I had everything under control last Thursday, or so I thought. Then I learned that long, tiring days lead to some pretty funny experiences. You know, the kind of experiences that you can only laugh at or maybe cry. I believe in laughing at yourself.
When my young, naive piano students arrive at my home for a torturous half-hour of piano lessons it's 6:30 a.m. We both are tired before we even begin lessons. As I sit listening, seconds creep by as I ask them to repeat the same two measures multiple times. “Wrong notes", I say. "Let's try that again.” Finally, the longest part of the morning ends. Lessons are over and I head for my 7:45 a.m. scripture class. I am exhausted before the day begins. I sit through the bland scripture class trying to keep my heavy eyelids from going back to where they should be- closed. I can do it I tell myself.
Next, aerobics - 10:00 a.m. I'm a walking zombie by now. Stress of school, work, and my to-do list weigh heavily on my mind. So consequently, I’m not paying too much attention as I dress for an athletic class. I put on the required gym wear, shove my street clothes and book bags back into a my gym locker and try to shake the grogginess out of my head. As I head for class and enter ready to shake it up, I realize my gorgeous, navy blue gym shorts are most obviously on backwards. They're a bit uncomfortable, too.
After aerobics, I went back and forth between work and other school classes. By now, my brain is on auto-pilot and I'm just trying to get through the day. My last class of the day is Costume Design. Our assignment was to find a beautiful costume from the costume shop and describe the complete dress of the era. I went into the costume closet and picked out a beautiful Elizabethan style dress. It was a fashionable purple and gold French gown, with a low square neckline, a tight-fitting bodice, and a full skirt gathered at the waist. Beautiful embroidered flower sequins covered most of the long dress that hung to the floor. As my turn approached to present the information about the costume, I started to get nervous. I had butterflies in my stomach and I was tired. A bad combination. I stepped up to the front of the class and began telling my twenty classmates about this beautiful costume. I told the class where the costumes came from and about its accessories. When I got to the part about the year this dress had been worn, I told the class the wrong year. I was off by about six years. The teacher stopped me and said, “Back up a little.” So I picked up my feet and took three steps backwards. The class room erupted in laughter. My face turned several shades of red, even purple. I was so tired I took her suggestion a little too literally. I didn't know what to do with myself. I had lost all train of thought. I laughed at the ridiculous mistake I had made, finished my thoughts and sat down. I believe in laughing at yourself.
That day didn't get any better. I wished someone a 'Happy Birthday' when it really wasn't, and even got into someone else's car and screamed, “Someone stole all my stuff!” Without laughter I wouldn't have made it through the day. I realized that all I could do was laugh. Not only does laughing at yourself protect you from getting hurt by others, it teaches you to see humor in every day life. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to bring a little smile, a little joy, and maybe even a little laughter into other's lives as well as your own.