Life Is Too Short to Be Miserable

Life is too short.  Tom and I are dogsitting at John and Jackie’s house.  John and Jackie are in Hawaii and we are glad they are enjoying a vacation in a beautiful spot.  When we are at John and Jackie’s I like to put together jigsaw puzzles.  I have a hard time focusing on anything because it seems like the dogs require attention every 15 minutes or so.  And they have to go out about 100 times a day.  So puzzles are great because I can stop and start anytime.

Kira wants to know why I am not petting her

Jackie likes to buy me puzzles – and I like most of the ones she buys.  Recently she bought a puzzle that she thought would be fun for the two of us to work on together.  It is a murder mystery puzzle.  You read the story and then put the puzzle together to find out who the murderer is.  It sounded like fun.  Jackie read the story while I found the edge pieces.  Then we started working on the puzzle.  There is no picture included to help you decide where the pieces go, but at first we were okay without the picture.

After several hours, we had all the colored pieces in the 1,000 piece puzzle.  The only thing left were brown puzzle pieces.  Unfortunately, more than 3/4 of the puzzle is brown pieces.  There are different shades of brown and various embellishments, but I have a hard time seeing the dark brown.  Tom and John helped for a little while, then we left it for another day.  A week later, Jackie had not gotten any further with it than when I left.  Then she left for Hawaii, leaving me with the puzzle.

I started to work on the murder mystery puzzle, but after half an hour I hadn’t put in a single piece.  I got out a jelly roll pan and carefully placed the pieces we had together on it.  With the murder mystery puzzle out of the way, I could start on my candy shop puzzle with lots of fun colors and a big picture.  When Tom came in the room where I was working on the puzzle, he asked where the murder mystery puzzle was.  I showed him the jelly roll pan.  Then I said, “Life is too short to put together puzzles that aren’t any fun.”

Completed candy shop puzzle

I have been using that phrase more and more lately.  “Life is too short . . .”  Maybe it is my age.  I’m realizing I only have so many years left.  Consequently I am pickier about how I spend my time.  Being retired helps as well.  I don’t have to spend time doing things I don’t want to do just because they are part of my job.  Maybe it is learning to please myself instead of feeling like I have to please others.

Here are a few other things for which life is too short.

Life is too short to read a book that doesn’t pull me in.  I will read a book until I am 10% in (I mostly read books on Kindle).  If I don’t want to read further I stop.  I started to read a book recently and hated the main character.  After reading 10% of the book, I still couldn’t find any redeeming qualities so I stopped.  There are too many good books still waiting to be read.

Life is too short to cook.  I’ve never liked cooking.  The Instant Pot is helping me get more cooking done in less time but I still don’t like it.  Sandwiches and salads are nutritious and easy and I don’t have much to clean up afterward.

Life is too short to clean the bathroom.  Unfortunately, a dirty bathroom makes me very unhappy and life is definitely too short to be unhappy.  Cleaning the bathroom is one of those things I do because I know a little pain now will make life better later.  Same goes for avoiding sugar, getting in my 10,000 steps every day, and lifting weights.  I don’t always want to do it, but I always feel better because I did.

Life is too short to spend time with people who try to steal my happiness.  Again, being retired helps because I can just avoid people I don’t want to see.  Jesus told us we are supposed to love everyone, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a hostage to their misery.  I can be kind and loving and brief.

Life is too short not to see the people who give you joy.  When Tom and I get back to Ohio, I always try to pack in as many visits with friends and family as I can.  These are people I love and who love me.  We enjoy each other and seeing them brings me joy.  It is important to me to make time for them because I value what they bring to my life.  When I am deciding whether or not to make time for a particular person, I ask myself “If this person died next month, would I regret not seeing them this month?”  If the answer is yes, then I pull out the calendar and schedule a get-together.

I really like this quote from John Burroughs.  “I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.”  Exactly.  May every day be like that.

How about you?  What are your “life is too short” items?

Life is too short to be dull and miserable.  Get out and explore.  Love, laugh and enjoy the moment!