Life can be serendipitous at times can’t it? My next guest in the Ageing Well, Living Well series is my very good blogging friend, Debbie Harris from Deb’s World. When Deb sent her post to me a few weeks ago I had it scheduled to be published today. Little did we both know that since she wrote her article, the world has been thrown into chaos, confusion and panic with the onset of the COVID-19 Corona virus.
Whilst Deb wrote her thoughts before the pandemic, it is perfect timing because we do need some help finding joy in these difficult times. Deb has been going through some very difficult times over the last year and it was lovely to catch up with her recently for a more joyous occasion – the birth of her grandson. I hope Deb’s thoughts provide some support to you and don’t forget to pop over and visit her blog to say ‘hello’
Finding Joy during times of negativity and sadness
Thanks, Sue, for the opportunity to share my thoughts on Ageing Well, Living Well with you and your readers. It’s always a pleasure to join you. I think you are such an inspirational and caring friend to have.
Random thoughts on negativity, sadness and joy
I went to a funeral this week for a friend’s mother, who was 92 and passed away quickly and painlessly. Despite her age it was still a sad occasion, especially for my friend and her family.
Among the lovely tributes, was this constant message –
June did not have a bad word to say about anyone.
To have lived for 92 years and be known for not saying a bad word about anyone filled me with deep sadness.
Sadness for the world today.
It seems to be all too easy for negativity to fester these days, we are encouraged to be kind and caring but just look at the comments on news stories, social media, newspapers, magazines – people are all too quick to jump in with negative, mean, nasty comments.
They will tell you they are just sharing their opinion and have the right to do so, but are they merely sharing their opinion? In many cases they are making mean derogatory comments, about a person or an issue they know little about. I have been involved in this situation this week and it was awful.
All it does, for me anyway, is turn me off reading any further and makes me feel jaded and sad.
The phrase Haters Gonna Hate comes to mind.
WHAT DOES HATERS GONNA HATE MEAN?
Haters gonna hate is an informal way to express consolation, voice encouragement, or dismiss criticism. The phrase implies that criticism says more about the critic, or “hater,” than the person being criticized, i.e., that they are making judgements out of jealousy or their own negativity.
One of my mother’s favourite sayings to us as children, and even now, is
“If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all”.
Maybe more people these days need to be reminded of these words of wisdom.
Constant negativity can take its toll on our mental health and we need to be aware of it.
It’s not a matter of being positive all the time but being aware of the effects of being inundated by negative, rude and dismissive comments and stories. Turning off from the world isn’t an option so we need to have some boundaries in place.
I’ve always been a sensitive person and I’m finding as I get older, I take things to heart even more. Maybe I’m not as confident as I like to think I am, maybe I’m pretending at times that all is well when it’s not.
I know I’ve been upset lately at injustices, discussions on the changing climate, local government issues but I don’t want to become a grumpy old lady, so I have to balance this out with some fun stuff.
That’s where my quirkiness comes in. My love of jumping in puddles, jumping for joy, telling funny stories but laughing before I get to the punch line, blogging for fun and sharing inspirational quotes, wearing lots of orange, being excitable and enthusiastic!
I found a great phrase for us midlifers recently – JOY – which stands for Just Older Youth. I think it’s a Japanese saying that applies to over 65-year olds and even though I’m not quite 60 yet, I’ll still include myself in this group!
Isn’t it perfect? Rather than being a Grumpy old Lady I’ll happily be a JOY J
As Brene Brown says:
Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience. Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.
A joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together.
And so I have turned from being sad and negative into being joyful.
But I still wish there were more people in the world like my friend’s mother, those who never say a bad word about another person, because that would bring joy to the world!
Thanks for having me.
Debbie is an award winning Australian midlife, travel, adventure and lifestyle blogger who has a smile named after her – the ‘Debbie Smile’.
A young retiree, after being made redundant from her 22 year career of managing educational programs for inmates in a men’s correctional centre, she thought she’d have loads more time for reading, cycling, blogging and travelling, but she’s discovering that life is busier than ever! Whether it’s book club, movie club, volunteering with Rotary and Rotary Youth Exchange programs or simply catching up with friends, life is never dull when Debbie is around!