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Archive for the ‘The Stuff’ Category

Her: Can’t you just delete the one’s you don’t like?

Me: Yes, but… there’s no sense in it. It’s 140 characters, not much room to screw up.

Her: Oh, that seems like plenty of room to me. Why would anyone want to do that anyway?

Me: I don’t know… it’s fun. It’s relaxing. It makes me happy.

Her: You don’t seem very relaxed right now.

Me: Mom, if you keep sneaking into my dreams and bringing me down, I’m going to request the Andy Garcia dreams again.

I do some things out of habit. Old habits. Ones that are hard to break or overcome or stop. I noticed this recently when my kids were all away for the night. It had been a complicated day which was spilling in to a complicated night and I was ready for it to end. I let my dogs in, locked up my house, and made my way to the kids rooms — making sure their night lights were off and their dirty clothes weren’t all over the floor. Then I went to the bathroom in the hallway between all their rooms and flicked the switch on… yes, on. I walked away then realized I didn’t need the bathroom light shining into my room that night as there were no small feet to pidder padder to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Their bathroom light has a tendency to shine at such an angle that it sheds a bit too much light in my room. So I turned around and flicked it off. Then I realized how completely dark my house was. I couldn’t see to manuever back to my room. I searched for the railing of the stairs to help guide me. Once I made it to my room, I then had to weave my way around to crawl in my bed. And there I was… in my bed startled by the complete darkness — the kind of darkness that makes you strain your eyes to see the shadows being cast about the room. The kind of darkness that you can hear — and it’s loud… as loud to your ears as it is blinding to your eyes. Unsettled at the shadows being cast across the walls, reactive to the dogs feet across the floor down stairs… I got up and made my way back to the kids bathroom and flicked the light back on.

Habits, like sleeping with the bathroom light on even when the kids aren’t home. Like having conversations with your mother in your sleep about Twitter. Like always asking “what if?” One’s we can live with and one’s that should probably be tossed out. Habits can control us and make us sick and make us vulnerable and make us weak — or they can fill a need… a void, perhaps.

I’ve taken up card making. It’s a very calming activity for me. I think about a friend and about how that friend has affected me and my life and I try to put thoughts and sayings in the card that express what I love about that friend — then I mail it off and hope it’s received with the love it was sent with. A new habit, I guess. One that feeds my selfish tendencies as well as makes someone smile on the other end — the best of both worlds.

I was thinking about a friend recently. We hadn’t seen each other in a while so I wanted to send her something special, something more than just a card, something I thought she would enjoy — I sent a pie. It made sense at the time… I thought “Hmm, haven’t seen you in a while, haven’t talked in a few weeks — a pie!” Turns out, her and her husband don’t like pie. Hate it even. Still been a while since we talked.

I do that sometimes… a lot actually. I act on my heart and I do it impulsively, sometimes. Other times I don’t act — I freeze. So… you either know I care about you without a doubt because I act on that emotion way too often or you are always wondering. Maybe I send a pie or a card or an email at 3:36 am. Sometimes I do things because my heart tells me to act… right then. And later, maybe not much later, my brain tells me there was a much better way. That probably makes me a little bent… but not too bad.

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I think there is a part in each of us that begs to escape, to run away. When you think you may have ventured too far from the path. Things start to look so unfamiliar that you pause and step back, trying to see the whole picture — only for it to be obscured by the “right now”. I don’t think I’m a courageous person, no more than anyone else. I think luck has put me in some situations where I needed a calm demeanor — I drove up on a fatal wreck, I stopped a man from choking, I put myself in front of a man trying to stab his girlfriend, I performed CPR on a dying child. I don’t know why I was there, in those situations… not all turned out okay. I think everyone would just react, just go with their natural instincts in demanding situations.

When I was about 5 or 6 years old. I was at the pool with my brother and sisters, summer break was usually spent lounging at the community pool. I had never gone off the high diving board — it seemed so high. I can remember standing at the foot of the steps and looking up, so scared and so filled with want at the same time… I would inevitably walk away. Then I would jump in the water and look up at the board from underneath, gauging the distance — wondering how far down I would go… if I jumped, wondering how long I would need to hold my breath… if I jumped. I repeated this scene many times that summer — staring up from the steps then from the water, and each night I would go home and say, “… tomorrow”.

