Laughing at Myself

You grow up the day you have the first real laugh….at yourself.

Ethel Barrymore

I have done some silly stuff lately.

One chilly morning this winter, I was outside cleaning the snow off my car. When I came into the house, my glasses fogged up immediately after hitting the warmth of my mud room. I ran into the kitchen, thinking I had left the oven on.

In an event just yesterday, my boss said to me (from another room), Do you think Jim would go to Mastermind with you? What I heard was, Do you think Jim would go to Mass with you tomorrow? (I’m not Catholic!)

Lucy watches Little Ricky's birthday party fro...
Lucille Ball- She was funny! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I get older and (hopefully) wiser, I also seem to be becoming more funny. Maybe it is just that I am funny to myself, but no, I seem to be funny to others as well.

The deterioration of my hearing especially is enabling my funnyness. I know I’m going to need to get it checked, but the reality of that is well, I am not ready to deal with the reality of that (or the expense of a hearing aid).

I don’t know why people get so upset when others laugh at them. I see it as a special grace when we can love ourselves despite what others think (or don’t think) of us. When I was a manager, my employees loved to imitate me back to myself. Sometimes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I used to think that EVERYONE needed to like/love me. I was such a people pleaser. I realize now that is the impossible dream. The older I get the more I realize that hey, not everyone is gonna like me. That is ok with me. I will tell you this- the deeper my relationship to God, the less it matters what others think. I like myself and what others think of me is really none of my business.

I know deep inside the kind of person I strive to be. Funny yes. Also- caring, loving, thoughtful, forgiving, huggy and kissy. Yes, that is what I want to be.

So laugh if you will. I’m laughing along with you!

Join me on my graceful journey.

What Water Aerobics Class is Really Like

My husband and I are taking a water aerobics class. Lest you immediately picture a group of svelte, toned swimmers doing sleek, calculated aerobic moves in an Olympic size pool, let me clue you in. This class is definitely not a group of Baywatch babes!

There are about a dozen or so participants in our class. I would say the age range is probably anywhere from 50- 70. Nobody is thin. We all complain about aches and pains, which is the main reason we are there. We are trying to get a bit more healthy.

The class is held at a local school, through our township. It is unbelievably cheap. A whole series of nine classes is $48 per person. Sometimes I can’t believe my husband (Jim) was game to take this class with me. He has had some health issues and I thought he’d laugh at the idea when I asked him if he was interested. But to my surprise, he said yes.

Here’s how a typical class goes. All of us warm up by walking around in a large circle in the shallow end of the pool. Occasionally, our instructor (Leslie) shouts “THE OTHER WAY!” which means we turn around and start walking the other way. This causes the water to swirl and creates resistance. It’s a good way to warm up.

After warm up, we usually launch into some kicks and stretches below the water level. Leslie likes to mix it up and we get to work with weights (they float!), noodles and these circular stretchy things that go around our ankles. We do some laps too as part of our hour. The class is definitely a work out. There is however, no pressure to push beyond what we individually are comfortable doing. Thank goodness or I never would have lasted long in this class.

Here’s my challenging part of class. Our instructor is younger than us and has yet to experience the drop in hearing that comes with age 50+. The pool is in a large room that echoes. To complicate matters, Leslie likes to play loud music (upbeat stuff like Flash Dance) via a CD player near the back wall of the pool. As you can well imagine, I spend most of my class time trying to read Leslie’s lips.

This past week, Leslie created “stations” all around the parameter of the shallow end of the pool. Each station had a note card (encased in plastic of course) that gave you a different exercise to do. Leslie is very creative but she is not always a good communicator. So though I tried to get a good grip on the entirety of this exercise, I never really understood exactly how it was to work.

Apparently I was not the only one confused. A bunch of us (slightly deaf ones like me) kept looking at each other and saying “what’s next”? If I asked Leslie, she always helped me figure it out but I hated asking her every time. After a couple turns of the stations, I had a light bulb moment. No one was giving me a hard time, no one really cared that I didn’t get it. Everyone kind of did their own thing. So that is what I did.

At one point I looked around and we were all participating and splashing. It was fun, healthy and ok. It didn’t matter how I did it. It just mattered that I was there, doing it.

Afterward, when we were done with the stations, we did our (ending) cool down stretches. Leslie asked what we thought of the stations. Most of us liked it. One woman said it was not enough of a work out for her. Jim and I discussed this later and decided this woman was just not really digging in. I think this was just our way of siding with Leslie. We really like her.

Did you ever do something you weren’t really good at but you plugged away at it anyway? Because when you were all done, you felt really good about the way it made you feel? And even though you knew you didn’t look all that good while doing it, who cares?  If you’ve ever had a moment like this, share it with me!

Join me on my graceful journey.