Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life is not a Dress Rehearsal...or is it?

"God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." ~ Voltaire

First, let me just say it is never a good idea to spill water on your laptop. Ever. I don't know why PC manufacturers don't find a way to make water-proof keyboards, considering all the people in homes and offices who drink coffee/tea/Singapore Slings at their workstation....well, actually I suppose it's because THEY MAKE MORE MONEY that way, thoughtless.

Anyway, if you're like me and happen to knock over a bamboo-filled vase while trying to swat a perversely friendly fly, you want to know your PC can survive a few drops of liquid. Even now, months later, the keyboard gets all possessed and starts typing 'TTTT' on a never-ending loop until I shut it down. Guess that'll teach me not to drink and type.

Another reason I haven't posted is that I didn't have anything interesting to say, so don't get your hopes up too high, but, I recently experienced a second of insanity enlightenment that left me laughing out loud in surprise. Some of you know I can get really heavy in a finger-pointing sort of way with my former Mormon community, and I've realized that I took my religious practice very, very serious, as in, too serious. And then expected everyone "should", too. And then got all judgey when they toppled off my pedestal (really it wasn't THAT high, but still).

It drove me nuts when people didn't honor their word, slipped in integrity, or failed to show up to do something they committed to do, even allowing for the occasional slacker/bad hair day/sugar over-consumption, which by the way, is rampant in this community because they don't drink--a shame, considering it's a much more enjoyable way to get that sugar high. Much more enjoyable than the local popular fetish for green Jell-O.

Because I took it all so seriously, it sucked the fun and humanity right out of the journey, especially for me. My expectations could suck the fun right out of being Buddhist/Atheist/Muslim, not that they're bastions of frivolity anyway, but in my defense, temple-going Mormons are admonished not to indulge in 'loud laughter' (one of my favorite indulgences; just ask anyone) which made me slightly paranoid, given my irreverent nature.

Truly the apple doesn't fall far from the McIintosh tree--and we know how devoted to ancestral details Mormons are. One of my grandmothers--and she wasn't even Mormon--used to pray and weep over the departed at the local cemetery in her spare time, unless I'm remembering the family stories wrong.

One of my dear Mormon friends hangs out at pioneer cemeteries when life gets overwhelming (and since she has seven kids, I imagine that's fairly often) reading the headstones of the dearly departed whose sufferings make her feel infinitely better about her troubles. Who can complain when some epidemic wiped out a faithful pioneer woman's ten children? Or rampaging Indians took Sister Mary Elizabeth Ellswater's husband and firstborn and burned down the spacious one-room log cabin? What's a foreclosure/no healthcare/totaling the family car in comparison to the sufferings of old?

Like Grandma, I was almost sackcloth-and-ashes serious, to the point where religion became joyless, and I expected too much of others and myself. Thankfully, this approach no longer works for me. I'm realizing that spiritually connecting is not just about attaining the ethereal, but embracing humanity as well. So while I may still occasionally take things too seriously (old habits die hard), lightening up is part of the practice today. A big part (no offense, Grandma).

Go Conan! Hindus are hip to enjoying a good laugh too.


  1. This is such a great observation. I also tend to take everything too seriously. Especially when it comes to spirituality. I think the eastern spiritual practices (especially when practiced by the eastern themselves) tend to allow for much more lightness of the heart. The Dalai Lama seems like a person who enjoys a good laugh. Isn't that so refreshing to see? In too many ways religion has conditioned us to believe that everything that feels good is bad.

  2. Lori you make a good point! The Dalai Lama always seems to have a twinkle in his eye and a quickness to laughter!(a sign of 'enlightenment, in my book) I was picturing zen teachers whacking their subjects upside the head to help them get a point, and long hours of silent sitting, lol. I might take out the Buddhist reference!

  3. You always have much more to say than you think. This was so much fun to read, maybe because I'm in complete agreement with you. I tend to be intense about everything and find it pretty strange that I have to make myself have fun and enjoy pleasure. How frighteningly puritanical is that? Thanks for providing the lightness of laughter for my day today.

  4. Deb, how happy I am to meet a recovering serious-aholic! Totally puritanical! I was going to remark on the puritan/calvinisticness of our cultures and then forgot, lol. Glad you came by!

  5. I have missed you and your observations on life! I always enjoy your honesty. It's refreshing.

  6. "My expectations could suck the fun right out of being Buddhist/Atheist/Muslim, not that they're bastions of frivolity anyway..." That is hilarious!
    I think you have an awful lot to say, and it's funny and serious at the same time. And about that green jello - I've heard Utah eats more of it than any other place in the world; is it really true? And do YOU eat it every day?

  7. Thanks Debbie, I've missed hanging around with my fellow bloggers!

    Ethelmaepotter, my ex used to tell me I had an awful lot to say too ;p. Heavens no! I prefer red jello :). I think Utahns eat just as much ice cream as they do jello, particularly root beer floats! In fact, if I had a say, that's what I'd name for Utah's vice. How fun would that be? We could make our own list and publish it (on our blogs). Bloggers from every state could write in their experience (because I'm too busy/budgeted to do it myself :) of their state's vice, and voila. I nominate root bear floats for Utah. What's yours?

  8. Lorna! You're so freakin' hilarious!!! ...and all while being SPOT ON!!! ;D Hugs to you! <3