How To Avoid Being A Curmudgeonly Old Woman

September 23, 2016  |  
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You probably know of a few curmudgeons, like that woman who stands on her front yard all day making sure that people don’t even walk their dogs near her grass, rather than appreciating how adorable the dogs are. There’s also that man who works in accounting at your office who answers all of your questions with a tone that implies you’re dumb. How about that coffee shop patron who rolls her eyes when a local band plays a free concert outside, rather than enjoying the live entertainment, and encouraging young creativity! You can’t help but think, “What’s wrong with these people? How are they so blind to the beauty in life!” Well, it didn’t happen overnight. They didn’t go to bed a perky, positive person and wake up a curmudgeon. Oh, no. Instead, they didn’t do the work that would keep them from becoming this way. Honestly, being negative and irritable is easy; it’s seeing the silver lining and being happy that’s difficult. And it can become more difficult with age. So here’s how to avoid becoming a curmudgeonly old woman.

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Image Source: Shutterstock

Prefer company to cleanliness

Have people over; let friends visit. Don’t keep people out so you can keep a perfectly clean kitchen. Realize that the joy of company is immeasurably better than a spotless home.
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Volunteer

If you get to know the sweet dogs at a shelter, or the children at an orphanage, or the homeless women at a soup kitchen, you’ll be hard pressed to be annoyed at a barking dog, a screaming child, or a begging homeless person. Volunteering is a surefire way to humanize every living thing.
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Always look for the humor

Laugh at the fact that you and your husband got too drunk at the bar waiting for a table because the restaurant lost your reservation; don’t scoff at the hostess. Accidents almost always result in humor if you look for it.
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Keep things simple

If you only stay in penthouses at five-star hotels and ride in limousines, you’ll be very annoyed when you have to stay in a motel or ride in a cab. Keep things simple, so your taste doesn’t become snobbish, and put you out of touch with reality.
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Never stop learning

Ignorance and curmudgeons often go hand in hand, which is why you should never stop learning. Simply taking a class on a new topic every few months can keep you humble, and remind you of the important lesson that you don’t know everything…so don’t be so judgmental.
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Do things you love now

Travel, spend as much time with friends as possible, eat good food and have fun. A lot of people are curmudgeonly because they deprived themselves of fun so they could make more money/be more successful. And now they realize that that didn’t make them happy, and it’s a bit too late to travel the world.
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Babysit

If you have friends with kids, offer to babysit them. Nothing keeps you grounded and teaches you to laugh at yourself like sitting on the bathroom floor, telling a story to a child on the toilet because it helps him go number two. Try to take yourself seriously after that–I dare you.
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Be of help

Offer to help friends move. Edit your cousin’s resumes. Bring casserole to a sick relative. Always be thinking of ways you can make someone else’s life a little better. When you see the warmth and reward that comes from that, you won’t want to be the opposite of that later (like the woman who stands on her lawn and yells as people walking cute dogs).
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Celebrate others

You know what’s a great way to stop obsessing over your problems? Celebrating the victories of others. Participate, whole-heartedly, in the joy around someone’s college graduation, wedding, or restaurant opening. Their joy can be your’s too if you let it.
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Have a pet

Pets rely so much on their owners. When we see how helpless they’d be without us, it makes us question the fact that we can be cruel to other helpless individuals, like a screaming toddler who is just scared because he got lost in a store.
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Make time for friendship

Seeing friends isn’t easy when you get older and busier, but it’s worth it. When your career is gone, your youth is gone, and–hey–your sex drive is gone, your friends will still be there. If you made time for them.
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Be grateful

This is something that people at every age should practice. The younger you start being grateful, the happier you’ll be when you’re old. Don’t, for example, complain that you got held up at work and the cable is out. Be grateful that you have a job and a home where you can watch TV.
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Credit: Shutterstock

Go for it

Whatever it is for you, whether that’s becoming a theater director, a restaurant owner, a lounge singer or a juggler go for it. Nothing makes someone curmudgeonly like the realization they never went after their dreams because they were afraid of failure. And now they’d give anything for the chance to go for it.
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Kick out toxic people

Curmudgeonly is another way of saying bitter, and you know who is better? People who let toxic people stay in their lives. Yes, I said let because nobody can force you to befriend them, marry them, lend them money or give them the time of day. If you know there is someone toxic in your life, get rid fo them now so they don’t make you bitter later.
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Read a wide variety of publications

Read the democratic and the republican publications (the intelligent, well-informed ones of course). Educate yourself on every side of every argument, and every side of every social battle. This is another way you humanize everybody and don’t become angry and scared at things you don’t understand.

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