“A cheerful heart is good medicine…” Proverbs 17:22
My compliment of the week: “Robbie, the thing I admire about you is you’re not afraid to humiliate yourself.”
I laughed and laughed. In context, it was a compliment and I took it that way. But the way she put it was so funny.
This last week has been difficult for all of us, in different ways. It is too easy to watch the news and fall into despair. So I have chosen laughter. I have looked for reasons to laugh.
Last night, when my friend gave me this compliment, I agreed with her. We were talking about the gym and my attitude of just being me there. It’s difficult enough for an obese woman to go into a gym, but if I add insecurity to the mix, it is excruciating. It helps that I’m 50, because I truly care less now about other people’s opinions of me more than ever in my life. Freedom is the result.
When I first met my personal trainer, this was our conversation:
Me: Do you know CPR?
Me: Have you ever done it?
Mona: Yes, and we have a portable defibrillator here.
Me: Have you used it?
Mona: Yes, last year an elderly woman’s heart gave out and I worked on her until the ambulance came.
Me: Did she make it?
Me: Where do I sign?
I think having no fear of humiliating myself comes from the choice to laugh at myself. In my life, I’ve had plenty of practice.
I went to a bridal shower once and didn’t know it was a lingerie shower. Everyone’s gifts were beautiful negligees and such. She opened up my present to find an electric knife.
I was the guest of honor at a banquet once and I sat between my date Larry and the entertainment Gary. During the meal, I got to coughing and threw up. In trying to flee, I threw up on both Larry and Gary.
Two weeks ago, I went to a parent teacher conference at Noah’s Middle School. We walked around the cafeteria to different tables each teacher occupied. At one table, I sensed my chair was a bit squishy. In mid-conference, my chair collapsed and I hit the ground. I was embarrassed but decided to laugh at it. Afterwards, I kept saying in a Jerry Seinfeld voice, “It was the chair. They had a squishy chair!”
I chose our Christmas tree this year. We got a new type of tree that promised excellent needle retention. However, although I’ve watered it consistently, it has suffered a pre-mature death. So day after day, I sit in my living room looking at a dried up Yule bush. It is pathetic and I keep stopping myself from assigning it some symbolic meaning. The year of our dead Christmas tree. “Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how dried up are your branches.”
Friday is the end of the Mayan calendar and the end of the world, “they” say. I don’t believe this for one second, but as a dieter I am always sniffing out justifications for eating treats. Can there be any reason more tailor-made for me than the world is ending on Friday? Sigh.
So as you can see, fodder for laughing at myself is a plenty. And laughing at life is a gift we can all give ourselves, especially in times when the enemy of our hearts wants us to live in hopeless despair.