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The happiest people in the world have learned a valuable lesson. They know how to laugh. It doesn’t mean trouble doesn’t happen to them – nor does it mean that they never fall onto hard times – have tragedy strike them – or the unexplained circumstances befall them – it means that they have learned the secret of true joy. They have learned to find humor in everything and also be able to laugh at themselves.
I am blessed – I have many friends who bring laughter to me on a daily basis. I will wake up some mornings and have those that have messaged me with notes of fun, mischief and good humor – and I know it’s going to be a good day – filled with fun.
There is so much said on the subject of laughter – the many health benefits and the fact that it keeps you ‘young at heart’ and looking and feeling youthful for years to come – and we can all use that!!
My husband and I laugh ALL THE TIME. Everything is funny to us. Not that we don’t have our serious ‘talks’ and ‘moments’ like everyone else – but we also laugh much of the day. My children are filled with laughter and a healthy sense of humor – all the time! We all love to laugh! I have many stories about both of them – and there is no one that can bring me such laughter like my husband and kids!
I am doubly blessed with a circle of friends that are great fun too. Always a funny comment and word of fun and encouragement – let’s face it – life is serious enough just left on its own – sometimes we NEED laughter just to make it through the day.
I believe a great many of the world’s problems would be lightened if people would just LAUGH – and find the humor in situations. We as a nation have become much too serious – and I am aiming that remark at you and me. If we didn’t take ourselves so seriously – the stress would be lifted and a good many health problems would decrease too. Laughter really does act on a person’s overall health like a tonic. Want to increase your life and have better health? Learn to laugh – not just a chuckle or too – REALLY LAUGH – BIG BELLY LAUGHS – many times a day.
Try bringing laughter to your own circle of friends. Make someone laugh today – it will make their day – and yours too!
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This morning I woke up and looked over at my sweet sleepy husband. He looked like an angel – and I was just watching him – wondering when he would wake up – when he suddenly and slowly opened up his eyes. They were so cute and puffy from lack of sleep after a very late (or early) work night. As he looked at me trying to focus – I thought they looked very much like pictures I had seen of the sultry and sexy Bette Davis – (just the eyes) – and before I could retract it, I said “You’ve got Bette Davis Eyes”
I’m sure he does not appreciate my humor at that time in the morning – but I really did mean it as a complement 🙂 He’s a pretty good sport – most of the time and usually laughs right out loud at my poking fun at him – and it is easy and comfortable being with him – I love to hear him laugh like that. And his eyes crinkle with humor and fun – much mischief and ‘little boy’ innocence – it is really nice.
Eyes are the ‘window to the soul‘ and many things can be revealed about a person when you look into them. Fear, confidence, pain, hurt, frustration, peace, fun, mischief – yes it all revealed in a moment – through the eyes.
I LOVE brown eyes. they are deep and expressive, mysterious and soft.
I also LOVE green eyes. Whimsical and sparkling with fun. Captivating and full of mischief.
But my favorite are Blue eyes. My husband has blue eyes. They are sweet and kind. They hold me with just a glance and touch something deep within me.
My eyes are also blue – and they are my husband’s favorite thing about me. He can read them very well – and understands what lies beneath the surface after all these years. They are my ‘window’ to what is inside of me. Sometimes shining with fun – sometimes brimming with tears and emotion – they are all a part of me – and he loves to drown in them. I am very lucky.
Below is a song by Peter Gabriel “In Your Eyes” the lyrics perfectly express how I feel – and how my husband feels about me and my eyes. Enjoy!
I have been noticing as I’m getting older – no – let me rephrase that. I am noticing as my HUSBAND is getting older – that his driving is getting more and more creative. Yes. That’s the word. Creative.
For example: We were turning onto a street from a shopping center going at a constant rate of speed appropriate for turning into traffic. I was secure and proceeded to check my emails on my iPhone – when all of a sudden I glanced up as I noticed my husband accelerating to the upcoming RED light! I was curious, mind you – like any passenger would be (and a little concerned for my personal safety) as he was NOT slowing down – but going toward that light at an alarming speed! But just like a man (of a certain age) he had misjudged the light turning green and had to SLAM on the brakes – or so it seemed to me. He has another story – something about having to go at the rate of the traffic on the road. Hmmmm. I didn’t see any of them speeding up to the red light – only our car – leaving everyone IN THE DUST and me with a very worried and stunned expression on my face. You know the ‘look’. It’s the one where the mouth opens – but no sound comes out. Yeah – that one. When I do this ‘look’ – Greg is quick to tell me that I’m going to catch flies like that. The nerve.
