Laugh Without a Punch-Line

Playing with Addison, my three-year old niece, I am reminded again at how easy it can be to have fun, laugh, and be in the moment. She ran to me from the slide, giggling hysterically. Everything was fascinating: the swings, the bouncy zebra, the merry-go-round… She ran around, eyes wide with awe, even though it wasn’t her first time to the park. Every single thing on the playground caused hysterical laughter and happiness, even without a punch-line. She didn’t criticize the playground for not being big enough or look for its faults. She loved it without expectations. Later, when she found out I could make new play-dough for her from flour she had the equivalent reaction to that of an adult winning the Mega-Millions Lottery. She is still my best teacher.

Numbers vary, but studies have approximated that children laugh about 400 times day compared to adults’ 5-12 times a day. What happens to us? Do we just become jaded?

 Is it life beating us up? Or is it ourselves? When we begin to have thoughts of not being enough, our accomplishments and the little pleasures in life are never enough either.

Just for today, try to see everything with younger eyes. Find excitement and humor in all that you can. I walked down the sidewalk and little pink petals floated all around me, it was like the spring was snowing flowers. Notice all the wonderful things going on around you, love it, and laugh…hysterically. Like a three-year old, look for only the good, the awe-inspiring, and the magic that surrounds us everyday.


Walk Away From a Meaningless Life

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie

The last eight weeks of my life have had me on a plane at least once a week. I have been in and out of hospitals on opposite coasts, I have been in a wedding, I have hiked up mountains and along beaches and just arrived back here after a 14 hour car ride. There was a tragedy in Boston. These past two months have shown me how quickly things can change. Yesterday, I was in Wisconsin surrounded by friends and family, conversation, and music. Today, we have all dispersed back to where we came from and I sit alone in front of a computer. How quickly life turns.

Life is busy. Sometimes we use it as an excuse for not making time for the meaningful things in our lives. We have to decide and make room for the things that matter to us. Sometimes these decisions aren’t easy. Choosing one thing may mean letting go of something else. When you have to make these decisions really evaluate what it will mean for your future. Will you look back and regret not being there for the friend or for the meeting?

I am lucky, I was assigned the book Tuesdays with Morrie by my 10th grade teacher and it shaped the way I made my choices fairly early on in life. It taught me to value love, my relationships, people, and kindness. Today, I have read the book more times than I can count. I listened to it again yesterday as an audiobook, a reminder not to walk blindly through life, and to value it. My last eight weeks have been busy. I have missed some work, meals, sleep, and probably more. Morrie talks about being ill, how some people need to look away from that. I think the best thing you can do for someone when they are suffering is to be there, to not look away because it smells or it makes you sad or uncomfortable, but to hold their hand through all of it.  Sometimes being there for someone means supporting them when they can’t stand up alone to use the bathroom and sometimes it means taking a hand and dragging them to a dance floor. We all need support and we feel good supporting others. Doesn’t it feel good to make someone else smile? It is a magical system that way, really. I share quotes from the book to inspire you and myself to live your life in a loving way and appreciate all the people in your life. When you live this way, you will always find meaning.

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft. But a wise man named Levin said it right. He said, “Love is the only rational act.”
Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie

You Are Meant to Have An Amazing Life

” You were not born to struggle. You were not born to live a life where the moments of joy are few and far between. You were not born to toil in your work five days a week, with fleeting moments of happiness on weekends. You were not born to live with limited energy, feeling exhausted at the end of each day. You were not born to worry or be afraid. You were not born to suffer. What would be the point of your life? You are meant to experience life to its fullest and have everything you want and, at the same time, be filled with joy, health, vitality, excitement, and love, because that is an amazing life.”  Rhonda Byrne

Many say “Life is suffering,”  The book The Power, by Rhonda Byrne, screams the opposite. It reminds us to stop and look around at all we have and all that is wonderful in life. It reminds us that challenges are just things that provide new growth. It reminds us that we get to choose every single day if we will be happy and grateful or frustrated and worried. I share the above quote as a reminder of what an amazing life does and does not look like to help us think bigger and better.

Dream big. Step away from limiting beliefs. Step away from those who tell you what you want isn’t possible. Surround yourself with people who lift you up. Choose actions and thoughts that will point you in the direction of your strongest desires. Spring is a time for planning, plan for amazing and nothing less.