My mother is an astonishing person. She grew up in a small town, never went to college and worked as an office clerk at a factory for 40 years. She has endured loss and hardship. She supported my father in sickness and in health for more than 60 years of marriage. All this, and I've never heard her complain about one dang thing, or carry a bad mood, or dispense unwanted advice, or say something negative about another person. Now in her 80's, most people think she's a spry 70. My sister's girlfriends all love her. She's 25 years senior to them, but she fits right in with the "young and beautiful" girls party club. My mother shows me how to live happy by doing so herself. I don't always model the "start-by-being-a-good-person" very well, but seeing the bright side and no complaining part are fairly built-in. I decided to write a list of what might be her unwritten decalogue [a list of ten rules or maxims to live by; originally, if capitalized, meaning the Ten Commandments]. I find the list inspirational, serving as a testimonial to my mother and her adorable character.
Regret and worry have little use in life.
Complaining to others is like coughing on them - better to spread joy than germs.
If your grown children are your friends, you've lived a very good life.
Life isn't easy at times, but do what you can for now.
Realize people are not going to change themselves to suit you.
Never bring uninvited advice to a party. [The reason she'd never write this decalogue]
Keeping the family peace is worth any part you have in it.
Dance no matter what others may think, or what you think of yourself.
The bright side is knowing there's always something to be thankful for.
Family is life; to love and to cherish, till death do us part.