Now I realize that his erratic driving may just be a perception. It IS possible that I’m starting to ‘lose it’. It wouldn’t be the first time I felt like I was. I’ve raised two teenagers for goodness sakes. And sometimes I really fear that my grasp on reality is slipping away. But I do not EVER drive this way – nor do I remember him driving that way in all the years I’ve known him. He’s always been a very safe driver – much more aggressive at the wheel than me – of course – but still very safe and reliable. I could fall asleep in the car while we were going somewhere and feel perfectly safe. Now I keep my eyes open – mostly in a wide-eyed stare – but they are still open.
Perception. My perception. It’s different from yours. I view the world through a different lens than you. The problem comes when I think that you should see things the way that I do – when you don’t. Or try to get my husband to see that he shouldn’t be speeding up to a red light – but he should allow plenty of time to put his brakes on (and make me feel more safe). But his perception of the incident is entirely different from mine.
Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could just think like me – or do things just like me? I wouldn’t have to guess at why things happen between friends – worry about what others are thinking – and wouldn’t be concerned at the actions of others. Unfortunately life isn’t like this – it’s full of ‘give and take’ with the people in my world – making adjustments and allowances everyday with things I just can’t understand.
I have to believe that God made us this way on purpose. We don’t understand everything and we’re not suppose to. I don’t understand even the closest people to me and why they think like they do – and life is full of navigating around that. Different opinions – different preferences – different perceptions.
The older I get – the more I realize this: It’s not important that I understand everything – I know now I never will. But it is important to have an open mind for others – to accept and embrace change in my life and realize that I am not the only one in this universe. To accept that I am not the only one with an opinion or perception of fact. And to learn to navigate through all the ‘junk’ of youth and inexperience to where I finally get to a place where – that’s okay. Even if it means getting very used to speeding up to red lights. Even then. I guess. After all – this is how I perceive it.
I posted something today on my facebook page about laughter and it got me thinking about marriage and laughter. There are many reasons why a marriage fails – even those that start out with good intentions. Oh sure, there are outside forces that hit you blindsided – we all know about those things – and finances (or lack of them) can also be a key contributor to failure. But more than these I believe that at the very root of the issue is this: Married couples forget to laugh. Now I’m not talking about the little chuckle you get from something funny one of your kids did today – or a funny email or status update on facebook from one of your friends – or even a great humorous story – I’m talking about laughing with each other – sharing a joke together – or a secret and poking fun at the other and finding it so funny! When was the last time your spouse made you REALLY LAUGH? When was the last time – YOU were funny and not so serious? Life is serious enough without adding to it – and sometimes you just need to take a ‘chill pill’ and just laugh. Laugh at the absurd – laugh at the ridiculousness of your situation – laugh at the irony of life – enjoy your spouse and find something together to laugh at! A healthy married couple smiles and laughs all the time.
Another reason marriages are in trouble is this: Married people forget how to listen. You’re so used to that person – after a while if they’re not saying anything worth listening to – we tune them out. It is an art form to learn how to listen well – but well worth it. We were a marriage that had forgotten how to do this – I didn’t feel I had my husband’s full attention anymore – he had forgotten how to listen to me and meet my emotional needs.
Develop a healthy sense of humor with your spouse and listen to them – really listen. If you listen long enough – believe me – you will bond with them again – you’ll be able to share secrets and find that laughter too. It will be there – decide that YOU will not wait for them – decide that you are going to turn your marriage around. Get your ‘mischievousness’ on! You will ignite something in your spouse – a passion that you forgot was ever there.
