Rehearsing Life by Bill Storie
“All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.”
I remember many years ago the minister in our church here in Bermuda would always say about life, “This is not a rehearsal” – and he was right. He was a deep-thinking man, regrettably no longer with us. But his wisdom and words linger on.
The fact is that none of us have actually travelled this road before so we can’t depend on years of experience and déjà vu to life’s journey – and especially to this retirement gig in particular. Certainly we can seek the advice of those older than ourselves, or watch television documentaries, or read books, or read Olderhood Blog, but the reality is that until and unless we feel the emotions and the hardship of life’s challenges up close and personal we can only rely on our imagination.
These day, so many people tend to look for the negative aspects of life and frankly allow those negative issues to control their life and dictate what to do next. Of course, there is no suggestion that we should only fixate on the positive issues and ignore the negative stuff – that would be foolish. There are indeed negative things that happen every day, but the point I’m making is that if we sift through the good, the bad and the ugly in our lives and solely grab hold of the negatives and throw away the good stuff, then we are letting our life be driven by bad things.
In other words the mix of uncertainty and negativity in our lives really does serve up a dish best served cold. A recipe for unhappiness methinks.
For example, this past weekend saw my football team (OK, soccer if you must) pull off an unexpected and huge win in a domestic competition back in my home country. In the run-up to the game there was a week of uncertainty and negativity about how we would play and frankly how much we would lose by. Thousands of people expressed millions of opinions about their fears and trepidations. After all we were playing our fiercest rivals, so the bragging rights were of gigantic proportions. Great if you win, deepest despair if you lose.
But the win turned the mood and depression before the game into euphoria and volcanic eruptions after the game. All thoughts of negativity and uncertainty were banished as if they had never existed. All of a sudden life took on new meaning, people were happy (well on one side of the fans divide), wives were treated with love and caring again, children were tolerated again, pets were fed, gardens were tended to, neighbors were greeted with joy, waitresses received tips again, politicians were listened to (well some anyway), everyone was happy again – the world wasn’t such a bad place after all.
And they say it’s just a game. Yeah right.
So the moral of the story is obvious. Support a football team that wins and life will be wonderful…!! Simple really.
Nah, seriously, seek the happy places and nice people in your life. The bad things will never go away certainly, but the way you react and handle them will make the difference between a happy retirement and a mere existence.
Life won’t always be peaches and cream but if when you open the fridge door you always reach for the sour milk then the peaches won’t taste so peachy.
See you next week.
By Bill Storie