Finding Humor in Your Disasters

A new U.S. television series called The Baker and the Beauty has two supporting role characters that I like to watch more than the leading role characters. It’s Rafael and Mari Garcia, the mom and dad of Daniel Garcia. What makes them interesting to me is their attitude toward their relationship, their children and their life experiences — good and bad..

The Garcia’s owns a bakery, which if you know anything about bakeries you know they are a struggle, but though they struggle and tensions flare slightly, they always come back to what’s important, each other and life and more often then not, they use humor to get them through.

In the second episode, the bakery oven breaks down when they have chance to make an impression on a prominent food critic. They try to fix it, but in the end, instead of yelling at each other the mom and dad start laughing about it.

Two children stand dumbfounded at their parents respond to disaster. When the oldest asks, “Why they are not more upset and yelling and screaming.” The mom replies “Sometimes you just have to laugh.”

I agree. Sometimes you just have to laugh. It’s healthier to laugh than to anger. Yelling and allowing my tension to ooze into the environment does little to help any situation and does more harm to the people around me.

I had a minor disaster this morning — lost money in the stock market.

My wife could feel my tension even though I never said a negative word. My tone and facial expression spoke volumes of what happened.

She, in turn, picked up the tension and her voice and body language mirrored mine — how sad.

I’ve come to realize my mom modeled how to raise one’s tension over even a minor disaster like lost keys. As a kid, her yelling added to my tension and left me feeling like it was my mistake.

After our breakfast, I I tried it this morning after I meditated.

Three things that help me get to joy in times of disaster

One, I choose in my mind to look at my situation with a little humor.

“Just because you’re miserable, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your life.”

Psychologist Annette Goodheart 

Thoughts are just that, thoughts. I can choose which thoughts to bring into my mind, which one’s to hang on to , and which ones to let go. It’s my choice.

In my mind, I have grabbed onto my negative thoughts and let them bring me down. In my mind, I’ve projected horrible outcomes for my life, but my mind, I’ve reflected back on regretful choices.

Never did my dwelling on these thoughts ever help me be a better person, but the opposite. Meditation and the practice of choosing which thoughts to pursue in my mind helps me grow in real life. Sometimes it’s humorous thoughts because my mom’s modeling is hardwired into me.

When I looked back at my folly of thinking I could beat the stock market this morning and instead of anger with my decision making, I switched my mind to use humor to look at my poor decision. And instead of berating myself mentally, I took the experience as a lesson.

Two, I surround myself with people that have a little humor in tough situations.

 “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.”

Jim Rohn

You know these people. When you get off the phone or finish a conversation you feel uplifted. Sometimes they make you laugh even at your own mistakes. Yes, they may have a bit of “pollyanna” but sometimes we need that.

Call up someone you know is positive and maybe funny and see what happens to your mood.

Three, I choose to watch or listen or read to things that make me laugh.

“People throughout history have used humor, stories, music, dancing to cope with human tragedy,”

 Melina McLain

My wife always said if she got cancer, she would watch I Love Lucy reruns 24/7. No show ever made her laugh so hard or made her feel so good, but each one of us has a different idea of what’s funny.

On the internet I see people asking for cartoons or pictures that are funny because they need a little humor in their life — like now — and people respond to their need. We all get to laugh, then.

What shows or movies make you laugh and change you mood. I found this Funny Videos site. It made me smile. This activity is more passive and, I believe, the least effective of improving one’s attitude, but it’s still an option.

Humor helps keep me from spiraling down he rabbit hole of despair in my mind.

I look for songs the put a smile on my heart

It was Victor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning that brought this to my attention when he said, ““Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Include humor to help get though a tough time.

Peace, Joy, Love

Finding Peace Amidst the Media’s Coronavirus Hype.

Media is all about getting the ratings. How else does a news outlet survive otherwise? I’m just as guilty reading the alluring headlines and then clicking on the piece only to read —

One , the headline is hyped to get people to read information that is already well know with but the writer put just a slightly different spin on it.

Two, the article is falsely reported or twisted from the original intention in order to hook readers into emotionally charged behavior.

Three, the article guides me to buy something in order to solve my COVID problem.

Don’t get me wrong, there are intelligent articles and great reporters but the myriad of lurid news pieces catch more eyes and attention than the facts sometimes– sad but true.

I’ve learned a few lessons about my brain’s information addiction during my forced hibernation:

One, check to see if other news sources are reporting similar news.

I read stories posted on Facebook that seem too good to be true. When I double-checked its validity by typing in the article title or keywords, I would either find other sites that verified the article or said it was false news.

Two, seek out other news sources closer to the action.

When our news media and scientists floundered with what to do, I turned to Asia and listened to the doctors and scientist that regularly dealt with animal virus transmissions to humans for the last thirty years. The Coronavirus was not their first “rodeo” with a virus. They knew what to do where other countries were still guessing. This interview with the leading COVID-19 expert from South Korea is one of my favorite information pieces and is filled with important advice. I especially listened to his concern that the United States said wearing masks during this COVID outbreak would be optional.

Three, look at both sides of the political media spectrum.

I watch a CNN report and then I watch a FOX news report. I feel the truth is somewhere in the middle. I avoid the reports that do not use science but instead offer a personal opinion to convince people one way or another.

Four, look for the closest to objective reporting. The science and data speak to me in a way that gives me the information without raising my blood pressure.

I like the COVID journals posted for doctors to access. It offers a more medical perspective of the COVID pandemic and is directed toward internists and not the general public.

What did I get from all my information binges?

I learned the character of the people around me.

I still have friends tell me this virus is all made up by the Democrats. I have other friends tell me the Republicans made this far worse because the president did not act soon enough. I don’t see how the “blame game” will help solve the pandemic. It does, however, show me a person’s character in times of stress and strife.

I learned we will get through this pandemic.

I can see what I need and my family needs to do to not get the Coronavirus. I have more faith now that a vaccine will be developed and knowing that calms me down. It will take time, but I know how to act in the meantime and I follow the experts’ guidelines. Scientists in the United States and around the world are now starting to say the same thing and work together except for a few outlier countries.

Times like these I feel like fighting this virus is like “building a plane while we fly it.” We all learn as we go along. That’s okay. I like where we are heading, and I’m confident it will get through this. Hopefully, we will build one well enough that this never happens, again.

Peace, Joy, Love