Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Days: "Does anybody remember laughter?"

When was the last time I laughed?

I asked myself this question yesterday midway through my shift at work. And I couldn't answer that question. It could have been that morning over something silly my boyfriend did. Or it could have been the day before with some coworkers. But I honestly couldn't remember having a "fit of laughter" in some time. At least not one memorable enough to look back on and laugh about later.

Actually, that's not true. I did get reminded of the "Saturday Night Live"  with Will Ferrell and Norm McDonald in a "Celebrity Jeopardy" skit in which McDonald plays Burt Reynolds and changes his name to Turd Ferguson. Something about that skit made me laugh uncontrollably at my desk last week and I couldn't stop. THAT'S the last time I memorably laughed.

(Until a few minutes ago when I decided to find the clip of that to post and ended up laughing so hard, I began coughing, a leftover side effect from my recent cold.)

It's good to know I have at least one trigger to incite my laughing. And, after watching that clip, I took stock of how I felt after. My shoulders let go of some of the tension; my mouth perked up on the sides, as if expecting to laugh again; my mind seemed less focused on "I must, I must, I must get this blog post written" and more on "What else is going to make me laugh this month?"

Here's where the challenge comes in.

Enter The Nester. Introduced to me through the Simple Mom podcast, Myquillyn is about to begin her fifth year of her 31 Days Challenge in which she encourages bloggers to write about one topic every day for 31 days. EVERY. DAY.

When I told the boyfriend about this challenge, he said, "It just sounds like you're writing the same thing every day." But his silent support means the world to me. In fact, he is unselfishly leaving me alone to write this blog post after coming home from work, giving me a quick kiss and running to the living room to watch the finale of "Breaking Bad." See? That's support right there.

So, here I am with a plan to laugh every day for 31 days. And then write about it.

I used to have a newspaper column years back when I graduated from college and was always told, "You can write funny. That's one of the toughest ways to write." I realize now it's because I was constantly laughing. I found humor in my days. I was told my two different bosses coworkers didn't think I was serious enough because my laughter was so loud.

My loud laughter is, actually, one of my favorite traits. I love my hearty laugh that friends have told me they could hear cutting through a crowd. I take it as a compliment.

In the industry I'm in, there's a lot of sadness. I supposd my job as a copy editor for a newspaper falls under the category of Artists, Entertainers, Writers in this list of 10 Careers with High Rates of Depression. One day a week, in fact, I'm in charge of putting the obituaries in the paper. It's difficult to find something good among the articles about death, war, poverty and government woes. And, if it is good, it's considered in the world of journalism a "fluff piece," giving it the connotation of not being serious enough to be important and usually put on a page in the middle of the main section as a page-filler.

But I do have a group of great coworkers, all with senses of humor that have given us reason to laugh. In a job where we're constantly saying things like, "I need to fill this hole with 7 inches (on Page 3)," we have a strict No "That's What She Said" Rule because it just makes it too easy.

One of my coworkers and his punny headline. Unfortunately, his last night was
a few days ago and work has definitely lost some humor with his departure.

And, when I get home, I have two mischievous cats who do silly cat things.

I also have a boyfriend I adore and whose intelligence makes him one of the funniest people I know.

And, on top of all that, the cherry on my ice cream sundae, my lovely L. makes me laugh, even though sometimes it's the only thing I can do in order to cope with whatever toddler catastrophe she's somehow managed to create.

So, I'll try my hardest in the next 31 days to post what has made me laugh or how I've made others around me laugh. And I mean really laugh. Not the "lol" someone writes when, really they're not Laughing Out Loud. Not the "Hmm" snort I sometimes give something that's mildly funny. I want my stomach to hurt at the end of 31 days from all the laughter I emit!

And, although Robert Plant originated the phrase, I will constantly remind myself to laugh by remembering the scene in "Almost Famous" Fairuza Balk opens the backstage door and screams, "Does anybody remember laughter?"