Friday, June 3, 2016
My Funny Bone Went On Vacation Without me
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.