Wednesday, March 24, 2010
My oldest son John told me that one night when he was five. He was wrestling with whatever mystery five year olds wrestle with sitting in the middle of his bedroom he was dressed in a blue polo shirt, black socks and Superman Under-Oo’s. His pant s were tossed on his bed. He looked up at me, at first with a grin and then he finally burst out laughing. It was the really contagious laugh young kids have.
No matter the time of year my granddaughter will ask me what I want for Christmas. I always give her the same answer:” A full head of hair!” Every time she hears me say that she bursts into laughter. She will ask me over and over and she will laugh just as hard the fifteenth time as she did the first time.
I read recently that the average child laughs three hundred fifty times a day. The average adult laughs ten times a day. I guess we are too busy.
The same article talked about how most adults surveyed said happiness and peace of mind were something they didn’t have time for. I mean with soccer practice, career advancement and wondering who the next American Idol Is going to be I can see where we don’t have time for fun. Life, after all, as adult is serious business. It’s so serious that we only have time to eat at fast food emporiums, or wolf down packaged food with “ninety eight percent less fat” We are so miserable at times that we want our children and grand children to be miserable right along with us.
At Christmas this year we were gathered around the table eating dinner. I went to pick up a glass of water that had some condensation on it. Guess what? The water glass (Thank goodness it was one of those plastic disposable glasses.) slipped out of my hand and the water ran down my shirt and on to my pants.
My granddaughter began to laugh. “Pappy spilled water on himself” she cried. “Pappy’s all wet.” She thought it was hilarious. She told me I wouldn’t have to take a shower.
The serious adults at the table admonished her not to laugh. It wasn’t funny that Pappy had just supplied some comic relief. You shouldn’t laugh at people!!! The biggest problem was Pappy. Pappy was laughing himself. My son leaned over and said "Dad, don’t encourage her. She’s going to think it’s okay to laugh all the time.”
It is, mostly!!!
Okay before some of you get all pumped up let me add this disclaimer. I do not condone making fun of people. I do not condone laughing at people who are ill, hurting or disadvantaged. Our kids were taught to be respectful. They were also taught to enjoy themselves.
There is so much we “can’t do” or “can’t say” anymore that we just don’t laugh at all. But how many times have you seen someone do something you wanted to laugh at but you left the room to do it? While I am spilling water all over myself Joan has a wry grin on her face. Why? On our first three dates I spilled water, beer and wine on her in that order. I am surprised on our fourth date she didn’t show up in rain gear. Actually, I’m surprised she showed up at all.
What’s your point John? I used to have this notion that once I lost weight and got all terribly buff that I would be happy and then stay that way until they lowered me in the ground. Getting healthy is serious business, dude!!!
As adults we forget the real joy there is in this amazing journey we are on. If I don’t learn to laugh now how am I going to know how to do it when I reach my goal? It aint osmosis you know!! (I do love exclamation points.) It means when I am on the elliptical that’s it’s okay to burst into song as long as I do it softly.
We are born happy and spend the rest of our lives forgetting the most important thing we knew when we were born:
You are the greatest miracle in the world. You were born with your laugher in working order. Find some joy today and then share it. Gosh we need it so, so badly
Okay, time to go. I have two hundred thirty seven laughs left before I catch up with my granddaughter. Anyone have a whoopee cushion?
I'll be out of town helping other people have fun Thursday and Friday so I published this Wednesday night. I'll catch up with you guys Thursday from my hotel room.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
There is an old proverb that goes something like this:
“The way you see the world is the way you see yourself. “
When I am on top of the world nothing can bother me. Things that might get under my skin on a bad day roll right off my back. On those days I can do anything and be anything I want to be.
When I am in the doldrums, nothing or no one is right. The smallest slight, the tiniest altercation can send us into a tailspin. “Get out of my way,” We snap at the world.
It’s never our fault is it? It’s never how we look at things?
Christa is a fitness instructor at my gym. We don’t care for each other. I can’t tell you what she really thinks of me because most of her conversation with me is delivered in one word, with a straight face. I mean how could someone not adore me? I mean as wonderful as I am and all? And, hey, it’s never my fault that she doesn’t talk to me.
