Monday, May 10, 2010

HUMOR IN MY LIFE - - - Part 1

Okay, folks! I'm going to make some lemonade out of lemons. Yesterday was my birthday. It just happened to be a big one. I turned fifty-five and I'd started to come to a place of acceptance that I might now be middle-aged. It's just that I usually feel as if I am still in my thirties. Such was not the case on my birthday!

I've just crawled out of bed, having experienced a temperature of 103 degrees last night. I felt every single year of my age and then some on this birthday. I was as weak as a kitten.

Do I hear someone asking, “Where's the lemonade?”

There's a simple answer to that. After years of bemoaning the seemingly negative experiences that life can bring, I've come to realize that everything happens for a reason which is for the greater good. The challenge for me is to look for the silver lining in the dark cloud; in other words, to look for the hidden blessing. Once that can be found, it not only changes my attitude, it can lead me to look upon the experience I might have otherwise bemoaned and find some relief through humor.

Okay...I wasn't laughing last night. Truth be told, I was a pitiful mess! I slept away the afternoon only getting up to let my partner feed me a bowl of chicken soup. After a few more hours of sleep, I was rewarded with a donut and told that I was grumpy. I figured I was entitled! What a way to spend my birthday!

Today I can see through new eyes. I can even laugh at the pitiful circumstances of yesterday. Of course, it always helps to feel a bit better.

The last time I made a big deal out of my birthday was when I turned fifty. That also turned out to be the second worst birthday of my life. Yesterday ranks number three on the totem pole. Maybe I'll tell you the story about my fiftieth birthday another time. Better yet, why not now!

Here goes...The year before I turned fifty was a hairy one. I went through a number of dramatic life changes. I lost my best friend to cancer and my two beagles died. I broke up with my partner of twenty-four years, bought a new house, and took a long weekend off from work in order to move. That's not what happened. I never returned to work. I got pretty sick - sick enough to qualify for a disability retirement.

There were some beautiful things that happened. A caring new partner and his mother came into my life and took care of me when I was at my low point. I became more dependent upon God each day which opened new doors to my increasing spirituality. I also came to see that my life had a purpose; that was, to tell my story.

I decided that I would begin my memoirs at the exact moment of my birth, fifty years after the event. I did so while my partner was having a hissy fit and banging doors in the background. Perhaps he was entitled. He'd just had surgery a few days before and he wasn't feeling his best.

The way my ego saw it was that he was disrupting my big plans for my big day. Things had to be just so. I proceeded to write the foreword to my book and it still reads as some of the best writing I've ever done. I'm just grateful that I haven't needed banging doors and screaming to motivate me since then!

The day only got worse after that. I can only blame myself for that. My threatened ego continued to get in the way. After all, I'd thought, I was celebrating the fact that I'd survived the previous year. I'd made it to fifty and it seemed like a pretty big thing!

My dear parents arrived in time for the party with my mother bearing the birthday meal and cake. At the same time, my partner and I were involved in another showdown. I went to bed, feeling sorry for myself. Then an idea occurred to me. I figured I would feel better if I went to one of my twelve step meetings.

I gave my apologies to my bewildered family and I went to the meeting. I did feel much better afterward. In fact, I found myself laughing over my childish antics of the day. Fortunately my family was still at my house and there was left-over beef stroganoff and birthday cake for me. It also helped to see that they had apparently had a fine time without the birthday boy being present.

Where would any of us be without humor? The trick is to discover the humor in things that don't always seem to be funny. More and more, I'm learning to do that. I hope this will be the case for you too.

Author Davis Aujourd'hui
"The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude" (1st of a series of books)

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