So, I want you to change these two men into Donegal cap wearing cronies. As they chat, it’s very possible one or both will suck their breath between their teeth, shake their head and say these two words:
It is the perfect response to bad news. News such as, ‘She’s not long to go’, ‘some lad got shot last night’, ‘the cows have got in and wrecked herself’s garden’ or ‘the house burnt down after yer man overloaded the boiler’. Anything, nearly anything, can be handled with ‘that’s life’.
When you say it, you’re either lost for words in the face of terrible tragedy or you just want to move on to another more palatable subject. It is most commonly uttered by world-weary, life-battered folk who have seen it all and worse. I like to hear it when I or someone close to me is going through a tough time. It is good to be that philosophical about things without making light of them.
However, I would propose that you also consider this saying:
‘This is the life!’
There are plenty of times when all we have to offer is ‘that’s life’. But there are also an abundance of times when we can be grateful, even joyful about the funny, good, comforting, delicious things and people around us. If you stop and think about it, you’ll find loads of them.
So this Christmas, I resolve to irritate everyone around me with that celebratory phrase, ‘this is the life!’
Many times over.
Who’s with me?!