February 18, 2014

This is How We Laugh.


“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”

~ Audrey Hepburn

I sometimes wonder what people are like in real life when they complain about every small aspect of life’s problems on social media.

A child’s illness.

A sore throat.

A snow-up-to-your-knees driveway. 


I’ve never been one to push the whole half-full-half-empty cup thing because I can vary considerably in this arena of vantage point myself.

But that’s the thing—I realize how half-full I actually am when I read these types of shallow, woeful personal updates.

Occasionally, I fear that I’m a half-empty sort because I have a pretty dry, sarcastic, dark sense of humor—yet this isn’t the same as being cynical. Rather, it’s almost the complete opposite because I’m able to see the half-empty side and then laugh at it so much that my half-full personality finds joy there—in the darkness and weariness of life.

I mean, my morning could look like this:

I’m sitting in bed with my laptop being hogged by my two favorite people watching James Bond on its screen and all I want to do is write and I feel guilty for this—for not being in this moment with them because my fingers—and my brain—are too itchy to rotate and churn and sift through thoughts, feelings and ideas.

All three of us are sick, but with different maladies.

My child’s school is still in session, but she can’t go because when public is cancelled our roads don’t get plowed until later on.

However, this is what I see:

I see my joy and animation in finding my passion—writing.

I see my heart sitting in two different bodies—one a full-grown man and one a pint-sized girl—watching some darn good films while cozy in bed.

I observe how good it is for me and for my writing to have these moments and, also, I just decided to name my laptop Steve—and Steve likes taking a break to play The Spy Who Loved Me.


I don’t see the dark, cold downstairs room where my old, clunky computer sits—and where I now sit in front of it, because I had to write! 

Instead, I see a familiar and reliable machine on a scratched-up, faux-wood desk I bought for myself in college that cost—brand spankin’ new from the local woodworking company—30 dollars. I feel the change of scenery and light play on my shoulders and reflect on walls that need a coat of paint.

I don’t feel the damp air, but the warm lavender and rice neck wrap that I warmed and draped over my shoulders, and how good and soft and hot it feels on my dry winter skin.

And I don’t care that my driveway is full of snow or that my road hasn’t been plowed or even that we’re all not our healthiest, and it’s not because I have no plans and nowhere that I should be, but because years from now I’ll remember the way that three different sized bodies curled up in one bed under a turquoise and rose flowered quilt with snow hitting the windows, and that it wasn’t the end of the world when I called her school and said that we wouldn’t be able to make it there in my little silver Jetta.

beautyYes I have a shovel and, thankfully, a working body—that just happens to have a slightly runny nose—to dig myself out if the things I need to do can wait no longer for the snowstorm to end.

And the beauty of life is there, all along. It doesn’t go anywhere when we’re sick or depressed or snowed in—it’s all still there.

Life really is about how we look at it, and, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather unapologetically laugh myself through a lot of it and look outside my own frozen window long enough to notice all of the good that’s lingering, just waiting for me to capture it in my smiling eyes.

“And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.”

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

But, if you still need a great pick-me up, then watch this (about 48 seconds in):


Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photos: Author’s own

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