I recently received an advance reading copy of How to Be Miserable: 40 Strategies You Already Use, coming from New Harbinger (Raincoast) May 1. Author Randy J. Paterson is a psychotherapist practicing in Vancouver. Paterson outlines 40 specific behaviors and habits, which-if followed-are sure to lead to a lifetime of unhappiness. On the other hand, if you do the opposite, you may yet join the ranks of happy people everywhere!
This book struck a chord with me! Lesson 14 of 40 lessons is Construct Future Hells. For example – I went skiing last weekend. I had not been on skiis for over two years and I learned to ski – or a facsimile thereof when I was well-past my salad days i.e. over 30. So not really a natural sport for me! As much as I do enjoy the time spent outdoors in the fresh air whizzing down the hill, (but not too fast!) I was always relieved when the whole family survived the day – no broken bones or concussions!
So while packing up for a “relaxing” weekend away from household duties I imagined guess what – crashes with reckless snowboarders; broken bones; concussions; rides down the mountain on a stretcher attached to a racing skidoo etc etc.
As Paterson says : “ The future is always uncertain. It will probably be a mixed bag of good and bad, but most of your feared catastrophes will never happen.” And you know what – I did survive my ski trip as did everyone in my group and we had a great time too! The moral of the story: don’t waste your time constructing future hells!
Lorna aka Nancy Green (not!)