Adele Elliott: Don't worry, be happy

June 22, 2013 6:52:37 PM

Adele Elliott - adeleelliott@bellsouth.net

 

Health.com published an article this week by author Kate Lowenstein, giving nine tips on how to be happy. The editorial was about 1,500 words long. So, I will not try to duplicate it. I have, however, chosen some of the high points to paraphrase. 

 

"Buy some bliss." The commentary has many suggestions, such as "sightseeing in Ireland and jungle-roaming in Costa Rica." Really? If I could afford world travel, I would already feel a lot happier. Who is their target reader? I guess the theme is "money does buy happiness." Is anyone surprised? 

 

On a more reasonable scale, the author does suggest that those who planned a "Tuesday night dinner out were happier than those who spent their money on tangible goods." That, I get. I would rather have a meal at J. Broussard's than a lot of trips or other purchases I can think of. 

 

"Getting older." They're kidding, right? Getting older hasn't been fun since we reached legal drinking age. After that, it was all downhill. Yes, there are some high points along the way. The first home of one's own is a great moment ... if you don't think about the mortgage, the yard work, the leaky roof, the plumbing. OK, not so much fun. A new baby is fun, but not for those who have to change the diapers and deal with colic, all in the middle of the night. It might be a good idea just to get a doll. 

 

And then, there is really getting older, which includes arthritis, fatigue and some issues too embarrassing to mention. Yeah, a barrel of laughs. At least we have dementia to look forward to. Then, all our problems will be forgotten.  

 

"Love your commute." This might be something we can feel good about in the Golden Triangle. Commutes here mean traveling a mile or two, pulling up a few steps from our work, and never paying for parking. In many cities parking costs as much as your apartment rent. But "love" -- now that's hyperbole. 

 

"Forget self-improvement." Finally, one I can embrace! My mantra is to be as kind to myself as possible. Life slings enough poison darts at us every day. I do not believe in working out, and especially in running in the summer heat (unless, of course, I am being chased). Dieting is against my religion (Adeletheism). In fact, indulgence is a sacrament in my faith. God made me like this. Why improve? 

 

"Take credit for giving." The article says, "While giving to charity brings more happiness than spending money on yourself, our research finds that doing things for people ... makes you happiest ... " Doesn't this contradict the first piece of advice? I wonder if the author read her whole article. 

 

You may read the entire piece on CNN HEALTH, June 19, 2013. But, with this insightful recap, why bother? The bottom line is: Life is filled with lemons. Make lemonade with lots of sugar, and don't forget to add a shot of vodka.

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.