Pretty sure we’ve all heard about the benefits of laughter, decreases stress hormones, releases endorphins, temporarily relieves pain, relaxes your muscles for like 45 minutes afterword, brings closeness to relationships, good for protection against heart attack, adds joy to your life, boosts immunity, increases resilience, helps to defuse conflict and on and on. Basically the stuff is like a multivitamin for your body AND your mind AND your social life.
My mom told me yesterday that her friend is now teaching laughing yoga, laughing yoga? She helps people laugh for 5 minutes, just laugh, the deep kind of belly laugh that makes your face and your stomach ache. I tried to remember the last time I’d laughed a laugh like that. I work with kids and have goof ball friends so I do laugh quite a bit throughout the day but, a deep laugh for 5 minutes? Hmmmm nope, don’t believe I do.
Then last night I had dinner with a very dear and lifelong friend. Our entire lives we have maintained a deep and meaningful friendship with a very silly and ridiculous side to it. When we were kids, even as teenagers we’d make up songs and dances, we’d make up nicknames for friends and boyfriends, we’d make up games and stay up all night laughing and causing trouble. We’d taunt and tease my sisters, we’d just mess with everyone we knew when we were together, in a fun way. Sometimes our interactions with each other and other people had a dumb and dumber feel, maybe even beavis and buttheadish. We have continued to act a fool long into adulthood. When I lived in Boston (age 22) and she was pregnant with her second baby we’d stay up way too late and make up funny stories and jokes and just spend time laughing. Even now we still do some nutty things together just for a good laugh. We’d dress up crazy and ride bikes in the middle of the night and fill up the kiddie pool and both get in with wine and gossip mags, we sing 80’s hairband music karaoke and dance like fools. Being with her last night got me thinking about those priceless, pee your pants, (and I have) start crying, (and I have) cannot breathe kind of laughs again.
Thinking about it made me want one, I sat on my couch and thought of the numerous people I’d like to call for a good giggle and realized it was 1am so I had to rely on myself. I sat on my couch and started thinking about old times and funny things kids have said and funny jokes I have heard. I couldn’t do it, I just sat there thinking about how ridiculous it was to try to force it. Then all of a sudden I looked out on to my porch and burst out laughing.
There sits an old dresser, donated to my adoption sale. It got rained on while waiting to go to the sale and was too trashed to sell and it’s still there because it’s too heavy for me to move alone. Now it’s been poured on several times and pieces are coming off. If I leave it there much longer I’ll be able to move it myself because it’ll be in shreds. Neighbors and friends have commented and laughed about it, I joked about selling it for $4,000 when I needed the money asap. The thought made me laugh so hard, here is a picture of my $4,000 dresser.
After that the laughs just kept coming, I thought about funny times, old things I’d said or done that were embarrassing and now MUCH later, funny. I realized that I could probably fill at least an hour with just those. After a good couple of minutes and some tears I felt a little nuts because I was alone and if someone were watching I’d have been taken away to a padded cell, I stopped laughing. I also didn’t want to burn through too much material as I need some for later and as an adult with a limited social life right now I doubt my arsenal of entertaining thoughts will build up as quickly.
Laughing had worked, I felt lighter somehow I felt a little more energized and I still do. I also felt some clarity, and gave myself a challenge, two actually. The first of course will be to find a reason to laugh like that, a deep belly laugh for a good couple of minutes everyday. I also challenged myself to enjoy and to find the beauty and the humor in this adoption process. I have known the beauty was there, it just got bogged down the last couple of months. I am going to let that go and do my part as fast and well as I can BUT the stuff I can’t control I’m leaving up to the Lord, fate, the universe, my adoption agency, the process, lawyers, whoever the responsiblity belongs to. This thing will happen so I will keep planning and working and waiting. I will prepare and get excited and I will wait.
Here is something exciting, while I’m waiting I am registering!!! So fun because I don’t have to register for bottles or diapers or sleepers or baby monitors, I get to register for toys and books!