No need to wait for old age to search for happiness


In the late Nineties I was PR consultant for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards when Prince Edward took over the main duties of chairman from Prince Philip.

For six months I turned up at Windsor Castle each week to meet with the Princes and Sophie Wessex and a lot of rather stuffy courtiers.

Indeed, I met the Duke, and the Queen several times and found them to be similar to my own parents in their devotion to each other.

Although my father was born the same year as the Queen he passed away nearly ten years ago and my darling mother before him.

The Duke and Queen certainly have longevity on their side.

But does age bring wisdom?

I read this recently and it has given me hope.

Anon: I asked a friend who has crossed 70 and is heading towards 80 what sort of changes she is feeling in herself?

She sent me the following:

1. After loving my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children and my friends, I have now started loving myself.

2. I have realised that I am not Atlas. The world does not rest on my shoulders.

3. I have stopped bargaining with vegetable and fruit vendors. A few pennies more is not going to break me, but it might help the poor fellow save for his daughter’s school fees.

4. I leave my waitress a big tip. The extra money might bring a smile to her face. She is toiling much harder for a living than I am.

5. I stopped telling the elderly that they have already narrated that story many times. The story makes them walk down memory lane.

6. I have learned not to correct people even when I know they are wrong. Peace is more precious than perfection.

7. I give compliments freely and generously. Compliments are a mood enhancer not only for the recipient but also for me. And a small tip for the recipient of a compliment, NEVER turn it down, just say thank you.

8. I have learned not to bother about a crease or a spot on my shirt. Personality speaks louder than appearances.

9. I walk away from people who don’t value me. They might not know my worth, but I do.

10. I remain cool when someone plays dirty to outrun me in the rat race. I am not a rat and neither am I in any race.

11. I am learning not to be embarrassed by my emotions. My emotions make me human.

12. I have learned that it’s better to drop the ego than to break a relationship. My ego will keep me aloof whereas, with relationships, I will never be alone.

13. I have learned to live each day as if it’s the last. After all, it might be the last.

14. I am doing what makes me happy. I am responsible for my happiness, and I owe it to myself.

You can be happy any time. You don’t have to wait to be 60 or 70 or 80. Start today.

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Art: Laura Wolf