I ended the previous post with gratitude, claiming a new story is emerging. So what’s the story? A very Brooklyn-like accent punctuates this question. Humor, y’know. Humor is a respite from a world that has seemingly gone mad. I’ve just read through the headlines once again on cnn.com. Oye. Don’t want to go there this morning. Humor. It’s a way of looking at the world with a smile that comes from the head and lands in the heart. A purposeful thought of twisting a situation into a laugh.
I’m in rehearsal for a play that will be performed in a little over a month. One of our actors has been out of town for the first 2 weeks of working together and returned last night. I didn’t realize just how much I missed his presence until he punctuated the rehearsal with his sense of humor, quipping quiet, generally unnoticed little phrases that made me laugh, if not out loud definitely on the inside. Those little brief vacations from the business at hand made the evening much lighter.
Humor seems to be a choice, though once in the habit of finding the lighter side it is much easier to slide into it. Almost 2 decades ago I realized that I was looking at my world from a pretty negative viewpoint and made a conscious decision to “practice positive”. My children and husband gave me wry looks, mocked gagging and generally resisted my new way of being. Mom seemed to be someone they did not recognize. In time they got used to it and it started to seep into their outlook. It was infectious.
People want to laugh. People want to see the good in the world, the lighter side. Negativity is a habit and can spiral a person down into a dark abyss without so much as a “come on down and set a spell”. Positivity is also a habit. The benefit of developing this habit is that no matter what is going on around, there is an ability to find a resting place for our resourceful spirit, a gathering of self and an ability to keep swimming when a moment before we might have felt too weary.
So, the story. What is it? It is whatever you want it to be. We create our stories with our outlook. When I first moved to Asheville, a new acquaintance invited me to dinner and a basketball game downtown. As we were leaving the restaurant for the game, she suggested we take one car as her belief was that it is difficult to find parking in Asheville. I told her that I always found parking and I had a parking space angel. She scoffed and called me “new age”. I convinced her to give it a try. Pretend. She begrudgingly went off to her car and me to mine. I arrived maybe 30 seconds before she did in the lobby of the arena. I was quite happy and she was miserably mumbling. I asked where she had parked. “The garage,” she grumbled. “So did I,” I sparkled. The same situation, two different realities. I was happy. She was not. Case closed.