Rediscovering Laughter

Rediscovering Laughter

I’ve been laughing a lot this week.

At myself when I noticed the minor self-incurred injury on my arm—because I put my hand into a too-small mail slot to unstick the rubberbanded Reclaim Our Vote postcards that I’d just dropped into it.

At myself (with Graham) when I discovered that I’d been talking to him and he wasn’t hearing me because he was wearing headphones: “I was whining and you didn’t even have the courtesy of responding to me!”

At the twelve-year-old in our family who said to me yesterday, “Did you get a haircut today? I don’t like it. It looks weird.” (Thanks a lot, kid.)

At the text banter with my friend this morning as we were both playing Spelling Bee:

“FLOOF is a word, dammit!”
“So is FAFF.”
“Shouldn’t FABLORD be a word? I’m sure I’ve read it in a novel.”
And what about FLABRADOR?! “Like a Labrador, but kind of chunky.”

At the school administrator who phoned me (you know how much I dislike the phone, right?) in response to an email about our kid’s planned absence tomorrow.

So, yeah, I’ve been laughing a lot.

And, perhaps arbitrarily, it has me thinking about that Joni Mitchell lyric from Big Yellow Taxi:

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone

I’m realizing not that something is gone, but that something was missing and it’s now back. A lightness of being, perhaps? A deeper sense of equanimity?

I thought I’d been doing pretty well through all the chaos and upheaval of the past few years, and yet there have been plenty of times when I wouldn’t have found these recent experiences laughable at all. I would have been resentful of Graham’s inattention; my feelings would have been hurt by the hair comment; I would have felt angry about the panic-inducing appearance of the school’s phone number on my mobile phone; and I would have been unsettlingly irritable with myself about the mailbox-induced bruise on my wrist. (The Spelling Bee banter would have been funny anytime!)

So, I’m feeling grateful for the laughter and for the time and the relationships and the mental healthcare that have helped refuel my sense of self and equanimity. And I’m strengthened in my empathy and care for those among us who still feel mired in chaos and who are yearning for greater equanimity.

I’ll hold this gift of my own well-being with gentle care. Thank you, UUCC, for your role in the healing that comes from being vulnerably human together.



  1. Natalie A Roberts

    Thank you so much, Paige, for reminding us of the healing power of laughter. Is it all right to tell one’s sister-in-law to try to find laughter after she has been told she might have ovarian cancer? I think that’s the only thing one can do if she lives 3000 miles away. Other than send flowers. Are there joke books for groups of people who are dealing with things this bad?

    • Paige Getty (Author)

      Natalie, I’m glad this reflection resonated. Supporting loved ones through difficult times can be delicate, as individuals are comforted differently. But I’d be glad to talk with you about ways to be supportive of your sister-in-law. Email or call me if you’d like to chat.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *