Welcome to the Smile Side of Life — my newest blog. Here I will be looking at something that is both important to me, and a real life skill that all of us should strive to develop. Life is full of twists and turns that take us through, as Dickens said, the best of times and the worst of times. How we react, cope and move through these twists and turns controls our stress level, our happiness and even our health. And while being human means that there is a time to laugh and a time to cry, we can make our journey a bit easier by incorporating laughter and humor into our daily life.
Some days it will be easy, some days it may be very hard, indeed. I remember in the time after 9-11, as a society we wondered if we would ever laugh again. The pendulum had swung all the way over into heartbreaking sorrow. But the pendulum is never static. Eventually it must swing the other way. We may try to control it — keep it swinging is a small arc near the center, where there is neither the height of joy nor the depths of grief. In this blog I will be dealing with that pendulum, and where it is swinging in my daily life. I will be looking for humor — used by me or someone else — to nudge that pendulum over, to see how actively seeking happiness and joy can help me — and perhaps, you — live on the Smile Side of Life.
I start this journey with a link to an article I recently wrote for the Rutgers Alumni Magazine. Meet Bart Sumner, and his story. He exemplifies the human need to have laughter and joy in life; not to discount or downplay grief, but to live through it and with it. Overcoming Grief With Laughter