Laugh Until Life Makes Sense

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I’m not a big fan of bumper stickers.  I find it odd that people want to display their political sentiments on a used Honda for the world to see.  I find it annoying to have to stare at hateful words about our President at the stoplight in front of the grocery store.  And I’m amazed so many people put stick-figure families on their mini-vans to display how many people and pets live in their households.  Yes, yes. Michael plays soccer.  You have a cat.  Riveting stuff.

My own daughter asked that her school name be displayed on the back of our Chevy Tahoe.  But do you think given my poor driving and bad texting habit I want to announce what school we’re affiliated with and have people stare into the car from afar to see if they know me? You don’t know me.  I’m likely to run into you from the rear by accident or be smirking unpleasantly at your family of stick people.

So it might surprise you that I slapped a bumper sticker on the back of my car.  Yes I did. The very woman who is constantly shaking her head at the stupid Jesus Fish / Darwin Fish debacle.  It’s on there, firmly planted square in the middle.

Laugh until life makes sense.

It’s one of my life mottos.  So when I saw this sticker a year ago, I immediately went home, created a (very often unseen) circle of clean with a paper towel and Windex, and stuck this saying on my back window.

Sometimes I check my rear-view mirror and see my daughter lip-syncing to Katy Perry, or notice that my son has used his squeezable yogurt to finger-paint on the back glass.  But quite often I simply catch the word – laugh. It’s written not only for the cars behind me, but for me to see when I need it most.  There are times I don’t feel like laughing. Times when I’m gripping the wheel in prayer that I’ll make it until lunch.  And yet somewhere in there, there’s a silver lining.

Given enough space and distance from pain, life can be funny.  What other attitude is really worth having? Who wants to hang out with people who scowl all day, eat fiber, and gripe about the lack of comfortable pants?  My oncologist said that people who laugh a lot really do live longer.  From one who’s made it through some rough health patches, I can use all the help I can get.

When my own life gets hard, I lose weight.  I end up putting the coffee creamer in the pantry and buy multiple cartons of eggs.  My dentist tells me that I might need a root canal and I realize my sobbing cry face looks like a hollowed out whale. So I go to the mall to invest in a quart of face cream but catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  How did a homeless woman end up at Neiman’s? Don’t they have security in this place?  Oh, wait.  That’s me, wearing a sweatshirt from high school that says Coca-Cola Classic.

And just like that, on my way to the YMCA to choke out a run on the treadmill, I smile.  It bobbles up and down into a chuckle, which erupts into a real belly shaker, and a few cackles later I’m in full-on snort mode.   Did I really go to Neiman’s wearing sweat pants with a hole in the knee?  Am I seriously going to need a root canal?  Why in the world do I have all these freaking eggs?

This life we live doesn’t make sense.  There is so much killing and suicide and death and mental illness.  There’s chaos and disarray and a dusty, cursed earth.  And yet we are made for more than this.  We are not in this place forever.  The righteous will not be moved, and you can only do what you can do in a day’s time.  And when the really hard stuff hits,  you’ll be prepared.  After a night of no sleep, you’ll wake up to discover you’re out of coffee, your kid’s school uniform is dirty, it’s snack day at your kid’s preschool and all you have is raisins, and some wild animal has knocked over your trash can in the night, strewing trash all over your front lawn.  You  have to fight demons and hurt with friends and heal from grief and now this? Yeah, it happens.  And it’s a tiny bit funny.

Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything.  A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.  3:4.  So mourn and sob and weep and sigh.  Take Advil and Zanax and buy more coffee.  But in the end, realize that you have enough eggs to make quiche for the tri-county area, and that’s just downright weird.

As for me and my Chevy Tahoe, we’re dwelling in this season of laughter as long as we both can, puffing and choking and driving toward the bitter end.

—-

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/philliecasablanca/2578387623/

Quote “until life makes sense” credit:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laugh-Until-Life-Makes-Sense/202930039805662?group_id=0

Comments

  1. I love the way you tell a story.

  2. Love your sense of humor Amanda, its so good to laugh. And I was thinking about how we were both trying to be committed to our diets at Laity and you didn’t even need to worry about it. You had no idea how the weight would fall off after you got home. Love you ya know?

