How has laughter helped you in challenging situations?
It’s 2.30pm and I’m on the motorway heading up North. I’m stuck in traffic, my two and a half hour journey turns into much longer. I’ve been waiting for this moment for months, preparing, practising and overcoming nerves as I’m about to run my biggest laughter talk to date.
I’d spent all week planning what I would wear for dinner the evening before, I don’t often dress up so thought I would make an effort. Now that I feel more comfortable with my figure and in my own skin, clothes have become an enjoyment once again rather than a stress.
I start to become frustrated and impatient, the journey is turning into a nightmare. As I sit in the car I see the time slowly slip away, at this rate I might not even make the dinner and miss my chance of getting to know the group.
I decide I need to change how I feel. I’d recently been wishing for more adventure and new experiences. So here I am having a different kind of experience with no little person in the back to keep entertained. I only have myself to look after, I can do whatever I want. I’ve broken free from responsibility for one evening so I tell myself to enjoy the freedom I have and not to control what I can’t.
Then I start my laughter exercises, after all that’s why I’m taking this journey to share with others the benefits of laughter. I feel my body relax and my mood lift, I laugh to myself at what I must look like pulling faces and talking gibberish to myself on the motorway. Anyway, why am I so worried what other people think it might even make them laugh.
Five hours later, I finally arrive. I am now driving around the biggest campus in Europe ‘Keele University’. I get lost and waste more time. I find my room and quickly get ready but it’s too late I’ve missed the dinner. I need to remind myself worst things happen in life and try to get over it quickly.
I’m now heading out to town, as my mum would say ‘all dressed up and nowhere to go’. I find a Thai restaurant, it looks like I’ve been stood up. I laugh to myself about it all. Table for one please!
The evening reminds me of my old life (pre-kids) travelling for work and finding new places to explore. Feeling empowered when venturing out to dinner on my own and with no distractions I can fully enjoy what I’m eating. I’d forgotten how much I like my own company, it’s definitely a way that I recharge. I really need to do this more.
A thought comes to mind, I now have funny stories from my adventures I can bring to my talk. I walk on stage and experience the best 20 minutes ever, I feel a bond with the people in front of me and don’t want to leave. Laughter is really the best medicine and leave on a high.
I head back to London, I think the journey took even longer than going but to be honest I was too happy to notice. No faces were pulled this time though.
So, bring on the next adventure please I’m ready for it 🙂