If there’s anyone you can safely turn to for some sage life advice, it’s always the elderly. Your granny and granddad who’ve been married for sixty years, the little old lady who walks her dog at the same time every morning, the sweet old man who remembers the second world war like it was just yesterday; these guys have been there, done that and have amassed quite the collection of t-shirts. As we make July our month for happiness, we thought it was high time we compiled our favourite pearls of wisdom, straight from the mouths of these worldly individuals.
Do take a moment to share yours in the comments section below. Some of what you’ll find here was shared by IMAGE.ie readers on Facebook, some were passed down to us from our own advisories and some were originally shared by Regina Brett, who, when faced with a cancer diagnosis, wrote down 45 things that life had taught her. They soon went viral. Take even half of these on board and you’ll find life a little easier.
1. Frame every so-called disaster around this question: ‘will it matter in five year’s time’? – Regina Brett
When it comes to day to day dramas and the things we lose sleep over, almost none of them have a particularly long shelf life though we torture ourselves nonetheless. Decide what’s worth getting fussed about and take the rest in your stride.
2. ‘My mum used to always say ‘It will all blow over’ if something went wrong and to this day I always pause when things are tough and remind myself of it. Minor, but it always works, and she was right!’ – Eimear Fitzmaurice
3. ‘Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.’ – Regina Brett
Why do we fear old age? To live a long life and, hopefully, live a life with a partner, is a luxury, not something to dread. As Daniel in PS, I Love You said: “We’re so arrogant, aren’t we? So afraid of age, we do everything we can to prevent it. We don’t realize what a privilege it is to grow old with someone. Someone who doesn’t drive you to commit murder or doesn’t humiliate you beyond repair.”
4. But if you are concerned with growing old, ‘always moisturise your hands; they give away your age.’ – Lauren O’Toole
5. “Loose lips sink ships” – Charlie Byrne’s Nana Moore
The tendency to gossip comes easy, but almost always at a cost.
6. We often think our problems are the worst problems but in reality, if we threw everybody’s problems into one big pile, we’d grab ours straight back.
7. Something almost all of our grandparents instilled in us: ‘What’s for you won’t pass you’.
Try to take defeat with a knowing acceptance. If it were meant to be, it would have been. Surrendering your insecurities and worries to fate makes every blow a little easier to take.
Craving more life advice from the elderly? Watch Riyadh Khalaf’s gorgeous video for more…
8. “No post-mortums. Accept your differences, try to understand where they’re coming from and move on. Life’s too short for holding grudges and digging up details of the fight.” Sinead McDonald’s Nana Bridie.
9. Open the bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion. What could be more special than today?
‘A friend of my granny’s lost her husband recently and she always says to us younger couples to do everything you want to do together now. Having a pile of money saved is useless to you when you’ve reached your 80s and have no-one with whom to share it. She said she hasn’t got much in the bank now but has 60 years well spent with her husband so has no regrets!’ – Fiona Carty
10. “When growing up and losing friends or growing apart and thinking, ‘but we’ve been through so much together?’ my mom would say “sometimes the only thing you have in common is your past” and it’s so true.” – Rachel Baldwin
11. “Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe” – Niamh Devitt
That one’s pretty self-explanatory.
12. “On people wrecking your head…”Don’t educate them”” – Clara Woolhead
13. “Paper never refuses ink” – a favourite of my mother. Don’t write anything down that you’re not prepared to stand by, no matter how wrong you are.” – Darragh Doyle
14. “Invest your money in only two things – shoes and a bed. As when you’re not in one, you’re in the other”. – Sinead Burke (aka Minnie Melange)
15. “Be like a fly up a chimney and suit yourself” – Priscilla Kotey
It’s ok to be a little selfish from time to time.
16. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about. – Regina Brett