Living a boring middle age existence can be tough. You’re body starts to give out (have I mentioned my hip?), you start to get tired and people judge you by how grey your hair is (and during a Covid19 lockdown that can be very grey, shaggy and generally Einstein-ish indeed).
It’s easy at this point to become a sock-folding, Daily Telegraph reading Antiques Roadshow watching sloth. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with those things on their own, especially if they’re actually your hobbies. However if you find yourself looking forward to the next episode of Loose Women, and wishing you weren’t stuck in a boring middle age existence, you may want to pause for a moment’s thought.
In a previous article on happiness we introduced you to Don (in “how to be happy”). Don is the little man inside your head ensuring your mind and body do the things they’re supposed to do.
Living inside your skull and doing the mundane stuff you don’t even think about, Don deserves some excitement. He knows what excitement looks like. He’s looking after your imagination after all.
A boring middle age is all in your mind
In your imagination you can be whatever you want. You can be younger, fitter, funnier and more sociable. Playing with the buttons and knobs, Don can make you any of these things. Ring any bells? Then he probably already has.
Think of those times you danced in time to the music in your head? That was Don. Sung your favourite song (tunefully) in front of a packed crowd? Don. Told that super funny joke that made people laugh until their sides split? Don again. Made the best cup of tea ever? Yep, Don knows how to have a good time.
Too many times you override Don because you’re worried what people will think. He tried to get you going, but then you hit the “scared” override button and left him feeling miserable and a little bit bitter. I remember once being told to think of the worst that could happen, then halve that What would happen would be less bad than that. I went through a strange phase of touching other people’s tongues with mine at this point, which probably says something about people’s gullibility when listening to my nonsense as much as anything.
The funny thing is, you can be the person you want to be. The silly you. The fun you. You just have to listen to the little man who does all the work inside your brain. You just need to be more Don.
Be More Don
Sadly it may be impossible to turn the clock back. Actually there’s no “maybe” about it. It is impossible to turn the clock back. However it is possible to let yourself have “young” fun like you do in your imagination.
Let yourself be guided by the Don inside your head. Stop that boring middle age thought process. If you have a question over whether you should do something, ask yourself would it make Don happy? If you think it might make him smile you’re on the right track.
You may not actually be any younger, but for a while you’ll feel younger, and in reality what are we if not our feelings?
Don has a pretty vivid imagination. He likes a party atmosphere and may even be inclined to dance occasionally. His dancing might not be great, but effort and enthusiasm triumphs over rhythm every time.
So instead of sitting on the sofa miserably stuffing biscuits, think how you could be more Don. He works hard, but he also knows how to play hard too.
Playing hard doesn’t have to mean acid house benders with your mates. That would be a midlife crisis. No, playing hard can simply mean socialising. Not being afraid to be silly occasionally. Doing something invigorating. Releasing your inner Freddie Mercury.
So stop folding your socks and spending night after night in front of the TV. That won’t please Don. You need to get out there (subject to any lockdown restrictions obviously).
It might be an effort to begin with, but you’ll reap the rewards in the juices of happiness. And you’re not alone. You’re doing it with your inner Don. He knows what’s best. He knows how to have fun.
So go on. Try it. Be more Don.
Be more Don. How many times do I need to say it? But then again,it’s easier for me to say it than do it.
I’m off to take some advice from Don. Please support me in my journey. Banish boring middle age. Occasionally at least.