I am convinced that the rare times that I’ve laughed so hard that my body shakes, my mouth releases nothing but airy gasps, my face turns purple, and I can hardly breathe, add years to my life.
I love truth, and I tend to express truth best through hurt. Ask my fellow writing majors, my short stories are best read under the influence of a wine buzz and anti-depressants. A good cry is good for the soul, you’ll never convince me otherwise, but a good laugh is good for the entire being of our existence.
Hilarious people have surrounded me for my whole life. They are who I tend to gravitate toward. I love truth, and I love depth, and I love people who think in ways outside of my own box, but I adore people who can make me laugh in between these thoughts.
Most people like to declare, “that’s my kind of humor,” and when I try to declare my kind of humor it is, quite frankly, most humor. Dry humor get’s me, awkward humor can bring me to my knees laughing, probably because I can relate, and I’m not going to lie, I can even enjoy a good dirty joke every now and then. As long as someone’s feelings aren’t negatively involved, you can probably get me laughing way too hard and way too loud. That’s just how I’m wired.
I think a lot of my diverse humor comes from being raised by a comedian. No lie, my dad ran off to LA when he was my age to pursue a career in comedy. The fact that he works in a cubicle now and handles management and big numbers can be a joke in itself. The point is, I grew up laughing at a variety of things, because my dad has a passion for humor, all humor. What a great passion to possess.
He’s going to kill me for showing the world this picture, but there is no other that I can think of to explain our relationship. you see, my dad is my best friend. He has taught me so much about love, and life, and people, but I honestly believe that the best lesson he has ever taught me in life is to laugh at myself. I can’t tell you how many times my dad has cracked a joke at his own expense. He can handle tragedy through comedy, while still maintaining the truthfulness and reality of the situation, and I believe this is such an essential quality for handling the downs of this life.
When I was a junior in high school my dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a type of blood cancer. This is probably the least funny thing that has ever happened to my family. Who wants to laugh when your dad is bald, weak, and living two hours away from your house to undergo a clinical study? Who wants to laugh when doctors are actually estimating the years that the head of your household has left to live, and the number is low enough to count on two hands?
Mark Timm does.
Before he underwent a stem-cell transplant my dad had to go through a bunch of tests. You see, before insurance invests a lot of money in you to prolong your life with the cancer, they want to be sure there’s no chance that you’ll croak from like a heart-attack or an infected liver, or whatever.
So good old Mark was sitting in the room when the nurse came in to announce that his heart is strong, and his labs looked good, to which he responded, “Wow, if I wasn’t dying of a terminal cancer right now I’d be doing pretty well.”
She stuttered and looked away in the awkwardness of his reply. A year and a half was added to my life that day.
My dad has shown me that the people who add value to life are the people who keep you laughing. They’re the friends who will watch hours of The Middle with you. They’re the goons who convince you to stop being a stickler for the rules for once in your life and climb the roof of the high school. They’re the friends who you can laugh with, and the laughter is so authentic that it never has to be at the expense of you, or them, or anyone else.
Life is funny. God has a pretty good sense of humor. There’s always light in hard times. Find it. Allow yourself to laugh no matter how bad a day has been.
I recently read Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s memoirs. They added years to my life.
Every movie with a dramatic and shocking scene where a character gets hit by a car that comes out of nowhere (yes I’m morbidly referencing you, makers of One Day, you twisted buffoons! ) has added years to my life.
My brother doubles as an avid prankster, as well as the unluckiest person I know. He’s added years to my life.
My youngest niece is the bluntest child in history. She lets no secrets stay secrets. She has also flushed three apples down our downstairs toilet. I was just as shocked as you are, I mean look at that sweet face. She’s added years to my life.
My childhood best friend has the kindest heart, but she can rant about all that’s wrong with the world like the best of them! She’s added years to my life.
My boyfriend has an extremely wholesome view of the world, which he expresses through stark and witty sarcasm. He’s added years to my life.
My mother is a Jersey girl who sometimes forgets she now lives in small town Alabama. She’s added years to my life.
Laughter, in any pure form, is a blessing. God has a great sense of humor and he shares it with us every day! Anything that can fill your soul with so much pure and innocent joy, must be from someone greater than this world! So find your laugh. Expand your humor. Watch some SNL then follow it up with a solid romantic comedy. Let many things make you laugh. Why be picky about something so wholesome? Why declare your sense of humor?
Allow yourself to find life funny. It’s truly the only way I can think to get through it all.
And so, I leave you with this: