Five Things You Should Stop Telling Me To Do

We all see this every day: headlines that scream, ‘Five things you should stop doing right now!’ ‘Three things you need to know.’ ‘Scared of the stock market? Do this today!’ And on and on and on, from all corners, all comers, every wannabe pundit and pretend journalist and (groan) aspirant ‘influencer.’

Who are these people? What makes them so smart? What makes them think I’m so dumb? Why do they treat me like a distracted three-year old? And what’s with the relentless, didactic language of self-improvement, as if life is one big football football match, a game you only can win if everyone around you is a coach, constantly yelling instructions? Do this. Do that. Stop doing the other thing.

So here’s where I get off the bus – cheers, folks, have yourselves a blast. This fella is about as improved as he is going to get, about as knowledgeable (or clueless) as he is going to be, about as grown up, at 67, as seems possible, or likely, or even desirable (it’s all downhill from here, anyway, isn’t it?)

Not for me the life of endless self-improvement. I’m happy as I am. With the time I have left, the attention span I can still muster, the air left in my lungs and the blood that still beats in my veins, it’s a walk in the woods that beckons, a volume of poems, an afternoon at the AGO with the Group of Seven painters, a day spent making photographs, a glass of wine, a meal, an evening with my wife.

Long Dog Vineyard and Winery, Prince Edward County

I’m getting off the bus. But before I go, here are five things you should stop telling me to do:

  • stop telling me to do stuff
  • stop telling me to stop doing things
  • stop saying stop. Stop saying ‘do this’ ‘do that.’ Just stop.
  • in case I haven’t made myself clear, stop giving me advice
  • oh, and for god’s sake, stop trying to improve everyone else. Try a little introspection, a little reflection, a little humility, even. Take a look in the mirror. Live a little. Grow up.

And finally, just in case you’re feeling a little lost right now, in need of direction, a little adult supervision, here are four things you should do:

  • follow my blog; enjoy the photographs in this post, of Ontario’s Prince Edward County, and send me your comments and thoughts
  • follow me on Flickr, and remember to ‘like’ my photographs!
  • take a look at my photographs on my Glen Fisher Photography website
  • lighten up, have fun. You only live once.

4 Comments

  1. Thank you, Glen, for these words that can liberate our generation! Though I’m foolishly still drawn to some personal endeavours, I gratefully endorse the age-old priorities you’ve set out for us. Your phrase ‘the relentless, didactic language of self-improvement’ is most memorable. And the pics are delightful, my favourites being the once-red barn and looking out from the grocery. My final injunction to you is ‘Keep going with improving our lives in these ways’!

    Like

  2. O yes!! Well said. I turn 75 next Sunday and reckon it’s time to be me. The purple hat is in the wardrobe, the dust is on the furniture where it will likely stay until I houseclean in preparation for our 20th wedding anniversary party the next Sunday!!

    The weeds continue to thrive and I plan to read another great tome of an Elizabeth George Inspector Lynley mystery!!

    Like

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