As the words for this post came to life and gained momentum in my mind, I found myself pursing my lips quite a few times. I’d stop and wiggle in my chair and try and push it away, just for it to creep back a little bit later. What was formulating raised a “disapproving” nudge somewhere inside of my. “How can you be promoting the use of drugs and alcoholism? You’ve seen first hand how it destroys lives!” “But I’m not!” a part of me shouts back, “it’s just…..it’s just….heck, I don’t know what it is”
Let me backtrack, life got in the way of living lately. We’ve been so busy being busy that we haven’t had any time to just ….breath. Don’t get me wrong, I know that it is a worthy cause and we’ll reap the benefits (hopefully sooner than later) so I’m not complaining, but phew….. being busy is tiring and when you find that the idea of going to bed at 7PM is enough to make you want to do cartwheels, you know you’ve been just way too busy
During a recent visit to our favorite sushi restaurant (because it’s easier and faster and less effort to get them to bring you the food than it is to shop, prep, cook and clean), I found myself staring at a 4 year old for most of the evening. His dad was entertaining him by pretending to drop the sushi every time, trying again, dropping it and then FINALLY getting it right. This blue eyed blonde little boy just couldn’t stop laughing. You could see the giggle build in his tiny body and then completely lose it as the laughter ripped free and filled the entire place. His eyes pinched together, tiny button nose pulled up into a wrinkle and his entire body shaking. It looked so free and honest and real that it brought tears to my eyes, I was in total awe of this child’s innocence
The next day, while stuck in traffic leaving the airport, everyone desperately trying to make it onto the N2 and get home, or get to a meeting or a conference or whatever it is that we are all chasing, I caught sight of (what appeared to be) a homeless man. He stood there on Airport Approach road, laughing so much he couldn’t stand. He quite literally had to grab a hold of the fence to prevent himself from falling over and he stood there and just laughed and laughed and laughed. Scold me for this, but my first thought was “tikkop”, because obviously no one in that condition could be that happy that he would be laughing that much. As we went past him and turned onto the N2, I was reminded of the little boy and how he laughed and it saddened me, again. So what if he is as high as a kite?
(See this is where the one part of me goes all bitchy and tell me to stop promoting the use of drugs) Bear with me, I’m not saying we should all become junkies, not at all, so please don’t judge, just yet.
So I say again, so what if he was as high as a kite? For that moment his (undoubtedly) miserable life – through whatever circumstance (and that is irrelevant in the context of this post; a different topic for a different day) – was not miserable at all. It was filled with a childlike innocent joy and freedom and happiness. Yes, it is a false sense of happiness and yes, all of that, I get that and I support that, but he was happy and laughing; laughing like I haven’t done in the longest time and THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is what this post is about.
The next day as we sat with friends, I told them about the boy and the homeless guy and how they laughed, and I asked when is the last time you laughed with such abundance. “O”, the shrugged, “every time we get stoned” they looked at each other and burst out laughing
That really got me thinking. When is the last time I laughed like a child? The last time I was really… inebriated. Well, I can’t really get drunk every time I need to have a good laugh, can I?
We get jokes every day via some form of social media and we “laugh”, but we don’t really laugh do we?
Go look at the different definitions of laughing and you’ll see that we smile, grin, smirk, giggle, snicker and chuckle. Hardly ever do we get to the “chortle” stage – Chortle: originates even deeper in the chest and involves muscles of torso; usually provokes laughter in others;
So why don’t we laugh more often?
Let me be very clear about this: I am not unhappy, depressed, sad, going through a midlife crisis or anything like that. To the contrary:
Spiritually, I am connected
Relationship, happier than I’ve ever been
Studying, yes and acing it!
Working, with real job satisfaction for the first time in years
Finally started a business of my own and it’s taking of nicely
My son and I have a better connection now than we’ve had since he entered puberty and brought all the hormones that comes with that
I’m happy, really really happy
It’s just that life get’s in the way of us living the way we are meant to. We are so pressured to meet deadlines and budgets and get kids to school and to work on time and make it to the shop and cook dinner and catch up on admin and and and and and……………
So, next time you find me having a good cackle in the face of someone throwing a tantrum or at any other inappropriate time or place for that matter, just know that I have not lost my marbles, nor am I high or drunk, I am just improving my quality of life. Well, as long as said tantrum thrower does not assault me for laughing at them 😉
Whatever you do today, find something to really laugh at, you’ll thank me later!