I started this blog to share some of the thoughts I have along the journey of life. I love to travel and spend time with my family and friends. A good meal, breaking bread with those I love, gives my life meaning. So does travel. I adore dreaming of sites to visit, not just to check them off on a list. Rather, I consider myself a student of life, traveling as an explorer, to open my mind to all the possibilities the world holds in store for me and for others. I love to travel to discover how different the world is in terms of climate, cultures, politics, terrain, economy, etc. but also to discover how SIMILAR the people are. Despite language barriers, much can be communicated with a smile or gestures. Language is simply a means to communicate, yet there are so very many other ways to communicate. Once when I was in French-speaking Canada, I realized that my 7th grade French class didn’t teach me the word for “straw”. However, when I thought about it, I was able to communicate to the very French-speaking waiter in a very French-speaking restaurant about my need for a “cylinder through which to drink” in my limited French vocabulary. Travel challenges the mind and soul, stretching us to problem solve and form conclusions about all that we experience. THAT is the type of travel I enjoy best. “All’s well that ends well”, as they say………….”Life is Good” as well.
My daughter and I went into a drive through carwash not too long ago, as I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time yet to clean the house this week, never mind my car, and decided it would be a quick little thing to check off my list. We pulled into the car wash and stopped on the designated area, indicated by the red “stop” sign. After all, I’m a rule follower. After a minute or so, the “arm” of the carwash collapsed onto the side of my car and got “stuck” against my car after we heard the loud bang it made against the car, not moving for a minute or so, or at least for what appeared to be an eternity. My daughter and I looked at each other and immediately burst out laughing. The arm of the carwash retracted, went back to the “starting position”, and the car wash stopped with soap ALL OVER my car. We could barely see out the windshield. We immediately laughed a little harder. I decided to drive through the car wash slowly to check my car, then decided it likely would be a good idea to go inside to speak to the clerk. She came out, re-set the car wash, and the car wash worked fine the second time. It was, just “one of those things….”
After we stopped laughing, I immediately realized the parallels to life. Life is truly like driving into an unknown car wash like this at times. We do what is expected and what we need to do, yet we have no control over what happens while inside that car wash. We even pay money to help sway the odds in our favor that the outcome in that car wash is what we expect for that moment. However, every now and again in life something happens, and we don’t get the car wash we expected, or planned on, or needed, etc…It is clear to me that life with all its uncertainties happens as it will, and we most often don’t have any control over the outcome. We do, however, have control over our choices about what to do about it. That is, what we do about that car wash IS well within our control. If we explore our options, we see that we can cry, we can get angry, we can become paralyzed with indecision about what we must do, OR……..we can choose laughter. Laughter truly is the “best medicine”. I chose laughter whenever I can, although at times one has to look hard to find it.
I am happy to report that my car no longer has soap on it, it was not dented, AND we had a GOOD laugh over the whole thing. Someone very dear to me once told me, it is the “end of the story” that really matters, but certainly the middle of the story is where the fun is sometimes. After all, life is far too important to be taken so seriously.
Life is good; choose laughter every time you can. Carpe diem, friends………
Many years ago one of my best friends who shares my same sense of humor and I decided we would challenge each other to a contest to use an archaic word in a conversation with someone else that day. The word was to be used in normal conversation without a laugh or smile, never letting on to the other participant in the conversation that we put each other up to that word. Now this is my friend who has been with me through so many times where we laughed so hard that we almost cried. One time I actually choked on my food in a restaurant for real. You know when you laugh so hard that your stomach actually hurts, and you almost can’t breathe? I know this feeling well and love it. There is something about laughter that is simply delightful. One word we used that day was “hijinks.” Another was “hoodwinked”. Try using THOSE words in a conversation with a straight face!
WebMd.com tells us that laughter increases blood flow, may reduce blood sugar levels, and may reduce stress to increase an immune system response. That all may be true, but a good ol’ fashioned belly laugh simply feels good, if nothing else.
Fast forward to today. I was just on the phone with one of my best friends, laughing about one thing or another as we normally do. Reaching out to my best friends daily while I am social-isolating during these stay-at-home orders makes me smile. Game ON! I told my friend about the word a day contest I had with my friend many years ago and it turns out this friend had as similar contest with her friend in SIXTH grade! Game ON! Tough competition. Maybe the first person who uses the word first the next day could win eating the first piece of pizza the next time we met. I love a good contest and have been DYING to win a contest that would allow me to eat the first piece of pizza. I will surely pick the BIGGEST piece with the MOST toppings. When else can I deliberately eschew the good manners that my Momma taught me?
