Monday, June 14, 2010

Recharging: The Saving Grace of Laughter


Laughter isn't just the best medicine -- it's life's saving grace.


Everyone needs time away to refresh not only his or her creative spirit, but time to let go of stress. Ever notice when you spend time with friends or family laughing and having a good time, you tend to come back to every day chores with a renewed spirit? The manuscript you flung across the room in frustration suddenly has redeeming value again. You no longer want to send your kids and/or husband to homestead on the moon. What do you mean there is no oxygen or gravity? You’re so brilliant make some. (I figure I might as well put them to work while they know everything.)


The past week, I had a lot on my plate. I had deadlines, interviews to conduct, people I had to see, and places I had to be. I was still dealing with two weeks of sleep deprivation from when my son was recuperated from surgery—brings back memories of dealing with infant feedings every two hours. I had some late nights. I can tell you now, it ain’t pretty when those toothpicks propping open your eyelids fall out, nor is keyboard marks embedded in your face. I reopened a chapter I was writing while I was in the zone. I just didn’t realize what *zone I inhabited when I wrote a part of it. Sigh…yep, I found I had channeled three paragraphs of a foreign language from somewhere in the universe. Not sure exactly where and the UN has no known translators of this language.

Delete.

*Metaphorically throwing the manuscript across the room while muttering, ‘I so suck’.




Saturday, I had had it. My nap was interrupted, I had a stream of ranch business visitors, and I was grumpy. I grabbed the kid and said, "change clothes; we’re heading to Grandma’s house and bring your bathing suit." Just mentally shut the door on everything. Put on Seether, Breaking Benjamin, and Five Finger Death Punch, turned it up loud and Jake and I sang all the way to my mom’s

I had a wonderful time. I dropped Jake off at my brother’s house to visit with his cousin, and I went to my mom’s. No husbands and just girl time. We giggled and laughed. We swam in her pool, ran in the house just ahead of lightning and thunder. Mom has a healthy respect for both now but then proceeded to tell me tales of her misspent youth; a rowboat with an outboard in the middle of the lake on my grandparent's resort in Wisconsin. My mother gunning the engine to jump waves in the middle of a horrendous thunder storm, not once, but many times. *eye roll.

You’ve heard of ghost tales around the campfire? We shared, it’s a wonder we’re still alive tales. We sipped coffee and ate chocolate, we laughed at all the do you remember when stories and watched the Lightning bugs rise. We stayed up until 11:30 p.m. and had a blast. Sunday morning we got up to watch the birds sing up the sun and slipped into conversation on current events, music, books, and movies. Mom’s a great conversationalist and a well informed person and it’s amazing how smart she’s grown since I was a teen. *Wink


My younger brother came up to the house (he actually lives next door, sorta, on the family compound) at 7:30 for morning coffee and talk about his upcoming wedding. He’s twenty-six and marrying for the first time. Gads, I never realized what a romantic he is. We rounded off the morning with a visit from my other brother and his partner and my sister. Then it was time to go to my brother Mike’s house to pick up the kid. I was bubbly and relaxed--even when I had a blow out on the gravel road to my brother’s house. He played Knight in a shiny pick-up, had my tire changed in less than ten minutes (good thing as it was 90 degrees), picked up the kid and off for home.


I was energized, was able to finish the chapter I working on—in English this time, take care of blog stuff and still had time to do some work with my Arabian.


I need those fun times.



  • What do you do to recharge or relax? You know, those weeks when life has you by the throat and you feel like any creative spark you’ve ever had must have died an ignominious death?

21 comments:

tonya kappes said...

I can definitely relate. When My brain has had enough, it's not writer's block~it's just had ENOUGH!~I will stop and get out, take a mini trip or lunch with a friend who's not a writer (so we don't talk about characters, conflict, plot etc).

Mason Canyon said...

Sometimes you just have to get away from it all. Turn to something else completely different to help de-stree. Sounds like your outing was the perfect solution.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Isabel Roman said...

"Not sure exactly where and the UN has no known translators of this language." Maybe it's only an endangered language. :)

Usually when enough is enough I fall asleep reading on the couch. Two favorite past times, readig and sleeping. Anything where it's just me-gardening, walking around the block with headphones on and sunglasses so I can ignore anyone.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Isabel, never though using earphones, hmmm. I love to read too. Imagine, lolol!

