Life Advice From an Unqualified Source (Me)

Psychology Today pops up on my phone regularly. The titles draw me in, the same way California middle schoolers are drawn to the Kardashians. (I am proud to say I’ve never seen a single episode.)

I sometimes enjoy the Psych articles. Nothing is perfect. The primary dissatisfaction garnered, for me, is that after I’ve seen the clickbait I feel angry because what I read, I knew. This is all the same common-sense bullshit material rearranged for centuries — many ideas written by Thales (c. 624-c. 545 B.C.E.), the “first philosopher” — but rewritten, using a different font and modern English.

I suppose that when you’ve reached my age, if you read and write, there are few surprising aspects of human nature. Here is my profound quote of the day: “Life is like a refrigerator, (if you live alone.) You get back what you put in.” You may cite me. That’s all you’ll ever need to know. Stop searching for a lazy-man miracle.

Off the top of my head, without forethought, here is a story I’d write for ‘Psychology Today,’ if they were to pay me:

Five Lifestyle Habits of a Happy Person:

  • Be thankful for what you have.
  • Freeze, like freeze dancing when the music stops. Appreciate the moment you are in. This advice goes back to the dinosaurs, who understood that you never know what tomorrow brings, or when a meteor might hit your crib.
  • Enjoy the journey. Have ambitions, and the determination not to give up on your dreams, but revel in the ride. Whether or not you achieve your goals, laugh at yourself, but laugh more at individuals more fortunate than you.
  • Have empathy. Give to others without losing yourself. Don’t be a doormat to the users and manipulators in the world, but don’t let them tarnish the joy of helping people in need.

Now that I’ve written my off-the-cuff advice, I see where I can improve myself. Math. That was four things. You’ll never achieve the five lifestyle habits of a happy person if you can’t count to five. I am doomed to self-pity.

On this day, December 9, the Psychology Today clickbait that reached my news feed, was posted on December 5, but took four days to travel to me via the World Wide Web. This is it:

3 Key Elements of a Fulfilling Life (I clicked on it.)
“Antecedents, elements, and sources of a fulfilling life.”

First, I look up “antecedents.” I’m not happy when I have to search a word because I know several of them… words. Anyway, you can never know too many words, I suppose, so I hold my arthritic thumb down on the word, then slide it over to the arrow to “look up.” By now, my thumb is cramping up, but I have the tenacity to learn that “antecedent” is related to ancestry. Hmm. I move to my app and get the same answer, “ancestry.” That doesn’t work with the title. I check my thesaurus and find that in it’s most abstract usage, “antecedent” is a synonym for “precursor.” This is a stupid use of the word, and I can’t get past it. It is barely, no, it is not at all appropriate in the sentence. That is my (humble🤨) opinion. What the f*ck is it doing in that sentence? I’m done. Read it yourself.

So, how are you guys handling the holiday stress? I’m doing great!

Okay, I’ve calmed down and come up with a number five for my list:

  • Enjoy all the words, even stupid words that some misguided paid writer playing with a thesaurus misused.

5 thoughts on “Life Advice From an Unqualified Source (Me)

  1. Very entertaining Lydia, and also great advice. I am a fellow pedant (I’m not proud of it). Have you read Lynne Truss’ Eats, Shoots & Leaves? The zero tolerance approach to punctuation. Highly recommend, it is quite hilarious and makes me feel better about my affliction. My Thesaurus is one of my favourite books and always nearby.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the suggestion. I have not read it, but just found it on Amazon. It’s in my budget, so I’ll let you know what I think. I see she has a follow-up book called Eats, More, Shoots & Leaves. They both look cute. Maybe I’ll check the library before I decide. 😉 I love my thesaurus too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t read the follow up, I’ll check it out. Thank you. If I don’t hear again from you before Christmas (I am keeping my head in the sand and hoping it will go away), I wish you and your family a lovely one.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You are always an inspiration to me. Every time thy pen touches scroll, I slam to my knees & see the goddess of wisdom standing before me, as in a glowing telepathic vision, murmuring priceless guidance. I dare say no more!

    Liked by 1 person

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