Out of everything I’ve read, heard, and experienced, there is one key element to being emotionally healthy and happy. It doesn’t matter how many drugs you take, how many self help books you read or meditation you do, or even how many therapy sessions you have, if you don’t learn to do this, you’ll forever be limited in how emotionally healthy and happy you can be. If you’re wondering if I’m delaying sharing this point, I am. Is it to build intrigue or am I just a jerk? I know my wife’s answer and it’s pretty accurate. The key to being emotionally healthy and happy is… ahem, sorry I had to clear my throat, which has no relevance when I’m writing, but I write what I think… and struggle to thoroughly edit. Sorry… the key to being emotionally healthy and happy is… shoot, what is it again? With all this rambling I forget, which is pretty funny… oh yeah, the key is being able to laugh at life. If we can’t laugh at our mistakes or see the good when things go wrong, we’ll forever be limited in how good life will feel. The following is a story that helps demonstrate this idea.
The other day I was cleaning out the cat litter box. Jealous? Cleaning up after animals is sooo fun; it’s like the best reason to have a pet… if you’re being sarcastic. For the record, I was cleaning the litter without being asked; I’m that impressive… or I just couldn’t handle the smell and my wife wasn’t home. We keep the litter box in the basement near the backdoor that leads to five outdoor steps that take you up into the backyard. On the one outdoor step we keep a trash container for dumping the dirty litter. These details are important for understanding why what happened happened. I had just taken a full scoop out of the litter that was a blend of all the goodness a cat litter can hold and when I opened the door to get to the bucket, two steps from the top of the stairs, a young mouse started running back and forth on the step. I, being very manly, screamed. Fortunately, I screamed like a girl so my neighbors will think it was my wife. The mouse, not being able to climb up the concrete stairs, jumped down a step heading towards the house. Panicking at the thought of having a mouse run into the house and becoming an unwelcomed roommate, my body decided to fling all the cat litter I had in the scoop (genius), which hit the roof above and exploded everywhere (it’s a gross as it sounds). Meanwhile, my cat had come downstairs and was trying to get out, so while flinging and then blocking the shooting dirty cat litter and trying to catch the mouse, I’m also trying to kick the cat back away from the door. Growing up watching Disney movies, I do not do well seeing discovery channel like carnage. Plus, mice are really unhealthy for cats, so it was a lose-lose for the cat and mouse if they met. Fortunately, on the mouse’s way down to the bottom step I was able to scoop him up and get him out of the stairwell and then close the backdoor before the cat could get around my foot and discover his new play toy/germ infested snack. After giving the mouse a chance to get away, I had the pleasure of cleaning up the dirty cat litter that was now everywhere in the stairwell. It was a special kind of gross.
This experience was not pleasant, but after it was done I was able to laugh to myself and I was looking forward to being able to tell friends about it. It’s moments like these that make life more interesting and give us something unique to share with others. I could’ve just been angry and blocked it out or my mind, but I was able to see the good in it. I’m not perfect at seeing the good, but I’m getting better, and with it, I’m rewarded by it helping make life seem a little bit better.
Hopefully this week you’re able to see the humor in something that could be seen as bad.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people