Adulting: Making Sure to Laugh...or at Least Smile...
Don’t you love remembering funny stories that have happened around you?
Back before cell phones, my family was traveling with my grandparents, and we had a sort of caravan trail going with walkie-talkies in the cars. I remember passing an RV park, and my sister and grandpa were trying to converse about it on the radios. It was comical. My grandpa started the conversation by saying, “That’s the RV park we stayed at.”
My sister: Was it nice?
Grandpa: Yes, that’s the RV park we stayed at.
My sister: No, Grandpa. Was it NICE?
Grandpa: Yes, it was at NIGHT.
My sister: NICE, Grandpa, NICE?
Grandma (loudly at Grandpa): Was it NICE, grandpa, NICE??? Turn your hearing aid up!
I think we were all laughing at that moment, even my grandpa.
I don’t think they realized that they were teaching me a valuable lesson. My family often showed me how important it is to laugh at many of the frustrations that come with adulting and getting older. It has helped me to not be so hard on myself when I mess up, and not become so pessimistic and angry. My body is far from perfect (even my own hearing at age 38 certainly isn’t) but really, whose is? And no matter the age, our bodies are still not going to be perfect.
“Laughter is the best medicine” is not just an empty phrase! We really need to let ourselves live it more.
That’s not to say we should laugh our life and our problems away. (Some days, we just can't laugh). And of course, we should consult the appropriate professionals when we need help. But I think we should also give ourselves permission to see the humor and set that example for others that we can still crack a smile, even when are bodies aren’t perfect. I think we will find that it lightens the atmosphere around us AND within us.