Olivia Newport garden Pagoda

Photo by Lorri Nussbaum. www.keeperscards.com

1. My family does not like to eat outside. I could buy exquisite patio furniture and arrange it like a pro. I could buy the most impressive grill in the box store and put it all under a lovely canopy. But they grumble about eating out there. It’s too hot. It’s too windy. It’s a nuisance to carry everything out and in. They have a point. I give up. I’ll just take my snack out to the hammock for some peace and quiet later.

2. My hair is wild. When I was a teenager I envied the girls with long, straight hair they could part in the middle and let hang. Blonde was the most painful to behold. They probably ironed it. In my twenties I once tried a perm. Beyond ridiculous. When I get a haircut now, it looks satisfactory for exactly 2.316 days and then it is wild again. Maybe I should try a buzz cut.

3. Feeding your kids veggies guarantees diddly-squat. I did a good job of putting fruits and vegetables in front of my kids. I really did. The range was limited, but they ate them. Every day. Now they don’t. They just remind me they’re over 18 and stuff more carbs in their mouths.

4. My backyard is an albatross. When we bought the house it looked like landscaping. What did we know? We were from flat Illinois and thought a hill in our yard was exciting. It wasn’t long before we discovered the shortcuts that we live with now in a crumbling state creeping toward the house.

5. My dream of being of being a novelist came late. I sometimes wonder what might have been if I had tried more seriously, say, 20 years ago. I tell myself I should have worked harder. But that’s not where life took me. I’m here now, though.

• What do you have to accept? How do you respond when things don’t turn out the way you imagined?