I have been speaking to local organizations and Senior Centers about “How to Create Ageless Joy.” The next two or three Billingsley Bullets will offer ageless joy suggestions.
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• Ageless joy starts early in the morning. When you wake up, set aside some quiet time for meditation or prayer before your first cup of coffee.
• Don’t turn on the TV or radio.
• Try to empty your mind of negative thoughts. Wipe out harmful emotions such as anger, revenge or jealousy. Let go of these “waste of time” emotions.
• If you spill your coffee or stub your toe on the bed post, do not assume your day will only get worse.
• When bad things happen in the a.m., it means you have experienced bad karma early, and the rest of your day will be OK. You have taken care of the bad karma early, and the future will only improve.
• When you go out to pick up your newspaper, count your blessings. You are able to walk and you can pick up the paper without falling over. You can see the blue sky, and you can hear the birds singing.
• A good cup of coffee awaits you as you read your paper and relax in your comfortable chair. Give thanks for your many blessings, and move forward.
• After breakfast, you may see or visit your friends. Friends have a lot to do with your ability to create ageless joy in your life.
• Are your friends supportive and optimistic? Do your friends encourage you? Are they supportive of your goals and values in life? Most importantly, are your friends worthy of your admiration?
If you agree or answer yes to the aforementioned statements or questions, you are on the way to creating ageless joy with assistance of valuable friends.
• My grandfather, Owen Billingsley, often told me, “Tell me who you run with, and I will tell you who you are.” Ageless joy would be difficult to achieve without good friends.
• Finding and maintaining ageless joy may very well require that you stay away from, or eliminate, certain types of people. Avoid people who want you to join their misery. The old adage that “misery loves company” is true. Miserable people want to talk, constantly, about their misery and how awful life and people are. They have little or no joy in their lives, and they are anxious to spread their doomsday philosophy. You can’t change their minds, but they will try to change your mind.
• To experience ageless joy, avoid people who have constant “drama” in their lives — often on a daily basis. The drama kings and queens seem always to expect and even relish uproar in their lives. One seemingly crisis after another occurs regularly; or at least they often make situations a crisis or an emergency.
• They often have an “ain’t life awful” attitude. “Why does everything happen to me?” is their favorite statement. These people never seem to find solutions to their problems before a new drama comes up — bigger than the last one.
• Start each day with a pleasant, quiet beginning. When you leave the house, visit with people who are upbeat, supportive, and add to your joy in life. Ageless joy is very possible, and it’s a lot more fun than misery.
Bob Billingsley is a columnist at the Mountain Democrat. His column appears bi-weekly.