Laugh. At. Your. Self.

I’m quite self-conscious about my current pair of glasses. I don’t like how they look in pictures, and the lenses seem to look horrendously thicker than in previous pairs I’ve worn. There aren’t too many photos of me since I got them a year ago. I was dubbed ‘Hubble’ last week as a result of someone trying on my oh-so-stunning specs. I started laughing at the visual in my head about what I could see with my Hubble space goggles, and every time I think about it I start laughing all over again. It’s probably one of those ‘had to be there’ moments.

laugh alwaysI farted once as someone walked into my office, and am now forced to relive that memory periodically at the mercy of the colleague, who went on to become my brother-in-law! Another co-worker and I were laughing so hard and loud one time that the owner of the company walked down the hall to find out what on earth could be so spectacularly funny. There was an incident years ago where I was playing footsies under the table with someone who I thought was my guy, only to find out it was someone else altogether. When I asked him why he didn’t say anything to me, his response was, “It felt good!” If you had any idea how quiet and reserved this guy was, it would only add to the hilarity of it. To this day it still makes me laugh – out loud.

I had a family doctor years ago who did extensive research on the topic of laughter and enjoyment. He often carried a folder with goofy cartoons he could hand out to others when it was appropriate, and his exam rooms featured funny posters on the ceilings. His trusty folder also carried statistics on the effects of happiness on health; the results were staggering. Even before studies on this topic became popular, he knew what we so often now hear – laughter is the best medicine! He worked diligently and creatively at incorporating humour into his role, and he was exceptionally good at it.

It’s pretty clear I think, that we all know the affect laughter has on us. Whether it’s a lighthearted friend, a family physician, Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader (I know about this book because I gave it to my dad a few years back haha) … a stand up comic or a funny movie, we need to stimulate those endorphins to overtake us once in a while!  The Carol Burnett Show is a classic, because they could not refrain from laughing at themselves, which is what truly made it the success it was. I loved that show. Even the Bible says, “A cheerful heart does good like medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” I certainly don’t want ‘dry bones’ anytime soon!

There are countless moments in my life when I have laughed uncontrollably. I’ve experienced several fits of laughter that required me to cross my legs soshut up and smile I wouldn’t well, you know. Laughing at yourself is one of those key elements that allows us to not take life so seriously, to live in the moment, and to not get hung up on little things that don’t matter in the big scheme of things anyway. In the midst of chaos and difficulty it is so easy to succumb to frustration or sadness. Last week’s Hubble comment is etched in my brain as an uplift to my soul. I’m not so sure I’m going to get rid of these glasses of mine anytime soon. Yah right.

This blog itself may not cause you to roar with laughter, but hopefully it triggers some memories that will bring a smile to your face. Hopefully you’ll laugh instead of cringe next time you embarrass yourself. If life is proving a challenge, watch a good comedy, or go hang out with someone you know will make you laugh. Your health will thank you for it.

I know I’m anticipating my next Hubble moment!

** Please share one of your funny stories or embarrassing moments, so we can all enjoy an extra smile today. One way you can make a difference….

Food for Thought

“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.” ~ Woody Allen

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  1. #1 by NFord on July 26, 2011 - 9:39 am

    I’m kind of known for my ineptness when it comes to directions. In fact, 14 years ago the first gift my now-husband gave me when we were dating was a map of the Lower Mainland, where we were living at the time. When we had been dating a month or two I moved to a new place. I spent a day at his place and left in the late afternoon to head back home, (semi) confident of the directions I had from him. Heading down the highway, I suddenly noticed that the only signs were for the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing. I crossed into the US and back into Canada, answering questions like, “Where are you going?”, “How long will you be in the US?”, “What is the purpose of your visit?”, Where did you go in the US?”, “How long were you gone?”, “Do you have anything to declare?” (Really? I just told you I was gone about 30 seconds!)
    The worst part though, was having to phone my boyfriend and explain where I was and beg help getting home. I’m glad I already knew how to laugh at myself since there was no shortage of laughter coming my way.
    To this day I have never heard of another person crossing an international border in an attempt to go home.

    • #2 by shandracarlson on July 26, 2011 - 9:48 am

      Why can I somehow visualize that?! Thanks for sharing….!

  2. #3 by shelleyabeyer on July 26, 2011 - 4:34 pm

    Loved your post on Laugh. At. Your. Self.

    I have shared this ‘laugh at yourself’ story with quite a few people in my life already but here goes again, seeing you have paved the way….
    My husband and I had just gotten a new vehicle – one that was a step up from the Montana mini vans we had leased over many years. It was a shiny new black Buick, Enclave. We were told by the salesman that the tires on this vehicle had to be filled up by the dealership as they not only had air in them, but nitrogen. I was driving around one day during winter and noticed the warning sign on the dash that the tires were low and needing filling up.
    My husband was out of town so I decided I had better go to the dealership and get them filled up. I proceeded to the dealership and drove right into the bay that was open. I got out and proceeded to ask that my tires be filled explaining that we had been instructed to come to the dealership to do so because of the nitrogen. The nice fellow that I talked to had a little smile on his face and explained that I did not really need to put nitrogen in the tires and that just air would have been ok. I talked about how I really loved our new Enclave and just wanted to do what was instructed. Another fellow listening patted the other guy on the back, whom I had been talking to, and said “you’re such a nice guy”. They proceeded to fill up my tires. A few other men came from the back into the bay and all seemed to have a little smile and smirk on their faces. I noticed this and thought that they were probably thinking I was a woman that worried about things way too much.
    I thanked them for their help and left the bay. A month later I was driving with my husband in is Nissan, Ultima to the Nissan Dealership and waited outside while he went in to inquire about something. I looked up at the sign ‘Nissan’ and suddenly had an terrible realization hit me. I could feel my face turning red as I thought about the fact that I had brought my Buick, Enclave to this Nissan dealership that day when I needed air in my tires. I had previously been to the Nissan dealership many times and had just automatically went to this location without thinking. I put my face into my hands and said out loud…”oh no!!” In a that moment everything became clear to me about the smirks and smiles from the different men in the bay and about my whole conversation with them. I started laughing and laughing thinking about what must have been going thru those men’s minds that day. I’m sure that those of you reading this may have some of your own thoughts about what they must have been thinking. Oh well, I’m just human and a woman to boot (vehicles are not of great interest to me). I’m sure this won’t be the last time that I will have to laugh at myself and I hope I gave you a chance to smile or laugh today.

    • #4 by shandracarlson on July 26, 2011 - 4:42 pm

      Hahahahahahahahahahaha!! Yes, I can imagine what they were thinking. He really WAS a nice guy! Thanks for sharing, it did make me laugh – with you, not at you – of course.

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    "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." ~ Jack Kerouac
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