Advice to help you along

Ed Smith
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The wind and snow of the last few days remind us that summer is almost here.

For many of us, the long and protracted summer season is when we become most alive. Even those among us who enjoy dashing through the snow in a one-arse open sleigh and freezing our butts off, watching the kids playing minor hockey or putting off their skating shows in the stadium, would rather be lying on the Northern Bay Sands in a heat wave.

However, fullness of life will not come to us simply because it’s summer. One has to prepare oneself to take advantage of all the opportunities that present themselves for maximum enjoyment.

In order to help you, my faithful readers, to adequately prepare yourselves for either righteous or riotous (your choice) living in the summer of 2013, I have prepared for you some helpful hints.

I have to admit these are not my own. I found them in something called Healthy, Active Living entitled “10 Ways to Get More out of Life.” Naturally I modified them for my own purposes and for you in the summer season.

Understand that these were intended for mainlanders and have to be taken with a grain of salt for normal use.

First (according to them) you get more out of life if you have friends.

Well, of course! When you get in trouble, who else can you turn to? Whose car can you borrow when yours is in the garage for two weeks?

Who always has a spare $20 bill in his pocket and will let you have it if you want to treat a young girl to a double-double at Tims?

And who can always be depended upon to lie through his teeth for you if you will do the same for him, and of course you will. That’s what friends are for.

The second may surprise you: always say yes.

Obviously, this one was not intended primarily for women, although given some women one sees on television these days, not to mention the street, one can never be sure.

The idea, I think, is never to back away from doing new and exciting things, preferably things you always wanted to do but could never muster up the courage to try.

Life, they are saying, will be much more complete and infinitely more enjoyable if you say “yes” to every new opportunity that comes your way, so enter into it enthusiastically and with joyous abandon.

This helpful hint, however, had a rider, or perhaps a little warning which made me pause in the middle of my plans. Be careful, they said, not to do anything that could be considered immoral or illegal. Now they tell you. There went 95 per cent of my ideas. I had to drop another four per cent because of the illegal thing.

The third helpful hint is downright strange: always take the good bits.

That required a little explanation. Evidently what they meant was that when you enter into new experiences you won’t always enjoy every aspect of it. There will always be some things you won’t like.

Forget those and concentrate on what you do like. Then they offered this as an example of what they mean (you can look this up the Internet for yourself): if you’re away from home, do things you can’t do at home, especially those that will “wind up” your partner.

If that’s not exact, it’s close enough.

So, what does it mean? Is “wind up” Albertan for “turn on”? And are we talking about the partner out there, or the partner back home? So many questions. So few answers.

Perhaps it means to “finish with,” as to wind up a job. That doesn’t seem like a very good idea, especially for all those people who work away from home and would never think of “winding up” a partner. I don’t know who puts those things together, but I think it might be a very good idea to consider them carefully, perhaps with a word of prayer. Otherwise, you might “wind up” old and alone. Serve you right, too.

It just occurred to me that there are 10 of those helpful hints and I’ve barely touched on three. Perhaps I can get the editor to do a series. Perhaps not. I’ll just have to choose two or three others that seem most interesting..

I chose this next one because you have to think about it a bit. It’s suggested you should try to visualize where you expect to be in 10 years and then ask yourself at that time if you’re happy with the risks you took 10 years before to make your life more meaningful and full.

For me, it all depends where I am in 10 years. If I find myself writer-in-residence at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary on the shores of beautiful Quidi Vidi Lake, I may have cause for some regrets. I may not be that happy with what I decided. On the other hand, if I’m in heaven, I obviously did something right, so Hallelujah!

Do I have time for one more? One very quick and simple method of making your life complete and joyful. So help me, this is what it says:

Get rich.

That was it. No further explanation and no elaboration. Simply get rich.

Now, I’m all for getting rich. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about that or plan for it in my youth. So, now I either have to rob a bank, win a lottery or marry for money. The first one is illegal. I’m not lucky enough for the second. I’m too old for the third.

Let me give you some much more sensible advice to carry you through not only the summer months but all the months to come after.

Give to the world the very best you can, and chances are you’ll get kicked in the teeth.

Give to the world the best you can anyway.


Ed Smith is an author who lives

in Springdale. His email address is

Geographic location: Quidi Vidi Lake, Springdale

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