Whoever is merry and cheerful has always a good reason for so being, namely the very fact that he is so. Nothing can so completely take the place of every other blessing as can this quality, whilst it iself cannot be replaced by anything. A man may be young, handsome, wealthy, and esteemed; if we wish to judge of his happiness, we ask whether he is cheerful." --Schopenhauer
I felt convicted of having a negative, serious attitude when I realized that laughing felt somewhat strange and unfamiliar.
Geez, do I really not laugh that much?
No, I don't really. Not in daily life, anyway.
I like to think I have a decent sense of humor, or at least an appreciation for humor. I don't find myself to be especially funny, but I like comedies, jokes, memes, and funny YouTube videos.
But I realized I definitely have an opportunity to smile and laugh more than I currently do if I want to truly live a joyful, abundant life.
And I do want to live that kind of life.
So I'm working on being more lighthearted, smiling more, and laughing more often. I certainly don't want to be fake or disrespectful of others' problems and serious conversations, but I want to not take myself or my life (or my to-do list and penchant for getting so wrapped up in my own little world that I block out everyone else) too seriously.
This year, I read Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project, and part of her aim for November (the month focusing on keeping a contented heart) was to laugh more. She said "It's easier to complain than to laugh, easier to yell than to joke around, easier to be demanding than to be satisfied. Keeping a 'heart to be contented,' I expected, would help change my actions."
There are so many things to be thankful for and to find joy in every day. I'm reminded of that when I go for walks at this time of year. From the bright sunshine to the crunching of leaves underfoot to the glorious colors to the smell of bonfires, it's all so cozy and beautiful. If I'm not careful, though, I'll take it all for granted.
As we move nearer to November and the holiday season, I want to be intentional about living a little lighter-- laughing more, finding joy in the little things, letting go, allowing small things to roll off my back, and choosing to persevere in faith. I want to make the most of the most wonderful time of the year. Will you join me?