  3. I sit riveted as you tell your life stories. And then, I walk away refreshed by humor, authenticity and a new lease on this crazy messy life. Thank you, you. Amanda, your words wash over me and refresh my spirit. Thank you, truly.

  4. Patti DeNucci says:

    Amanda, this was truly one of your best posts (although they are all excellent). I love how you share your vulnerability, sense of humor, intelligence, spirituality, love, and acceptance – even gratitude – for whatever inspires you. So grateful to know you and have the opportunity to read your writing. All best, Patti DeNucci

  5. Kelli Bullard says:

    I love love love your honesty and perspective. I’m so happy to have found your blog and am recommending it to all my friends!

  6. Beautiful!

  7. love you, Amanda!

    At times such as these, I lose weight, too. There’s another member of my family currently packing it on.

  8. Wow, Amanda. So much in this. Keep driving, keep laughing, keep buying eggs, keep writing. Please, keep writing.

  9. I was just talking about this to a group of older women. They all have laugh lines, and are so, so beautiful…as are you. As are your words. Love you!

  10. Dave Vander Laan says:

    So how about a new bumper sticker: My laugh-lines are off track but I’m on course.

    Your ease of displaying a well-lived heart makes your words inviting, your observations keen and your insights penetrating.

    Thank you…

  11. i’m just meeting you for the first time. love what you’ve written … and the way you’ve shared your day hits home for me. i’ll be keeping an eye on that RSS feed, watching for your next post!

    you’ve made my day!

  12. Such a fabulous read! Your outlook on life is absolutely refreshing.

  13. What a way with words, so enjoyable and amusing to read!

  14. well written and entertaining…! :)

  15. I can SO relate to alot of your post; with the exception of buying all those eggs Lol! I wish more people realized laughter extends ones LIFE. Also frowning? Causes a cazillion! facial lines on the forehead , around the chin, and the eyes…Besides the fact when we “see” a frown it puts an instant downer on our psyche. Bet ya’ll didn’t know that, huh? Laughter is contagious too and I hold my hand UP high to doing alot of it these days. Alot….Much in life I don’t feeeeeel is even supposed to make sense to us, you know? Some of the best surprises in my life have been the things that I thought made NO sense at all..Dig your honesty. Love your attitude. Stay UPlifted N Blessed :)

  16. Reblogged this on Life under the looking glass… and commented:
    This woman’s got a point…

  17. sometimes one sticker just isn’t enough for all you want to say… but yours covers pretty much everything!

  18. Just what I need when I need! Lovely post, indeed.

  19. Words to live by.

  20. reading you is like listening to you in a one-on-one buddy buddy chat :)

  21. Reblogged this on Alan Rokhum and Bro..

  22. Very moving and entertaining at the same time! I’m tweeting about this…https://twitter.com/CooleyConcepts

  23. I agree about bumper stickers that voice things better left unsaid. I am not one who will ever put one on any car I own. One reason is I think about the poor person who buys my car next having to scrape it off or live with it. In the end I think it is that I just do not care to plaster my car with anything it did not come with. On the other hand if you have a good hearted philosophy that you are closely bound to then it can make sense to want to share it like you would with a bumper sticker.

  24. Oh my goodness! I love your blog! How have I never found you before!?

  25. I think that was one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read. Thank you for the smiles today =)

  26. Wow! Engaging and great.

  27. Great post. I loved…”And I’m amazed so many people put stick-figure families on their mini-vans to display how many people and pets live in their households. Yes, yes. Michael plays soccer. You have a cat. Riveting stuff.”

  28. Looking on the brighter side of life is hard sometimes, but I certainly prefer those that see their glad as half full, or even better that its time for a refill! Thanks I enjoyed your post. Keep laughing ;-)

  29. I like that sentiment. :) Thanks for posting. :)

  30. *LIKE* – your like button isn’t working so I improvised:D

  31. Reblogged this on suchstrangecandy and commented:
    A simply beautiful post I stumbled upon today.

  32. Love it! My car displays a bumper sticker with a quote from Ernest Tubb. It says, “Be better to you neighbors, and you’ll have better neighbors.” Thanks for sharing. http://www.charliemccoin.wordpress.com

  33. You are so right! Laughter is needed so much more! I am sure your sticker is going to put a smile on many many peoples faces and I love the idea. If I had a car I would totally copy this amazing idea. Smile a day is not enough, not even close!

  34. Wonderful post! Thank you from another Tahoe-driving, incognito mom.

  35. I wish I could write as well as you do!

  36. Nice post.

  37. Beautiful!!!

  38. Very funny! Since my paternal grandfather passed on several years back, I’ve been the only member of my family that really likes bumper stickers. I haven’t bought any though, because I don’t need them. One look at my rusted ’97 Tarus with a faded college parking permit still on the windshield says “This is not the life I ordered” loud and clear.

  39. as the only member of my family that has a tendency to go crazy with bumpers, i love this post! i totally agree with you though. :) i look forward to reading more of your awesome posts. :)

  40. Congratulations on being, most deservedly, Freshly Pressed. Without going all TMI, this post was just exactly what I needed to see today. Thank you.

  41. I kind of like funny bumper stickers…especially ones that make me laugh out loud. I always read the joke section of Reader’s Digest first. The only bumper stickers on my car have to do with radio stations and the colleges my kids attend/have attended. I really don’t care about the next person who buys my car in terms of bumper stickers because there will already be so much more wrong with the car than a bumper sticker. I think I need to find some funny bumper stickers. Puns would be the think.

  42. Thanks for a good read. A favorite bumper sticker of mine says, “If anything can go well, it will.”

  43. Wow, love your writing style and this is all so true! Thanks for sharing, very well put.

  44. I often wonder at some of the bumper stickers I too see. I agree, life is to short to not smile and laugh. It certainly makes you feel better.

  45. You’re funny. Wow – I know it’s not charitable of me but I am annoyed by those little stick figure families, too.

  46. Down to earth nature, perfectly imperfect, cheerfully straight-forward. Motivational

  47. Nice to see someone with a sense of humor! Thanks for sharing.

  48. Reblogged this on Brouhaha Me.

  49. Reblogged this on Majhuka.

  50. Laugh until life makes sense… well that guarantees laughter for a life time :)

  51. I am often telling myself and all my friends with kids “If you don’t laugh then you’ll cry, so you may as well laugh.”
    Thanks for the laugh. Enjoyed your post immensely.

  52. Haha, nice read! I think I’ll buy myself a new bumper sticker. lol

  53. The one sticker we put on our car was for the college our kids were going to – it helped to explain why we were driving such an old car.

  54. You are such a funny lady:) Thanks for the smile!

  55. Great stuff! Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!

  56. EXCELLENT! You nailed it! Now I simply have to follow you. So glad I stumbled on this post :)

  57. bumper stickers are pretty common,especially if you are a big fan of Stephen King’s novel

  58. On point!!! That’s all we need to do to make life all we want it to be… Laugh until life makes sense!!!

  59. I laughed way too loud reading it :) you mentioned in your post a really interesting psychological phenomenon called facial feedback hypothesis that is tricking your brain into laughing and upon doing so feeling better. Our brain learned to respond to our muscle movements, this is why after a while of fake-smiling (rising a bit corners of your mouth and your eyebrows) or forcing ourselves to smile, we are able to produce a full smile which makes us feel better as our brain slowly releases dopamine (happy hormone).

    I love your motto! Laughter is therapeutic and it makes miracles to our health. So I dare say: laugh or fake laugh as often as you can!!

    • I forced myself to laugh today for no reason and my son just stared at me like I was licking toads or something.

      • Imagine how others would look at you if you did it in a crowded bus :) and I’m talking from experience here…

      • LOVE reading your blog!
        Thankful some bumper stickers are magnets (although, once had to rescue my “Kindness Matters” from the floor of a car wash), also love to laugh and thought to myself, wouldn’t “laughter” make a fabulous flash mob theme?!
        Thanks for sharing your stories!

  60. What a great way to start my day. Thank you!!!

  61. This is a perfect Monday-morning read. Life is unexpected and often seems like the mean kid on the playground who wants your lunch money. Its good to remember that even though you sometimes take a pounding sometimes, there is always an element of the ridiculous in everything. And that element should be recognized, embraced, and shared with everyone. You keep laughing, and we will laugh with you!

  62. That was just what I needed this morning. Thank you. Wonderful post!

  63. Love love love. Soooo on the same page. Best of all this made me laugh today.

  64. You have no idea how much I needed this. Completely serendipitous. Thank you.

  65. I agree with you. I don’t like bumper stickers either, and yes, it will all definately make sense in the end. I really enjoy your writing. Thanks. :)

  66. Hahaha. Eggs! Yet more eggs. Like someone performed the miracle of eggs and eggs.

    For us it’s ramen noodles, where supply greatly exceeds demand. As if we are running a college dorm.

  67. thank you for making me laugh and reminding me to! i agree about the insane use of bumper stickers – I wonder the same things? though, your bumper sticker – perfect!

  68. Oh how I loved this! Especially the part about your trip to Needless Markup. You are my soul sister there.

  69. I am laughing so hard right now…but everything you have written is the truth. I may have a sticker on my car that has your saying! I hope you don’t mind :) Thank you for the ray of light you have put into my day!!

  70. :) You definitely made me laugh. Thanks for such a real and inspiring post!

  71. You are hilarious! Love your writing style.

  72. lol

  73. Thank you that was a great story and well wrote. Thanks for the laugh.

  74. Sweet!!

  75. My friend had the ricketiest old truck you’d ever see. One that looks so old you’d think it’d going to fall apart under you but that continues to keep running no matter what. His entire back of his car was covered in bumper stickers that I would look at ever day and just laugh at because they were fantastic in one way or another. Mostly funny, but some just meaning “this is home.” I love bumper stickers. It’s just another way of expressing yourself.

  76. with this economy…laughter is one of the last free things we can get

  77. sociologification says:

    “Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. 3:4. So mourn and sob and weep and sigh. Take Advil and Zanax and buy more coffee. But in the end, realize that you have enough eggs to make quiche for the tri-county area, and that’s just downright weird.” — Hilarious!

  78. Cute story! :D Check out my blog! https://vancouverstuntgirl.wordpress.com

  79. smile and nod with one eye opened

    • Today my two-year-old tried to wink and said “look momma – I have one eye on and one eye off!” Ah, kids.

      • Love this. Perfectly logical.

      • i luv that its cute as. i get grade 2ers and other little’ns and go everyone nod.just like me.then i go. now just nod.. yes everyone now shut one eye and they all look so cute.now smile.you know your two year old is pretty dam good to be able to wink already. you know not all kids her age can do that yet. Some of them can only shut both eyes and have a lot of trouble with one .nm

  80. Thanks for the giggle!

  81. so loved ur writing! thanks for raising up my spirits! :)

  82. Your sense of humour is very much in line with mine, you have yourself a new follower and IO look forward to reading much more!

  83. love this line “This life we live doesn’t make sense” it doesnt, really. :)

  84. Fantastic!

  85. This motto is going straight in my back pocket, and I thank you for that.

  86. This was pretty funny. And you’re right I always wonder what’s up with those stick figures and Jesus fishes. But I would like your Laugh until it makes sense sticker. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed :)

  87. Squeezable yogurt is so messy! I no longer purchase them for my kiddos.

    Laughing until it makes sense, makes A LOT of sense to me! :-)

  88. That’s a great post – and a tonic to read where i am in life after a rough week. So yes i’ll laugh, and if that works i’ll re-read the part on your post about Ecclesiastes – and i might just dance…

  89. A great message… especially for something on the back of your vehicle.. not as life changing for me as when I saw my first “honk if you’re horny” bumper sticker, but close enough.

  90. Most days I forget to laugh…..

    ,,,,,not anymore!!

    From a not-so-sunny-England — thank you ;0)

  91. Daily Goals:
    I must laugh at least once a day.
    I make my husband laugh at least once a day.
    I make at least one reader of my blog laugh.
    Great post.

  92. thewriterinme says:

    Wow. That was such a good read. Love your post and love your outlook.

  93. there’s a reason why you’re getting alot of comments, it’s because your post were funny and insightful. Keep up the good work.

  94. Funny and hilarious:-) . This is what we really needed to free us from pain, worries, anxiety, and when we are feeling frustrated sometimes. Laughter is really the best medicine. Thanks for your wonderful post. Well deserved to be on FP!

