Don’t let anything or anyone dampen the joy and happiness you get to experience in your later years.
Here are thirteen things I’ve worked to eliminate from my life. While I’ve been successful with some, I still have a ways to go to eradicate others.
- Gossiping. School was out years ago, and gossiping went with it. It’s so unattractive — let alone soul stealing — especially as elders of the community.
- Always being, or endeavoring to be, the “good” girl (or boy). We’re in the final act, folks. Now is the time to honor your obligations but, beyond that, do what pleases YOU! Even when it makes others scold you for not behaving how THEY think you should act/think/feel/believe.
- Letting your stories define you. Just because you’ve never been a great dancer doesn’t mean it’s too late to learn now and thoroughly enjoy yourself in the process. That was then, this is now. Go for it!
- Comparing yourself to others. “But her hair is so much thicker than mine,” or “They take vacations every year and we don’t.” There’s always someone with more or better than you. Appreciate the bounty of all that you are and all that you have.
- Putting things off. What are you waiting for? We are down to the last act. If you haven’t lost the weight, apologized for that thing you did or haven’t started that book you wanted to write, you better hop on and get busy.
- Living in the past. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest robbers of appreciating our lives everyday. How can you see, let alone celebrate, what you have in front of you in this day if you’re constantly reminiscing or angsting over the past.
- Doing everything yourself. One of the rewards of aging is that we have valid reasons for letting others do or at least help us get stuff done. Rod doesn’t need to wash every window in the house by himself anymore, and I don’t have to drive myself if my driving skills have lessened and I’m terrified. We can ask for help.
- Waiting for things to be perfect. I used to save the good dishes for company. I used to only wear the dress coat when I was going someplace fancy. I only splurged on an expensive meal as part of some reward or celebration. Don’t wait. You might not get the chance to experience something if you wait. Things are perfect enough right now for you experience the best.
- Not keeping your word. Young or old, keeping your word is a cornerstone of integrity. Remember the Four Agreements? “Be impeccable with your word.” I want to be the one others trust.
- Worrying about what other people will think or say about you. There will always be someone who disagrees with your words and actions. If coming from a place of honesty and compassion, you can do no wrong. Ignore the naysayers .
- Making the same mistakes expecting different outcomes. This phrase has become a cliche, but it’s true. Ask yourself, “Is this working for me?” If it isn’t, perhaps you need a different tactic to get a different result.
- Waiting for life to happen. Life will not come knocking on our door. If we shut ourselves away, it’s no surprise we’re alone and lonely. Release any constraints and go for what you want. YOU make the party!
- Complaining/focusing on everything that is wrong in life. It’s become acceptable to complain with others. It’s a form of socialization. As I’ve gotten older, however, I have little tolerance for chronic complainers. If I’m around it, I depart. If I’m doing it, I try to catch myself and zip it!
Can you tell I wrote this post while in one of my gorilla warfare moods? The force in my voice is directed at me. I have lots to learn from the above items.
One way to prevent any of them from crashing your party is to take one … just one a week. Write it down and keep it near you … where you work or relax or where you talk on the phone, use that note as a book mark, etc. It’ll serve as a reminder to not let that or anything bug you or steal your happiness.
Here’s to laughing lots and spreading the power of your smile!