Funny is as funny does.
If you've been following my Daily Notes to Self posted on social media this last week, you've noticed a theme. Or maybe you haven't. But it's been there, nonetheless. You can find those Notes to Self below this blog post, if you need to catch up. And you do. Good stuff, if I do say so myself.
I don't know about you, but sometimes funny comes naturally to me, and sometimes it may as well be living on Mars. It's nowhere in sight.
Intentional funny is hard. Several years ago, I wrote a column, The In & Out Patient, for the online publication Journal of Nursing Jocularity. It was from the patient's point of view. You can read my columns through the link. I enjoyed the work, and it made me stretch to find the funny in often times not so funny situations.
Laughing is good for the body, mind and soul, and especially so when there is stress involved. Studies prove it, time and again. And so does simply doing it.
You might remember a good example from the movie Stripes, from where the quote, "Lighten up, Francis!" came for this blog's title.
Adding Intentional Humor to the Day
I'm at a point where I'm making lots of life changes, anyway, and intentionally adding funny to the mix is one of them. To my amazement, sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail fantastically. If you're going to do something, you may as well do it fantastically, right?
For instance, my first test of each day during this last week often fell within the first three minutes of getting out of bed - literally. Oh joy.
I use two canes these days, as opposed to the last four decades of mostly using just one, due to arthritis and its longstandig effects. Two canes is part of the whole 'getting back my walking skills and muscles' regimen after a ridiculously difficult year of losing them, and being largely unaware at the time that it was happening.
Taking my first steps of the day can be a bit challenging in their own right. When an extra frustration accompanies it, it's a major test of my patience and tolerance, especially in the early morning hours.
When I get to my destination within the house (yea, ok, the bathroom), I lean the canes against something: cabinets, crevices, corners. And as I lean them against 'whatever,' one of them inevitably falls. And when one of them falls, it often takes down the other one with it.
So much fun.
Accept the Expected Frustrations
Now, if I could simply bend down and reach the floor to pick them up, it wouldn't be such a big deal. Easy fix.
But I can't.
Arthritis took away the ability to touch the ground four decades ago. So when I drop something, I have to figure out how to pick it up. That requires using a tool - like a long-handled 'grabber' - or something else that I creatively use instead. Either way, to reach whatever tool I'm intending to use, it most often requires more steps to get to the tool - steps without the benefit of canes.
What a pain.
So when I drop something, I know it's only the first frustration in a string of more to come. It's also an interruption and delay in the process of what I was trying to get done in the first place.
I often don't deal well with it later in the day, let alone first thing. It's too often a repeat scenario before I head to bed, as well. Beginning and ending the day with an irritating stressor is not the best way to live.
At whatever time of day, a ribbon of cussing invariably accompanies the whole process.
I've been doing life this way (dropping and finding ways to pick things up) for decades. Nearly all my life, really. It's certainly helped with my creative skills. Shouldn't I have a better handle on my emotional reaction to it by now, though? Shouldn't I have accepted that it's just part of the day - and a good handful of times, at that, throughout each day?
I've been trying to be better about my reactions lately. I'm not sure how much progress I'm making. But I'm trying to now see it as, "Oh, good, I got the first drop of the day out of the way. Now I can work toward the next ones." Yay.
Step. Drop. Deep breath.
That's what I'm aiming toward. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not.
A Needed Perspective-Changer
When I was watching CBS Sunday Morning yesterday (I love that show; I'd love to be a contributor some day), they profiled kids with rare genetic diseases who aren't expected to live to adulthood. Even as they're living and doing their best, they're dying. In the process of it all, some are already in wheelchairs.
It was a good reminder for me of how good I have it. I needed that.
It's not that I don't realize that fact at other times. But it seems I need a regular reminder for an attitude re-adjustment and perspective changer.
My problems are so small they're really not problems at all. Just minor temporary inconveniences.
Get a grip, Kris. Literally and otherwise.
So what the heck does that have to do with today's graphic accompanying this blog? A pillow with a pithy cat saying on it?
Enjoy the Luxury of Laughing
The pillow and quote bring us back to adding humor into our days. Because really, we take much of life far too seriously. When much of it is anything but serious.
Most of us have the luxury of laughing about the majority of the activities of our days, whether we make use of that luxury or not.
This last week, I decided that in the online store I've been building to house mostly inspirational products, I would add humor, too. We need to laugh more.
I'm often told I'm funny. But I don't always convey that in my online work. It's time I start.
I needed funny inspiration to create funny products. One of my big joys in life is my cat, Boots. Don't judge me. The furry little dude is a perfectly fabulous companion. Among other things, he makes me laugh. A lot. He's very funny. Sometimes I'd swear intentionally so.
I often say to my friends that Boots lets me live at home with him as long as I pay the bills. They laugh. I laugh. Boots gives us 'the look.'
Why would I not share that bit of fun with the world? So I did, in the form of creating the pillow you see below. "'You may live here as long as you pay the bills.' ~ the Cat." Plus, a bonus quote on the reverse side of the pillow: "Btw, we need tuna." Boots always says 'btw.'
The tuna part came to me as I typed up the product listing. I crack myself up sometimes. Not good form, I know. But I can't help it, and I am grateful for it.
I created a couple other funny cat products, too. There will be more funny products, involving cats, and not - for those of you who haven't yet had the good fortune of becoming feline fans.
There will be more product lines and more non-funny, inspirational quotes, too. This pillow and a few other products are but a start. The 'storefront' platform itself will also be fleshed out and improved.
I'm blessed to get to start on this venture. I'm not sure where it's going to end, or go in the meantime, but I find I love creating products with sayings. It makes me happy. I hope they bring some happy moments and laughs your way, too.
This world could use more laughing from all of us. Join me in that effort?
Oh, good. Snort. snort. The laughing kind. I love my friends who snort when they laugh! You know who you are. You bring music (well, sort of) to the rest of our too-serious ears.
About Kris Harty: Kris Harty is founder and CEO of shortCHICK, llc, She brings perspective and wisdom to the table, and helps smart people like you move from overwhelm and obstacles, to over it and moving on, in life and work, Step by Step. She's a speaker, author, podcaster, and creative, giving voice to hope, joy, encouragement, and wisdom.
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