“The secret to a happy life? Show up, ” participate, and don’t be a killjoy
shares her secrets to life (tip: don’t be a killjoy).
My mother, who has a strong game in gallows humour, is fond of saying: “Getting old isn’t much fun, but it sure beats the alternative!”
And it is remarkable, isn’t it, our will to live? The way you sometimes see a person making their way up the street, clearly bent or maybe even broken, painfully sticking their way along or curved over a walker withth a bag of groceries, not able to moveve at more than a shuffle – butt out, seeing the immediate world; orld; alive. It is worthy of respect. pect.
And therein lies the secret to life. Participation.on.
I have lived enough years now that I have gleaned a little bit of wisdom. And if you are not familiar with me, allow me to establish my life credentials. I am in that sweet spot of life; too old to be posing on Instagram doing a beer bong in a bikini, but young ng enough to not be on the news for ploughing into a chemist-shop window, having confused the accelerator for the brake.
Along the way, I have learnt a few things that have stood me in good stead. 1. If you have the choice to laugh, or get angry, choose the former. I’ve spent time in the company of angry people, and happy people, and I know which I prefer. While the world (and Twitter) likes to think tub-thumping anger is a more legitimate response than amusement, I disagree. Life will always throw up frustrations and injustices and annoyan annoyances. To tackle those with hu humour is a practised art. 2. Some Sometimes people “victimblame” because the victim is to bla blame. 3. Pan Pancake batter is always bett better made the night be before. So is bolognese sauce, cheesecake, school assignments, and anything involving a deadline. (Yes, editor.) 4. If you have a beef with so someone, never put it in wr writing. For while sticks and stones can break bones, word words have the power to wou wound soul-deep. Don’t leave a footprintfoo for anyone to mull over, or worse, brandish again against you in the future. 5. Wo Words of love, by contrast, shoul should be written, shouted, sung, a and engraved. Never be silentwsilent with your love. 6. On ho holiday, buy your souvenirs when yo you see them. Don’t say “I’ll com come back later,” because
mostly, you won’t. Or you’ll ruin your last day trying to retrace your steps to that sarong/candle/tooled-leather shop.
7. If it’s a dress-up party, dress up. If you’re at karaoke, sing. At a wedding, dance. Don’t be the killjoy. No one thinks you’re cool for not participating, they just don’t think about you. They’re too busy having fun.
8. Don’t sing, wear silly dress-ups, or dance like a fool, just because some idiot in a magazine tells you to.
9. Don’t refer to columnists as idiots. It’s not nice. Plus, as someone wiser than me once said: “Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.” 10. Don’t pick fights, period. Seriously, what is wrong with you? 11. Exercise every day. Or at least, every second day. 12. Make a new friend every year. 13. Above all, respect your elders. As a lovely older lady at my local op shop once said to me: “I have been a child, and I’ve been your age. You haven’t been mine.”
I believe she was on her way to the chemist shop.
“Words of love should be written, shouted, sung and engraved. Never be silent”