Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Laugh it off!

I'm a person who takes everything way too seriously and most of the time, I don't even realize it. I just tend to see things through a permanent "things are doomed" lense and for the longest time, I wasn't even aware of how that tendency to see everything so seriously was dragging me down. It all became clear to me one Summer when my beloved cousin came to visit us in Ottawa almost 4 years ago. At the time, I was really feeling low. I was a mom to three young kids who had started a home-based business and was under tremendous pressure. One of my best friends and I had started the business together and become co-owners of a $20,000 loan and the pressure to succeed was getting to our friendship as well. Juggling it all was daunting, but the worse of it was that this friend tended to favour drama and negativity, and I absorbed it and reflected it back. We ended up feeding the seriousness, negativity and drama off of each other and things were not good at all. On the surface, we smiled and pretended all was good.

When my cousin showed up, she brought with her a breath of fresh air, and her beautiful, incredible and exhilirating sense of humour. My cousin always laughs. She cracks up jokes. She loves having fun. She is witty, funny, and always laughing. Within two days of being with her and laughing till my sides ached, I realized what was so wrong in my life. I had forgotten to laugh.

My Cousin Vero, on the right, always brings out my crazy, funny side!

It didn't take long for me to find my funny back and to start lightening up about many things. My cousin's visit also made me realized that I had to be careful about who I wanted in my life, and who was not a good fit for me. I had to break up a friendship that was very negative to me, and though it was very hard to do, I knew I had to do it in order to live a happy (and funny!) life.

To this day, I remember this important lesson and when things weigh a little too heavily on me, I try to remember to laugh. I know my predisposition is not to be "funny". I am a worry-wart by nature so I don't lighten up easily. Even with my writing, I am a serious person. Some people can write funny, and be funny by nature. For me, it takes work and effort to be funny. But when I am, it always makes me feel so good and it makes "Me" very, very happy.

Here are some of the things I do to try to laugh every day, especially in those moments when "serious" tries to take over:

- Read funny novels: Have you ever read Christopher Moore? This guy is on crack and his writing is blissfully funny. Right now I'm reading his novel "Bite Me", about a teenage girl who takes on Vampire-zombie cats. Definitely worth the read, just for the pure crazyness of it. Also from Moore, try reading "Lamb: The gospel according to Biff, Jesus's childhood pal".

- Read funny blogs: I'm a big fan of Heather Armstrong at Her posts make me laugh so hard. She is a brave and funny writer and because she is a work at home Mom, her life is similar to mine in ways that make me just laugh hard. I especially loved her birth story. I was laughing so hard I almost lost it before reaching the bathroom! Just google "Dooce birth story" if you are interested. It's a three-part story.

- Hang-out with funny people: laughter is contageous!

- Watch America's funniest Videos: I watch it with the kids and I can't believe how much I laugh every time. The videos that get me the most are the animal videos. Which brings me to this last strategy:

- Watch funny cat videos on YouTube: When all else fails, YouTube has an abundance of funny cat videos/or dogs/ or anything that sometimes helps me change my mood from sour and serious, to laughing hysterically in a split second.

It's silly to laugh and it feels so good. When was the last time you were laughing so hard, you couldn't breathe? How about the giggles that never stop? Time to start laughing my friends, it is so good for your "Me"!

On this snowy, no school, kind of day, what will you do for your "Me" today? I had planned to work out, but with the kids around, I'm not sure it will happen. So maybe I'll try to do some silly dancing and singing in the kitchen with the radio blarring. The kids always think I'm crazy when I do it, which makes me laugh, and feel so very good!

Have a great day!



  2. Thanks for the nudge, I was feeling miserable but indulged in some singing kitty and now feel better. I LOVE your blog, it always has just what I need : )