"Ghost chickens," boomed a broken baritone near my head.
Imagine my surprise the other day when my 15-year-old burst into song in the grocery store. In public. Within earshot of a very cute young lady at the cash register.
"Ghost chickens in the sky," the voice rang out again.
Now, this is a young man whose teenage moods have been known to change with the second-hand of my watch. Who has been reduced to rocking in the fetal position in the back seat of the car if I dast boogie visibly to the radio while driving in the privacy of my own car. Or use dast
in a sentence, for that matter. He's a teenager, and it's a full-time job being that cool.
Or was. "Son…?" I asked, snapping my head around to see, what the…yes, there he was, 6'3" topped by a fuzzy baby face, openly singing, recognizably the child of my loins.
He smiled -- grinned! "They made us sing silly camp songs before breakfast at camp," he nodded, and then kept on singing…
My son and I need laughter like we need food and sleep. I learned this about 12 years ago when I tried to go without. I was snarky, sarcastic and depressed and had to work really hard -- from meditation with positive affirmations to deep therapy to comedy clubs (medicinal!) -- to shake it off, to put it mildly.
Happiness takes work, in my experience. That's why I was so excited when BlogHer started working with Dr. Aymee. She's posted a Happiness Prescription
on as part of her work on Life Well Lived
Dr. Aymee writes:
"Morning time can really make or break us, so I recommend being very intentional every morning to set the stage for your upward spiral. This means we want to harness the power of your positive emotions right off the bat -- you see, when we have a 3:1 ratio of positive to negative emotional experiences, our life goes into an upward spiral, according to positive emotions experts Dr. Barbara Frederickson
of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Dr. Marcial Losada
This routine is not for your inner teenager. In fact, you may initially sneer at it. Because Dr. A wants you to start your day with a no-lie Marine regimen of smiling, laughing and singing. You are going to feel SO self-conscious and silly. If you are anywhere close to that snarky too-school-for-cool where I was 12 years ago, you are going to be stretched into an uncomfortably smiley and happy position. It may even bring you to tears.
But I tell you, it works. And I, no lie, now have my own daily routine. Picture me every morning, on the treadmill in the garage at 5:30 a.m., listening to 1970s disco music, reading the hilarious headlines of Fark.com and GoFugYourself.com and laughing out loud while the rest of the household sleeps and our dogs wonder what the heck I'm up to. And yes, my hair's in five barrettes. Don't even ask what I'm wearing. I. Am. The Funny.
So tell me what you really think: Is laughter medicinal for you too? What do you do to laugh or to help your closest dear ones laugh when life is a little too much, as it regularly is? Or do you think this is so much bunk? C'mon, tell me.
I can take it. I won't laugh. :)