Yesterday afternoon I had a nice opportunity to go out for lunch with friends, and then I did a solo D.I. trip. I went looking for a large glass container for storing amaranth flour, but of course, that's not what I left with. I purchased an entertaining assortment of second-hand treasures, but what matters most about my excursion (amazingly, not the linen, linen, and more linen) is that I "happened upon" (and for the record, I don't believe in coincidence, not even inside a cluttered thrift store) my next Really Important Book for 2006: the Healing Power of Humor.
As an aside, I'll just mention here that my first Really Important Book for 2006 was The Sociopath Next Door. I know--the title sounds deceivingly paranoid--but honestly, it's a sensitive, powerful, practical, and enlightening study of conscience. Every time I picked it up (and I almost couldn't put it down) I found an answer to a chronic question, or a piece of comfort, or some clear strategy to help me with what and whom I am currently facing in my life. Read it. You'll probably thank me later for the recommendation.
Just as I felt "led" to the book on sociopathy when I was in the library, I felt compelled to buy the book on humor and healing and start on it right away. Last night, when stress seemed to be winning the contest with sleep, I turned on my little book light and began. What a gift. It's not as if I don't already know that there's a connection between humor and wellness--I wrote a paper on this subject once back in college days--and it's certainly not as if I don't already rely on my sense of humor to keep me afloat, yet it seems like a great shaft of light from heaven is blazing down on me and toasting my head with the idea that now is the time to really learn how to find healing humor in the events of my life and fully understand how best to use it. I know that when I find myself alone in a peaceful kitchen in the last quiet moments before my grandmother is due to get up and start her day, and I realize my hands are shaking so hard that I can't even take my morning cod liver oil(!), something's gotta give.
So this morning, I've been working on an extensive personal funny; I am making a top ten list a la Letterman, and I've let my mind run with it for hours. Will I post it here? I'm still debating. Probably not. But I have laughed out loud a few times already today, and that has been cathartic.
"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion . . . . I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward." (Kurt Vonnegut)