Find your jollies
It’s like they say. When life gives you lemons, keep them. Because, hey, free lemons.
Oh, did I get that wrong? Let’s try again. When life gives you lemons, make lemon chicken. After all, lemonade is so cliché, and with all that sugar probably not that good for you either.
Of course, if you want to make lemonade with your free lemons, go ahead. You’ll still be getting the point — seeing the opportunity amidst the obstacle.
Too often we LDS singles are like many others who focus so much on the obstacle that our reality becomes one of frustration. But when we focus on the opportunity that always comes with the obstacle, our reality can be one of freedom. Either way, our focus becomes our reality.
We’ve discussed before how seeing the opportunity amidst the obstacle can lighten our burdens of adversity and even help us to overcome them. Opportunities vary with the obstacle, but one is fairly constant across the spectrum. That’s the opportunity to laugh.
Make the time
With the holidays almost upon us, many seem so busy with all that needs doing because the holidays are almost upon us. They’re so busy, in fact, they’ve become rather serious — maybe too serious.
Sure, I’m all for respecting why we have the trinity of holidays that connect the years together. There’s some serious purpose in that as well as serious work needed to prepare for our associated traditions. Yet taking ourselves too seriously, we’ll miss much of the joy our Heavenly Father has provided in our journey. We must make time to laugh.
Recently I’ve discovered I’ve been too serious. Mostly it comes from my day job. I want to be known as a professional who delivers good work. Yet all science and no philosophy is no way to live life — at least not a pleasant one. I see the need to laugh more often.
I once agreed with Neil Young who sang, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” But now I’m starting to wonder if the reverse is true. How else will generations who outlive me see my light and benefit therefrom? Plus I’ll have more time to laugh.
Seize the opportunities
I actually have plenty of opportunities to laugh all around me. I didn’t realize how many I had until I started to look.
I have some funny movies that I haven’t watched in years. I’ve started to watch these again and have noted something. In addition to providing me with opportunities to laugh, these films have brought back memories of friends from prior years, especially ones I had in college. Remembering these people who blessed my life has lifted my spirit.
I’ve also discovered the humor section in my personal library was larger than I thought it was. Just looking through some of these tomes brought back memories of college friends I haven’t seen in years. Joy and laughter attended those memories.
For example, thumbing through my copy of The Dilbert Principle reminded me of my engineer roommate Ben and the Dilbert TV show sound clip we adopted for our answering machine message. I’ll never forget walking with him inside the Institute building when around the corner came one of our friends who upon seeing us immediately went into a tirade, screaming that she would never call our apartment again until we got that extremely long message off our machine. Just remembering that episode sets me to giggling just like my roommate and I did in that moment.
Wherever you find your humor, the point is still the same. We all have opportunities to laugh all around us. We just need to look to find them.
Make new memories
In addition to finding opportunities to laugh from memories of the past, we can make our own opportunities to laugh. In so doing, we provide joy in our journey now in the present and later in the future as we reminisce about the past.
Finding those opportunities requires a focus on finding on them. That doesn’t imply anything more than the right balance of a laid back attitude with an alert mind that can recognize opportunities when they appear.
I wish I could say I were the best at doing that. And not everyone appreciates my sense of humor. But we all have room to improve somewhere. I’ve improved over the years, but this still happens to be one of my “somewheres.”
As I apply myself and practice I’ll eventually get better. I’ll also get better as I make more time in life to laugh, something all of us should do more and more often. Take some time to find your jollies. Doing that will bring you more joy in your journey.
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Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly Internet radio show and podcast to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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