Summer was half way finished and I still hadn’t jumped — I remember the day well. My brother had purchased some Lemon Head candies from the concession stand and said if I jumped, he would share with me. I loved Lemon Head candies. Without thinking, I made my way to the ladder and climbed up — never stopping. Once I reached the top I walked slowly out to the end of the board and looked down — it was so far down. I turned to go back down the ladder only to find it was packed with anxious kids waiting their turn… no way out. I looked at the lifeguard who was motioning for me to jump. I looked down in the water at my brother who was holding up the box of Lemon Heads. I calculated how long I would need to hold my breath, I calculated how long it would take for the lifeguard to save me, I calculated how many Lemon Heads would be left if I waited too much longer — and I jumped. My eyes were open the whole time, fixated on the water below. My breathing stopped — not because I remembered to hold my breath, it just stopped… and there was silence all around me. I could feel my heart beating, strongly… but I couldn’t hear anything. The water seemed so far away… I remember thinking it would be over soon, surely it would be over soon. Then I broke the surface and sank slowly to a halt. With one quick kick, I  popped up and swam for the edge. It was over. I was all at once filled with the want of going again and the longing of having that feeling of weightless silence return — but the dread of the unknown was no longer there. I was laughing. Everyone was laughing at the little daredevil who just jumped off the high dive for a Lemon Head.

I think the daredevil might be around, somewhere…inside. Maybe here on this blog, maybe out there in a world that sometimes confuses and hurts, maybe when I feel like I’m being kicked in the gut so often that I forget how to stand up straight. Maybe the daredevil is remembering how to stand up straight. Courage is in us all, we just have to be willing to let it see the light of day once in a while… and when we do, marvelous things happen. Books are written, blogs are started, friendships are formed — life is lived… we stay in the “right now”, courage is in us all.

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” ~~ Mary Anne Radmacher

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I have a friend (I love saying that even though we’ve never actually met), she’s a writer — a real writer. Like a kick-ass-slap-you-in-the-face-and-make-you-stand-up-straight writer. Her mother died recently, a long drawn out emotionally draining death to that bitch cancer. But here’s my take-away on a piece of this… she’s writing. And it’s amazing. And she’s touching my soul and making me think about things I thought I was quite comfortably past.

My father died in November a couple of years ago. He had been in the hospital for over 30 days, a week of which was in the hospice unit. During those 30 days, I visited everyday — everyday. I spent many nights in that horrific chair that folds almost flat. If my day at work brought me close to the hospital, I would stop in there for lunch in the cafeteria with my mom — usually 2 or 3 times a week and every weekend.

My routine was simple, I went to my dad’s room. He would immediately say, “Hi sweetheart” or “Hi bulldog” (he took to calling me bulldog during that last month for some reasons I might talk about on another day), then he would say, “take your mother out of here”. My mom would already be getting up to come with me to the cafeteria. It wasn’t an enormous amount of time we would spend in there together — maybe 30 or 40 minutes. But it was our time — time to not worry about the cancer that was taking over my father’s body, time to not worry about the next test or medicine or oxygen levels. We would peruse all the various staples the cafe had to offer then we would sit off to the side and people watch — the greatest pastime of all. We would eavesdrop on conversations and smile at the familiar nurses as they walked by. We would make plans on what do to when they finally let Dad go home — a hospital bed and nursing care and a wheelchair… we had it all worked out. When we were done, we would head back up to Dad’s room (I always stopped at the coffee kiosk to get him a cup of coffee and mom one too), I would kiss him goodbye and let him know which night I would be staying with him and which day I would bring the kids by — and I would leave and carry on with my day. This was my routine… for a month, this was my routine.

After my mom died, I felt I was mourning both their deaths because it all happened so quick. I was numb for a while — in the beginning. One day, I found myself driving in a familiar area at lunch time — my car guided itself into the hospital parking garage. I walked to the cafeteria and perused the various offerings. I sat off to the side and I eavesdropped on a few conversations. I smiled at a few familiar faces. I stopped at the coffee kiosk on my way to the waiting area on the hospice floor. I sat down and drank my coffee… and I left and carried on with my day. There were no thoughts, no cognitive processing — just physical actions. I did this about 3 or 4 times over the next month or two — I don’t know why… but it felt good, the routine, the familiarity of it.

So, my friend, the kick-ass writer — brought that deeply buried memory of that routine to the forefront of my thoughts. Words do that for us sometimes. Words matter. They help us, they heal us, they break us, they anger us, they sadden us, they make us shake in fits of laughter. That’s my take-away from this — I don’t know why… but it feels good to experience all those things.

