Grin and Share It

Our family slogan is: “If you keep both feet on the ground, you can’t get your pants on!” I like that slogan because it reminds me to take life lightly. To move from “grin and bear it” to “grin and share it” we need to surround ourselves with positive people and choose life-affirming activities. I’m usually way too serious, so I purposely write humorous family life newspaper columns, magazine articles and books to help me live on the bright side. If we’re naturally dour we need to practice laughing especially at ourselves by telling jokes, embarrassing stories or making up funny slogans. Laugher is a great form of exercise – like jogging on the inside.

We can get more mileage from our muff-ups and mistakes by sharing them. For example, the day I backed into my husband’s company truck with our family van in our own driveway was not a stellar moment. I instantly knew we’d have to pay for both repairs out-of-pocket. I felt so deeply dumb it leaked out my eyeballs. A man in my neighborhood dropped off his little girl to play with my daughter about an hour later. Dumbness was still leaking from my eyes when he arrived.

“What’s wrong?” he asked. When I told him, he laughed. His reaction was not what I expected. “Hey that’s nothing,” he continued. “You should have seen the look on this guy’s face when I pulled him over and forgot to put my patrol car in park. I was standing there writing him a speeding ticket when suddenly – bam! The poor guy got a speeding ticket and his new car rear-ended by the deputy sheriff in less than a minute. Not exactly a shining moment for the department.”

After hearing his story, I laughed out loud. Suddenly my driveway crash didn’t seem so bad any more. I instantly liked this deputy a lot more after he told me his story. Why? He became human to me. He was he no longer an intimidating, straight-faced officer with a gun just waiting behind the corner to catch me doing something stupid. He did dumb things just like me.

“Hey,” I answered. “Once I managed to wreck our car all by myself without even leaving our garage! It cost thousands to fix it!”

We went on trying to top each other with all the dumb things we’d done with our motor vehicles until we were both in stitches. The point here is - we both felt a lot better that day after we shared all our not-so-brilliant goof-ups. Why? Humor builds bridges, relieves stress and promotes health. The next time you do something really dumb don’t try to hide it. Blab it to everyone you see that day. Chances are you’ll learn all the goofy things everybody else has done and you’ll both feel a whole lot better.

1 comment:

arianne said...

You made me laugh out loud. I like your new look on your blog.