Wednesday, January 8, 2020

January 2020 IWSG: Laughter vs the Vortex of Doom

Sometimes I forget to laugh. 

My imagination and my thoughts run "dark." Even as a kid, anxieties and fears were, like my stuffed animals, my constant companions. One particular game of "pretend" that I created involved a plane crash. A story I wrote in high school had terrified kids running through the woods being chased by some menacing presence. 

That past informs my present – my struggles with anxiety and my writing. One way I try to light the darkness is to focus on things that bring me joy, things that make me laugh. But lately, caught up in my own vortex of doom, laughter's been the last thing on my mind. 

Until my husband and I re-watched old episodes of The Office (U.S. version.) I laughed so much I almost fell of the couch. And when I finally stopped, I felt . . . lighter. And I realized that I must - for more reasons than I care to name - do more of that in 2020. 

So that's one of my resolutions - laugh more, lighten up a bit. And keep the shadows out of my mind and in my stories, where they belong. 

*****

What makes YOU laugh? Great big belly laughs, delirious snorts, gaggles of giggles? TV shows, movies, books, podcasts, comedians, jokes/puns, funny videos on YouTube, anything and everything? (For me, the Minions from the Despicable Me movies always make me chuckle, and TV-wise, I love The Office, Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory and The Middle.)  


Join Us!

71 comments:

  1. I started re-watching those episodes last year! Great minds think alike. The series was hilarious.
    Hope you've found your joy again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not too long ago, we watched the one with Michael and the George Foreman Grill - so funny!

      I think finding the humor/joy is going to be an ongoing kind of process, but I'm up for it. :)

      Delete
  2. I've always looked for the funny side of things, so lots of things make me laugh, sometimes inappropriately. With the medical stuff my hubby's going through right now, it's a little more difficult to find things to laugh about these days, but it's even more important that we do. Laughter's the best medicine! And it's like exercise for our insides. :)

    Happy New Year, lovely lady!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee on the sometimes inappropriate laughter. :)

      Now laughing is the kind of exercising I wouldn't mind doing. It doesn't requite me to put on sneakers.

      Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers....

      Delete
  3. I watched The Office last year and had the same experience. I think you have the right idea for sure. There are so many things that cause anxiety in the world today that I am determined to focus on the things that make me laugh and bring joy. Hugs to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never mind all the wacky things in my mind already then add on all the anxiety-causing things in the world? Yikes! It's tricky because I don't want to put my head in the sand, but I'm starting to think it might be best, for now anyway.

      Delete
  4. I loved The Middle when it was on. Parks & Recreation (after season one) is usually my go-to sitcom when I need a good laugh, but I have recently been rewatching some of The Office. Laughter really does help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love love love The Middle! I'm re-watching that, too. That's one of the few sitcoms, in my opinion, that stayed strong all the way through to the end, and I think they did such a great job with how they wrapped it all up.

      Delete
  5. Do you know what makes me laugh? EVERYTHING. And some of it is inappropriate laughter. I love sitcoms. I wish I could write comedy. Thanks for visiting me.

    Teresa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could write humor! Every one in awhile I sneak some snark into my stories, but I wish I could write things that make people laugh.

      Delete
  6. My imagination runs dark too. We all need to laugh more. I have game night every Friday with friends, and we all laugh so much. I very much look forward to Fridays. :) Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  7. A lot of the things I wrote when I was a kid/teen were also dark.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Laughter is so important! I love so many of those shows, especially The Middle. I also like Parks and Rec (season 1 is necessary for character development, but it really kicks off in season 2), New Girl (I just started this one super late), and the Netflix movie "True Memoirs of an International Assassin" (it's cheesy, but good).
    I also really like watching some of the #hashtag videos from Jimmy Fallon on Youtube, and also his Mad Libs Theater bits. They crack me up.
    Let's keep laughing in 2020.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How can you not love a show where one of the characters has a thing for fonts? :)

      Thank you for all the suggestions!

      Delete
  9. I purposely put happiness in my life. Siting on the floor with my dog and scratching his ears is one of my favourites. Writing is a close second.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I want to do more of - putting happiness in my life on purpose instead of only stumbling across it, if I'm lucky.

      And I so enjoy hanging with the tortoises - their little faces always make me smile. :)

      Delete
  10. You're so right, Madeline. Laughter is food for the soul. I am very fortunate to have a funny husband. Almost everything out of his mouth makes me laugh. 2020 is going to be a fabulous year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeh for funny husbands! My husband is so quick and clever with puns and things like that. :)

      Delete
  11. The Office is a GREAT antidote for...well, pretty much anything. Good idea to bring as much happy influences into your life as possible to help offset your natural anxieties. Wishing you MUCH laughter throughout 2020!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's going to be the trick - to make sure I bring in the happy, the joy, the positive and not just sit around waiting for it show up. :)

      Delete
  12. Great resolution! We watched some Big Bang last night - always good for a laugh. My hubby makes me laugh too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We watched some of the Christmas episodes of TBBT and just about cried laughing. :)

      Funny husbands are the best!

      Delete
  13. Happy New Year!

    I like your resolution. I laugh a lot too. I see things as funny that others don't see and they consider me weird. I think a good sense of humour is necessary to live in today's world.
    Wishing you all the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would rather have a weird sense of humor - but really, what's actually weird?! - than NO sense of humor. :)

      Happy New Year to you, too, Pat!

