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October 10, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Peas and Queues – Auntie Sharon on How to Live a Good Life

Don’t be an arsehole. It’ll come back to bite you. I don’t believe in karma, but I do think that Wellington and New Zealand, and even London, are really small, and the more people you piss off the more likely you are to have awkward moments every day.

Surround yourself with people who like you for who you are. Cut the shitty, negative, time-sucking people out of your life. Think about distancing yourself from those you’re a little too eager to impress.

Stop smoking. It’s an awful sign of weak character and it’s fucking expensive. You can stop smoking pretty easily if you just decide that you want to do it. All your previous attempts failed because you didn’t really want to, you just thought you should. You need to want to be a non-smoker.

Count your lucky stars. I had a friend called Catholic Carol, who would admonish me when I was whinging too much and then make me recount all the things I was thankful for in my life. It irritated me, but it helped me put things into perspective and remember how lucky I was to have what I have.

Have a laugh at yourself. You’re ridiculous. Look at that funny nose on your face. And don’t get me started on genitals and falling over in public. You’re a beautiful, unique person, but don’t take yourself too seriously.

Go dancing. Or something else that makes you feel good. I’m not a great dancer, but it makes me feel fucking good to shake my arse to ‘80s music. Find that thing that you can go do with your friends that doesn’t require money, booze or travel. Life’s hard and sometimes you don’t have any of those things but still need something to pick up your spirits.
Take calculated risks. There may come a point in your life when you realise the full consequences of everything you do and say, and aware of how fucked life is, and you are so worried and anxious about it all that you stop leaving the house. So I’m told. You have to keep taking risks, otherwise life stalls. Not stupid risks like you did when you were 16, but calculated ones. Think it through, are your worst-case scenarios that realistic? Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. But you gotta keep going.

Back yourself. The most amazing and successful people I know are the ones who thought they could do it, and also convinced everyone else of the fact. Even if you’re faking it, confidence pays off.

Get to know your parents. They’re going to die one day. Gulp. Best you emotionally prepare yourself for the fact now. But in the meantime, quit your secretive teen angst act and talk to them like people. Find out about all the stuff that’s happened in their life, all the dirty family secrets, what their opinions are on stuff, what you were like as a kid, what they were like as parents, everything that you won’t be able to find out once they’re gone.

Find a job you’rE happy in, and then figure out what to do with it. For the first couple of years out of uni, you’ll just be stoked you have a job. Cash, whoop! But after that you have to look critically at it and think, can I be happy doing this day and day out for the next five to ten years? If you’re suffering in it, do something about it. Don’t just sit there whinging. Work is a hard reality of life, but it doesn’t have to cause dread and angst every time you wake up and have to go there. You deserve to be one of the people who think their job is awesome.

Learn from your mistakes. There will be many of them. Just try not to repeat them.
Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think. Love Auntie Sharon.

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