Perhaps the art of life comes down to steering between cynicism and sentimentality. You have to get the tone right. So here's one of each extreme.
"Irony might be defined as disgust recalled in tranquillity."
Theodore Dalrymple (with apologies I suppose to Wordsworth).
Also, an acquaintance of mine will become a decade old later this month. A weighty achievement. Here is Billy Collins's "On Turning Ten."