      Delete
  14. Good thing to do more of in the year. I don't think I've had anything really make me laugh hard lately, but I have had laughs lately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think those great big belly laughs are even better because they don't happen all that often. Makes them more special. But I'll take "regular" laughs any day. :)

      Delete
  15. Glad you are finding shows to make you laugh. I need to lighten up in 2020 too!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wishing you a lot of laughter in 2020, Madeline! I laugh a lot with my family and friends. I like rewatching movies I've found funny, like Harrison Ford's "Six Days Seven Nights" and "Galaxy Quest." Laughter gets us through a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to laugh more at sitcoms than movies. We did re-watch National Lampoon's Vacation and NL's Christmas Vacation over the holidays and they were both hoots. :)

      Delete
  17. My granddaughter makes me laugh. Like when she tried to help me get off the floor by lifting my foot. Or today, when we were building a snowman and we ended up having a snowball fight. Hope the new year gives you lots of reasons to laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My kids keep my smiles high and laughs flowing. May your 2020 bring much more of that!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Laughter is so important in our lives. May you laugh more in 2020!

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is sooooo true! All through law school, I'd watch late night comics perform and laugh myself to sleep. Also, Beavis and Butthead and Southpark (could those shows even be made in this judgmental, joyless time?). Hubs (we have a generational difference in age) hated B&B - said nobody was that stupid. I informed him that I sat in front of both of them in study hall. We all need more laughing. Oh, I know - cat videos!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think part of the problem for me is that I don't find a lot of "new" stuff funny. I do try, but I end up feeling meh or really not liking it. Thank goodness for some of the old school stuff! :)

      Delete
  21. If you want to laugh, watch The Good Place :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. A good gab-fest with a couple of girlfriends is usually what leads to wet-your-pants laughter. It can come from watching movies, or reading something aloud, but I've noticed things never progress beyond a chuckle if I'm the sole witness. Laughter seems to cry out for company.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting about laughter and company. I do alright by myself though. Besides, I don't want anyone to witness the peeing of the pants. :)

      Delete
  23. My imagination is also dark, so too my sense of humour. I grew up on British and Australian humour and have always been a Monty Python fan. In these dark times we definitely need some humour in our lives. Have a great 2020!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I hear ya, Madeline. This is why I don't read a lot of dark fiction. My own stories are so dark that when I read, I need a break.

    Funny stuff for me is The Oatmeal (https://theoatmeal.com/), but he can be insightful too, sometimes Chuck Wendig's blog is hilarious, and I discovered this YouTuber named Cody Ko who has some laugh-until-your-sides-hurt videos. Not all of them, but enough to send me into a vortex.

    He's really young and swears a lot (in case that bothers anyone), but he can be quite funny. If you're sick of those over-the-top inspirational "lifestyle bloggers," this is a good one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDugAaJy4zM&t=412s

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe I should try reading some "lighter" things? I do like my mysteries/suspense stuff though. Hmm....

      Thanks for the suggestions, JH!

      Delete
    2. Mysteries and suspense are fine. It's the horror or dystopia that gets a bit much.

      Delete
  25. Madeline I can completely relate to this post. I too am trying to focus on things that make me happy. Whether it is my writing or workouts, spending time with loved ones or my prayers, I'm not going to let my worrying habit get the better of me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great point about focusing on what makes us happy, not just what makes us laugh. Joy is all around us - we just have to spot it then bask in it, like a tortoise in the sun. :)

      Delete
  26. Hey, you sound like me as a child lol. I've always written darker stuff, but I also try to watch thing that make me laugh often because it makes me feel so much better when I don't realize I need to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that will be the trick - make laughing something I do every day and not waiting until I'm desperately in need of it.

      Delete
  27. The antics of my Scottish Terrier Sassy and brown tabby Katie make me laugh. As for TV, I've been watching some old episodes of Duck Dynasty and they do make me laugh out loud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pets really can bring us joy, even hard shelled ones like my two. Hmm, I wonder if I bring them joy? Maybe when I give them banana or basil.... :)

      Delete
  28. I was an anxiety-ridden child myself. To jolt me from my worries, my dad would tell me- oh no, there are starving children in China what will you do? It sounds mean, but it became my reminder that I couldn't solve every problem in the world. whenever I catch myself getting tied in crazy knots, I hear that in my head and I smile and calm down a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fact that it makes you smile now, and calms you down now, means it totally worked and that's what counts. :)

      Delete
  29. Yikes, Madeline! No I can't do scary. Reality is too scary as it is. I love those little minions too. I love Erma Bombeck anecdotes because I can relate to them. I love clean family humor. I wish you health and success in 2020! Oh... and gaggles of giggles, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Minions never fail to make me smile. :)

      I don't mind a little off-color humor but not too extreme.

      Delete
  30. Great resolution - to laugh more. I need to adopt it for myself. Thanks for your inspiring post.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I've been on a quest for humor lately, watching old movies that made me laugh, reading Dave Barry, seeking out comedy television shows, etc. I tend to find both humor and horror therapeutic, but I sometimes forget to include the humor, and I'm pretty sure I need both kinds. I hope you find a lot of laughs this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tried a handful of new comedies - both TV and movies - but nothing has really struck me. I find the old ones not only still make laugh out loud but they also bring a sort of comfort. :)

      Delete
  32. I've always been drawn to dark thoughts and dramas, too... had childhood dreams much the same. But I've struggled with (mostly) mild depression most of my life. I'm with you. I'm trying to stay in a happier mood. I'm getting there...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For me, some days are better than others, but I keep trying. Good luck to us both! :)

      Delete
  33. Surprisingly, the last thing that made me burst out with laughter was The Witcher on Netflix. The deadpan delivery the f-word in the latter half of episode 4... It had me and my husband in stitches.

    I hope you find many things to make you laugh this year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to have to watch for that moment...if we ever get around to watching the show, that is. :)

      Delete
  34. We all need to do more of that, especially the way the world is now. We just finished watching the British show Sex Education on Netflix - very funny, and also something I think we can all pretty much relate to on some level!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keeping my head down and watching old sitcoms - so far, so good. :)

      Delete