When I tell people that I can be super serious, they usually don’t believe me, because I appear upbeat, light, and pretty jovial most of the time.
But I’m human, so I get bogged down by the same worries, anxieties, fears, and stresses that affect us all.
Fortunately, comedy is the cure that takes me for an express ride out of Stressville and into Zentown.
I think I subconsciously learned this trick from papa Joe. ;-)
Long before Who’s Line is it Anyway? my dad would make up silly songs on the spot. He was like a white Wayne Brady, long before Wayne Brady ever came onto the scene.
There were songs about eating vegetables, doing homework, and literally freezing our butts off on ice cold seats before the car warmed up. (Aaaahh, the good ol’ days!). He sure had a way of lightening the mood.
Sometimes, though, I wanted to be grouchy about whatever was bothering me at the moment (why?!). He’d keep singing until I cracked. And I can be a stubborn esh! (Remember that Armenian word from this previous post?)
I would scrunch up my face and squint my eyes (kinda like the old Renée Zellweger) as if to say, ”Your foolishness will not penetrate my wall of woe! This is a very serious matter, Dad. These seats are COLD, and even though I know this feeling won’t last long, I’m going to make matters worse by feeling miserable. So stop trying to make me laugh already, and leave me alone so I can pout!! WAH!!!”
I’d clench my jaw and try so hard to stifle the smile that was bubbling up, but inevitably I’d burst. My dad getting goofy to prove a point (Is it really that bad?!) would pull me out of my funk.
These days, I resort to the same type of tomfoolery to tame myself in times of stress, so much so that I often have to remind myself that life is not a musical.
Why does comedy work as a coping mechanism? It flips the situation and helps you see the humor in things. Duh! ;-)
Turning frets into funnies turns you into an observer looking at the situation from the outside in, rather than getting caught in your inner pit of feelings.
Having a higher perspective will keep you grounded. (Feel free to tweet that honey nugget of wisdom!)
Here’s the deal. I don’t want to get sick to my stomach with worry and stress. To always be tight in the neck and shoulders. To have a pounding headache from getting angry about something that isn’t in my control. To consider getting Botox because my deep wrinkle serum has to work overtime on my forehead.
Truth be told, there were times in my life when I felt that way most of the time.
For instance, when I was a pharmaceutical sales rep, I wasn’t in the greatest of mental states.
Leave it to me to find a way to stress about a job where I drove around in a nice car, ate lunch for free, and watched telenovelas in waiting rooms.
I remember being at my wits’ end while standing with my partner in a bustling, overcrowded waiting room in Washington Heights. We needed one more signature from a doctor, but we were being blatantly ignored and brushed aside.
I felt myself getting heated and bit the inside of my lip, trying not to unleash and teach everyone a lesson about how to treat people. (Because that wouldn’t have been hypocritical, right?!?)
After a while, my partner bust out singing, “We just need a signature!” I looked up, saw his face, and started nodding my head. He sang the line again. I surrendered and chimed in with, “Just one freakin’ signature!”
Well, before you know it, we were standing in that narrow hallway, doubled over laughing as we made up lyrics (and choreographed dance moves for when we eventually would bring our hit to the stage) about the ridiculousness of our situation.
I just remember that I laughed ‘til my belly hurt. I’m sure I snorted at some point. I needed that release, to be reminded that what I was experiencing was so small in the grand scheme of things and not to sweat it.
I’ll never forget that person for bringing me back to reality with his comic relief and making my numbered days doing that job a joy.
It's so easy to take everything so seriously, but it doesn't do your body or mind any good.
It's time to lighten up, find the humor in things, and laugh!
So what about you?? Do you often get mired in the small stuff? How do you get yourself to see the big picture? Any tips? Or any troubles? Talk to me in the comments.
And if you liked this, chances are someone you know might like it too, so please feel free to spread The Buzz. I’d “bee” ever so grateful!
Until next time…
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