Hmmmm………what word to pick? I remember telling my friend a while back that it fascinates me that there are many words in other languages that cannot be translated and that I remember reading that there was actually a word in another language that meant something like “the roof of my mouth is burning or on fire.” A GREAT word to win the first-slice-of-pizza contest to be sure. We agreed to that word:
“Pelinti”: word in Buli, the language of Ghana in West Africa. Pelinti means “moving food quickly around your mouth after you’ve belatedly discovered that it’s still piping hot,” according to syntacta.co.uk. Evidently pelinti happens to me EVERY SINGLE FRIDAY NIGHT while I eat pizza during our Friday pizza and a movie celebration in our home. I think I should have the hang of it by now, but no.
So….. go ahead and find a reason to laugh until your belly hurts. When was the last time you did that? It feels GREAT. And throw in a contest of the day to cope with Corona. You might be glad you did. Maybe YOU can win the first slice of pizza next time.
I am always of the impression that there is usually a little slice of humor in just about everything, even if we have to look hard to find it.
Picture this. A few weeks after experiencing difficulty obtaining toilet paper from our normal local stores, I decided I would order from Amazon to replenish our supply in mid-April, trying hard to avoid the pandemonium and hoarding of supplies that reduce product availability that others have experienced.
I waited for the toilet tissue to arrive, much like a child waits for Santa at Christmas. Every other day, I checked the status to see if said luxury- in- a – package would arrive as scheduled, or maybe, just maybe, it just MIGHT arrive sooner than I expected. One day, there was silver lining in the clouds above my home, and I was quite certain it was because the day that I had been longing for, the day I had been anticipating, the day that gave me joy, FINALLY arrived. My toilet paper had SHIPPED!
I waited and almost counted the days until my premium three ply toilet paper, which was home and environmentally friendly, would arrive, but then I noticed that is not just ANY toilet paper. I re-read what I had missed originally. And re-read it again. Could it be? Evidently I did NOT see that it was RECYCLED. I also wondered how, exactly, the seller, might think in our sector of the galaxy that it was also KITCHEN friendly? Evidently I missed THAT part, too. Immediately my mind drifted to all kinds of scenarios in which the toilet paper may have been recycled. I was hoping that it was recycled from soda bottles, maybe, instead of being recycled from toilet tissue. Recyled from USED toilet tissue maybe? I couldn’t stop laughing at the scenes that were flashing before my eyes in my mind.
As it got closer to the arrival day, I waited with excitement (or was that feeling more like trepidation) when I found out from the shipping status that the toilet paper was now in Florida. The next day, my excitement mounted when I found out it was in my area and out for delivery. Delivery to ME. Silky, smooth, soft, professional series premium three ply toilet paper, which was home and kitchen environmentally friendly was on its way to ME. Toilet tissue that was soft and strong (a quality I loved in my husband, “Graph Guy”, but not normally in TOILET tissue!). Highly absorbent toilet tissue that was suitable even for DAILY use! Whoa! The bar was high here. I waited and waited, longing for those cushiony and absorbant layers of comfort for the clean feel I expect as well as the luxurious feel I desire! Wow! It doesn’t get any better than THIS, I chuckled to myself.
On Saturday, the paper was here! Hooray! A cause for celebration, of course. “Graph Guy” went out to get the package and called me outside with an index finger beckoning me to its final resting place. It was like a delivery from the Easter Bunny. We walked out the front door. No package. We looked in front of the garage. No package. How can this be, when Amazon assured me it was delivered that very day? “Graph Guy” had an idea, as he cutomarilly does. He deduced the ONLY possible place for the placement of the toilet paper. He is always of the mindset, spoken by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in “Sherlock Holmes” and echoed by Spock in “Star Trek”. “Graph Guy” also believes that “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” The truth is out there. The truth is………………………………..in my MAILBOX!
Evidently, all TEN rolls of toilet tissue that were suitable for DAILY use fit into my MAILBOX. Evidently suitable for SINGLE use only, NOT daily use as suggested. Or suitable for an American Girl Doll. Had I missed that description in the write-up? Suitable mostly for 16 inch dolls or dollhouses? Can’t be.
“Teen Traveler” (my daughter), “Graph Guy”, and I all laughed hard at this arrival, chuckling even more at the “business card” that was left inside the package. I’m sure it said, “Let the buyer beware…..” If ONLY I could read Chinese.
You see, there really IS a slice of humor in just about everything, even if you have to look hard for it amidst today’s corona situation. Despite the price gouging ($20.00 for these diminutive rolls), they were PRICELESS as a source of entertainment in the daily “safer at home” monotony here in Florida. I just knew the story would also be a great ice-breaker at a party some day, too!
So go ahead and find SOMETHING to laugh about today. Find the little slice of humor in some situation today. Laughter really IS the best medicine.
Carpe diem, friends………(and don’t forget to take the time to ensure your mailbox is re-painted with all this time at home, too!) Guess I overlooked THAT!