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I’ve been in between pay checks since May. That’s a long time to be in between paychecks. This seems to be one of the other things that isn’t really clear about divorce — you have to learn to live on your own… financially. Everything was working out well until the last week (that’s usually the case, right?). I found myself down to the bare essentials. Making sure I had pancakes for breakfast and chips for the lunch boxes, oh… and of course chocolate milk. I remembered a money jar I had in my closet and decided I would cash it in — this would be the financial bridge I needed for the last remaining days of my own personal economic crunch.

I cashed in the jar and was amazed that it held $79.98 — amazed! My semi-stressed mood soared like I had just opened the door to the “Prize Patrol”. I clutched my winnings tight to my chest and headed straight for the gas station. My oversized-4-wheel-drive-gas-guzzling car had been screaming for a small drink of petrol all morning. I proudly walked inside and handed a crisp $20 bill to the attendant. Then proceeded to head back out to pump my gas (all the while thinking about how I would splurge at Starbucks after work on a venti sugar-free soy mocha hazelnut — nectar of the gods). On my walk back to my car, I also started thinking about buying something special for dinner that night — maybe I would splurge on shrimp and salmon at the store after work (the kids love shrimp and salmon night). There was a definite spring in my step at this point and I even took the time to smile coyly at a couple of customers as I approached my car. My phone rang and I couldn’t wait to answer it and tell whoever happened to be on the other end about that money jar and the $79.98. I listened intently as my friend told me about her morning and what was happening with work and where we were going to meet later on, then I mentioned that money jar and how bleak I was feeling before but now was walking on the sun with my winnings. I drove away and finished my conversation then cranked up the tunes as my new favorite song was playing — perfect timing. I was living in the zenest of moments. Then it dawned on me… I forgot to pump my gas.

I got so caught up in the feeling that I drove away without my $20 of gas… and for a brief second, my world stopped spinning. I turned the radio off, I screamed obscenities at the top of my lungs, I berated my careless behavior in such a financially poor time, and I thought about going back. I had just wasted $20 at a time when I couldn’t afford to be so careless.

But then, I let my imagination have its way with me — I imagined that another single mother of three in more dire need than me was steeling herself to pump her car full of gas and then speed away without paying. I imagined she had no other choice, I imagined she had no food at her house, I imagined her electricity was about to be cut off, I imagined her cell phone had long been disconnected. I imagined her kids needed shoes and clothes and food — I imagined they needed food. I imagined she cried herself to sleep trying to come up with a solution. I imagined she was out of solutions. I imagined she was young and scared and alone. I imagined she got caught, I imagined her children lonely and scared and crying for their mom. Then I imagined that she drove up to my pump to do her deed, and there… waiting for her, was $20 in gas. Just enough, I imagined, to get her to that job interview and secure her financial future for her and her kids. Just enough, I imagined, to give her hope for her future. Just enough, I imagined, to let her wake up to a new day. All because of my $20 that I forgot to pump.

So, I turned the radio back up and another amazing song was on — and I sang along at the top of my lungs and a tear fell down my face — a new day. I stopped at the next gas station and gave the attendant another crisp $20 bill from my money jar winnings. I laughed. I smiled at my forgetfulness. I decided I might do this again… on purpose this time. Leave $20 of gas for an unsuspecting single mother of three to find just in the nick of time to save her from herself.

I still had enough for my splurge at Starbucks and for the shrimp and salmon. All in all, a pretty good day. I’m filling my money jar back up… I wonder what stories it will have next month.

I developed a severe crush on this video and this project — I think you will too.

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Audio — Easily Forgotten <~~~ Disclaimer! 😉 This is my first attempt at an audio recording and it didn’t actually work. That Is All!

I rarely have trouble remembering the people who have passed through my life and left their mark on me. It’s not often that I forget the things they said or the things they did or the way they treated me. I remember simple interactions that should not, in the grand scheme of things, have settled into my memories. I should not have kept them, I should not recall them at will to relive those times that meant something to me but were just a simple passing to someone else — but I do. I guess that makes me a bit strange or difficult to be around. I’m the one who remembers that phone call you made to me just to say hi and the laughs we shared while we were at lunch and that postcard you mailed that arrived just in time to brighten my day. But, despite my ability to remember some fairly insignificant facts — I sometimes have trouble recalling a name.

