What could possibly be either fun or funny about aging? It sounds like an oxymoron to me. Aging is not fun, there are too many circumstances we can’t control, but the more I think about it, the better I like the idea of laughing it off. There’s a lot of humor to be found, we just need to look for it. A good hearty laugh can be healthy and beneficial, often easing pain we’re unable to express otherwise. Our need for laughter is as real as any other need.
So, what makes us laugh? I can think of several things that I find funny. Maybe you can relate to these; if not, forming a list of your own might be helpful. I usually start my day with a quick peek in the mirror just to be sure I’m still around, never a pretty sight. I inventory the normal damage; baggy eyes, saggy mouth, multiple chins; all dismal and depressing. The other morning I took a second look at the eyes peering back at me, sharp and piercing, almost hidden in their nest of wrinkles, for all the world like an ancient Galapagos tortoise checking me out. Was there intelligence there? curiosity? I burst out laughing.
A second, deeper look and this time I detected a definite relationship with my simian ancestors. Darwin had it right, we must be descended from amoebas, swamp creatures and tree climbers! I kept laughing, the similarities were so obvious. Maybe I should get my DNA tested (right after someone tests my sanity). Making faces in the mirror at 6 o’clock in the morning may not tickle everyone’s funny-bone but it certainly got my day going.
Later that day I ran into my favorite neighborhood character; he’s always good for a laugh. I have no idea who he is or what his name is and I don’t want to know. If I did know him, then I’d have to feel guilty. As it is I can be amused by his odd bird-like appearance and he’ll never catch on. I call him Bird-Man of the Oaks.
I picture him standing on one leg among the reeds around the ponds, the other leg tucked up under his comfortable belly like the world’s tallest heron. The quick darting movements of his head and his sharp pointed nose add to the effect. I’ve never heard him chirp, tweet, quack or honk but he always makes me laugh. I’m thinking his DNA might show a distinct relationship to avian ancestors.
Another great opportunity to enjoy some laughs; I love being with my great-grandchildren, now ages 3 and 5. They’re sure-fire entertainers who never let me down. Every family needs small children just for the entertainment value if for no other reason. Fun, funny and fantastic, what a combination! So far, neither one bears a resemblance to either an amoeba, a turtle, a bird or any of the great apes. Their gene pool must be diluted.
Dining with compatible friends in the evening while sharing a glass of wine is always good for an hour or two of light hearted chit-chat and laughter. I’m of the firm opinion that dinner conversation should be light and cheerful. Save the serious stuff for later; who knows, maybe it’ll go away. The evenings when conversation centers around the olden days and childhood memories are sure to be a lot of fun. Reminiscing is wonderful therapy.
A recent discussion of our grandparents and a comparison of old photographs started a group of us wondering how far back we could trace our ancestry, and whether we really would want to. DNA testing is a great tool and has long had its place in modern science, but how far should we take it before it gets too personal? Do we really want to establish the fact that our first cousins started as amoebas and are now a bunch of monkeys? I’ve always been dubious about a few of mine, do I need proof?
So, how does your list of laugh getters compare at this point? We each have our own sense of what’s funny and it’s all good. My message is simple: look for humor in the little things and keep on laughing. It’s good for you.