so refreshing.
    I also say ‘get a kick out of’ so…I think we are the majority here?
    In terms of pithy advice, I always come back to two phrases:
    – Just do it. Yes, it was Nike’s line for years but it applies very nicely to life in general.
    – Never assume. There is a somewhat crass second part to that, but I choose to focus on the important part. This aligns with similar admonishments that we never know what others are facing.
    I love all of the lines here, though, and hope to adopt some of them. πŸ™‚

    1. I think I know the rest of your Never Assume quote – and it might be somewhat crass but it also 100% accurate! And so true that we really never know what someone else is going through. I try to remember that if someone in the service industry is especially grumpy. I don’t know what might have happened to them earlier in the day…
      And Just Do It is classic, but for a reason. Sometimes I give myself a countdown (literally, in my head or out loud). I’ll count back from 5 and then just have to do the thing. Jump in the cold lake. Get out of bed. Brush my teeth. Make the hard phone call etc. Somehow counting down makes it feel a bit easier and also like I just have to do “X” task.

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