When my kids were small, I had a favorite parenting book by Dr. Kay Kuzma, “A hug, and a kiss, and a kick in the pants.” It saved my sanity and helped me innumerable times.
One of the chapters in the book is called “Grab a camera and laugh!” In this chapter, Kay advises that when the unthinkable happens, instead of freaking out or flipping out, you should take a couple of deep breaths, pray for patience, run and take your camera (because otherwise probably nobody is likely to believe your story), and then LAUGH!
Of course, this is easier said than done. She relates that a month after she had given this advice, the unbelievable happened in their house. They had purchased a new light beige carpet. Everyone agreed they would take their shoes off when coming indoors from the outside to prevent the carpet from getting soiled.
Her daughter, Kim, who was fifteen at the time, was the first to remind everyone to remove their shoes. Yet, one afternoon as the parents were out, she accidentally stepped on some tar and forgot to remove her shoes, leaving black globs of tar on the new carpet with each step.
When she realized what had happened, the parents were pulling into the driveway. Kim ran out in her stocking feet calling to Kay to grab her camera. “Why?” she asked. “Because I’ve just done the unbelievable!”
As Kay looked down at those 29 tar spots on her beautiful new beige carpet, her face began to cloud with horror when Kim added “Mom, laugh. You’re supposed to laugh.” Well, that did it! They all had a good laugh after all and began the cleanup job together.
Many times we let joy escape us and create a big drama for things that in perspective are not worth the high emotionality and negativity. Accidents happen. Precious things are broken. Spills come at the worst moments. We forget important things. You and everyone else in your family are human. Nobody is perfect.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself and ruin your day for insignificant reasons. Be careful of your thoughts. Ugh, he burned my toast again! Can’t he never learn? I shouldn't have married such a klutz! Wait a moment. Is a burned toast such a tragedy that you want out of your marriage?
I can’t believe she just spilled her coffee on my new tie. And I have that interview first thing this morning. I’ll have to change it and I’ll be late. I hate her. She’s the worst! Okay, whoa, let’s take a minute and breathe.
Don’t let small things that go wrong rob you of joy. And remember, everything can be a “small thing” if you decide to laugh about it and move on.
Your turn: Today, resolve not to let small things take away your joy. Instead, breathe, take a moment to calm yourself, grab your camera (or your phone), and laugh! Don’t forget the laughing part. Then share the picture with us on Facebook! (https://www.facebook.com/JoyfullyUs) It should give us all an opportunity for more of that great medicine, laughter!