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“If you can laugh at yourself, you are going to be fine. If you allow others to laugh with you, you will be great.” – Martin Niemoller

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog called “I Love to Laugh.” Today I am asking you to look at yourself and laugh. I shared with many of you that I was awkward and uncoordinated since childhood. I fell a lot. (I shared that in a past blog.) Those characteristics often put me in situations when I felt like I needed to cry or laugh.

When I was young, I was not able to laugh at myself. I struggled with how I saw myself, so I told myself how stupid I was when I did something that would embarrass me; this is another blog topic. As I got older, I found that I did have a sense of humor and that even when I did something stupid, it did not make me a spectacle for others to make fun of. (That was not so true in childhood!)

Here are some examples of some of my funnier moments:

I was a secretary and dressed nicely for work. I decided to walk a few blocks to KFC and had lunch (at that time, KFC was called Kentucky Fried Chicken.) I had a delicious unhealthy lunch. I used the restroom, and as I walked out of the restaurant, I heard a gentleman calling, “Ma’am.” I did not respond; after all, in those days, I was young and had not been referred to in that manner before. As I walked out the door, the gentleman caught up to me and told me I had tucked my dress in my nylons. (In those days, you wore nylons to work!) That was embarrassing enough, BUT there is more. I was wearing a dress with a straight skirt, so the fact the back of my dress was in my nylons meant that my whole skirt was pulled up almost to my waist! What was I to do? I thanked the kind gentleman, ran through the restaurant to the restroom, pulled my dress out of my nylons, and again walked through the restaurant. Customers laughed when I was walking out, and a few nodded at me. How embarrassing that was. I decided I was going to keep that incident a secret. As I was walking back to work, I started laughing. When I returned to work, I told the first person I saw!

As mentioned in my blog about Falling, I have experienced many falls. But today, at 61, I can laugh about them.

· I was riding my brother’s tricycle down the stairs. Where was my brain? I was old enough to know better, and my brother was smart enough not to try it. He had seen me fall down the stairs, split my chin open, and get stitches. He also heard the “taking to” I got from my parents. Now, I share that story and laugh!

· My funniest fall was when I was practicing the piano. (Who falls off the piano?) I was playing scales, and the exercises became difficult. My mom was in the back room, and I wanted to show her how complex the music was. I was getting off the piano bench, slipped on the music I’d left on the floor, and fell, breaking my pinkie. This fall took place around 10 am on a Saturday. We did not have to wait very long in ER. When I was taken back to my bed, I told the nurse what had happened, and she laughed. Then several other nurses and a doctor joined in the story. As I talked, I started to embellish and laugh so hard I cried. I told them I was dancing on the piano and sitting on top of it, belting out a song! Laughing during that situation took my focus off my pain and lightened the mood in ER.

· On my way into a restaurant, there was one of those squares with raised, bumpy patterns where the sidewalk ends at the entrance. I was wearing boots with heels. My heel got caught on one of the bumps, and I went flying. Several people from the parking lot came over to help me. As they were talking to me, I started laughing. People came out of the restaurant to help me, and we all laughed. Once we were sure I had not broken anything, I returned to my car and left. Laughing at that incident helped me not succumb to extreme embarrassment and enabled me to move on with the rest of the day.

Finally, I used to be involved in Toastmasters International, an organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills. As I have gotten older, my memory has had some issues. For example, I was participating in a speech contest, and my mind went blank in the middle of my speech. I stared at the audience blankly, attempted to tie everything together, and ended the speech. When I was finished, there were tears in my eyes, and it took me a couple of weeks, but now I laugh at the situation. The laughter has helped me learn not to be so hard on myself and again get into public speaking.

I hope you enjoyed some of my stories. As I wrote them, I smiled and thought about how rewarding my life is.

Tips to Learn to Laugh at Yourself (and Why it is Important.)

· Laughter as an antidote – Talking about whatever is bothering you reduces the control it has over you.

· Laughter shows you are a positive person.

· Laughter helps you remain self-aware and humble.

· Laughter helps make you immune to hurtful comments.

6 Tips to laugh more.

· Accept self.

· Separate yourself from your tolerance.

· Be humble.

· Use humor to point at your friends.

· Don’t forget to be mindful of others – Know your audience.

· Don’t become your own worst enemy.

(The above information comes from a blog written in Tracking Happiness on 3/10/23 by Hugo)

Have fun in your life. I encourage you to find a reason to laugh.

After you read this, write in the comment section and tell us about something you laughed at.

Have a great week!

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