Friday, June 3, 2016

My Funny Bone Went On Vacation Without me


    I'll admit it. I've lost my funny bone. It went on vacation to Maui and left me here staring at a blank computer screen with nary an entertaining thought in my head. Oh sure, I can give you all sorts of excuses.... I'm always tired and drawn to the seductive song of my Memory Foam mattress; Menopause has robbed me of any creativity because it's damn hard to be funny when you're sweating at your desk despite the thermostat being set at sub zero temps. And no, I don't care that everyone else in this house is wearing sweaters and complaining through chattering teeth. I've lost my creativity because lately it feels as if the world has gone mad, whether it's over Trump policies or a gorilla shot at a zoo for grabbing a child who fell over a barricade. Social media and the news are full of stories that are quickly making me lose my faith in humanity.

     It's also difficult for me to be funny lately because my Mum is no longer here to bounce my silly ideas off of. She encouraged and inspired me to be the best I could be. She played a huge part in my journey as an author, but now she's gone, and I need to find my voice again without her.

     The other day when I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, I ended up spending time with someone close to my heart who struggles every single day with a debilitating health issue that robs him of living a normal life. It was an eye opener, and made me realize I have no right to complain about my circumstances. I really don't want to wallow in grief and self pity, but depression is a sneaky thief that loves to steal my thunder. It's a ghastly reminder that I'm balancing on a tightrope between sanity and the urge to free-fall into a rocky pit of nothingness. What's the answer here? There is no quick fix. I just need to move from day to day and focus on the small things that are usually the most profound things in this crazy life I live.

     The simplicity of these events is what brings me the most pleasure----that first sip of coffee in the morning when I'm still in my pajamas, a pug softly snoring in my lap; the sweet tang of fresh strawberries from the farmer's market; watching the bluejays in my yard as they gobble up peanuts left in the feeder by my back door; the way sunlight glints off the pavement after a rain storm; my granddaughter's contagious laughter when I alter my voice to sound like the characters in the books I read to her; the way my muscles burn during Zumba class and the afterglow that leaves me feeling exhausted yet empowered; the little kisses my husband sneaks on the nape of my neck when I least expect them; a text from my children telling me that I am loved.

     Yes, I know I'm lucky. Even blessed, as some would say. But knowing this only fuels the guilt that  surfaces whenever I feel myself sliding into that damn rocky pit of despair. I want to turn a blind eye to all the the things that are wrong in the universe and simply focus on what's right. This is why I need humor. It's my therapy in an otherwise scary world. Laughter makes me forget my fears and helps me cheer others who need it as badly as I do. But when that laughter dries up, I feel vulnerable and unsteady on the tightrope. I need that safety net beneath me as much as the next person.

     I'll keep working at humor----it's what Mum would want me to do. But I also have to learn to write for myself, and not just for my readers. It's the only cure I know for beating back a defeatist attitude. I'll find my funny bone again one day. It's out there somewhere, enjoying the surf and sand while I'm drinking lukewarm coffee and praying for a miracle in front of my computer screen. That's okay, though, because the bluejays are out this morning, the dogs are playing in the yard and my granddaughter is reading Dr Seuss to me.

     And for today, it's enough.  



 

66 comments:

  1. Take all the time you need Marcia. Grief comes in waves and I found when my parents died that I needed to ride those waves and experience the highs and lows. If you run for the safety of the shore and just lay flat on the beach you never really let your true emotions spill out. How healthy can that really be?

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    1. I love the shore analogy--thank you for sharing <3

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  2. The air does feel pretty "heavy" right about now... I agree. I made "laugh" my theme word for this year because I feel I need to do more of it, not because I think I can generate it. I appreciate people like you who make this possible. Humor under pressure is a gift, and you have it! I hope you see something hilarious this weekend, and that your inner giggle finds its voice soon. Until then, more coffee and chocolate:)

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    1. Chocolate and coffee sound really good right about now.....

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  3. I hate when my funny bone takes a vacation without me!! Selfish little bastard!:) I can completely empathize with you on wallowing in self-pity! It's hard to stay upbeat when so many crazy things can make us feel and be down!! Keep chuggin along until that damn funny bone gets back. Then you can give it what for!!! :)

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    1. You got that right! I just hope my funny bone at least brings me back a pina colada from Maui......

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    2. Oh yes!!!Pina colada..delish!!

