Thoughts on dealing with life

Published 10:02 am Friday, December 2, 2016

This piece is the result of the editor asking if I had written something I sent him for his amusement. It was about the exodus of folks to Canada. I responded that I was not skilled enough to write something that clever.

As I thought about it, most of what I give folks in little handouts is taken from bits and pieces of ideas that I have stumbled across. Sitting here looking at the folder that holds them all, a new thought did strike me: nearly everything therein is about dealing with life, coping, surviving, enjoying.

With that confession in mind, may I share some observations from my “thoughts” folder?

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I’m going to give them to you as I found them. I hope they are worth your time in reading them.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain. So sing as though no one can hear you. Love as though you have never been hurt before. Dance as though no one is watching you. Live as though heaven is on earth.”

“Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it, and if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy; they just promised it would most likely be worth it. Enjoy life; it has an expiration date.”

“Life is too ironic. It takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to appreciate silence, and absence to value presence.”

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. May you always have Love to share, Health to spare, and Friends to care.”

“Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that made you smile. Life ends when you stop dreaming; friends end when you stop sharing; love ends when you stop caring; and hope ends when you stop believing.”

“I’ve never seen better days, but I’ve seen worse. I don’t have everything I want, but I do have everything I need. I awoke with some aches and pains, but I woke up. My life may not be perfect, but I’m blessed.”

Those thoughts were all attributed to the great philosopher Anonymous, but they could easily have been written by an old lady in Ohio in a column for the Plain Dealer newspaper, summing up her ninety years. Let me share a few of her list of 45 conclusions about life:

“Frame every so-called disaster with these words — In five years, will it matter? However good or bad a situation is, it will change. You don’t have to win every argument; stay true to yourself. Don’t take yourself so seriously — no one else does. Your children get only one childhood.”

And my favorite of Miss Regina Brett’s wise words: “All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.”


TJ Ray is a retired professor of English at Ole Miss.