There’s something weird about having turned a year older or when the next January is nearing. It’s filled with wishes, resolutions and the likes; it’s also about the what-might-have-beens and cudda-beens. I’ve often been asked if I’m also like most people. The answer is yes for the first part, not so much about the second.
This is the reason why I finally sat down to write this, my ten keys to staying happy and young. To have been blessed with best of things early in my life would be the most likely reason why I am like this. It’s also about being positive all the time. That’s mostly why I stay happy whatever the day, whichever part of the world I am in.
I’ve also been often asked how, despite being away from hubby a lot and being in a culture different from mine, I live fully by the ten keys to staying happy and young.
My answers are many.
Guiltless enjoyment, meaningful purposes and being surrounded by love. It’s also about loving who I am by coming to terms with who I really am, living simply and healthy, always expressing appreciation and sharing myself to others as well.
To make it simpler, I’ve made the ten keys to staying happy list. It’s my pleasure to share them with you now.
1. Saying “I love you” a lot. Our three boys often cringe at the overflow of verbal affection. My hubby likes it though. Mom and Pops sure do love hearing me tell them, even just over the phone or emails. My longtime friends do, too. While material stuff could speak for words at times, there’s no matching saying the magical three words. Saying I love you often and at every opportunity is a wonderful key to be happy and share that happiness with others.
2. Be in a love-filled place. Apart from our home, the best place where I am most loved is my tiny nook in the house. It has keepsakes from friends and family, tear-inducing photos, scrapbooks, my favorite stuff from the past like CDs and cassettes, books and even memorabilia from places and people. While our home is my safest place where love abounds, I have my own corner in the world where reminders of love are collected.
3. Stop minding numbers. This would be about staying young even as we do age. I’ve stopped worrying about each coming birthday and new year, I don’t freak out at the slightest increase in weight. When we treat unessential numbers and figures, we are liberated. Truly.
4. Live simply. Having less and still find myself settled, content, is truly an amazing feat. Back in Panama and the Philippines, my local friends expected our home to have the grand stuff most American families have. We don’t. We live with much less and for that, we have more time for each other. Just having one teevee, one for-everones-use PC and one for my work, and just one car made us different. And it made me happy. Growing up, my two teenagers often asked why we don’t own this and that. I explained why. It’s not the this-and-that which defines us as a family, or them as boys. Dealing with a simpler life should. They understood. In fact, they’re happier having more time for sports, learning local dances, language and songs, even learning crafts and skills others thought only mothers should!
5. Never stop learning. This totally makes me young, like a toddler learning to identify colors and master rhymes. When one desires to know, it gets them inspired and love life more. Once we learn, we are happy for the efforts and the achievement. So I keep learning. The latest would be social networking. A disciplined learning, by the way.
6. Have good friends. Not to be mean on other cultures, but Asians are good company to keep. Although my closest friends, apart from Mom, would be from Europe and the US, the past decade have been about keeping friends wherever we’re at. Having cheerful, happy, generous friends keep the spirits up. So I keep them, treasure them as well.And that’s why I have the Oh!SomeAngels with me as well.
7. Laugh more often. Thankfully, I always do. It’s the best medicine for me, and one of the best vitamins as well. The boys have gotten used to it so now I witness their humor, frolicking and fun as well. The usually-serious-from-work hubby breaks into laughter or causes one. I like throwing jokes, I like hearing them as well. I also laugh at myself. A lot.
8. Live healthy. Not much words needed here. Just eat right, sleep well, sweat out, think and live positive. It’s a basic to stay health. No compilation of tips, ways or keys to stay happy is ever without this wisdom. And rightfully so.
9. Cut guilt forever. Every choice in life mustn’t be with any hint of guilt. If it is, it brings us down. Guilt is the grouchy friend that dampens the spirit. Be free of guilt and you’re always happy.
10. Cry if you have to. My life hasn’t been perfect. It would make seven to ten books if I wrote about the episodes that brought heartaches, grief, disappointments and defeats. So I cried buckets. Then some more. Then I moved on from there. I let nature take it’s course because I’m human, after all. But I took the lessons and moved on. Because I am alive and I know that.
That’s about it. There are other ways to live a happy life, you probably have your share of keys to stay happy and young. It helps when you’ve listed them down. It’s gonna make you realize there’s so much in life to be happy about, ones that cause you to have a young outlook in life. And help you look young, look happy as well.