Plenty? What’s she on about? Doesn’t the woman watch the news? We’re in a depressed economy, I know. But plenty doesn’t necessarily imply money, honey. Today I’m offering you a gift. Absolutely free. It’s called Regina Brett. Who? Exactly my first reaction. Regina Brett is 98 years old and decided to share her pearls with a couple of billion Internet addicts – including moi. It’s only fair that I pass them along. Brace yourself, I even added a few pearls of my own. Now we have plenty. A string. And I’m game to share.

1) Regina from Cleveland, Ohio claims: When in doubt, take the next small step. Helene from Amulet, Hermanus reckons: When in doubt, push personality. This goes hand in hand with the belief that you shouldn’t wait to be senile before you become eccentric. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple. (Purple hair is actually very trendy nowadays, so you go, Grandma!) 

2) If people gossip and spread horrible rumours about you, kill them. With kindness. If that doesn’t work, just kill them (kidding!). Which brings me to the old tannie’s next pearl to all ‘you youngsters’ (applicable to everyone who’s not dead yet): Don’t take yourself so seriously; no one else does. What other people think of you is none of your business. 

3) If it’s sore when you wake up in the mornings, it means you’re still alive. Yay!  So choose to live your life fully. If you reside in a seaside town and you don’t bother to look and marvel at that incredible, ever-changing expanse of water every day, you may as well stay in Sasolburg. 

4) Sadly, there is no such thing as a miracle diet. Your body shape was inherited. When it comes to the big C (chocolate), resistance is futile.

5) Beware of plastic surgery. Too much of a good thing makes little children cry.

6) Make peace with your past so it won’t screw with your present. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Wow, that’s a biggie. But hey, let’s give it a try. Doesn’t mean I won’t get irritated with certain rude individuals who cross my path – the ones that I’m planning to kill (with kindness, as previously mentioned).

7) Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful. Turn up the music. Burn the candles, use the good sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a rainy day or a special occasion because today is special. I feel magnificent already.

8) Use loadshedding to do stuff you never get round to. Go for a walk. Talk to your wife (now there’s a challenge). Have sex. Then talk afterwards. Phone your mother. (It’s up to you if you want to tell her about your great sex; trust me, your kids don’t want to hear it.) Prune your hydrangeas. (Not necessarily in that order.)

9)  Start saving from the day you get your first paycheck. Okay, start saving now. Don‘t let a poor person tell you how to get rich. (Oops.) But, hey, being rich means different things. I for one love my family, my house, my pets, my country, my town, my shop, my customers. On occasion I even like myself. I’m rich, girlfriend, stinking rich.

10) Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is about. Don’t judge. Be tolerant. I’m not saying I comply with all of the above, but I’m trying. Treat the person in front of you with respect. You never know who she could turn out to be. Watch it, rude woman. You have no idea who you may be talking to.

11) It’s never too late to have a second childhood. But the second one is up to you. This time round you can’t blame your parents, your teachers, your siblings… go out there and rock ‘n roll. Rediscover your sense of humour!

12) What doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger. Or fatter.

Hey, nobody said life is fair, but it’s damn interesting. Happy Twenty-plenty!

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