Joanne said...

Oh that's a tough day, when the creativity gets shelved! I find that a long walk always helps smooth things out and put life in perspective. Clicked over from Helen Ginger, enjoyed browsing here.

Alyson Reuben said...

Oh boy, do I know that feeling! Like you mentioned, I often tell myself, 'I so suck'. Sometimes I wonder if all the sweat is worth it. Of course, deep down, I know it is.

Just hanging out with my hubby and daughter usually puts things back in an optimistic POV for me. Sometimes a day off now and then will work wonders.

I love your story about spending time with your mom. The way you described it, I can totally envision the fun you had :)

Helen Ginger said...

Not that many years ago I could not have imagined how difficult it is for me to step away from the computer! I can do it, but it's like forced withdrawal.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Helen, I like my computer--its a total entertainment center for me including music and games, but I've learned that I need to step away a day or two, now and then.

thanks for the award. :-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Allyson, I had SO much fun.

At least the moon is safe from offspring for now. :-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

As soon as I have my 5 choices I'll post the blog award and thank you Helen Straight From Hel.

Olvia Cunning said...

Okay, I admit it. I'm a video game junkie. I've been playing them for over a week straight now to avoid all those things I should be doing, but just don't wanna. Time to put the PS3 away and get back to work. Well, maybe tomorrow. It does clear the mind of all worries, except how in the heck am I supposed to kill that freakin' Long Gui!!! I've attempted it over 20 times. Stupid, tusked, dinosaur-looking thing! (*shakes controller at the TV) I digress....

Nothing recharges me more than a good rock concert. Unfortunately, the last few I've attended have just managed to tick me off. Not the music or the bands. They're fabulous. The "fans". Stoopid drunks! (*shakes fist at drunk fans) I'm digressing again...

Next Sunday I'm going to see a rock concert in Lincoln. Looking forward to it.

Taking long walks works, too, but it's been plain ucky outside for a week--rain and thunderstorms or hot and humid. No thanks on either. Hence, the video games.

Sounds like you had a great time with your mom, Sia, and you very much needed to unwind.

Sun Singer said...

How about doing that once a week or once every other week. It's better than chicken soup for everything that ails anyone.

VA said...

Sia, here is the sad admission- I don't know. I think I've forgotten how to have fun, seriously, I've been in major nurturing mode and totally running from what should I do for A and what should I do for B. I've perfected the art of the human ping-pong ball.

Great! Thanks for this rude awakening, now I'll worry about what I should be doing to make sure I don't turn into a total nut case. Time for a walk on the beach! No one else likes to do it, so I'll go alone.

Kat Sheridan said...

VA, I was so glad to see someone else didn't have a clue either! Sia, sounds as if you had a wonderful time. I'm so glad you got some laughter! As for me, I'm trying to adjust to what looks like retirement, and running out of things to do to entertain myself. It was great reading the suggestions here!

James Rafferty said...

Sia, fine article. I'm feeling much in need of a recharge myself. But I often find playing music, riding a bicycle, or watching a favorite recorded TV show with my wife brings me to a quieter, more creative place.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Malcolm, Ihave been thinking I need to do that at least every other week. Problem is, when I visit, where ever I'm visiting, my sibs find me and "are you coming over hear yet?" So I need to alternate the visits, :-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

James, that sounds so lovely and relaxing. I do use music as well. Now the kid is learning how to play electric guitar, so it's fun to listen to him get a recognizable song right. Right now, he's channeling Staind's ballads. :-)

Journaling Woman said...

Laughter, baby, laughter -that's how I get past stupid weeks and people. I love laughing. So I watch a funny movie or get with my family who make me chuckle.

Missouri rocks! (meaning is the best, not that we have rocks which we do and lots.)

Teresa

Stephen Tremp said...

Yeah, there are times I tell myself I suck. But then I tell myself I'm a winner. I use coffee in the morning and wine at night to help rid myself of the suckiness. It works.

Stephen Tremp

~Sia McKye~ said...

ooo, I like you Stephen, lol! My coffee comes, at times, via IV, lol! Wine at night or the occasional Manhattan works wonders.

You have such an interesting blog, sir and thanks for stopping by!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Teresa, God knows we can grow some major rocks, can't we?

I love the sound of baby's laughter!