Friday, February 27, 2009

Laughing Matters

The other day I was in a bad mood all day. I just felt like I had too much to do and everyone was annoying me. By evening I was just exhausted and irritable. Finally having a chance to relax, I played a comedy special I had downloaded on my computer and found myself giggling away within seconds, all my stress melting away.

It's amazing how powerful humor can be.

Laughter is one of the greatest things about life. It has so many benefits: it gets your heart rate up, burns calories, relieves stress, releases those feel good endorphins and helps promote positive thinking. It's just an all-around wonder drug.

Being able to make others laugh is a great gift. I love watching stand-up comics perform. They do such an awesome job of talking about everyday things and making them funny. One thing I think is so important to have is the ability to laugh at ourselves. Comedians are really good at that, and they help us to laugh at ourselves as well.

Sometimes in life, you just have to laugh. Being able to laugh at those little screw-ups we make or the silly things the kids or pets do gives us a break from the dreary and serious routine of work, the pressures at home, the bills piling up and having to deal with whatever problems may jump out at us.

While MS is no laughing matter, I have found not taking some of its effects on me too seriously makes them easier to deal with. Walking a lot slower than I used to is a pain, but when people are waiting for me I just smile and say, "Here I come" or "I'm on my way, just a little slow these days."

Having MS has also turned me into a klutz. No matter how hard I try, I cannot avoid the occasional clumsy episode. I trip, I fall, I veer to the left. I have fallen in the snow three times this winter just while shoveling or brushing off the car. Picture a tree toppling over in the forest. Timberrrrr! That's me.

I could easily get frustrated by the physical challenges in my life. Falling down and having to struggle to get back up is no picnic to be sure. I have learned to make light of my own lack of coordination, though.

A couple I know came over a while back with their eighteen-month-old boy. We were on the front porch and he started climbing down the steps using his arms and legs and I said, "He goes down the steps like I do."

Sometimes I do feel like a toddler - physically. I mean, I'm not throwing tantrums or grabbing whatever I want and saying it's mine. A grown woman acting like that - now that would be funny.

Recommended reading: Someone I think was really funny was Erma Bombeck. Her humor-filled tale of her life as a suburban mom in The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank is a page-turning laugh riot.

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