Have you ever noticed what a difference a little humor or laughter can make when you’re in the midst of an otherwise stressful day? Studies have been done as to the benefits of humor (especially laughter) on our bodily functions, which include enhancing the immune system and lowering blood pressure, and there’s a lot more.
Even in the most stressful situations, depending on severity, it’s often possible to find a little humor. An example is my sister Darlene’s (Blackford) personal experience, “Darlene’s Journey,” which was included in last week’s column.
This week I’ve been thinking about other examples of finding humor in everyday life. As far as my family is concerned, one of the best examples of reaping the benefits of humor comes from our habit of eating meals as a family at the dining room table.
My husband Lyle always said, “Just as we nourish our bodies with food at mealtime, we also nourish our souls,” and so from the time our children were small, we always ate our meals around the table as a family. It remains this way today. Whenever they are here, our grown-up children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends gather around the table to share food and conversation. Being together is wonderful; the conversation provides the humor.
Conversations might range from world/community happenings, family history, what’s going on at work or school — just about anything you can imagine, much of it humorous. Sometimes (often) the conversation even gets rather ridiculous. For example, there’s the old question sometimes debated in fun: “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there, is there noise?” This conundrum and many others like it provide an opportunity for creative answers, all quite comical. There’s plenty of humor and laughter, indeed, and after the meal, everyone feels happy. Even later on, family members think back on the fun conversation, too: “Do you remember when we talked about the tree in the forest?”
This is only one example of finding humor in our everyday world. I have shared plenty of funny stories involving the cows, cats, skunks, and other animals around Pipi’s Pasture. The past few mornings I’ve been all smiles at the sounds of the robins and sandhill cranes as they return for the summer.
Still another bit of humor in my life comes from a scheduling dilemma. I have been making appointments to get my hair “permed” at a salon, selecting Mondays for the appointments, the day I usually make a trip to Craig. Guess what? Every Monday for quite awhile, I’ve had to cancel because it has either snowed or threatened to snow and blow. Since I’m a chicken about driving in a blizzard or have been concerned about getting “drifted out,” the appointments have been canceled.
This week I made a change and scheduled the appointment for Tuesday instead of Monday. Guess what? Snow is predicted on Tuesday. Then I came to the realization that my hair appointments and the storms that arrive those days may actually be contributing to recovery from the drought. What would happen if I scheduled more appointments each week? (You’re welcome, in advance.)
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