Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Strength, Courage and Humor

"Don't wish me happiness. I don't expect to be happy. It's gotten beyond that, somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all."
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

No human being ever is without tests. We can't live in society, in our fragile bodies and gamete of emotions without something taking us to the mats and slamming us full force to the point where we wonder how we get the air back in our lungs.

It's how we handle ourselves, our strength, courage and sense of humor that dictates how we breathe again.

I think of a recent picture of a friend waiting for her chemo treatment, bald head exposed and pinky finger at her mouth imitating Dr. Evil selling chemo treatments for one MILLION dollars. Her humor and grace always winning over cancer that keeps trying to knock it out of her.

It's often in those tests that we long for humor to save our minds and help us cope. I read an article recently about how Jews in concentration camps used humor to ease the horrible circumstances. During times of conflict, our military can occasionally have the pleasure of comedians coming to lift their spirits. The movie Patch Adams comes to mind as an example of changing the face of illness to include fun and laughter as necessary additions to our mental and physical recovery.

Too often I've witnessed circumstances crush someone's spirit to the point of giving up a part of themselves. It's easy to fall into the "whoa is me" mindset. Play the sad songs and hide from life. You can decide to never laugh, smile, sing, dance or do any of the things that make life beautiful.

Maya Angelou wrote, "Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable."

I'll be the first to admit the snugness of that feather bed at times. But I'll also admit it was always my fault for being there. I let the circumstances win over my spirit. Not everyone can take off their scarf, strike a silly pose and laugh while waiting for whatever horrible treatment or experience you can't avoid. But those that find that ability possess the amazing talent to face the Scrooges of life with determination and a smile. That takes strength, courage, and humor.  And what's the alternative? Weakness, fear, and sadness just sounds tragic.

So I applaud everyone out there this holiday season who is shining brightly despite whatever hardship you're facing. And for those of you still looking for your light may you find strength, courage, and humor to help you through.

"Look, I don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive you've got to flap your arms and legs, you've got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at very least think noisy and colorfully, or you're not alive."
Mel Brooks

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thank you very much

Even though the Christmas carols are playing we still have one other holiday to get past. It had something to do with bringing disease and violence to a new world. Today it's about bringing soggy green bean casserole and keeping the kids away from weird Uncle Larry. After that, however, you are expected to think about what you have in your life that you appreciate.

So here it goes:

Red wine.
Once considered the nectar of the Gods I simply think of it as my old friend there to never judge, only relax and comfort me at the end of a long day.

Small children (that do not belong to me).
I love talking to little people. I love how they mispronounce words, have a lisp or a stutter, or tell embarrassing stories about the people they're with. I especially love how excited they get when they realize you are talking to them and genuinely care about what they are saying.

Sweet old people (not the sour, cranky ones),
I love the way they call me kiddo or tell me about their age, always so proud to be _____. They make me smile.

Days when my dog doesn't pee on the floor.

Comfortable pants.
You know the kind? The curl up on the couch with hot tea (or wine) and a movie kind. Ahhhh

Hot Shower or bath on a cold day.
Need I say more?

Warm weather.
I miss it already and will be slightly sad until it returns.

The smell of a barn.
It relaxes me because I know it's my safe haven.

Friends who make you laugh so hard you pee a little.
Those you keep forever.

Lovers that make you laugh so hard you pee a little.
Those you also keep forever.

Surprise packages in the mail.
Or even those you know you ordered (thank you Amazon). It still somehow feels like a gift you get to open.

My three preteen/teenage children laughing and getting along.
It may be the best sound in the world.

A full night of sleep.
Rarely does it occur but when it does-I feel like I have potential.

And finally...

A "take no prisoners" attorney wiling to fight the good fight for me.
She's amazing! (I'll give you her number if God forbid you are ever in need).

Thanks everyone!

"I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose."
~Woody Allen