“…Won’t you help me?  I need somebody!  Won’t you tell me who I am?”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt this way!

You know, life has pretty much exploded and everything that CAN go wrong has gone wrong.  You don’t know which way is up.  You have absolutely no idea what day it is.  Someone asks your name and you just kinda stare at them and shrug.  You’re a walking Murphy’s Law.  You’re Job.

You can’t seem to get a handle on even one thing in your life.  No matter what you do or how hard you try, this pit you’ve found yourself in just keeps getting deeper and deeper and DEEPER.

I mean, you DID kinda start digging the pit a little bit yourself though.  At least the first few scoops, right?  Maybe you over extended yourself a little bit?  Didn’t think some things all the way through?  Got a teensy bit lazy?

But then it was like the floodgates opened!  Before you could even think to throw an arm up and ask for help, you landed ass first in the depths of some…some…CHASM! And it’s gettin’ deeper by the second! Honestly, it’s like you’re stuck on an elevator and that bad boy only goes down.  And not in a good way.

Been there?

That was pretty much my week last week.  Here’s the Facebook status I posted on Tuesday-

Here was my day today-
1. CT scan
2. Took the Rodeo for emissions testing, failed because my gas cap wouldn’t pressurize, left the testing place to buy a new gas cap and went back to get retested
3. Appointment with an ENT who numbed my nose so he could stick a camera so far up it that I thought it was gonna come out of my eye. Oh and my front teeth went numb too.
4. Met with a nurse who pretty much just read paperwork to me
5. Got an EKG
6. Got a chest x-ray
7. Had four vials of blood drawn
8. Peed in a cup
9. Unpacked the rest of our apartment (which still smells pretty much like an old lady’s armpit- super perfumey with hints of B.O.)
10. Cooked hamburger helper stroganoff only after D fixed the stove.
11. Didn’t want said stroganoff so started making PBJ’s only to find ALL of our bread was moldy.
12. Went to the K-Roger at 8:45 and ended up eating Fruit Loops for dinner.
Tomorrow? Starts off with a Comcast visit followed by an ultrasound for Flea and a follow-up at the ophthalmologist for D because they pulled a piece of metal out of his eye yesterday.
I’m hoping that by tomorrow night the cat will be miraculously healed, D can be in a fully lit room without sounding like a Mogwai and we’ll have cable and internet. If I’m really lucky that 50 gallon drum of vinegar I bought will have knocked out that old lady armpit scent.
If my current luck holds out I’m most definitely Job.

On Wednesday we found out that Flea, our cat, has cancer.

You know you’ve bummed your FB friends out when more than one posts Kid Rock pictures to your timeline.  You know, just to “make you feel better”.

You know what I needed?  (No, not a Margarita the size of an above ground pool. I mean, I wouldn’t have turned it down…)

I needed a reset.

Yup.

A reset.

Not a do-over because-HOLY BALLS-I didn’t wanna deal with any of that shit again, but just a chance to…get my feet back under me.  An up button on that elevator at the bottom of my abyss.

It’s not that I wanted to blink my eyes and make it all go away because really?   I could want that until the cows come home but that never works!  And honestly, the issue wasn’t even related to the shit that had gathered on top of me.  I mean, yeah, I had A LOT going on, but I realized it wasn’t as much about the events AROUND ME as it was about what was going on INSIDE ME.  I needed to reset MYSELF, not necessarily my circumstances.

Brilliant right?  A reset.  So simple!

But how the hell do you DO that?  How do you “reset yourself” so you can deal with all the crap raining down on you?  (Even if it’s positive stuff it still falls under the “crap” umbrella in this case.  It’s a rule.  If it’s super overwhelming- EVEN WHEN IT’S POSITIVE- it can be referred to as “crap”.)

I wish I had a magic reset elixir I could ship out to ya’.  The packaging would knock your socks off  and it would work every effing time.  It would even taste good.  Like…bubble gum OR CAKE BATTER!  It’d even be cheap.  And come in liquid, capsule or patch form.  There may even be a time release option!

Before I get too carried away, you should know I haven’t figured out how to bottle any reset abracadabra.  And the truth is, even if I did have some awesome potion on the market, you don’t even need it.

As stupid and simple and “I wanna punch her in the mouth for saying this” as it’s gonna sound, a good laugh is all you need.  A laugh that makes your eyes tear up and your stomach hurt.  A laugh so ridiculous that it can act as your cardio for the day.

I’m not just blowing sunshine either.  I’ve got data to back it up! Studies on humor and laughter from Duke University, Loma Linda University, UCLA and others have shown:

  • Laughing helps relax tense muscles.

  • Laughing helps lower high blood pressure.

  • Laughing reduces the production of stress hormones.

  • Laughter (and a positive attitude) strengthen the immune system.

  • Laughter allows a person to ‘forget’ about aches and pains and perceive pain as less intense.

  • A good laugh is like an aerobic workout for the heart and lungs–increasing the body’s ability to use oxygen.

Seriously, last week was terrible for me.  Awful.  Overwhelming. Exhausting.

And you wanna know what really turned it around? What absolutely 100% turned me right-side-up again?

I was at a baby shower on Sunday.  A couples baby shower.  And after most of the guests had left, a few of the guys that had known each other for like twenty years started telling stories.  And I laughed.  And laughed.  And laughed some more.  Tears streamed down my face.  I couldn’t catch my breath.  My stomach hurt.  And once I could actually take a sip of punch without fear of it shooting out my nose, I realized I felt…better.  Lighter.  I knew who I was again.  I felt like me on the inside.

See, my outward circumstances hadn’t really changed all that much.  I’d still had a shitty week.  My cat still had cancer.  I still had a tick bite in the crack of one of my fat rolls but on the inside?  On the inside, that laughter had given me what I needed most.  A reset.  A reset back to myself.  And it felt FANTASTIC.

Look, I know life is hard.  I know it sucks sometimes.  I know you feel like the walls are caving in on you and all you wanna do is scream that Kid Rock lyric up there that started this blog today.  (It’s from My Oedipus Complex on The History of Rock, just FYI.) But you get to decide every single moment of every single day how you’re gonna handle the shit that gets thrown at you.  Sure you need to vent.  Sure a good cry is fantastic but don’t forget the power of laughter.  Maybe you don’t go as far as I did and get the Chinese symbol for laughter tattooed on your foot, but at the very least, don’t forget how important it is.  Even when you’re down in the bottom of a hole so deep you can barely see daylight, a good guffaw or too is never a bad idea.

I guess, as cliche as it may sound, laughter IS the best medicine.  And in case you need a reminder…

Laugh