“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” -Sydney J. Harris
“There is little success where there is little laughter.” -Andrew Carnegie

When was the last time you laughed? I mean really laughed – not just chuckled politely – but all out laughed until you couldn’t breathe, until tears were pouring down your cheeks, until your literally felt you were going to “bust a gut”, as they say? When was the last time you took a break – a full break just for yourself?

Last month, after spending a couple of weeks on sick leave due to my seizures, I figured I would have to give up my originally planned time off in April, because there was so much work to do at the office and deadlines to meet. I had planned the time off in April because I was feeling so exhausted. Thankfully, while my head was still seizure-muddled, my manager’s mind was not, so when I called him to say I was going to cancel my vacation time due to my sick leave, he said “no”. He re-iterated the need for personal life balance and rest, and giving up vacation time was not going to do me any good…but resting would. And he was so very right!

I started my rest with much laughter the week before, with Girls’ night, and celebrating my 47th birthday with my wonderful boys and my love, SuperMike. Over the course of the week until my vacation time started, I felt laughter draining from me as deeper fatigue set in…my body still recovering from the trauma of the seizures in March. I became irritable at times – and it takes alot to get me noticeably irritable! By the end of the week, I was hanging on by a thread, anticipating “Stay-cation” time to just – be. Do nothing. Do anything. Talk all day. Not talk at all. Sleep. Walk. Do yoga. Laugh.

Now four days into my Staycation, and I am so grateful that I am able to take time off like this. And the wonderful part of it is – I have been laughing so much…deep wonderful belly-laughing. Having giggle-fits that bring tears to my face and stops me from speaking I am so out of breath. Laughter over simple things – daily life things, things that escape notice when I am so busy being busy that I don’t see the little joys right under my own nose!

The odd beauty of experiencing a serious event, such as I recently did with my hospitalization emergency seizure episode, is that the important things in life are made very clear. What is important in my life? My family. My friends. Sharing joy. Sharing knowledge. Seeing the opportunities for laughter and and sharing that laughter all around. Noticing the little things and being grateful. Living fully in the moment. Allowing happiness to fill me up.

“Happiness is simple. Everything we do to find it is complicated.” -Karen Maezen Miller

Taking time to rest and laugh allows me to fully feel the happiness in my life, to deeply understand that I choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice – you can choose to see beyond imperfections and challenges, and see the little joys that surround you.

What do you choose to see?