Anytime she walks past me I grunt a “hello” that is delivered with a slight curl of my upper lip. If I have a question or need some help I will walk to the other end of the gym to find another fitness instructor. I will do anything not to deal with her.
Yesterday was my walking day and because it was raining a bit I walked around the gym track. Christa was working out. As I made my laps I would look at her and I started to wonder why she made my blood boil?
When I see a young, healthy, person who is in good shape and vibrant I automatically compare myself to them and I see myself as lacking or falling short. In a word I am jealous. Why can’t I be like that? Why do they have something I don’t have? So I do what’s normal, I don’t like them.
Christa made me stop and think that I do that with a lot of people. I measure them and then I measure myself. When I see where someone may have an edge on me right now instead of finding out their secret I simply get frustrated and find all kinds of reasons not to like them.
Then I get frustrated. What do I do when I get frustrated, I eat. I drown my sorrows in a greasy pizza or a cream filled cake. I curse the fates.
It’s not a contest. It’s not about who does more, who loses quicker, who has more friends. It’s about looking in the mirror and seeing a very wonderful person. It’s looking at Christa and being happy for her that she does the good things she does. When I can do that then I am able to give back to myself. When I can give back to myself then I am more open to give to others.
Don’t ever fool yourself, the “old you” is lurking somewhere in the background just waiting for the right moment to regain control. Don’t’ let it!!
Health is more than diet and exercise, its digging deep and finding those types of behaviors that are holding us back. I have a whole laundry list and I am crossing them off one at a time. Every day I become less and less afraid of dealing with them. It’s why in their infinite wisdom The Spark Team set this format up the way they did. It’s here for us to support each other and not be afraid.
I won’t see Christa until the weekend. When I do she gets a sincere hello and a smile. Poor Christa, she’s about to get a new friend.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I am learning that true health isn’t just measured by gazing down at your belly. Like the stock market, the rise and fall of your stomach may be one of many indicators, but it’s not the end all and be all. I think that’s why diets fail and I think that’s why there are so many of them.
I drove past a work site yesterday and saw that familiar sign “Under Construction.” As I drove down the road I began to think how much that applied to me and my life. When you look at a building going up it’s not a pretty sight. A mass of steel or concrete just sort of juts up in the air, standing there and if it could talk it might say “Okay, what do I do now?”
There is no landscaping around a construction site. Lots of mud and dirt and smelly stuff. Trash lying all over the place. But if you look closely, there is a lot of activity going on inside of it. You see people walking in and out of the structure carrying wood and electrical equipment and all kinds of stuff like that. We never really notice how the building is changing until one day we see that “Open For Business” sign. Then we smile and we remark what a lovely structure it is.
That’s me!!! Under Construction!!! Maybe not too much to look at on the outside right now but all kinds of activity going on underneath. I am working on my goals. I am planning my future. I am starting to realize there is so much more to me being healthy than charting food and sweating.
I am dealing with some feelings and emotions honestly. I get scared about failing. I worry about not having enough time to just sit down and vegetate. I used to deal with that by eating and stressing. I used to handle my problems by popping the top on a can of Pringles and letting television take me away. I think about a lot of things and I am learning to laugh at some of the goofy ideas I have had in the past about what health entailed.
I am learning to love me just as I am and if I never lost another pound or inch that I would be valuable and lovable just the way I am because I serve a real purpose on this planet.
I am under construction.
I am much more active. Not just exercise but simply moving and uhm, well discovering life. I am learning that some days I do have some limitations and that living with those limitations is all part of my growth.
Like the building I drove past, every day I am bit stronger a bit more able to brave the elements. I may not drop a pants size this month but my perception of myself is growing and the confidence I gain from that is like all the steel girders in that building.
We are under construction.
What about you? Are you stressing a bit when demon scale laughs at you because there may not be any movement in the right direction?
Is that how we gauge overall health? What about the “bit of the divine” that is in all of us? What about that soul within you that is so special and so, so YOU that it makes my world a better place for me to live and grow in.
So I challenge you my dear friend to look inside of you this day and find one thing in there that’s helping make you building so much stronger. Then tomorrow add another.
Then someday everyone will drive by the finished product and go “Ooooooo” and “Ahhhhhhh.”
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