Senior Corner: Lightening up when things get heavy

Senior Corner: Lightening up when things get heavy

By Ron Culberson (Courtesy photo)

When I turned 50, I did two things. I got my AARP card and I got a colonoscopy. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Too many of us don’t get either because these things remind us that we’re getting old. But here’s the deal: Getting old is part of life. We can’t stop it. In fact, it’s when we stop getting older that the real trouble starts.

My AARP card cost me $16. Two months after I received it, I checked into a hotel and got a $20 discount off of the normal room rate. How cool is that? Now, I’m making money on my AARP card!

And that’s how I plan to age — by exploiting every possible advantage.

Getting older, caring for an aging parent, or grieving the loss of a loved one are all part of life. While they may be some of the more challenging aspects, they’re still within the normal experiences of our existence and can be handled with courage, grace, and yes, humor.

When faced with any adversity, we must never forget that all of life is a delicate balance between tragedy and joy. If we focus only on the tragedy, we may never see the joy. The writer Voltaire said, “The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the more power they have to harm us.” There is great wisdom in this comment but a challenge as well.

Finding humor in life is one way to experience joy. Humor has been proven to increase our mood, improve relationships, reduce anxiety, enhance our physical well-being, reduce anger and improve our ability to learn. The challenge is seeing the humor among the adversities in life.

Benjamin Franklin said, “The Constitution guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. But you have to catch it on your own.”

So, how do you incorporate more humor in you life? You look for it. It’s all around you — that is, if you keep your eyes open. It’s in the newspaper, on television, in airports and on highway signs. But if you’re so focused on your own stress, you will miss the gift of humor that’s right in front of you.

I arrived at my dentist’s office one day but there was no parking spot. So, I parked in front of the building next door. A sign on the door to that building read, “Dr. Joseph Smith – Eyes, Ears, Nose & Throat – Rear Entrance”!

Now that’s funny.

The more humor you look for, the more humor you’ll see. Take time every day to enjoy a laugh by looking for the humor in your life. If you do, you will find a balance to almost any challenge.

Remember what Dr. Seuss said, “From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

The author is a speaker, humorist and the author of “Do it Well. Make it Fun. The Key to Success in Life, Death, and Almost Everything in Between.”