I become very aware of this in my work and… Facebook. In my work, I have meaningful contact with a variety of people. We will become fast and furious friends and comrades to problem solve a tough case and for several weeks we spend enormous amounts of time together — then, it’s over. I move on to the next tough case and they become a memory — one that I lose, one that I have difficulty recalling the specifics of… their name escapes me. I often feel the same disconnect with Facebook. I see a face and I think I must know them because most of my friends know them so I must know them as well. But the name holds no meaning to me. And their face seems vaguely familiar but is lost in my over-crowded memory. I wonder… is this me? Is this how I appear to some of you?

I was recently talking to a close friend about fears and if the fears we (and by we I mean me) were having were actually valid or completely made up. I think I have an old person’s fear — the fear of being forgotten. This could possibly be the driving force behind some of my more needy interactions.

I remember when my father had first been diagnosed with lung cancer. We had googled the statistics and knew the overall outlook was grim. He had really never been faced with his own immortality, even at 70, because his health had always been impeccable. At 70, he had never been hospitalized for anything… ever. So, the outlook of lung cancer hit hard. One night in a tearful exchange, he said his biggest fear was for the babies of our family. He was afraid they were so young that they would forget him and how much he loved them. I assured him he would live on in their thoughts — he could rely on the movies and the pictures and me — he could rely on my memory for the minute to tell his stories.

So… back to my own fear of being forgotten. Perhaps this is why I developed such a quick wit (yes, I’m funny in person… I swear). Perhaps this is why I feel so strongly about the words I choose to leave here upon these pages. Perhaps this is why I make sure I remember those simple words and everyday occurrences that bounce off the majority of the people and stick to me. I want to be able to walk away and still have you hold my name close to your heart. I want to be able to leave your side but still have you whisper about me in my absence. I want you to remember that none of us should be easily forgotten.

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I guess it’s fitting that right after I did a post on physical appearance and women being kind to one another and the quest for beauty and believing in yourself (you got all of that out of that post…right?) that I experienced a bit of a set back in my quest to be healthy and like myself. Here’s a bit of the sordid story:

It was a day like any other day… no, let’s start again!

I indulge my children, sometimes. I have changed their eating habits along with mine. We very rarely stop at a fast food restaurant, very seldom order pizza, whimsically go out for ice cream. Once in a while, I make brownies for them. I’ve been very good about staying away from such treats and enjoying just watching from the sidelines — it’s never bothered me to not indulge. I think that can be attributed to a certain amount of calm that I’ve been feeling as of late. But as we know, sometimes a storm follows a nice calm.

My storm came in the form of brownies. I decided to make brownies for my kids a few days ago. I actually was thinking about how good and chocolately they would taste just looking at the box. It was not necessarily the best time for me to be attempting to be so close to such a powerful drug as chocolate — I had been experiencing a bit of emotional stress. But, I found myself there, with the box of brownie mix in my hand — tempting fate, pretending that I was in control and wouldn’t try to fill the void with a nice treat.

It started with a quick taste of the batter, who can resist brownie batter? I kept telling myself that just a little indulgence would help me feel better, just a little indulgence would fill up that empty space, just a little indulgence. I managed to get the brownies into the oven and once they finished baking, I thought that adding just a touch of chocolate frosting while they were still hot would make them extra gooey — for the kids of course. So, I continued to pretend that I could work past my emotional void, that I wouldn’t need to fill that empty space with the ambivalent treat gloating at me from the kitchen counter.

Just a taste, I thought. Just a taste. My void after all, I needed to fill my void — I needed to feel.

So, I indulged in a brownie. And although you may say it was not that big of a deal — it is. It signifies a set back. It signifies a need to fill an emotional void that I was hoping would leave me in peace. It signifies a lack of self-control and a belief that I was in control. And, as usual when we attempt to fill a void instead of face the issue head on — it meant I had to start over.

Starting over is hard. It wears you down. It wears those around you down.

I attempted, as I so often do, to correct the wrong… to wipe out the mistake — the only way I know how now, my treadmill. I put on my exercise clothes, filled up my water bottles, and climbed on for a much-needed therapeutic 6 miles. I think correcting our mistakes is necessary. I think recognizing our weaknesses is necessary. I think starting over is necessary. I hope I don’t need to start over many more times… I hope I don’t have to say oops too often… I hope.

I can’t decide what I love more — the haunting melody of this song, the incredibly poetic lyrics of this song, or the amazing video for this song — you tell me, okay?