  95. Lovely post. I wont say laughing can change your life, but it can sure make it more enjoyable, for you and everyone around you.

  96. As i’m sure you can already see, this post is fantastic :) I thank you for your words, and sharing this, i agree!

  97. I’ve never understood bumper stickers; especially the political ones. All those sad-faced Romney supporters parked next to Ron Paul’s pack, a couple blocks down from the Nader/Gore convergence.

    Then again, I’m not a fan of tattoos either.

  98. You have written marvellouly , i became your fan . ‘People who laughs more lives more ‘ what a great guideline given by you . Great tonic for depressed person . (needforhealth .wordpress.com)

  99. Thanks for sharing that!!! It’s an awesome way of thinking about things:)))

  100. Reblogged this on cynthiashealthhut and commented:
    Sometimes In life you just have to laugh and have to go with the flow. It is good for your spirit and your mental health. And it actually creates a positive chemical endorphin change in your brain. So have fun and find something to laugh about.

  101. You stated reality without being overly idealistic…much needed. I, too, like to laugh when life gets tough and even when it isn’t. Unfortunately, because I’ve chosen to laugh instead of walking around with a sourpuss face, I’ve been labeled as stupid and silly in a place where misery has a permanent home. But, after reading your blog, I’m gonna make the choice to go back to the girl who laughed too much (according to others). I love to laugh and I have plenty to cry about but I’m gonna laugh, ’cause I want to. Thank you.

  102. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  103. Time.

  104. “Laugh until life makes sense” hmmm. I like it

  105. Thanks for the smile on my face … I’ll probably think about this later and start chuckling again :P

  106. I love everything about this post, especially your perspective. I appreciate that, while taking your own advice, you’ve also shared it, helping everyone else too, through your blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  107. Reblogged this on KNOWLEDGE MUST SHARE.

  108. Thanks. Beautiful, thoughtful and honest. I like to laugh and will do so at my own jokes, usually because I’ve told them wrong or I am the only one who thinks they are funny. You are very refreshing :)

  109. Definitely a good post!

    My two cents on bumper stickers: Have fun removing them if/when the time comes to sell the vehicle! ;)

  110. I laughed right out loud reading this.Blessings

  111. Lovely Post! Perfect Title !

  112. hi amanda! loved ur post..and i’m borrowing ur bumper sticker for future use ;)

  113. WOW. You are awesome!!!! I love this post. I share the same opinion on bumper stickers. Unless, they’re those “Keep Portland Weird!” ones. Probably just because it’s my hometown.

  114. Life is absurd! Find joy in the absurdities.

  115. Reblogged this on Frank McBride and commented:
    tHOUGHT THIS WAS PRETTY GOOD!

  116. This was great! I love how your personality shines through your writing. I love how funny this is and so very true all at the same time. Thank you for your insight!

  117. I too, am not a fan of stick people and also share your desire for animosity while driving. Mostly because I’m already calling enough attention to myself as a bad driver. No need for more!

  118. very entertaining post! i’d like to read more..

  119. Great post! Entertaining and enlightening.
    I’m on a mission to bring the laughter back into my life :)

    http://choosesimplicitydotorg.wordpress.com/

  120. Fab post, Amanda – beautifully written.
    Thanks for sharing –
    Look forward to more!
    Emma. x.

  121. Would you mind if I shared a link to this post on my blog?

  122. Reblogged this on sabrinacarvalho and commented:
    Everything you need for a good life.. thank you

  123. Thank you for this…. really awesome, loved it and it made my day…..

  124. Interesting title he he.never heard of that before

Trackbacks

  1. […] a Freshly Pressed link.  This isn’t the blog entry that was Freshly Pressed (check out the January 10th post for that one), but as is sometimes the case, after landing in her blog space, I sifted and sorted […]

  2. […] Laugh Until Life Makes Sense: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH… […]

  3. […] first one is borrowed from Hill + Pen, and got freshly pressed last […]

  4. […] Humor (Life) A wonderful personal narrative about finding the humor in life so we can keep going through the rough times: http://hillpen.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/laugh-until-life-makes-sense/ […]

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