Life is what happens to you (by George Carlin?)

The title is not mine but attributed to George Carlin. It was the subject of a chain email that a friend sent me. The email ended: And if you don’t send this to at least 8 people – who cares? But do share this with someone. We all need to live life to its fullest each day!! Normally chain emails bother me, but this one is so good, so merrily uplifting, that rather than forward it to 8 people, I shall post it here. You send it on if you want…

For a humorous philosophical piece on Life, there seem to be at least three dead people associated with it.The title seems to be a shortening of Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans, attributed to ex-Beatles, John Lennon, who died in 1980. Oddly the original email email claimed that Carlin is 102. But he actually died in 2008 at age 71. So maybe the originator of the email mixed George Carlin with comedian George Burns, who died in 1996 at age 100, which is closer to 102 than 71, but still- he’s dead.

So: I doubt very much that George Carlin had anything to do with this email. Not that he needs the glory – he was famous without this and many other fluffy chain emails incorrectly attributed to him. He was most famous already for “7 Dirty Words”. If 7 are not enough for you his website has a collection of 2,443 of them

Anyway, here be Somebody’s Fluffy but Sweet Views on Ageing (with typos because it came from the UK):

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about ageing that you think in fractions.

‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m four and a half!’ You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m gonna be 16!’ You could be 13, but hey, you’re gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life …. . You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re Just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn’t think you would! So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! You get into your 80’s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30 ; you REACH bedtime.. And it doesn’t end there Into the 90s, you start going backwards; ‘I Was JUST 92.’

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. ‘I’m 100 and a half!’ May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

HOW TO STAY YOUNG

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay ‘them’

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER : Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

About Ed Medley

Ed Medley has been on a random walk for over 40 years. Many scribbles and snapshots at this site are from his vagabond transits; others are from his 40 years of international experience in geological and geotechnical engineering, academia, and mineral exploration prospecting.
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