Imiss the old desk diary. I miss the promise of the year ahead sitting next to the computer; I miss the feeling of accomplishment that peeling the days from the Rolodex gives, and I miss the proverbs that interrupt daily life with a message from eternity. Digital diaries don’t give you life’s meaning in a pithy line. They’re just good for beeps that turn the day into a progression of chores. So, let’s put inspiration back into our days and start with a few of these:
Stay friends with your kids: you never know when your smartphone will go awry.
Never let an idea fade away. Play with it until it gets tired or you do.
Start every day with a feeling of gratitude, even if you end it with a feeling of ineptitude.
Never try on swimsuits. Trust your eye, select one size larger and wear it with pride. Remember, there are no mirrors on the beach.
If you drop the ball, ask yourself why you picked it up in the first place.
When people talk of these troubled times, flick through the pages of a history book and remind yourself of how troubled times used to be.
Planting a tree is an act of love for the next generation, not an act of revenge on today’s neighbours.
Never trust your enemy when he’s making a mistake, as Napoleon Bonaparte said of an 1805 battle. And never stop filming when your kids make bloopers.
Buy the best house you can afford, drive the worst car you can get away with and choose the superannuation fund that advertises the least.
Aim for a full reading life and an empty library.
Love yourself but love others more. If you’re really cranky, give yourself a day pass from loving anyone.
Protect your skin, it’s the biggest organ in your body. Or maybe it just looks that way in my mirror.
In fact, mirrors are a bad choice of decor. Avoid them in loungerooms, shop windows, phone cameras and car sun visors. Allow one in the bathroom for a daily reckoning.
Heed the wise counsel of others but, remember, wise counsel has yet to be found in a social media feed.
Use sunscreen, especially if you’re just going into the office. You’ll feel like it’s the weekend.
Change your look occasionally. Wear the new gear with pride and if you catch sight of yourself in a shop window, ask yourself, do I like the look of that person?
Wash whites separately from colours. When you get sick of this, ban white from your wardrobe. It makes you look fat anyway. Not that we’re looking in mirrors again.
Travel with an open mind, a half-full wallet and an empty diary.
Own a pet once in your life. It will make you feel more human. But don’t make the pet feel human.
You may not believe in God but don’t think you’re superior to those who do. Remember, they’ll live longer than you and they just may feel a little happier about their last few hours in this world.
Every so often read comments from writers you know you don’t agree with.
Have a varied diet but don’t forget old favourites. Kale may come and go. Avocado may capture a generation. But there’s nothing more comforting than food you once took to school.
Take risks, as long as they don’t have dire consequences. Don’t gamble, the consequences are inevitably dire.
Floss at least three days before you visit the dentist. Give up alcohol at least a week before the blood test. Start an exercise regime before your 30th birthday. Never let yourself get obese, it is too hard to reverse.
Don’t take health advice from people who don’t have initials after their names.
Use your smart devices but don’t let them use you.
And, finally, start each day like it’s a fresh sheet of paper, end it like a story and don’t let the beeps distract you from what you really want to do. gmail.com