Wait – why would I say it’s time to laugh? It’s January. The world is cold and depressing. The sun goes down at 5:30 in the evening and the nights go on forever. The democrats and republicans are fighting each other tooth and nail, and neither of them want to concede. People hate each other in a way I’ve never seen before. It sounds like there’s been interference by Russia on our own government elections and there will probably be more interference in the 2020 election. The next Watergate is probably happening this year and it’s going to tear the country apart even more than it already has. In my own life, I almost died from H1N1. My grandma isn’t doing well, and she’s on hospice. I’m still very much unemployed.
There’s a lot to be depressed about right now. We all have our own coping methods, sure. I usually hit the optimism button – though recently I’ve been favoring pessimism. Still – maybe it’s time to laugh.
Ok, as long as it’s good humor…
Or not. It’s time to laugh at things we think are funny. That may sound like the dumbest thing ever said, but our humor are so different. I once chastised people for being too snobby about comedy, and while I still hold the fact that some are indeed too snobby for their own good, that’s still their decision. Example: I am not going to tell you that Movie 43 is funny as hell. Everyone hated this movie. Seriously – Osama Bin Laden had more fans than this turd of a movie. Ya know what? I loved Movie 43, and dammit, you’re not going to change my mind. For the record – I don’t like mad men who crash planes into buildings and advocate violence based on religious beliefs – but I digress.
The point being – it doesn’t have to be “good” humor, as long as it makes you laugh. Just freaking find something that makes you laugh, and don’t worry about what others say. I know some of the movies I find hysterical are really stupid. Heck, I really like slapstick humor! Why? Because I do. My tastes used to be a bit more refined back in the day, but now – eh – I just want to laugh. So don’t be afraid to laugh at a stupid movie. Hey, at least you know it’s stupid!
But it’s time to be serious….it’s not time to laugh.
Ok, to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. Yes, there is a time to be serious, and there is a time to laugh. Maybe this isn’t your time to laugh – but dang it – maybe it’s MY time to laugh. My philosophy: laugh about things, but don’t be apathetic about the situation. If I start making so many jokes about my situations that I dive into a state of denial – we’ve got a problem. However, if I laugh at my problems while at the same time realizing how serious they really are, that’s a healthy way of dealing with things. That’s called balance, folks. It’s something healthy people have in their lives. Coincidently, Chicago wrote a song in the 70s about this very thing!
Well – just be appropriate with what you laugh at
Yes – and no. Some people can find humor in anything, others feel like some things are just too dark or serious to laugh at. I lean mostly towards the former and not the latter, I’ve made my fair share of dark jokes. Having said that – there is a line. Actually there are two lines. One line is your own conscious. If you feel wrong and evil about laughing about say, dysentery, then don’t make jokes about the dysentery. However – if your conscious is fine with making these jokes, go for it dude! Make all the gross dysentery jokes you want. BUT BEFORE YOU DO….
I mentioned there are two lines – and the second line is way more important than the first. Make sure, if you’re going to make an off color joke, not to make it in front of someone who is going to be offended. Seriously – if you’re going to make a dysentery joke, don’t do it in front of a sick person. That’s rude! Heck – I remember making a bunch of dead baby jokes in front of my mom. Yeah – that was a bad move on my part as my sister died when she was a baby, and my mom never really did get over it.
So follow your conscious with your offensive humor, yes, but also read the freaking room. Know when to say no.
Or maybe just don’t laugh at all
Look – the point of laughter isn’t laughter for laughter’s sake. Yes, laughter is fun, but finding your metaphorical and literal bliss is the real key here. When your situation is dark, and when the state of the world has you depressed, maybe laughter won’t do it for you. Maybe something else will. Myself, I find a lot of joy in writing and in music. I find a lot of happiness in finding a perfect cup of coffee. Maybe it’s time to laugh, but maybe it’s time for me to sip coffee while writing about that amazing second part of Layla (seriously – I am so in love with that section of the song).
Maybe instead of laughing, you’d rather spend time with your family or maybe you’d rather read a good book. The point is more about finding joy and happiness and less about following a specific way of escapism. Release those endorphins in any way you can. The reason they say laughter is the best medicine has more to do with brain chemicals than anything else.
Life goes by so fast
Again – it’s important to know the world situation, and it’s important to acknowledge and even embrace your own emotions – but letting these rule your life will do more harm than good. That’s the point of the escapism I preach here today. This escapism is not about denial, nor is it about being crass and/or callus to your surroundings. This escapism is more about dealing with your surroundings in a healthy way. If you focus too much on the negative, that’s going to give you a lot of stress – and too much stress can actually kill you! So find a way to deal with the stress of the world or your own life. Find a way to enjoy life despite the crappy things in our lives.
Get help if you need it
I want to end on this note. If you need psychological help, get it. I am not a therapist, nor really qualified to give any advice about psychology or psychiatry. I’ve taken a whopping two psych courses in college. So please, if you’re really struggling, don’t take my advice as a cure all – because my advice is not a panacea. If you’re sick, you need a doctor. This includes if your brain is sick. Chances are, most of us need a lot more psychiatric help than we seek out. I know I probably do. That’s nothing to be ashamed about either. Nor is it something to joke about.
Be healthy everyone. Enjoy life, despite the darkness.