How to laugh more in 2017

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Bobsled.
Bobsled who?
Bob’s led a hard life. You should cut him some slack!!

Not laughing yet? OK, OK. I tried. But seriously – I made one and only one new year’s resolution this year, and that is to have more FUN in 2017. I’ve already written about ways to bring silliness to life with your kids throughout the year, and ways to introduce more silly books into your family’s reading time. Now it’s time for YOU moms to get giggling.

We all know laughter is an amazing thing. It boosts our immune systems, alleviates pain and reduces stress. So why don’t we do it more often? Why do we take ourselves so darn seriously? True, there are not-so-funny issues in everyone’s lives that need to be given proper respect, and we can’t walk around all day giggling like fools. But I’m guessing that 99 percent of the time, we could give ourselves permission to LOL – and be all the happier for it.

My suggestions:

  • See a funny movie: Due to be released this year – “Baywatch,” a modern-day spin on the 1990s TV classic. (Guaranteed you’ll laugh in slow-motion.) Also watch for “Pitch Perfect 3,” due out by Christmas. Staying in? I recommending renting “Bad Moms,” starring Mila Kunis, or “How to be Single” with Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson. Hilarious! Want to take your kiddos to the theater? Watch for “Despicable Me 3” to be released this summer.
  • Go to a comedy club or show: One of our area’s best-kept secrets is the Green Room Lounge in West De Pere. Home of ComedyCity improv and Laugh Box Comedy, this venue also features piano lounge sing-alongs, trivia nights and Sunday brunch Bloody Mary bars. You’re also guaranteed a giggle at the Skyline Comedy Café in Appleton, or any of the “Let Me Be Frank” shows at the Meyer Theatre. Comedians periodically come through the Weidner Center – as well as the Fox Cities PAC. One of my favorite (and very funny) musicals of all time “Mamma Mia” is coming back to Appleton over Mother’s Day weekend. Just sayin’…
  • Read a humorous book: I know, I know. Most of us moms rarely have an opportunity to pick up a book without pictures. But if you get a chance, I highly recommend “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson or “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple. On my to-read list: “Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay” by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor and “Blacklisted from the PTA” by Lela Davidson.
  • Start a funny Pinterest board: Some days, the difference between a smile and a frown is as simple as a funny “Friends” T-shirt, a quote from “Anchorman” or a picture of Paul Rudd in lederhosen. Give yourself permission to start a collection of things that make you giggle and keep them on a Pinterest page. Then, if you are ever in a bad mood, a quick click can turn your whole attitude around. (Looking for a place to get started? Leave me a message in the comments, and I’ll share my “You Made a Funny” board with you.)
  • Subscribe to or “like” a funny Facebook page: With varying levels of appropriateness, proceed with caution on Rotten eCards, Scary Mommy and Mommy Needs Vodka. You’ll laugh, but your kids might also get an education if they are peeking over your shoulder. I get a kick out of “Keeper of the Fruit Loops” as well as “Mommy Back Talk.” (Even though I really really do not need to spend any more time on social media.)

Last thing – give yourself permission to laugh. To be silly. Whether you’re with your kids, your girlfriends or your spouse – or just flipping through TV channels and coming across a favorite standup comedian. The serious issues smack us in the face all day long. We might have to look a little harder to let humor in, but it’s oh-so worth the effort.

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