Debbie Salter Goodwin
What Happened to Happy?
Didn’t we used to be happy?
In the eyes that stare at me above masks that cover faces I see today, I see sad and frustrated. I see tired and confused.
I don’t see happy.
Where did happy go? Did Corona cancel it with everything else we can no longer do?
We need happy, laugh out loud, tickle ‘til you cry, happy!
I have scheduled walks and meals and doctors’ appointments, but I’ve forgotten to schedule time for happy. I guess I expected it would just surprise me. Oh, maybe there were a few moments when my husband found a Facebook video of animals or people doing funny things, I think I remember laughing a bit. But even that’s different from enjoying something so far from ordinary that you laugh out loud.
I know the spiritual antidote is joy, that anchored settlement in Jesus that grows a sense of well-being despite circumstances. I have that. But happy, that undiluted emotion that shows up as unforced smiles and laughter has gone AWOL.
Happy, momentary though it may be, leaves its mark. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and antibodies to fight infection.
Hmmm! Sounds like a good way to fight a virus, doesn’t it?
I know why I haven’t laughed as much. I don’t have anything to laugh about in this isolated, closed-down, canceled world we live in. And that’s where I see my problem. I wait for something to laugh about.
Instead, I think I need to purposefully think of ways to bring laughter into my day. I need to find what makes the two people living under my roof double over and laugh together.
Did you know that the average four-year-old laughs over 300 times a day? And the average forty-year-old only four? People, we’ve got to catch up with four-year-olds! We need to stop substituting emoji’s and LOL’s for real, hearty, engulfing laughter.
Maybe we need to bring back Andy Griffith or I Love Lucy. And what’s not to laugh about at a Carol Burnett sketch when the actors lose it themselves? Maybe we need to find a smile mask (yes, you can order one on Amazon!) or get a Joke a day app for your phone and see who in your family shares the best, harmless humor for the day.
A vaccine for COVID-19 still seems a long way off. I’m going for more laughter.
So let’s get our happy on. Share a good laugh today. Remember funny stories. Tell fun jokes. Watch animals or children play. Laugh and smile.
Remember . . .