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  4. It's such a process, Marcia, but I know you'll keep moving forward--with a step back every now an then. Reach out for whatever support you need and take all the time you need. Perspective is good, but don't minimize your struggle because someone else's seems greater. Your pain is legitimate and you need to heal too. I KNOW that funny bone will be back! <3

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    1. Thank you so much for the love and support, Lee <3

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  5. To say I can relate sounds so lame but I don't know any other way to say it. The post I sent you yesterday that made you laugh was written out of my deepest grief in an effort to rise above the pain. We DO that because we don't want to live in that state of despair. But, we also need time to go through the stages of grief which, when we are in the middle of it, seems almost impossible. You are a survivor. Your balance will return. I admire you.

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    1. Oh Carol, I admire YOU! After reading your blog for some time now, I am AMAZED at all you have been through, yet you always rise above the trauma. You are truly an inspiration!

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    2. Want a real laugh, Marcia - read my book LOL

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  6. Thanks for your openness, and yes, grief is a very real issue that we all face at one time or another. Trying to "snap out of it" neither works, nor is it healthy. Your sense of humor keeps bubbling through your writing. That funny bone isn't far away!

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    1. Thank you, Shirley. Guess I'll just take it easy until my funny bone gets homesick and comes back for me!

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  7. Send out the pugs! They can dig up anything. Especially a buried bone!
    Thinking of you today, my friend!

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    1. LOL thank you, Diane. Those pugs really do bring me much joy.

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  8. Marcia, I really needed to read this today... I am going through something too and I have wanted to write, I can always write but when I thought this, I knew people would say think positively and I just don't want to hear that right now... life had ups and downs for crying out loud... regardless of what one person thinks, we all have our trials to go through. I am thinking of you and sending out prayers and good thoughts that you will find what is funny again... when you are ready, until then write your feelings.... I'm going to this weekend and if people can't handle it, then that's their issue... for me to be true to myself, I have to write what's in my heart... I'm happy we have connected through social media, you know you can reach out to me at anytime... love you Marcia xox

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    1. I love you Launna. You always keep it real on you blog and I admire that about you. Please tag me on Facebook when your post goes live--I'd love to read it.

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  9. Aw I totally understand. I agree with Diane...send in the pugs! They can cheer everything up.

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    1. Aren't they the best? Those googlie eyes and smushed noses get me every time!

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  10. I agree that humor is important. It's gotten me through many troublesome moments in my life. I know you'll find the right balance soon and your humor will return. Take care.

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    1. I'm working on it---thank you, Stephen.

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  11. I can relate to this, having lost my Dad (a year ago)...not to mention the Big issues, one-thing-on-top-of-another-on-top-of-another that have followed his passing. It's a conscious effort ATM to notice the first-slurp moments, but you're right, they are there... and so worth having :)

    I love that despite your sadness/grief, your warmth (and humor, actually) still shine through. And, I'm grateful for the reminder of the-good-bits in my own life...even the badest, even the sadest of days have one or two of those moments in them.

    I'm sorry for your own loss. Kimmie.

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    1. I'm so sorry for your loss, too, Kimmie. We just have to hang onto those special moments--they're what will get us though the rough spots.

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  12. I don't want to be that person, you know the one, "been there, done that." I only mean well when I say that I went through this in Dec when I lost my dad. I just want to say that there's something very empowering when you've been through the struggle (any struggle) and come out the other side strong and able to write again. Some days I'm still working my way there, but I see glimpses . . .

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    1. I know what you mean----and I knew you would understand since you have been through this as well. XO

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  13. Give yourself time. Healing from the loss of a mother is never quick....it took me years! Focus on those Bluejays and listen to the voice of your granddaughter. Be easy on yourself! Hugs.

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  14. Thanks for being so open. I swear there is some healing magic in watching blue jays too! We have a bird that sits atop our roof every morning with sunrise (well before sunrise actually) and sings and sings. I love listening. And you need time to just listen...take all the time you need!

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    1. I love to listen to the bluejays each morning---it's very soothing.

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  15. completely get it. right there w/ you sister!

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  16. I have been going through something lately as well. Mars in in something...in my sign, so I'm blaming it on that. But I do write for myself and it is the only thing keeping me sane some days...

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    1. Right?? I swear, I think it has something to do with Mars in retrograde!

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  17. This is so moving but time is really the healing
    http://sheismelrose.net/
    @sheismelrose

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  18. I have bounced around the old depression grid myself. Dad, Mom, and my 4 bros. are all gone. Lifelong problems with depression. It is so important to share how we cope and conquer so as to lessen the stigma!

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    1. Oh wow---basically your entire family--- I am so sorry for your loss! You are very strong!

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  19. Please keep writing for YOU. Your readers love you for you and nobody can be funny all the time. Plus, there really is something going on. I know so many people who have really struggled the last couple of weeks. Hang in there and hugs from me, friend. Your funny will come back. I promise.