And finally – I think the reason that marriages are in trouble is this: Somewhere along the way – you forgot to like your spouse. You say, “Oh – but you don’t understand – I wouldn’t ever think of leaving them” – You may even say that you ‘love’ them – in the traditional Christian way (of course) and if push comes to shove and they really tick you off and you’re at the end of your rope you might consider murder – but NOT divorce – NEVER! You say, “Not me! This would never happen to us! But I don’t have to like them – I’m committed.” HOGWASH!! You are setting yourself up for a failure with this attitude. What if someone comes into your life that really likes you – admires you – and treats you like your spouse doesn’t? There’s a fine line between tolerance and indifference – don’t be foolish. It happens all the time.
I like my husband. I didn’t always feel this way. Oh I suppose I got used to him – he is an excellent man in every way – good father – wonderful friend to many – but for me – I had forgotten to like him. So like many of you out there – I had a choice to make. Do I want to start over and learn how to like him again – find the laughter and the reason that I picked him in the first place? Can it be done? We’re used to each other – but do I really like him? It took many months of talking and really listening to each other to discover that we were solid as good friends – even if we hadn’t been married to each other. We had to rediscover that again – we had to ‘date’ again to make that connection – and we DID! And you can too. I can honestly say now that I not only love Greg – and am committed – but I also like him.
I found this very cute and humorous video on marriage from the comedic and married team of Stiller and Meara – married over 50 years. It’s adorable and has some great truths in it – they use laughter in their relationship and they have also found that they actually like one another after all the years together.
A few years ago Greg and I were eating dinner at a Shari’s restaurant close to where we live. We were having pleasant conversation – exchanging ‘niceties’ about the day when suddenly Greg looked at me and said, “Shhhh!! – did you hear that?” I looked around and listened as hard as I could – but could not hear anything. So I replied, “No dear – I did not hear anything.” He said, “No really – it was like a weird ‘metallic’ sound!” Well since I did not know what a ‘metallic’ sound – sounds like – I was at a loss. He shrugged it off and we went back to our conversation. A few minutes later he stopped me again – this time with a hand gesture raised to stop me from talking, while turning his head he said, “Shhhh! There it is again!” Well by this time I really thought he was losing it – so I said, “Does it sound like something is trying to communicate with you – on a different frequency? – Is it the MOTHER SHIP?”
Needless to say he did not think it was funny – and I tried SO hard not to giggle but come on – it WAS pretty funny. He kept insisting that something was happening – and it would only happen when either of us started talking again – pretty bizarre. This went on for about 15 minutes or so – until my poor husband thought he was losing his mind. I could tell that he wasn’t really ‘with me’ in the restaurant anymore – he had that ‘far off’ look in his eyes – the same look he has when he’s listening more to the people talking directly behind him in a booth – than to me. It’s annoying how easily distracted he is! This rarely happens to me – I am usually so focused on the person I’m with and the conversation that a hurricane could be going on around me and I probably wouldn’t even notice.
Case and point: I was with my friend Melody about a month ago at a local Starbucks for a ‘coffee date’. We were heavily engaged in deep meaningful conversation. Little did I know that behind the scenes the people who work there (they know me because my daughter works there – and they all call me Mom) were playing a little game – trying to get my attention. The manager and assistant manager were trying to see who would be able to get me to look away from Melody first – and because I was facing toward them when talking to Melody – they thought, “piece of cake”. They do not know me. They do not know that I am not easily dissuaded or thrown off track – even though they were waving their arms WILDLY in the air!!! I think they did EVERYTHING short of actually SHOUTING out my name! Ashlee told me about this later that day – I was so surprised! I saw nothing.
So back to the Shari’s and Greg hearing something unusual. He paid the check and we stood up and were turning to pass another table behind where Greg was sitting and saw a nice older gentleman with a mechanical voice box. If you’ve ever heard them – they make an unusual sound – something like R2-D2 from “Star Wars” makes. And Greg smiled as we walked by – he was not crazy after all! “I told you I heard something” – he whispered.
So yesterday we were having a very late dinner at a local Teriyaki place. We were eating our favorite chicken, salad and rice – the Christian radio station was playing music in the speakers just above my head. We were talking about normal ordinary things – when all of a sudden I heard something. I said to Greg, “Shhh! Did you hear that?” He looked around and then back at me and said, “No”. Hmmmm. It stopped. I waited. Nothing. So we continued to talk again. A few minutes later I heard it again. It was directly to my left – an empty table – in fact we were the only ones in the little place. But it was coming from the table – I was so sure. When I told Greg where it was coming from – he said, “Are the salt and pepper shakers trying to communicate to you?” Nice – I guess I deserved it. I mean normally I would hear nothing – even if the world was falling apart – but this was really strange.
