Animals don’t laugh. Funny, isn’t it? No pun intended. I never really thought about it until I heard a comedian say it recently. Since I started to write this month’s column, I did a little research and found out there is some debate about whether animals laugh or not. But that is a whole different topic . . .
Anyway, what struck me is the fact that, as humans, we have the ability to laugh and choose joy. Laughter and joy have a unique ability to bond people and bring light into difficult situations.
During this time of uncertainty and pain, I thought it would be important to remember the positives also. Please know that I don’t say this lightly or without empathy and compassion for all the difficult things that are going on in the world now.
As I write this, I have a family friend with COVID who probably won’t make it; my husband is furloughed from his job; and my daughter is a senior in high school, missing many momentous occasions. I understand and am experiencing some of the horribleness that is happening right now. I am not in anyway making light of this situation, I am only trying to bring some light into it. I try to approach life by finding the positive in the situation and not dwell on the negative. That doesn’t make me exempt from the pain or mean I can ignore and not deal with it, but it does bring me joy to try and find anything redeeming through it.
For example, I can choose to focus on everything I just told you, or I can look at it like this:
- I am blessed to have such a loving caring family friend in my life to love. She will be missed dearly, but I am so happy to have had her in our life.
- My husband may be furloughed, but I am thankful for unemployment compensation and the banks that are willing to work with us on the mortgage and car payments. I am also thankful that I still have a job and am able to work from home.
- We may be missing graduation and prom, but we are gaining family time. Seniors are being “adopted” by strangers who are dropping gifts off on their doorsteps to make them feel special. These kids are learning lessons that will make them stronger.
I can’t say I’m not feeling sadness for some of those things that won’t be recovered. I won’t get to see my daughter sit on the stage for graduation, although she worked so hard to get those grades. I won’t get to say goodbye in person to the women I have known for 30 years. I don’t know what the future holds for my husband’s job. But, part of what gets me through it all is the ability to choose to be thankful and find joy in the midst of the pain.
Every day I am still smiling, loving, laughing and enjoying a new kind of life.
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