Laughing Through Life (Instead of Complaining)

November 16, 2010 16 Comments TAGS: Kids, Marriage, Motherhood, Stress

By Guest Blogger Banji Ganchrow

We all have some form of stress in our lives.  And whatever that stress may, whether it be the “real” kind… divorce, destruction, illness, death, or the “real-to-me” kind… I ate too much, my kids are driving me crazy, why do I have to help you with your homework, somebody shoot my mother-in-law… we all deal with it differently.

Some of us eat, some of us don’t eat (I, personally, never understood those people), some of us exercise, some of us walk around grumpy (which is probably also a form of exercise), some lock themselves in a room and cry, and still some just cry all of the time and in front of anyone or anything that will listen.  I feel that life is too short for that. Certainly, everyone is entitled to deal with stress, sadness and life changing experiences in any way they see fit. What works for you, is what’s best for you (hopefully).  My way of dealing with stress has always been to find a way to laugh through it… and hopefully make others laugh too.  Nothing puts me into a better mood than hearing people laugh at something I have said (wait, are they laughing at me or with me?)

Here are a few examples in my life:

When my son had minor surgery a couple of years ago, the doctor gave him a sedative that made him rather loopy.  My poor little three year old started telling me he was seeing “Flying doggies.” “Can I get some of what he’s having?”  I begged the doctor. “I promise I won’t tell.” But that didn’t work, and the doctor’s license is still safely intact and I remain drug free. Though watching my little angel having his own form of an acid trip certainly made the experience a little less intense for me.

A few years ago, my next door neighbor’s house exploded because of a gas leak.  There had been a smell of gas wafting from his house for a few weeks before this happened.  Unfortunately, he died and because I was the one who had called the gas company just hours before the explosion to complain again about the smell of gas, the TV crews swarmed to meet me.  Though still not allowed inside my own house to see the damage, I was thankful to God that my family was ok.  I was also beside myself that my poor neighbor did not survive (I just kept wishing he was out on his bicycle somewhere). And there I was, with all these microphones and cameras in my face and all I could say to these people was “Crap, I should’ve lost those 30 pounds before making my big TV debut.” They thought I was crazy.  But, humor has always got me through the chaos.

Have you ever been in the middle of Walmart and your kid is lying on the floor kicking and screaming and throwing a tantrum? There are the moms who stress over it, and then there’s me… the mom laughing through it. Laughing that this is just the craziest scene and can’t believe that I am the central character in it, and laughing because if I don’t laugh… I’ll cry!

Someone once told me the expression “Keep complaining and God will give you something to complain about.”  My prayer, almost every night is “Dear god, PLEASE PLEASE don’t give me something REAL to complain about.”  Some people stress about their kids, or someone getting sick. I stress about things breaking down in the house. See, if anything in the house breaks (which it often does), I am the one responsible to fix it because my spouse, or husband #1 as I like to call him, doesn’t know a light bulb from a tuna fish can.  And I am not kidding.  Sweet man, yes…handy man, no. Perhaps husband #2 will be handy, who knows…

A few years ago, I went through the pain of miscarrying. Is there humor in multiple miscarriages?  Well, I have three healthy boys, and although the losses after three healthy pregnancies were heart wrenching, and I did go through the “Don’t come within a foot of me if you are pregnant or have a new baby” stage, I had to look up at the sky and say “Man, you really do think I would suck as a mom of a girl!!” (All my miscarriages had been girls… go figure).  I didn’t complain about miscarrying even though I was quite sad. Instead, I just had to look at my boys and realize how lucky I was to have them. I once read that God gives us what we need and what we can handle. I like to remember that during the moments when I feel I could lose it. And then I laugh.

So there it is. Get up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror and laugh. Laugh that you have lived another day. Laugh that you have survived waking up to see what the world has to throw at you today. Whether it be filled with joy, like your fourteen year old telling you that you are the best mom ever (well, sure kid, I do every single freaking thing you ask me to, of course I am the best mom ever) or something that might not be as joyous (and I am not putting any of those examples out into the universe), just laugh. Laugh because, apparently and according to many plastic surgeons, smiles are better for you than frowns.

Here’s one to try and laugh at!

And tell us, do you ever find humor in chaos? Do you laugh through the hard times instead of complaining?

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BIO:

Banji Ganchrow is a frustrated comedian and writer, and middle child who has low self-esteem. Mother of 3 all-sport-loving boys (which is ok because she doesn’t like shopping). Banji is a former substance abuse counselor and lover of all things milk chocolate or cheesecake.

Fat, fantastic and forty!
Check out Banji’s Blog at www.HolyCrapImGonnaBe40.blogspot.com

    16 Comments

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    3. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

    4. When I was a kid, whenever someone would tell me something at all serious, I would start to smile and break out in laughter. My mom used to get really mad at me. I still make inappropriate comments at the most inopportune times. When my husband had his Vasectomy, I called him BB for weeks (Blue Balls). It made him laugh right through the pain.
      You know what, you gotta do what gets you through the day. And laughter is definitely the best medicine.

    5. Anonymous says:

      Banji! You are very funny. I think we’re going to see you soon on SNL! Keep up the good work.
      ~S

    6. Thank you Banji for a great post. I loved your examples. I can relate to the meltdown in Walmart! And Janet, I love your words: “I love life. Find humor in it or you will drown in it!!” Thank you all for reading!

    7. Janet DeVito says:

      I have always laughed my way through. Drives my hormonally bitchy daughter crazzzzy! But she would be much happier if she laughed too!! I love life. Find humor in it or you will drown in it!!

    8. Rachel Robertson says:

      I remember my kid once having a complete tantrum at the grocery store and I was completely hysterical laughing. It was honestly funny. He was so out of control. Some lady looked at me with disgust but if you’re a mom you can probably appreciate that we’ve all been there and could use a little nod of approval. So I agree that laughter can sometimes be the best medicine.

    9. Karen Starr says:

      I loved this post. I think we must be kindred spirits.

    10. Anonymous says:

      I’ve tried that foot thing 4 times and I can’t master it.

    11. Sarah Kay says:

      I’m gonna check out your blog. I think you have a good attitude. I always take everything to heart and take life very seriously. I could stand to lighten up.

    12. Lianne K says:

      I life my way through life no joke. It’s always been my way. My husband always said I’m so sarcastic and obnoxious but it’s how I like it. I find the more I laugh the happier I am. Great post girl.

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