It was determined that it must have been an alarm in the kitchen that was making a sound through the kitchen door and down to where our table was – giving the impression that the sound was coming from right next to me. It was bizarre – and now I know how Greg felt in that Shari’s. You really do feel like you’re losing it. I’m glad to know that I am still in my right mind – at least most of the time – but if you ask me about it – I will still say, “I DID hear something – I really did!”
Here’s hoping you have a wonderful evening and that if you hear unexplainable sounds – just let them happen. It’s okay. I believe you.
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” ~~~ Anne of Green Gables
I have always loved “Anne of Green Gables” – the scenery – the story – the life applications – there are so many wonderful things in that story. I’ve read all the books and also LOVED the mini series put out by BBC in the mid 80’s. The soundtrack for this series is also very beautiful and puts me in a mood of happiness and joy. I have the “theme” song from this for piano and often will play it to unwind and reset a mood of mine from a trying or difficult day.
I am with Anne on the above quote. How often have I thought those very words myself. In a world full of stress and interesting people – where my time is demanded in so many different directions and my attention can be pulled in here and there – It is a given that I WILL make many mistakes each day. I probably make more in my head than I actually “act” on – but to me it is the same thing. It is nice to think about waking up in the morning with “no mistakes” at least – yet.
A Woman’s Morning Prayer
Dear Lord, So far today, I am doing all right. I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent. I have not whined, grumbled, cursed, or eaten any chocolate. I have not charged on my credit card. However, I am going to get out of bed in a few minutes, and I will need a lot more help after that. Amen.
I can relate. Oh boy. Can you?
I’m praying for you – that you too will look upon this new day with increased anticipation – as you are further along on your own “journey” – and think of it as a new day – with “no mistakes” in it – yet.
There is a test in our home to see if a “grumpy” one is past all sense of humor – and is no longer able to laugh at themselves. It goes like this:
“Greg – are you a little grumpy“? If he laughs then all is well. If he doesn’t – I’m in trouble and have totally misinterpreted his mood. And it makes him even more grumpy – if you can imagine that!
We have used this simple little measuring stick for a “mood” over the years – He has used it on me and the kids too. Usually we pass the “test” with flying colors – but there are moments that we all have where we’ve had an especially trying day and nothing is funny anymore – but those days are rare. I am a rare one – I usually announce to my family when I’m having a bad day before they know anything is up. I will say, “Okay – I’m really grumpy” and that makes them laugh – and soon I’m not really that grumpy any more.
It is important to be able to laugh at yourself. Sometimes people have a great sense of humor – can laugh at many of life’s absurdities and people in general – but then cannot laugh at themselves in a healthy way. In other words – they take themselves too seriously and expect everyone else to do the same. These people end up being marginalized and pushed to the “outer limits” where those in their world don’t have to engage with them too much – for fear of having everything they say – taken the wrong way – or having that person find a hidden meaning or “jab” with each conversation.
Those that can laugh – but also laugh at themselves are healthier – and have learned that life can be way too serious at times – but because there is so much to be thankful for – they don’t think they have all the answers even though they may be quite well-educated or well read. They have learned the secret in life: surround yourself with positive people who can take a joke – can tease and be teased without offense and who have found a deeper joy that comes from healthy laughter and contentment with one’s self. Those that don’t need the approval of man – but who are free to be themselves – who only need to please God and have found others who accept them exactly the way they are. This is the greatest joy of all.
I have friends like this in my life. Friends who make me smile. Friends who make me laugh. My husband and children are like this. They bring a smile to my face and help me not take myself too seriously. They make me laugh at the silly absurd little every day things. We are a healthy family – full of fun and laughter. And though we are far from perfect and have our share of difficulties, and our children know we are flawed human beings on a journey – we DO have love and laughter in our home all the time.
I want to challenge you today – laugh a lot. Have lots of fun, love and laughter in your home. And most of all – learn to laugh at yourself.