I love to laugh. If someone asked about my hobbies, I would say law, laughing, politics, laughing, reading, laughing, interior design, laughing, etc. It makes my list more than once! But, honestly, friends, today I am having trouble writing with my usual spunk and cheer. Why? Life can just be hard sometimes, even when there isn’t some huge reason. Some of the best wisdom I was given years ago was – “When life is hard, get up, light candles and make tea.” This was from an older woman and what was her point? When life is tough, get up, keep going, do the things that comfort you and take life beyond function to beauty and enjoyment, even when you don’t feel like it. My version would read more like go out to dinner and have a glass of excellent Argentinian Malbec with my husband and friends.
As I think about one of my recent bouts of laughter, which often involves nerdy historical jokes that nobody gets but me, I think of the look of perplexed amusement on my boys faces, as I laugh, tears rolling down my face, barely able to breathe, trying to explain, talking in a choppy and high pitched, indecipherable voice, like a crazed, lonely cat outside by the trash can. It just isn’t pretty, folks. But, laughter is good soul food.
Even on those days when your kids are fighting over everything including who apologized first, someone lets you down, ten drivers in one day flip you off, making you wonder if they all conspired together (like an organized Mafia style group who skipped their anger management AA meeting and, instead, targeted you on the road), everyone in your family is sick, the news on t.v. hurts your heart, the cashier at the grocery store treats you like an idiot, making you believe, for just a moment, that it is totally worth it to photocopy your Masters degree and straight A transcripts and drive a copy back to her…. Even on those days, God is good. Great, thanks for that platitude, Laurie. But, really, here’s why it matters. God IS good – his heart, his actions, care, intervention, honesty and loyalty are pure and good. You can count on him to care. And he never changes. So, on those days, I just talk to him in my simple way, because even with my BA degree (and B GPA) encased in gold on the wall, I am a simple girl. He hears, he cares and, somehow in a way I can’t humanly explain, it helps. It softens it for me. It comforts me to know that God is for me.
I am cracking up, as I type this. Every week I try to open with something from my life that involves heart-health and close with something from my diet and lifestyle. Annnd, in this week’s culinary portion, I’m going to tell you about wine. Why? Because laughter, deep relationships and relaxation are actually high on the list for a healthy person. My personal goals in this area are work hard and play hard. Work hard all week long and play hard for one day. Be strict! Don’t open a single email on your play day. I think we all know ourselves; we probably either tend to overwork or overplay. I tend to overwork, not fully give myself that day of rest and then wonder why I feel unbearably overloaded and crabby. So, schedule a time every week to kick back with some loved ones, laugh and rest. One of my favorite, less expensive Argentinian dry red wines is called AR (a red blend) and is sold at Costco. The earthy, deep and smooth taste is the perfect accompaniment to good friends and laughter. It is roughly $15. I have found that a little bit of dry wine or beer hasn’t hurt my weight loss at all. If you choose a sweet drink, use it as your weekly, once-a-week treat.
Luke 1:78 “Because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high”