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My father was the oldest of six children. When he was eight years old, his father, an abusive alcoholic, had left the family. Not all together a bad thing. Except it left my grandmother without the financial means to care for her six children. So, around 1942, my grandmother made a decision that would greatly affect the life paths for those six children — she placed the five oldest in an orphanage in their town. In 1942, the only prerequisite for placing children in an orphanage was whether or not space was available — space was available.

My father kept the stories of the abuse he suffered there hidden from us, from everyone — only in the last year of his life did he begin to reveal some of the secrets he hid away so carefully. I spent a day recently with my uncle. He was a much more willing participant to tell some of the stories from the orphanage, as he occasionally held his wife’s hand for a memory jolt and a secure grasp. The boys were beaten, very often. My father bore the scars of those beatings on his back from the time he was 8, until he passed away at 72 — a reminder that time doesn’t heal everything.

My uncle told us of when they first went to the orphanage, he was 5 and my father 8. He said the boys were separated by age which meant my father was separated from the rest of his siblings. But at night, after the lights were out, my uncle would see my father make his way to the bathroom to relieve himself. My uncle would use that opportunity to go to the bathroom as well — with his big brother. They got caught one night on their way to the restroom. My uncle said that once the lights were out, you were not to get out of your bed — for anything. The rules of the orphanage were not to be broken. Young boys have a difficult time making it through the night without a trip to the bathroom. They paid the price. Their shirts were removed and they were beaten with a leather strap from their shoulder blades to the backs of their knees — blood, flesh, tears. Boys, 8 and 5, who learned that wetting the bed was a better alternative. Then, in an attempt to keep the boys from wetting the bed at night, the head of the orphanage would make them all swallow a spoonful of salt before bed — no water. Time does not heal all wounds and some memories remain close to the surface. But, I promised a story of baseball… so, let’s continue.

Kids have a way of surviving… of coping — a resiliency that adults sometimes forget they ever had. The boys from the orphanage had baseball. They were allowed to work on a farm — that was their sanctuary. The farm was run by an angelic couple who brought what peace they could into the lives of the boys for the few hours each day that they were together. My father loved baseball. Lived baseball. My uncle is the same way. But not just any baseball team, the St Louis Cardinals. But neither my father nor my uncle ever played on a team… ever. There was no baseball team at the high school, no little league — but, they played every chance they got. They would prepare a spot in a field at the farm for a baseball diamond. And there, all their nightly beatings, all their scared feelings, all their lonesome hostilities would dissipate — if only momentarily.

The church’s in the area would all form baseball teams — a semi league. The church teams would take turns coming to the farm and challenging the boys. There were probably 30 boys who had, for a variety of reasons, ended up at the orphanage — they were tough and worn and they were, by all accounts… brothers. And during the day they were boys, they played and they fought. They bonded on the baseball field each day. A break from the hard work on the farm, a break from the memories of a house that used to be theirs, a break from their reality. At night, when they returned to the orphanage… they became battle-scarred soldiers. But at night, when everything was quiet, they could seek solace in the promise that the next day a new team would come to challenge them. Baseball was their refuge. Baseball gave them a reason to not succumb to the beatings of the night — because their field would be there, the next day, at the farm… waiting for them.

My uncle finished his stories with a distant look in his eyes… a memory perhaps, of an orphanage that he wanted to forget or of how baseball helped him to remember. The bonds of childhood and the game of baseball are still fresh in his memory — as they should be.

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I’ve been thinking lately, about people and personalities and personas and truth and fiction and real… real people. I wonder if we try to pass ourselves off as something we’re not. I wonder if the friends we meet and keep are the friends that know everything about us. I wonder would they run away if they knew everything about us.

I often wonder if our awkward junior high school personalities take hold of a spot somewhere in the back of our minds — just sitting there… wreaking havoc on our adult psyche’s just as it did when we where 13. My hair, my clothes, my smile — my friends aren’t talking to me right now, the boy I like doesn’t know I exist, I can’t keep up with my homework, I want to call my friend desperately and tell her I need to talk to her… not just anyone, but to her right now. I want to grow-up and be confident and secure… I want to not be 13 anymore. And then we realize… we’re not.

