• December 22, 2014

Laughter is the best medicine

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Posted: Friday, November 29, 2013 4:30 pm | Updated: 5:07 pm, Fri Nov 29, 2013.

Remember when you were little and you and your friends would break into fits of laughter that literally made your sides ache?  The kind of insuppressible giggling that would land you in trouble if you were in school, church, or somewhere where calm and quiet was the expected norm?  When is the last time you laughed like that?  If you think you are too old, too mature, too busy, too preoccupied, just plain too stressed and bogged down with the responsibilities of adulthood, I invite you to reconsider your position.   

As two doctors with thriving practices with two teenaged children who are extremely active in school and sporting activities, we epitomize a busy life. Up by 5 a.m. nearly every day and still going strong into the evening hours, our days see their share of stress.  However, we laugh heartily on a frequent basis, and find a way to see the humor in our everyday interactions. It's important to us, keeps us connected, and brings much-needed comic relief on days we start to feel overwhelmed.
 
As we just decorated for the holidays, we changed our clock chimes to Christmas music and "Away in the Manger" rang out joyfully at 7 a.m. My husband was getting ready for work, and I heard him join in singing, "'The cattle are lowering, the poor baby wakes...' What did he say?  The cattle are lowering?" I went back to the bedroom and said, "Honey, what did you just sing?"  He answered, "Away in the Manger - the song that just rang on our clock!" I started to grin; puzzled, he asked me, "What's so funny? Is my singing that bad?"  "No," I replied. "You said the cattle are lowering and it's the cattle are lowing."  
"No it's not."
"Yes, it is."
(Back and forth like that, about five more times until I couldn't suppress my laughter). 
He explained the cattle were lowering themselves down and I questioned how cows laying down could possibly wake up a baby.  I countered with the definition of lowing, a low mooing or humming of sorts as the cows swayed. He was adamant that there was no such word, so I of course got the dictionary and showed him. The stupefied expression on his face: Priceless.
"You mean to tell me that I've spent over 50 years singing it wrong?" he said, laughing along with me.
"Your way is cute," I told him. "Don't change it!"
 
After this exchange and sharing of a good, deep belly laugh, we both launched into yet another jam-packed day but with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts. I shared the story with our kids when they got home, and we all laughed again. "Ohhhhhhh, Daddy......" our daughter said, grinning, shaking her head. "You're so weird, Dad," from our son, but said with a look of affection for his father.
 
Being silly isn't childish or a waste of time. Finding the silliness in your day and cherishing it instead keeps you youthful, energized and grounded. Deep belly laughing is good for your heart - both physically and emotionally.
 
What will you find to laugh about today?  
 

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