by Irwin Lengel
As each year passes I think to myself that – hopefully - I’ve gotten yet another year wiser, but then there is always that one thing that keeps coming back into the picture. I am referring to the fact that no matter how old one becomes, especially during this phase of our lives – to survive in this crazy mixed-up world today, one not only has to remain wise but one also needs to have a sense of humor.
Life – in and of itself – can be a challenge unto itself. To get through it, we need to keep some semblance of proportion about it. If there is one thing that I have learned over the years through some of our past trials and tribulations, it is that some things we should take seriously while others not so seriously. It is only when we truly sit back and realize that the things we do along with what we take seriously, at times, can often be so far removed from the actual reality of the situation that it is and should be laughable.
Fact is that we should not allow ourselves to get bogged down in useless trivia because the day we allow such irrelevant data to – how shall I state this – rule our lives – well that is the day we might see our life just whiz past us. The sad part of this scenario is that we will not even see it happening. So, how do we avoid such a fiasco from happening? By taking notice of those things that are truly important to us and letting go of things that really aren’t important. How do we go about doing this and getting back on track? Believe it or not – this is where humor comes in. Yup, you heard me correctly. The one way I have found that assists me in this situation is “Humor!”
Stop and think for a moment – we need to take a break every now and then to stop and laugh at ourselves – or if not ourselves – laugh at the situation we find ourselves in. One thing to keep in mind and that is that at the same time we are laughing at ourselves – we need to make sure that we do not laugh at others. When laughing at ourselves, life doesn’t seem as complicated as we had made it out to be. The reason I made mention of the fact that we should not laugh at others is quite simple. When you get right down to it – chances are that they (others) are just as lost as we are and perhaps they are struggling like we are as well. As such, they do not need to be laughed at. Remember, everyone has their own demons and battles that they are fighting.
There is an old German saying that goes:
“We grow too soon oldt und too late schmart!”
When one gets right down to it, there is a lot of truth to this statement. Sad thing is that sometimes it takes us so long to realize that much of our life we allow ourselves to get bogged down in things that truly do not matter in our overall scheme of things. Think about that for a second or two. How often do we worry what our neighbors or others think of us – or worry about the numerous things we do not have or things we may not have done. Truth-be-told, allowing ourselves to think in this manner can drive us bonkers.
If there is one thing I have learned over the years it is that one cannot chase happiness. Should we find ourselves getting like the person or persons I eluded to in the afore-mentioned paragraphs – we need to stop and take stock of what we do have, and when we realize what it is we have – we can have a good laugh about what we don’t have. I like to use the example of the person that has tons of money. We like to think that they are truly happy – but are they? I know what you are thinking – but gee, wouldn’t it be nice to have more than what we do have? Nice – possibly – Need – not necessarily.
After all, what is life about? Life is for us to live and enjoy. Sunny days, rainy days, and moments in our lives that truly count for something. Birth of a child, graduation of a child, marriage of our children, and I can go on and on. Think of the expressions on the faces of those around you who are sharing these moments with you. These are moments that truly count for something.
I admit, we all have our good days and our bad days but the reality of it all is that by being able to see something funny in whatever is happening in our lives at any given moment – we come to realize that there is always some humor in everything. By taking time to laugh at ourselves and the situations we sometimes find ourselves in – we are able to diffuse the tension created while at the same time regain a sense of proportion (in other words, how this situation fits in with regards the overall scheme of things) and as we all know – humor which usually brings on laughter – has both physical and medical benefits as well. They say that a good hearty laugh enables one to release endorphins – which also enables one to feel better about themselves and give us a better perspective on life.
Bottom line is that we need to look at the funny side of everything. I cannot think of a better technique to relieve stress while at the same time dissolve anxiety and doubt. How many of you remember that popular commercial that dates back to the seventies – the one for Alka-Seltzer:
“Try it, you’ll like it!”
Want to enjoy life more as we proceed through these our “twilight years,” ...... do your best to see something funny in whatever life tosses your way! Or put another way - Try it, you'll like it!
Until next time!
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