Loretta LaRoche: Health, happiness can't be bought

Loretta LaRoche

I wonder if we will ever revisit a time when the concept of “less is more” will return to our collective consciousness. Moderation in theory, is a wonderful concept, and could probably be easily achieved in a society that seeks it as a value or a period of time where excess is not an option.

I was a product of parents who suffered through the Depression and World War II. There was a daily need to “make do.” I remember my mother’s constant reminders on saving money. She was the essence of frugality. I grew up feeling that nothing could be truly savored “too much” since there could come a day when you wouldn’t have it.

When I look back I wish I had incorporated more of my mother’s sense of financial wisdom. In fact, I believe the government would have not gotten into as much of an economic quagmire if my mother was in charge of the treasury.

Unfortunately, we live in a time when we are constantly assaulted with messages that tell us we’re not OK unless we purchase the latest gadget or we aspire to look or feel good. Essentially they’re saying we got the goods so ante up and you’ll feel so much better. That means we need to go out and buy something that does the trick for us. I certainly have been caught up in that never-ending abyss. I have purchased more undergarments, makeup, toiletries and clothing that I was convinced would change my appearance and essentially ended up making me look worse not better.

Believe me, I’m not promoting walking around looking like you were just rescued from a collapsed coal mine. But there is room for common sense. None of the aforementioned provides miracles. It’s all temporary. Once you remove it you’re back to square one.

Last night I saw a commercial that featured the latest facial cream developed by a celebrity dermatologist. It was about the same price as a Porsche. They showed the before and after of popular actresses’ faces who after the first few applications had visible lines, and looked years younger. Perhaps after a year of applying this elixir they will return to the womb. I like moisturizers and body lotions. But I’ve also gotten a lot of mileage from Vaseline. What we never see commercials of is ads advocating for fresh fruits, vegetables, fresh air, a good night’s sleep and a prescription for laughter.

In the end, looking and feeling good are an inside job. The rest are simply garnishes.

Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Mass. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360, send email to getalife@lorettalaroche.com, visit the website at www.stressed.com or call 800-998-2324.