Sunday, July 15, 2012

Own Less, Laugh More?

Hope everyone is having a great summer! I am trying to be present less on the computer these days so that I can be more fully present with my kids during the day (and be more focused at home). That said, I will commit to at least one post a week, written when they're in bed (whether that be early in the morning or late in the evening). So here's a thought I've been mulling over lately...
 Photo Credit  
(not my neighbors, just a Flickr picture I found)

A Mexican family moved in next door recently. From all appearances, they don't seem to have much in the way of material possessions. The kids' favorite toys seem to be their bikes, and they ride them gleefully for hours in the afternoon and in the evening. Their dad works construction and worked nearly non-stop to build a deck this weekend. And their mom--I haven't seen her much, but the aroma wafting toward our house from her cooking smells delicious and makes me feel like an imaginary cook-off on who can make the best smelling food for their families is on! (Kidding).

A few days ago, as I was working busily inside on catching up on my to-do list, my son came in and said, "Mom, the mom next door is pretty laughy [he meant giggly]. I've heard her laugh 10 times already today," (and it was barely noon when he told me this).

He went back outside to play, and I stayed inside to mop the floor or wipe out the fridge or whatever it was that I was busy doing. That day, I hadn't laughed at all. Even worse, I couldn't think of anything to laugh at. My sense of humor was hidden under my work load.

With four kids under seven, it is so easy to be buried with stuff to do. Despite my best attempts at scheduling, I am always behind. The work always seems to pile up. It's like the saying--"Cleaning house while children are small is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing." I don't expect a spotless house--sure, that would be great--but I am aiming for a manageable one. And I feel like a woman trying to climb a snowy hill, where you make some progress and then slide back down. I can't seem to get on top of it.

So I got to thinking:
What is the difference between me and the mom next door?

Could it be that owning less makes it easier to laugh more? There's less to do, less to manage, less stuff to care for. In that simplicity, perhaps one is freer to slow down and enjoy life more, laugh more.

My son's comment was a wake-up call to me to slow down a little, take some of the stress off and laugh a little more. But where do you start to find funny stuff to laugh at?
  • Pray about it and ask for a spirit of laughter. (After doing this, the next day, my youngest son pushed his face against our glass door and made the silliest faces. We all laughed hysterically.)
  •  Capitalize on silly moments. Savor them. And laugh!
  • Sometimes, I think you may have to force a fake giggle, if it's not coming naturally at first. Practice makes perfect, and the spontaneous laughs will soon follow. 
  • Find clean jokes and tell them. Laughter is contagious (remember getting the giggles in class or at church?), and if someone starts laughing, you'll soon be laughing, too.
  • Here's a link to another article on the topic, and you could always do an Internet search for more tips.
In my quest to laugh more, I'm adding one more thing to my to-do list: go through the house and declutter.
I'm aiming to own less so I can laugh more.

Sharing With:
The Better Mom
Women Living Well
Raising Homemakers

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts here- thanks for writing this! Found you via the Blogher recommendations in the sidebar.

    Mary, momma to many