Some people think that I am a grumpy old man and there is evidence that supports that fact.
I have a tendency to moan about certain aspects of life, usually involving absurdity, stupidity, injustice and the bizarre obsessions of certain groups of people who try to enforce their views and lifestyle choices on me.
However, beneath that grumpy façade, lies an extremely happy middle-aged man who has used his experience to construct a reasonable existence. Life has tried its best to deflect me from a path to happiness and contentment but I have recovered enough to find myself in a good place.
I find that having a positive view on life helps.
There have been occasions when it has been difficult and I have learned to try to discover the positive aspects of such experiences. It doesn’t always work but most of the time it does.
I can spend my time moaning about my job for example, but in the end it has enabled me to travel and it pays the bills.
Like most people, life has had its turbulent moments for me but I try to remember the good times in the past rather than dwelling on those negative moments. I love chatting about past experiences with friends and family. Reminiscing about past events is therapeutic if you don’t start wondering what would have happened if things had been different. Another way to travel to the past is through music. Music plays a huge part in my life and songs can behave like a time machine to whisk me back into the past to a moment of pleasure.
Music is a personal thing for me and on those occasions when I do start feeling a little bit down, I can select a suitable song and immediately lighten my mood.
For example, here’s a song that reminds me of working in Hong Kong with Mrs PM:
Here’s a song that reminds me of university:
This is one of the main reasons I refuse to discard old CD’s. To me they are as valuable as the TARDIS is to Dr Who.
As long as there is music, there is happiness.
I also love to experience life and for me travelling fulfils a burning need within me. Mr Motivator (the businessman who wants to be the best of the best of the best) will tell you that the way to happiness is through material possessions, a huge house, an enormous car and a high powered position in the rat race, working as many hours in the day as possible.
While that may be true for him, I find that I enjoy living in a modest house with a modest car but the ability to spend my money on trips to Japan, America, Australia and as many other parts of the world as I can. I gain more pleasure thinking about strolling around Red Square in Moscow in the middle of winter than watching the latest films on a 73 inch TV in a huge room in the back of my huge house.
I would rather spend £12000 on a round the world trip than splash out on a brand new car.
Sorry Mr Motivator – but that’s a fact.
Nevertheless, if Mr Motivator is happiest filling his enormous house with trinkets and gadgets then that's okay with me. I don’t think any less of him (as long as he doesn’t try to impose his doctrine on me) and as long as he is happy then I am happy too.
In other words, seeing other people being happy gives me a buzz, even if I am not directly responsible for their happiness. The greatest happiness for me is seeing Mrs PM laughing and smiling and my two lads enjoying life with huge grins on their faces.
Generally they are all as content as I am. My boys share the same outlook on life as me, with slightly different likes and dislikes of course and Mrs PM and I are kindred spirits (if you discount her dreadful taste in music of course).
And with Christmas fast approaching, I feel more content than ever. Yes, I will moan about shops being full, the miserable weather, the Queen’s speech, the cost of everything and having to eat too much. I will almost certainly curse the enforced diet I have to endure in January when my overstuffed and bloated body resembles a massive turkey.
Nevertheless, Christmas really does open a new door to happiness: lots of gatherings, parties and joy all around.
I may end up slobbed out on the sofa, trying to stay awake for the Dr Who Christmas special, resembling a bizarre caricature of Father Christmas as I eat another mince pie and quaff another can of beer – but I will have a huge smile on my face.
Finally, here are a couple more upbeat songs that help put me in a good mood.
Here is a guilty pleasure from two guys who like so much like me they could be my brothers. It sums up how I try to approach life.
If I don’t post again before Christmas (which is likely) I’d like to wish all readers, whether you are a regular visitor or just happened to stumble of this post, a very Happy and Merry Christmas.
I hope that Father Christmas brings you everything you want.