Monday, March 4, 2013

Laughter Really Is The Best Medicine

"God writes a lot of comedy....the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny."
~Garrison Keillor

If you've never heard Garrison Keillor speak it's worth the time. He has a brilliant, sarcastic and dry humor that appeals to me. I was lucky to spend quite a chunk of time with him during college. He was friends with my adviser who was also my poetry teacher and "boss" at my internship with a literary magazine. So I had classes, lunch, and a press session (I was the features editor of the school paper) with Mr. Keillor.

I was the only student at the press conference. Mr. Keillor had every reporter in the room believing that he was on a mission to end the ravages of dehydration in America. That people were not thinking clearly anymore simply because they weren't drinking enough water. It was fantastic. He played it completely straight and they ate it up like the Gospel of Garrison.

I met him again a few years ago when he did a show at our local theater  I don't really think he remembered me. I don't think I was funny enough.

I love people with the ability to make me laugh. I'm not sure I would have gotten through 16 years of marriage with a guy who had no idea what comedy was without Comedy Central, such smartly written shows as Friends, or the creative geniuses on Whose Line is it Anyway.

Recently I found myself in a "whoa is me" kind of funk for awhile. The one thing that really helped put me back on track was a genuinely ridiculous EDGE class. That is a self-defense class I instruct for the teens at Direct Action Tactical. Normally we have fun but there is always a level of seriousness to what we're doing. That night there were just two of my tried and true students and the silliness of the tangents and conversations had me with tears in my eyes. We did get work done-don't get me wrong (my boss may read this so I have to be clear). But I left feeling like the weight of my world went from an elephant to a chihuahua.

I realized how easy it is sometimes to wallow. To pick the sad songs or tear-jerking chick flicks because it's where we are on the inside. It reinforces us somehow.

But to decide to change it-watch the silly comedy, make plans with friends who make you laugh, listen to the upbeat selections on your playlist, spend time with your kids, eat chocolate, have some retail therapy if you can afford it, learn to do something new or do a hobby you love in order to keep busy. Finding those things that get you out of an emotional rut can make a huge difference in how you interact with others, how you take care of yourself, how you preform at work or as a parent.

Recently at dinner my oldest son asked me what I wanted to be called when/if I'm ever a grandmother. My middle son-with a straight face-said Uncle Ben. From then on the hysterical conversation was how to confuse small children by having them call their grandmother Uncle Ben. I'm sure you had to be there but the idea is I've given my children the love, need and ability to always have humor in their lives and to find it in others.

Charlie Chaplin is famous for saying: "A day without laughter is a day wasted."

Don't waste your day!

No comments:

Post a Comment