I recently started this blog (you knew this didn’t you?), I recently reclaimed some old friends from high school and college, I recently found the joy of twitter — all things I was able to do from the comfort of my home and with the help of this keyboard. All these things give me experiences to share, to somehow try to explain… to find a word simple enough to describe the euphoria, the heartache, the pain, the laughter, the friendship. To describe the crushes and the cliques and the cool girls — how? How did we describe junior high? Exhilarating, breathtaking, heartbreaking.

I sit here, alone… comforted by the silence that surrounds me and I type. I type a funny story to a friend, I type condolences to another, I type “I need to talk”, I type a joke… I type. And you read. You read and you decide who I am — and I think you’re very close, I truly think you’re very close. I hope you see me as flawed, as sometimes angry, as sometimes ridiculous, as sometimes comical, as sometimes needy, as sometimes completely secure, and as sometimes in desperate need of a hand to guide me. Because I am all those things — here when I type. I’m all those things here, alone in the silence. I’m all those things when I’m standing right next to you and I’m all those things when you stumble across this blog.

This is me.

I am real.

Who are you?

Photo from Yes and Yes

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I hate it when people ask me what I would do if I won the lottery… you know the BIG lottery — the hundred bazillion dollar lottery. I always think if I don’t answer with at least some semblance of humbleness then I look like an ass. So, I always include the “give to this charity and that charity”, “take care of the people I love”, “put the majority in a trust for my kids”. But, with the fast approach of my birthday, I’ve been thinking about what I would want if I won the birthday lottery.

I’ve never been too keen on celebrating my birthday — I get a card from time to time, I take my kids out to dinner to my … wait, their favorite restaurant… nothing too celebratory. But for some reason, this approaching birthday has me feeling particularly good about my life and the (sometimes difficult) choices I’ve made. So I sat down and made a list, a “what I would want if I won the b-birthday lottery”. Here’s a few of the one’s I’ll share with you:

  1. To have lunch… (wait), dinner… (not quite), breakfast… (ahh yes), with Andy Garcia.
  2. To have all of the light bulbs in my house working at the same time.
  3. To go on a trip somewhere I’ve never been.
  4. To have a day when I don’t have to check my bank account before I make a purchase.
  5. To have guarantees in friendship, in life… just for one day.
  6. To walk on a beach… at dusk… with friends… in a sweater.
  7. To win a tennis tournament… again.
  8. To sit in a living room and talk all night (there should be wine).
  9. To camp and float a river in Montana.
  10. To know we’re friends… always… through laughs and tears and anger and pain and good times… always.
  11. To have meaningful words decorating my wall.
  12. To have a black bean burrito.
  13. To learn how to make sushi.
  14. To share sushi (at midnight) with Andy Garcia.
  15. To laugh with friends far and near who have stolen my heart and filled my soul.

That’s my list, at least the one’s I’ll show you. There are some more that possibly involve Andy Garcia but… I think this list should suffice just fine. What about you? What would you want if you won the birthday lottery?

Image from Kind Over Matter

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A card arrived in the mail today. I’ve been receiving so many cards and letters lately from friends, because I’m a (semi) card person now, that I didn’t even look at who it was addressed to — I assumed it was me. I looked at who had sent it. I recognized the last name… it was my mother’s maiden name. Then I glanced to see who it was addressed to — Barbara Brewster. My first thought was, “seriously?”. My second thought was, “who didn’t get the memo?”. I quickly opened the card, curious what it said. Here’s a little of what the hand written note inside said:

a few days have passed since we last talked. Time flies when we’re having fun!

So, of course, because I have always had a tendency to laugh at some weird humor and inappropriate things… I laughed. “Yes,” I thought, “it’s been a barrel of monkeys”. Then it dawned on me — this card was perfectly timed for what I needed at the moment.

Laughs really don’t give us any indication of when they’re approaching — the giggles come upon us during the national anthem, a hearty laugh rolls out of us when we’re visiting someone ill in the hospital, a guffaw slips out while we’re watching wedding vows being exchanged.

We laugh because we can…because we have to. Because when we laugh, for those few minutes, our world becomes bearable. Our world becomes the place we want to be. Our world becomes the place we can return to the next day and start all over.

So, in the end, I’ll laugh longer than I’ll cry. I’ll smile longer than I won’t. And I’ll remember that the strange laughter is sometimes the best.

So maybe a few places to help get your laugh box in gear:

  1. It’s all very scientific — which of course means it’s for real, right?
  2. This should get you going in the right direction!
  3. If you’ve never bopped along with this tune, here’s your chance.


To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it. – Charlie Chaplin

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