Tags: resolutions | 2012 | economy | elections

Resolve to Look on the Sunny Side of Life in 2012

By Jon Friedman   |   Tuesday, 27 Dec 2011 10:03 AM

Yes, we can all agree that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. The economy, the presidential election, all of it. Everything pretty much stinks.

Or, does it?

As one year ends and another dawns, I want to propose something radical: Look on the sunny side!

Let's try to think about all the good things we have going for us. I won't be banal and list them but you know what they are. What really matters in all of our lives. Like the song goes, the best things in life are free.

It's very tempting to take this space and proceed to blast President Barack Obama or Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke or the Republican candidates for president. We can get depressed about our nation's great escape sports. All anyone cares about is the pursuit of money. Or the scandal at Penn State. Or the scandal at Syracuse.

Let it all go. Why not dwell on the happy times. Things can't all be awful.

If you need a push to see it my way, I can give you these 10 tips:
  • Rent a Marx Brothers movie, preferably "Duck Soup" or "Horse Feathers"
  • Check out the PBS special on Woody Allen's life and prepare to laugh a lot with America's foremost humorist
  • Watch a pro football game on TV this weekend and marvel at the skill and dedication of the players — and mostly appreciate that you can sit in your warm living room and munch on Doritos while those crazy guys are bashing in each other's skulls in sub-freezing temperatures
  • Go to the theater and enjoy the devotion of people who will go on stage to entertain you
  • Likewise, attend a show at a comedy club and note how much courage it takes someone, talented or terrible, to get up on stage, all alone, to try and get you to laugh a little
  • Listen to a Beatles album — they never go out of style
  • Watch a rerun of "Seinfeld" because you'll have a great time for 30 minutes
  • Bundle up and go take a bike ride or go jogging — the workout will get your heart beating and you'll probably lose some weight, too
  • Stop by your neighborhood tavern and have ONE Irish coffee, then go straight home. You'll warm up and feel better in a hurry
  • Just count your blessings for having the life that you have. We're all pretty lucky, you know?
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.

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