You are going to die (and other stress relievers)

I can't be the only one, when watching morning shows or scrolling through Twitter or Facebook, who's thinking pleasefortheloveofgodjustshutup, who empathizes with the character Michael Douglas plays in the movie Falling Down.

"You're eating too much fat!" "You're sitting too long at work and it's killing you!" "You're drinking too much wine!" "Women are having too many children!" "Women aren't having enough children!" "You're not drinking enough wine!" "Your coffee is trying to kill you!" "Women who don't use wrinkle cream will look old!" "Retirement will kill you!" "The fast food industry is trying to kill you!"

Angry! Angry! Mad! Mad! Judgy! Judgy! Scared!

The easy obvious fix is to turn off the TV, stay away from social media, and stop reading ads. This would work for someone dedicated to making a life change, but some of us really love TV, otherwise enjoy social media, and would rather people stop being such walking pits of despair than change our own lives or routines to keep out the spirit-sapping negativity. I mean, really, it's their fault, not ours.

Because it's the shocking, scary, sad, or angry headlines/ads/articles/blog posts that draw readers, the "Everyone and everything is trying to kill you / question your value / minimize your worth" trend isn't likely to change. Nor, frankly, will those who consume it (albeit angrily or resentfully). But maybe the effects of the idiotic blathering can be minimized if read/viewed while armed with certain knowledge.

1. Assuming you live long enough, you are going to get old.

(This is for women, since we're the only ones repeatedly told we lose value as we age.)

No matter how much makeup you wear, no matter what kind of eye-wrinkle cream you buy (Olay, Revlon, Nivea, L'Oreal), no matter how many pore-minimizing lotions you apply to your face, you will get wrinkles, your skin will loosen, and your face will change. Nothing anyone is selling you will prevent you from aging - and it won't keep you looking 25.

Aging means not dying. The only reason women don't like aging is because we're told we shouldn't. Every ad scaring us into buying makeup or getting laser lifts or injecting our ass fat into our face is doing little more than jack-hammering away at the joys of living yet another year.

Whether you age naturally or unnaturally, you will look old because you will be old. If you don't get plastic surgery you'll look old, and if you do get plastic surgery you'll look like an old woman who had plastic surgery. Not accepting aging, rushing to buy the youth products, is the same as saying to the greed machines behind those products that they have succeeded in stealing your enjoyment of living because you've allowed them to make you feel like crap about something that is inevitable - something that is a gift (unless you hate life, but I can't help you there).

You are perfectly you just as you are, at any age.

2. Restaurants aren't out to kill you with their fatty, salty, six-serving single dinner plates, nor is Hostess trying to kill you with its sugar-and-chemical desserts.

These businesses, like most businesses, are more greedy than they are conscientious. They don't care whether you're healthy or whether you do die; they just want you to buy their stuff. If you think the food is killing you, stop putting it in your mouth. If you like it and want to eat it, eat it and enjoy it. If you're mad after eating it, blame yourself. I'm mad every time I wake up hungover, but I don't evil-eye the bottle containing what's left of the wine I poured into my glass(es).

3. No one really cares what you're doing.

Articles, blog entries, morning show segments, etc., question behavior at every turn (and in doing so, invite the masses to engage in a big, judgy free-for-all). From breastfeeding to attending college to getting married to living by yourself to living with a mate (sans magical commitment rings) to having six children to having no children to drinking pasteurized milk...

At least once a day, something is guaranteed to a) chastise your behavior, or b) invite you to chastise someone else's.

The truth is, aside from the people who know you, no one knows you or gives a flying frog what you do with your life. Similarly, the stranger you're invited to judge is someone whose life means nothing to you. If they died tomorrow, you'd neither know nor care.

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