Lighten up

Every once in a while we need to be reminded of those basic habits that keep us alive and well. A near miss with a car reminds us to look both ways before crossing the road. A stomach upset reminds us that fried food is not welcome inside our body.

And a 58-second youtube clip can remind us to lighten up. A few weeks ago I was feeling rather dark and heavy, and had been for over a week. Though I didn’t have a specific reason for this “general malaise,” I can give credit to my impeccable ability to judge myself: I was annoyed at my ongoing knee tendonitis and drum-tight hamstrings, which made me feel like an 80-yr old in yoga class. I was frustrated with my inability to make decisions around my true calling and career goals, which just made me more irritable at work. And I was feeling guilty for spending just too many nights at home instead of being a happy city socialite.

As judgement generally does, it went outwardly as much as it went inwardly. Why is this person talking to me right now? Do they really think this thing is so important? What a waste of time, I don’t care! And I wondered why I was feeling so fatigued.

In the midst of my gloom, I came across this video, now viral, of Bill Murray with a posse of fans doing a slo mo walk, Wes Anderson style. Immediately, I was laughing. So ridiculously simple, but oh so hilarious. The laughter jarred my whole being. At first I was surprised something so simple could be so amazing. And then, as though snapping out of a trance, that thought itself surprised me. Of course something so simple can be so amazing! Get out of your head and lighten up!! All of a sudden the things I had judged that past week as “stupid” or “useless” had a rightful place in the world. And what were once my (first-world) heavy burdens were light as a feather, being blown out the window by my laughter.

As I made my way out the door to meet a friend for dinner, feeling 10 lbs lighter and fresh as a daisy, I laughed at how seriously I had taken myself and this thing called “life” for the past week.

Sometimes we just need a good laugh to lighten us up.