Yesterday, while driving around town doing errands, one of my favorite songs came up, "Summer of '69", by Bryan Adams, (2002).
Every time I hear that song, my husband reminisces of when he was a teenager and of how much fun he had, (blah, blah, blah). Most people reminiscence of " how good the old days were".
I understand that the older we get, the more responsibilities and stressors we acquire. Most of us get married, get a job, a house, have kids, and the bills just keep piling up and up! We usually spend more than what we have. Social pressures also pile up. How do we stop the madness?
First, don't look back. The past is usually not what we remember exactly. We remember it with today's point of view. Some of us think it was better than our present. Others think it was worse. Either way, it's tinted with life experiences.
Second, be grateful for what you have. This is the single most important step towards personal gratification and happiness. It's so unusual to find people who are grateful. It doesn't matter if they're rich, (they want to be richer, more powerful, "Donald Trump" anyone?)! If they're poor, sick or depressed, well, at least "they have an excuse"! But No! They don't! Just look around you and you will ALWAYS find someone worse off than you!
Third, never live above your means! If you don't have money to buy something, don't. This is your first step towards decreasing stress and anxiety. Remember the saying, save money for a rainy day? Well then do it! You never know what the future will bring, so save some money in case it's "bills" what you will get hit with.
Fourth, don't ever use a credit card, and I mean it! If you don't have money in the bank, those beautiful shoes, that you don't really need, stay in the store.
In my experience financial woes are the culprit of unhappiness. If you don't have food on your table and a roof over your head, most people get depressed (very understandable), and then sickness follows etc. However, I have a story to tell. When I worked in the Homeless Shelters as a Psychiatrist, I met "happy, content" homeless people versus "unhappy, bitter, depressed " ones. What made the difference? I realized that the happy ones, were content with their lives and enjoyed the freedom of being homeless, versus the unhappy ones always wanted more, (more Welfare, Food Stamps, more Section 8, etc. but not too willing to work for it). Yes, believe it or not, some people choose to be "homeless" and it's a lifestyle which they enjoy. Being content with what you have, makes a world of difference.
Back to "The best days of my life". The best day of your life should be today!
I'll never forget that USA Network TV episode of "Monk" the obsessive compulsive detective, (Monk and the Badge), when he is finally reinstated in the police force and decides to quit at the end. He says to his psychiatrists, during the therapy session, "Why didn't you tell me I was happy?" Monk had spent so many years believing that his past was so much better, that he could not enjoy his present at all.
Go out today and make this the best day of your life! Then tomorrow, should be your best day, and so on and so forth...