December 31-A jest of the gods….
“Life is a jest of the gods, Merlin liked to claim, and there is no justice. You must learn to laugh, he once told me, or else you’ll just weep yourself to death.” – Spoken by a young King Arthur in The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
Recently, I was at the home of a relative, and as she was loading the dishwasher after an excellent holiday meal she had prepared, we were all standing about telling jokes. Obviously, the banter was lost on her, as she admitted, “I don’t remember the last time I laughed. I think I’ve forgotten how to.”
I felt truly sad for this person I love. It has been a difficult year for her, struggling with family issues and an ailing parent. If I could have made her gaffaw and cackle at that moment, it would have indeed been a wonderful and welcome gift.
Laughter, while often not easy to come by, is the equivalent of grabbing a breath of air after being plunged underwater. The rich, deep breath encouraged by laughter whisks oxygen enriched blood and nutrients throughout the body.
“Laughter can be a great workout for your diaphragm, abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles. It massages abdominal organs, tones intestinal functioning, and strengthens the muscles that hold the abdominal organs in place.” says helpguide.org. ” Not only does laughter give your midsection a workout, it can benefit digestion and absorption functioning as well. It is estimated that hearty laughter can burn calories equivalent to several minutes on the rowing machine or the exercise bike. ”
There’s been alot of stuff to deal with this year. The gas crisis, the mucky economy, the dishonesty of public officials, job losses, rising prices and plunging home values are just a few of the seemingly endless parade of bad news items making headlines.
Instead of indulging in another bout of CNN, try substituting a silly sitcom. Belive me, the news will be repeated in full with enhanced boxes and more information that we need to know in the next 30 minutes. Take a break from news and information today and let your mind and body be massaged by the sweet gift of laughter.