What makes you laugh? Do you laugh enough?
A few weeks ago, Joal and I attended a over-night retreat with some friends and one of the get-to-know-each-other assignments was to recount the funniest things that's happened to you. Joal and I were hard-pressed to come up with anything really deeply funny to share and to be honest, it's been bugging me ever since. Are we not funny? Do we not have funny things happen to us? Is that not (gasp) normal? To make matters worse, we were the longest-married couple there (which is not unusual in our group of friends).
So I've been on a quest to find or remember funny things and do you know what I've discovered? My life is not funny.
The things I deal with as a parent (behavior, medication, dirt, seizures, doctors), as a home keeper (laundry, decor, cleaning), as one who is guiding my child's education (curriculum, reporting, constantly refocusing and re-directing, assignments, keeping it interesting, field trips, experiments), as a Christian (Sunday School teacher, supporter of missions to Sudan and Zambia, member of a large church), as an American (war, Army, elections, taxation), as a sister (the older sister), as a friend, a neighbor and as a woman...by and large, they just aren't funny.
Joal and I make each other laugh--until our sides ache or until one of us has to pee (you can guess who usually has to pee first, but it's not the one of us who has given birth twice) about stupid stuff but it's not stuff that anyone else would find uproariously funny.
Not to play self-evaluating pshcologist here, but I think part of it is that we are both extremely responsible oldest children. And life has thrown us some pretty serious curve balls--a child born early and with continuing physical and mental challenges, some pretty serious debt (which we worked out of, by the grace of God), some challenging career choices beginning with being an independent contractor and traveling extensively and ending with my not being employed, a life-altering move from Mississippi to Nashville, and some serious medical challenges for both of us.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. I know we have an amazing grace-filled life even with all the challenges. What's that Daryl Worly lyric..."I love this crazy, tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful beautiful life"? It's just all these things aren't necessarily known as "funny-material generators". Life is very serious to me and while I do laugh, it's not because things in my life are funny and I'm not even sure there's anything I can do about that.
That said, I do love a good redneck joke every now and then, probably because I grew up in Mississippi and they usually hit a little too close to home. :)
So, may your laughter be genuine and
may your life be filled with good stuff, not just funny stuff.