Laughter | Better Together Sling Diaries, Vol. VI
Besides my teenage years of angst and drama—wondering who my soulmate was and dealing with the utterly crushing blow of scorned love and raging hormones—buying a house has been the one of the most stressful things I’ve ever experienced. Amazing, but stressful. That and the first apartment Jon and I ever lived in. It had a hole in the bathroom and the super/owner was so crazy and paranoid that we we were spies (not even kidding) that we dubbed that place the USSR. And we will never forget the second place we lived in either. We lived above a bar that was a welcome change of constant polka music and bar fights. Seriously, someone was shot. The heat didn’t really work; so in the winter, we warmed ourselves by the heat of the oven and leftover candles from our wedding. But the worst was our third apartment that turned out to be infested with cockroaches. It’s a miracle our marriage lasted over that place.
It was also stressful having children while seeing my husband through school. And the list could go on. And now, as we take a step into a whole new adventure, it also has its crazy twists and turns that are driving me a little insane. But there is something I’ve been learning from these “adventures” (more like sky diving out of and airplane just to find your parachute isn’t working until the last possible moment). I’m learning that there is always something to stress out about. Always something on Facebook to be sad about. And always less sleep than you would have liked.
Yet despite all of these things, I cannot break the unshakable feeling of gratitude. There may always be something to cry about, and in my case, pout about. But there is also always something to laugh about. I’m not talking about laughter because of a nonsensical cat video or the office re-run where Dwite Shrute is on team “he who must not be named.” Or even your secret happiness because you just found out that someone’s “perfect” life is just as hectic and caotic as your own (we all do it, no judging :P ). No, I’m talking about joy that isn’t based on circumstance. Joy that is a source of wellbeing within your soul. Joy that in a moment of complete disaster, you can step back and think, I am truly blessed. And with that in heart, you can begin to laugh at the future because nothing can ever rob you of your happiness.
I am finding laughter the answer to most of my worries and questions these days. Because no matter how hard I try, I always “mess up” and find myself back at the drawing board of parenting yet again. One night in particular I was at my end with sweet little Leif because he refused to go to bed. After what felt like a dozen attempts, I could feel my anger and frustration rising and hear myself begin to raise my voice. In that moment, stubborn little Leif looked at me, and instead of crying, he smiled and giggled, which broke me. I began laughing until both of us were a giggling mess and after we were done he went right to sleep. It was so odd, I thought later. Literally the opposite of what you “should” do and he’s off to sleep. So I find myself laughing more when things go awry, because eventually we are going to laugh about it, so why not start now? I must seem like a total crazy person sometimes! Haha!
There is a time to shed tears. There is even a time to be angry because there is some seriously horrible stuff going on in the world. But what if we took those emotions and channeled them into joy? What if we brought hope and laughter to the world? Wouldn’t it be so much brighter? Easier said then done, but I’m working on it one laugh and two chubby faces at a time.