Finding joy in everyday life
By Laura Lee Myer
Once upon a time I wrote a blog titled “Because I Said So” under the pen name “Awesome Evil Stepmother.”
It gave me an outlet for some of the frustrations that came with being a step-parent. I used humor and sarcasm to deflect my frustration at some of the daily trials that made up my life.
The anonymity of the blog gave me the freedom to say what I wanted without worrying about hurting anyone’s feelings.
A few years ago, I quit writing. Sadness and heartbreak were hitting from all sides. There was very little humor to be found.
My brother gave me all kinds of grief and begged me to start blogging again. He said my blogs provided much-needed laughter in his days. I told him I couldn’t because I couldn’t make it funny anymore.
Humor has always been my go-to coping mechanism – so much so that at work I used to remind my team that providing comic relief was part of my job description. Humor was one of the main boundaries of my comfort zone, and God had pushed me so far out of the zone that humor was completely out of my reach.
I was so overwhelmed that I thought I had nothing to offer anyone else.
We lost my nephew Aaron in a tragic industrial accident. Seven months later, we lost my mom to Lewy Body Dementia. There was zero humor to be found.
But slowly the humor and the joy have returned.
Today is the 30th anniversary of Aaron’s birth. There will be tears, but there will also be smiles and laughter. We will focus on the good memories of the happy little boy who grew into such a wonderful young man who brought so much joy to our lives. We will also shed a few tears that those memories stopped too soon.
Next month we will mark the third anniversary of Mom’s death.
Life without the two of them is different. As Dad says, there is not a new normal in our lives so much as there is a new abnormal. We will never completely adjust to it, but we get a little better every day.
I am learning to find joy and humor in life again, and I have accepted the fact that neither Mom nor Aaron would want me to wallow in the sadness. Life is too short to shroud ourselves in pain and darkness.
Today, I’m looking for the small joys. All I need to do to find them is look.