Thursday, 11 April 2013

Life's too short

I wrote once about all the things that aren’t worth wasting time on, things that don’t inspire or enliven me but just get me down. They still seem very true, so I thought I’d repeat them. Yes, life’s too short to:

Pretend I'm someone I'm not. It's so easy to put on an act in response to what others expect of me, and hide my real self. But all it does is make me feel false and cowardly. It also leaves people with a phoney idea of who I am.

Exhaust myself in a gym. Natural forms of exercise like hill-walking are more fun and more scenic. Struggling with machines in a sweaty gym is totally artificial and not at all essential for my health.

Listen to moaners. The hours I've wasted listening to people moaning away about their workplace, their neighbours and their relatives. I prefer to spend my time with people who enjoy life rather than moan about it.

Think about the Royal Family. I couldn't care less about the Royals. They're just a bunch of parasites sponging off the rest of us and giving little in return. It's about time they did some real jobs. How about plumbing?

Idealise politicians. I no longer kid myself that politicians who promise a bright new future mean what they say. I've seen too many false dawns and blighted communities to be convinced any more.

Bear grudges. Better to let bygones be bygones rather than brood over old grievances that will never be put right. Yes, we all get treated badly from time to time, but simmering over it for years only makes us sour.

Dwell on things I can't control. Likewise, there's no point in harping on about things I have little influence over. Like drink-driving or homophobia or religious fanatics. I concentrate on things I can actually do something about.

Keep the house spotless. I'm not one of those houseproud obsessives who clean and sweep non-stop. There's always going to be dust and grease marks somewhere. As long as the place is presentable, that's enough for me.

Shop till I drop. I can't stand shopping, I do it only when I absolutely have to. Spending an entire day in a shopping centre, buying things I don't need and being assaulted by endless Musak, is my idea of hell.

Worry about my failings. Like everyone, I make mistakes and I upset people. There's no point in beating myself up over it or wishing I was more perfect. I do what I can to put things right, and then I move on.


  1. A good list to live by, Nick. Though I will say that life is too short for me to live in a chaotic mess, so for my own sanity, I am constantly cleaning and purging. But that's my own list!

  2. Bijoux: I wouldn't say the house is a chaotic mess, it's actually quite tidy, but there may be a few dust bunnies and bread crumbs here and there....

  3. I would put gyms and diets in the same category: a waste of time.

    Walking is my form of exercise, taking the camera with me is encouragement to keep going a little further.

    I stopped worrying about my failings a long time ago, if people don't like me, then they are free to move on.

  4. Grannymar: I've never been on a diet either, unless you count downsizing my portions! And we all have failings, there's no point in getting in a sweat about them.

  5. I like the list.
    I would add "live in the moment."

  6. www: As opposed to living in the past or the future. Yes, I'd go along with that. The past is dead and buried and the future is mainly speculation.

  7. Ramana: I can well imagine you would be just as averse to all those things.

  8. I want to not think about the royal family but find a strange fascination about them that I detest in myself.

    Unspotless house - no problem.

  9. Liz: I find I have a strange aversion to them! The whole pomp and ceremony of the Royals - the special coach, the crown, the state opening of parliament etc - just strikes me as utterly absurd in this day and age.

  10. Bonsaimum: Ooh, this is all getting a bit too cosy for my liking. A bit of vociferous disagreement is required!

  11. It strikes me as absurd too, Nick! The idea of curtseying - and HM getting upset if you don't - is all abhorrent ... and yet I am fascinated.

  12. Liz: It's strange how we can get fascinated by the most unlikely things. I could name a few unlikely fascinations of my own....

  13. Mostly. Although for people who actually like going to a gym, why not? I've done the gym thing and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm happiest when I can change around what sort of exercise I'm doing to keep myself interested.

    And I'd say not just the royals, which are of course entirely irrelevant to me as an American, but any celebrity.

  14. Agent: Oh sure, if you like going to the gym, why not? Each to her own and all that.

    Yep, I'd add celebs as well. I couldn't care less about all the trivial details of their lives that other people are so obsessed by.

  15. It's a great list you have there. Once again, I find myself nodding.

    I loathe shopping, and I hate when people tell me I'm supposed to love shopping because I'm a woman and don't believe me when I say I don't. It's exhausting and dispiriting and yes, the muzak is soul-destroying.

    There's only one thing I disagree a tad about, and that's the gym equipment. I don't go to the gym, but we have bought a couple of bits of kit, and yes, they do get used. I am much more able to walk further on completely flat 'ground' (aka 'treadmill belt') than outdoors where the choice is traffic fumes or mud and rocks and rabbit holes. However, the dogs do get me out to do that part too - and I don't know what I'd do without them! Probably as little as possible!

    Plumbing? AHAHAHAHAHA!!

  16. Jay: I know, what is this persistent stereotype that all women adore shopping? Er no, a lot of women hate it.

    As I said to Agent, if you like going to the gym, fine. Different strokes for different folks....