If you can't remember the last time you smiled, then forget the smile and laugh out loud.
That's right. Laugh out loud. To yourself.
Just reach deep from within your belly, pull a laugh up and out from the back of your throat, and burst out a hearty Ha-ha-ha!
Now do it again.
Just do it. Really. No one's looking. And if they are, ask them to join you.
It'll release any pent-up energy you might be feeling.
Belly laughs are good for that.
As a matter of fact, I had a few the night before. I was out to dinner with a girlfriend, and we got caught in the rain. We were sitting at the outdoor patio of this Italian bistro, when all of a sudden, the misters sounded a lot louder than they had before. Well, wouldn't you know it? It wasn't the misters that was making that whooshing sound. It was rain. The desert got its first shower, or at least the first one I can recall this monsoon season. And there we were, right in the middle of it, finishing up our dinner. Luckily, the table's umbrella was extended. We didn't get too wet. Our backs took most of the hit. But it was funny, and we laughed out loud. It felt good. The company. The rain. The laughs. Perfect!
But then the rain started coming down a bit harder, and we had to run for cover at the bar which had an awning overhead. We asked an older couple sitting at the table next to us if they were going to get out of the rain as well, and the woman replied for no particular reason, "This, on our first date!" And she laughed. Then her dinner mate laughed. And my friend and I got a good laugh all over again. What a memory for them, I think, if they continue seeing each other. I thought it was sweet. We don't get rain in the Valley of the Sun that often, so it's kind of a treat when it happens. But to be on a first date, sitting outside, only to get soaked by the rain? How funny!
I'm glad they thought it was.
There have been times in my life where the laughter was missing, where life seemed too serious and ceased to be fun. That's not a place I like to stay for long. So I once bought a shirt to remind me of that. It's a pink tank top that says at the top, "Laugh at yourself often." I did before I bought the shirt, and I do now. But sometimes I forget. Sometimes I get caught up in the exterior stuff that goes on, and I let it get to my head. I get too serious. Argh! Who needs that?
Going through my closet, looking for a shirt to wear today, I pulled out that pink shirt. I've been wearing it all day. It's a good reminder.
I'm going to dinner tonight with another friend. Besides eating a great meal and drinking some fine wine, I know what else we're going to do.
We're going to laugh.
All my best,