Practical tips on how to be middle aged, happy and avoid an untimely death.
Living long and feeling good is pretty easy really. Firstly it's about avoiding an early, untimely and unexpected death. You do this by taking care, becoming wary (but not paranoid), just developing the right instincts and a good working level of confidence about when to stay and when to go. You can allow yourself some calculated recklessness, so as to allow adrenalin to flow and endorphins to rise, then reproduce and migrate etc. but don't over indulge the reckless behaviour (it can become addictive in it's own right and turn destructive).
Avoid diets and regimented exercise, avoid working out just be sensible in how you use your body. Burn up any excess, store up a little fat for winter and keep the nasal hair trimmed so that nose breathing is clear and well maintained. Adopt a sincere, honest “I don't give a fuck” attitude. That's not to say that you become selfish, pompous or detached. No, you care but you don't get over involved. That breeds worry, stress and a truck load of negatives that will bring you down. Do what you like and, even before you do what you like actually understand what you like so that you are sure you are doing the right thing. Don't therefore do what other people like or expect (unless in some perverse way you get pleasure out of that). Recognise what drives you and swop places, you drive that thing. If you don't it will exhaust you and you'll dry up like prune.
Eat sensibly; try to eat different foods everyday. Try things you don't like but avoid things you know that your body doesn't process well. Learn to recognise these things by checking your performance. Anything that bungs you up, makes you unwell or gives you bad breath or acid reflux is best avoided. Mediterranean food has the best reputation for health, follow that model if you can, green, oily, fishy and well seasoned. Don't be a sourpuss scoffing at meats, spices or preparation. Enjoy food and eat it the way you'd want to make love. Make decisions quickly but thoughtfully and avoid procrastination, that is a life force drainer.
Avoid organised religion, trade unions, political parties and noble causes. These are human constructs with mainly negative outcomes for the participants and victims. You could be both. These things really fuck you up because they want to to compress and control you so they can spread their ideology. If you do well in them (and that won't make you happy) you'll just end up as a controller of others on the same sad path. You'll only spawn misery and carbon copies of your sorry self that will go on to rebel and cause further chaos that could really get out of hand.
Don't be swayed by health scares, hyped stories, miracle products and shortcuts. These things create a confused and unfocused mind. Keep a diary or run a blog, note how you feel using simple terms or scores, look for commonality and success, look for positives and then try to repeat the circumstances or the environment. Live in a happy place and don't compare yourself to others. If you judge on superficial things then you are judging incorrectly and anyway, who are you to judge? Better to not get involved and stay a safe distance in the “don't give a fuck” place. Don't hang out with people who don't see or respect your space.
Be playful, don't stay serious too long, don't reflect on what might have been, don't try to change the world, enjoy the moment you are in. Sure things can deteriorate but learn to appreciate the cycles, natural and universal that you move in, in whatever direction. Your mind and body are always rotating in some unscripted ways that you often fail to recognise, try to go with that rather than resist (unless it's some stupid or dangerous impulse). Yes you can be impulsive but don't dance naked on somebody else's lawn. That will only end badly. Get drunk now and then, get stimulated but learn to lay off when you can. Get to know your own mind and attitudes. Best of all give yourself to someone else, live with them, love them, sleep with them. If you can get that right (and they can too) you'll be happy but you will have to tolerate or accept their own ways of happiness. Strangely, with the right person, these things expressed by another can often make you happy too.
P.S. The things you think will make you happy, things you look forward to, easy, peaceful things. Where are they and where do they belong? It should be an easy list to list but it's not. Too much material on the flip-side. Every A side comes with a dodgy B side (except for the double A side which isn't really because there always is/was a better side, the label's free expression can't change the quality). I gave myself a good shake at this point and started again. So I sat for hours, staring into space making a long mental list of the things that made me happy. It was a long and varied list but with repeated themes, people and feelings. The long list was a short list once I stood back and looked at it but as deep as the Grand Canyon.