Sunday, May 4, 2014

Get Out of Your Own Way and Find A Way to Laugh: A Few Thoughts on Surviving the Next Wave

As long time readers know, the last few years have meant one wave after another crashing into our little family, pummeling and buffeting us to and fro as life crashed over the lot of us.  Last year's breast cancer diagnosis and its resulting surgery, chemo and radiation were just the tip of the iceberg.

I wish that I were kidding.

But on the back end of all of this, sitting here in our lovely sun room with a nice breeze blowing through the open window screen, birds trilling in the trees outside and sunlight streaming in, I have to tell you that life is really, really good. 

We ought to spend more time savoring the joys and triumphs and a lot less time fretting over the things that annoy or worry us.  Because it is in savoring the journey, the little things each and every day that make us happy, that we find our happiness along the way.

That happiness is everything.

Without question, the thing that has gotten me through every single hurdle, bump in the road, and nasty pothole over the last ten years and counting, is what I am about to share with you.

Get out of your own way and find a way to laugh.

It seems really simple, but the truth is that reminding myself of this when all seemed dismal is what has brought me back from the brink time and time again.

My curse is that I over-analyze everything, and if given the opportunity, I will worry something six ways to Sunday in order to completely and totally break it down and analyze it to death. The result of this, though, is that I get stuck in a repeating loop of awful that spirals down into dismal worry and perpetual gloom if I am not careful.  No one wants to live in that mind-space permanently, believe me.

What we found during the depths of my cancer treatment, though, when the chemo was taking its toll and I was only up and about for maybe 2 or 3 hours in any given day, is this:  if you can find a way to laugh, even if it is just a little bit, the world seems a little brighter and life seems a little more bearable.

If you can string together several days in a row where you find a way to laugh, even on the worst day of the worst week of the worst crisis of your life, then you can get through anything.

Don't get me wrong, love makes a lot of difference.  In our family, we work at it every single day, because it is that important to all of us.  That we all work at it makes a huge difference, especially since we try to throw kindness and respect into the daily mix with everything we do.

That includes learning to love yourself with the same level of care and concern that you love others in your life.  You deserve that for yourself every day as well.

Laughing together makes a world of difference.  Laughing together when momma had lost all of her hair and couldn't drag herself out of bed and had to subsist on popsicles because the blisters in her digestive tract from the nasty chemo went all the way through was a survival skill.  One that I now bequeath to you.

Get out of your own way and find a way to laugh.  

With this, you really can survive a lot.  Being able to do it with a smile on your face can be a miracle, in and of itself.  Be kind to yourself, it will get better.  And in the meantime, wouldn't you rather have a giggle somewhere along the way?

(Photo via Jose Miguel.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post!

"Smile, it passes the time between emergencies"

Our minister says we worry and worry about the future so that when something bad happens, we won't be surprised.

Your approach is better. Take care.