I love to laugh.
Don’t you hate it when people say that? It’s the same as when people declare “Watch out for me, I am craaazyyy!”. You know that neither of those people are funny nor crazy. In fact, a person who puts it out there, I mean actually has to verbalize that they “love to laugh”, lacks the ability to physically laugh. If they don’t necessarily lack the ability, they watch the crowd for someone else to start the laughter and then join in so as not to appear out of place and to show that in fact, they do get the joke and in fact, do love to laugh.
Thankfully, I have never had to declare such as thing since I have been making myself laugh since 1968. I laugh at everything. Every situation, person, sound, sight, everything. It is a coping mechanism that I always default to even when I have nothing to cope with. I don’t subscribe to nervous laughter. In fact, some of the funniest moments are those awkward, I wish I could just disappear, moments. I never want to disappear. I want to embrace the awkward and laugh the loudest at anyone’s expense within a 100 ft. radius.
The friends that have known me forever can vouch for that fact and if they can’t, then they are not among my inner circle. I like to think I have an inner circle and that I am the elusive celebrity member that people turn to in times of trial and when they need sage advice. Wait. Did I just say sage advice? I meant when they need to laugh at someone else’s (mine) foolishness to take their minds of their own stupid problems.
And all problems are stupid. I may not turn to science to make such a claim, but I can say that I have spent an inordinate (and some may say unhealthy) amount of time analyzing my own problems so I think I am somewhat of an authority. I’m not saying that some problems aren’t tragic and challenging, but I believe that one’s ability to work through said problems is what separates the boys from the men (to clarify, I am NOT being sexist here, I just really like that saying).
The point of this, I believe, is to allow yourself permission to find humour in whatever situation is causing your angst in the moment. It may not always be appropriate at the time, but trust me, somewhere deep inside whatever is troubling you, there is something even a little bit amusing. If you don’t believe me, let me weave you a tale about the time I was being prepped for my breast cancer lumpectomy.
The year was 2006 and I was laying on a gurney with a lovely doctor marking my breast and then inserting what appeared to be a metal rod into my tumor. I suppose this was to show the way to the surgeon, but I’m not sure and was too scared to ask. As I lay on my back contemplating the bleakness and uncertainty of my future, this same lovely doctor quietly asked, “Do you want me to insert metal in the other breast too?” Confused, since I didn’t have cancer in the other breast, I needed clarification. “Pardon?”
He smiled gently and answered, “If I do, you’ll get great cell reception.” Pause. He smiles and snickers. This causes me to smile and snicker and soon, my future didn’t look so bleak (especially since moments later I was hit with the best knock out medicine a patient could ask for.)
No matter what ails you, find a way to be ready for the joke, because in life, there is always a punchline.