Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained.
Being a shy girl growing up, I wasn’t known for my sense of humor. For that matter, I wasn’t raised in a family that sat around and told jokes. Stories yes. Jokes…not so much. We were hard working, not so much hard playing. Playing was playing cards and then we played hard to win.
So it always amazed me later on when I would sit around a group of friends who would tease each other, poke around and then burst into a fit of laughter. It was an alien concept. OR maybe I was the alien.
The good news is that I didn’t laugh at other people and their misfortune. The bad news is that I didn’t know how to laugh at mine either. Every mishap was a huge embarrassment and I was sure that everyone else was staring at me through a giant magnifying glass examining my mistake. It was the breeding ground for my future perfectionism complex.
I needed to lighten up. Enter my childhood friend that I shall call *Karen.* Karen was one of those people that took nothing in life seriously including herself. She could laugh off the most embarrassing disaster. I would sit in complete amazement as we would whisk out of a room after a pickle she had gotten us into, me beet red, her in a fit of giggles. I won’t tell you she was the best thing that ever happened to my childhood. She wasn’t. In fact the litany of trouble she got me into could fill a book. But I learned that nothing in life was that serious, or that worth beating myself up over. I learned to have a little fun. To let go. To laugh at myself for getting it wrong. To just laugh period. She was fun to be around. Most of the time.
Over the years, I’ve landed myself in more than my share of puddles. Without anyone to blame but myself. I’ve learned to laugh at myself and more importantly with myself as I have journeyed about, learning the lessons along the way. I am afraid to think about where I might have ended up, had I not learned to just shrug it off, let it go and move on to the next one. It has been a saving grace for me.
I am still not known for my sense of humor. I know I have one, but it’s discriminatory I guess. I don’t think the Simpsons are funny. I leave the room when it comes on. I think the Friar is hilarious. My kids are funny too. I have no idea how they got that way. My husband is also funny. He has the same sense of humor as the Friar. I guess someone in the family has to be the straight man…um-woman… so that is my place in the family line-up, but I have learned to surround myself with funny people!
Laughing is good for the soul. Summer is here and it time to relax, kick back, take yourself less seriously, take life a little less seriously and find some ways to get some humor and laughter in your life.
I probably won’t ever be the one to tell you a joke. I’m not even sure I know any. But I hang out with a lot of folks who will. Because I know the value of laughter. With myself and with others.
How about you? Done or seen anything funny lately? Have a joke to tell? Feel free to share it here!