Opinion: The trick is to laugh in hard times

Mar 19, 2020, 12:16 PM

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom. 

My mother used to tell us stories from her childhood with a twinkle in her eye. She grew up in the Great Depression in a family of 13 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and some of the stories she told us make me want to cry when I remember them now, but she laughed when she told them.

That’s what happens when you look back on hard times. You laugh.

Finding reasons to laugh in hard times

“Man oh man. Can you believe we got through that?”

I have a feeling when we look back at 2020, the year the coronavirus put us in hard financial times, and more importantly, took so many of our loved ones from us, we won’t laugh, but we will shake our heads and think, “Man oh man. Remember those days when they closed the schools and everybody bought all the toilet paper?”

Okay. We might laugh at that.

Laugh soon, laugh often

I’ve heard that if hard times are going to make you laugh eventually, the trick is to laugh sooner.

Yesterday, when we had a heckuva time figuring out how to connect with the boys’ school and my youngest son did NOT want to do his math from home because he couldn’t figure it out on his own, he threw himself on his bed, so I did the same. He wanted to give up, and so did I. This was never going to work, we both thought. So, he started to cry, which made me start to cry.

And all of this happened AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE.

Today is a new day.

Today I am grateful for my older son’s language arts teacher who gives him an assignment every day to do some writing and, as a part of that, to name three things he’s grateful for.

He showed me what he wrote. He said, “Number 1: this computer so I can work from home, Number 2: getting to have ribs for dinner last night, and Number 3: toilet paper.”

Yes. I will tell this story someday. I bet you will, too. We may even laugh.

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Opinion: The trick is to laugh in hard times