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The Little Things

By Jason Marshall

The key to remaining youthful? Your sense of humour

Remember in the early 80s when magician David Copperfield made the Statute of Liberty disappear?

We all looked on in awe as POOF! It vanished before our very eyes.

Impressive in retrospect, but times change. Fast forward 40 years, and we’re all David Copperfield. At least when it’s time to buy gas and groceries.

We make our paycheque vanish with the simple tap of a bank card. Abracadabra!

Everything has a steep price tag in today’s world. To the point where anytime someone offers a deal, or something free, we’re skeptical. We’ve been conditioned to be wary, because the world is full of people trying to pull a fast one.

Well, you can trust me.

There’s no charge for my guidance. No strings attached. I don’t need your SIN. Or your PIN. Or you to send me pre-paid gift cards. You certainly can, but it’s not required.

Legend has it that famed explorer Ponce de Leon travelled halfway around the world to find the fountain of youth. Fun fact: he set out on his voyage at the same age I am today.

So here is my sage advice on staying young. Like me, it’s really quite simple.

Humour.

Humour is the key to remaining youthful. Never lose your sense of humour. Laugh at life. At situations. Laugh at yourself. And if you’re a gambler and have a comfortable couch, laugh at your spouse.

People have long said you’re only as young as you feel. They’re close.

It’s more accurate to say you’re only as young as you act. In my case, I’m barely of legal age to drive, and I can’t order a beer in Quebec.

Here’s how my brain works.

As you age, you’re going to lose things.

Your hair. Your patience. Perhaps your marbles. And for sure your computer password.

You’ll also lose your tolerance for BS. And the filter between your brain and your mouth. Going hand in hand with filter loss will be volume control in public. You’ll begin to say what’s on your mind no matter the situation. And regardless of who is within earshot.

Your hearing will disappear. At least the ability to hear the “click, click” sound of your left turn signal as you motor along the highway.

Also gone will be the capacity to buy running shoes any colour other than white.

You’ll lose track of who is on top of the music charts, and tolerance for any conversation about how that noise today is considered country music.

You will lose the ability to read without glasses. You’ll lose weight. And devastatingly enough for those of us who already struggle to reach things on the top shelf, you’ll lose height.

You’ll also lose interest in what others think about you. This will include your fashion sense. You’ll suffer the loss of the keen eye that shows you black knee-high socks with sandals, and an obscenely high belt line, are definite no-no’s.

You’ll also lose touch with the latest slang. You’ll still use the word “cool” to describe things you perceive as cool. You’ll also be told those things aren’t cool at all. And using the word cool is no longer cool.

You’ll lose the ability to stay awake for an entire movie. In fact, you’ll no longer be able to sit on, or get up from, your couch without making grunting noises. And you’ll lose the TV remote daily.

You may also lose your memory. And with that, differentiating between what happened and what you’ve made up. Did you really walk 12 miles to school every day through four feet of snow, even in June? And was it actually uphill both ways?

You’ll lose the power to go around the corner to the store for milk without writing a reminder note. And trust me, you’ll lose the note. Then you’ll eventually find the note, but inevitably lose your car keys.

And even though you won’t remember simple tasks for more than a few minutes, you’ll remarkably recall useless information such as Big Macs having two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, all on a sesame seed bun.

Now, where was I?

Oh yeah. Never lose your sense of humour. It’s vital to staying young.

To quote my dear friend Leo Lavoie, a newspaper columnist for many years, “don’t worry about growing old, some people don’t get the chance.”

Embrace life as you age, with smiles and laughter. And don’t forget the little things. They make all the difference.

Jason Marshall has been a writer and journalist for more than 30 years, and is an on-air host and station manager at Valley Heritage Radio just outside of Renfrew, Ontario. And he’s truly a big kid at heart. You can email him anytime at jason@valleyheritageradio.ca