Thursday, September 10, 2009

Laugh More

Adulthood is very serious business. There are jobs to go to, careers to navigate, bills to pay, retirements to fund, insurances to purchase, marriages and relationships to maintain, kids to raise, yards and homes to keep straight, and cars to service. A 4-year old laughs and smiles an average of 400 times a day. An adult laughs and smiles just 14 times a day.

We can learn a lot from toddlers. They see wonder and fun in everything. Of course, they don’t have the challenge of finding humor in a tax audit or a micromanaging boss either. Yet, that doesn’t mean that we can’t find a few ways to lighten up.

Think about all the things we take seriously, and actually get upset and annoyed by? Long lines at the grocery store, traffic, gossiping co-workers, finding something to fix for dinner and it goes on. But a lot of these things are things we can’t change, so let’s work on accepting them and not letting them get to us so much. I don’t think we’ll ever come close to 400 laughs and smiles a day but we can manage to at least double the 14.

At Wal-Mart, I have learned to accept that I will probably be in line longer than it took me to shop. I used to get extremely annoyed as I paced back in forth in front of the checkout lines, estimating the wait time of each in my head. Now, I find a line and treat myself to a little tabloid time. I can usually thumb through an Enquirer and sometimes even a Star while I wait.

I also get a lot of simple enjoyment by playing with Marty. He’s always ready to play but a lot of times I get so busy that the only time he gets with me is walk time. Now I try to make a point of playing with him just 5 minutes a day. Talk about a stress reliever!

I think a lot of the time, parents do something similar with the kids. Getting so caught up in school, running them to practices and play dates, and the obligatory feeding and washing, that they forget to have fun with the kids and just take time to enjoy them. A few minutes of fun with the kids can double that 14 laugh statistics in just a couple of minutes.

There are enough things we have to take seriously without having to add to that list. Thinking about your life, what can you stop taking so seriously?

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