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    1. Thank you for the encouraging words, Kristi.

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  20. Sometimes we're more light-hearted than others. That's the way it goes for some reason. You'll get your funny-bone back. Great post.

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  21. For today t's enough...Those words have helped me through many rough days over the last four or five years. It helps. You write what and when and how you need to, Marcia. We'll be here.

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    1. I like that----"for today it's enough." Thank you for sharing <3

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  22. We can't be 100% all the time, Marcia. Like most have said, take your time. We'll be here whether your happy go lucky or helping you through your grief.

    B

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  23. Here's the thing, though, it's depression which tells you you should feel guilty for 'not having it as bad as xyz, and still feeling like shit' - and that's a lie. One I'm glad you're combatting by living in the NOW - that's really such a GREAT way to fight back at it (in my experience), to focus on the simple pleasures and thankfuls in life, and to set your bar low, your goalposts wide, and to let life happen for a bit.

    GOOD FOR YOU! And you were right - I VERY like this post :)

    (Your mom might well have wanted you to write humour, but I reckon far FAR more, she would want you to be okay with not always being okay, and to know you'll come back from it in good time) *HUGS*

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    1. You are awesome, Lizzi. Thank you for always being here for me. <>

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  24. Lovely thoughts from a lady who continually makes me laugh. Depression is a sneaky thief. Your funny bone will come back, it's just on hiatus and will return shortly. Thank you for sharing these feelings with us.

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    1. Hopefully I'll be back to making you laugh again soon, Rosie.

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  25. One step at a time. You will come back soon.

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  26. Funny is hard to turn on and off. Ask comedians who are some of the darkest people around. Jim Carrey is bipolar, I believe, and gets severely depressed, but you'd never know it by looking at him on screen. Humor is like a pendulum, as is depression, swinging back and forth. Sometimes I'm able to laugh off stepping on a fur ball in my bare feet before my morning coffee and other times, I'd like to ship all my cats in a box to Abu Dhabi. I've sunk to the lowest of the lows and stayed there for quite some time. And then one day, out of the blue, my dog farts and gives me that look like, "It wasn't me. I'm a princess," (you know the one--the eyes and brows shift back and forth as they rest their head on their paws) and the clouds part once again.

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    1. Oh, how I love everything you have said here! The pendulum analogy----wow!

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  27. It's always refreshing to read an honest post.I'm sorry you're funny bone has gone (for now) but grief will do that. I know the world is a terrible place sometimes and social media seems to feed that frenzy and it's overwhelming. I can relate to you so much. Just the other day I was feeling so down and full of self pity. I know it's circumstances but it may also be this menopause phase where my hormones might be a little messed up. I felt uninspired to do any of the things I love and that really sucks. I love the way you've described the 'little things' you take pleasure in. I was nodding my head and smiling. You are blessed but that doesn't mean you can't feel depressed or sad. Hugs!

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    1. Thank you, and I hope you feel better too, Lisa. One day at a time.....

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  28. ****that first sip of coffee in the morning when I'm still in my pajamas, a pug softly snoring in my lap***

    I so much appreciate you, your words, your honesty, your sense of humor...

    but also, the reality of your life w/ out your mum and sister.

    Through darkness comes light.

    YOU ARE LIGHT.

    Love from MN. xxoo

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    1. This beautiful comment made me teary-eyed. You amaze me, woman. Thank you for being here for me. Love you SO MUCH, Kim.

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  29. I hear ya. Annie Lamott said: "The worst possible thing you can do when you're down in the dumps, ... victimized self-righteousness, or bored, is to take a walk with dying friends." But that doesn't mean your hurt doesn't hurt. Take care of yourself, cuz the world is brighter with you around. xo

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    1. You are so sweet, Kate. Thank you for this <3

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  30. Sounds like your funny bone isn't broken, it's just sprained. You've definitely got to be in the right mindset to write funny, so until your head is back in that space, just keep writing---even the serious stuff.

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    1. "Sprained" is probably the best way to describe it. I like that. Thank you, Lisa.

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  31. Stay in the moment, allow yourself to feel the pain without self-criticism, and in time I'm sure your wit and astute observations on the absurdities of life will re-emerge.
    Wishing you strength and resilience from Lancashire, UK.

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Bryan. All I need to do is read one of your funny blog posts and I KNOW you will deliver the smiles!

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  32. "I have to learn to write for myself..." I think that's key. We put so much pressure on ourselves to write for our audience when indeed, we have to remember to write for us - good luck. Nothjng better than good writing from a personal, authentic experience.

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    1. Thank you, Pam. It's a learning process and may mean a shift in writing style, but it needs to be done in order for me to continue.

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