By Charlotte Latvala
Be truthful: You’re not where you imagined you’d be, some decades back. Because, at 20, you pictured yourself living in a Duran Duran video, or at least working at some cool job like Martha Quinn’s.
The reality is that you have a pile of bills, an unpredictably leaky roof, and eyesight so bad you need to magnify your screen to 140% just to check Facebook.
But there’s no cause for sadness. You can feel better about your underachieving ways without tiresome soul-searching. Try these shortcuts instead:
- Toss your college alumni magazine (subtitle: Bragging 101) as soon as it arrives.
- If you can’t bring yourself to throw it away, at least read the obituaries first. (In fact, read obituaries in general. No matter how bad things seem, at least you’re still alive!)
- Don’t hang out with anyone who seems more successful than you. Granted, this strategy may limit your social circle to that guy with the flip phone who sits in the corner at Starbucks all day, muttering to himself, but he’s probably really fascinating once you get to know him.
- Substitute pretentious terms for ordinary accomplishments. Dragged yourself out of bed? No, you carpe diem-ed, baby. Drove to the grocery store? Correction: You practiced another skill in your wheelhouse. Yelled at your teenager to take out the trash? Of course not! You empowered him to make good decisions.
- Read biographies of late bloomers. (Grandma Moses, Colonel Sanders, Abraham and Sarah are just a few of the old folks who kicked it into high gear later than everyone else.)
- Remind yourself, especially when the ATM is giving you an “insufficient funds” message, that money doesn’t buy happiness. Or love. (At least according to four very rich young men from Liverpool.)
- Spend an evening with someone who has two or three more kids than you do. If there’s anything that will make you feel fortunate, it’s other people’s obnoxious offspring.
- Post so many “throwback” photos on social media that people forget what you look like and think you’re 30 years younger than you are.
- Dig out your old copy of Rio and give it a spin, dancing just like you did in the eighties. For you and Martha.