I’m sure you have been told that laughter is good for your health, and while that sounds all great and wonderful, how do we actually laugh when life throws us embarrassing lemons? I want to tell you a real-life story that happened to me, not too long ago, that I could’ve used as prefect reason to get not only frustrated, but completely mortified – to the point I wanted to stick my head in sand and pretend that no one could actually see me. My hope is that after you read this post about an incredibly embarrassing story involving dog poo that you might be able to choose laughter in spite of embarrassing life lemons.
Let me paint the picture for you. I’m the type of mom who makes my kids walk to school when it’s hot, cold, snowing, or raining – and I join them. We don’t live too far from school, so this is not asking a lot of my kids. I’m met with opposition about walking almost daily, but we still do it. I fiercely love my dog, who I’m convinced loves getting out for walks more than she loves me. Walking to school each morning is like killing two birds with one stone – it wears out my dog and it gives me and my kids some extra exercise – which we can all admit is a win-win, right?!
Back to painting my picture. We were walking the long way to school, which gives my pup extra time to find a couple good smelling patches of grass to go poop on (she’s a pooper for sure – like 2-4 times a walk – I’m not kidding). The long way to school is about 1 mile and I had 2 poop bags that were full. For some reason I had the bright idea to put the first very full bag of poo inside the other bag of poo (I guess so I wouldn’t have to carry 2 bags). I tied off the bag and noticed there was a bubble with a pocket of air inside it that I’m now assuming came from the first bag being tied off.
We made it to school and I’m still carrying the bubble bag of poop as I drop off the kids and start walking home. Our school has a long sidewalk hill that you have to walk up that is right next to the main drop-off line for parents driving their kids to school. This sidewalk is also the main path you walk on to get to school. Needless to say, this sidewalk is very visible and incredibly busy during morning drop off time.
As I’m walking along with my dog leash in one hand and the extremely full bag of poo in the other, a friend waves at me and at that exact moment I tripped on the path and dropped the excessively full bag of bubbled up dog poo and accidentally stepped right on it. The bag made a loud popping noise as it exploded and squishy dog poo shot right out of the bag like icing coming out of a pastry bag. Smelly dog poo was all over the sidewalk, my shoe, ankle and sock.
To make matters even worse, the entire drop-off line of parents was watching the whole thing happen. It was gross, hilarious, and mortifying all at the same time! I felt like I was in some sort of slow-motion bad dream and was hoping I would just wake up! My friend, that had initially waved at me when I tripped, was trying not to laugh at the whole situation, and was frantically searching her car for wipes or a tissue to help me clean up the poo mess. Thankfully she found some and quickly threw them out the window while she drove by me.
There I am, on the ground, wishing the sidewalk would just swallow me up, but instead I tried to wipe poo off my ankle as well as the frosting-like poo mess off the sidewalk so that all the other kids walking to school wouldn’t walk in it. Don’t even get me started on the smell of it all…oh it was horrible, and I’m pretty sure all my “cleaning up” just made it worse – you know, like rubbing it in…horrible I tell you!
Now, tell me what you would’ve done? Would you have laughed? Screamed? Cried? Hid your head it sand? I’m happy to report that I laughed out loud (I only know this because a couple friends told me later that they heard me start laughing right when it happened). While laughing, I was acutely aware that that my little accident was being watched by a lot of parents and kids who were just sitting in their cars a couple inches away from me, and there was nothing I could do about it. While this whole shenanigan was hilarious, it was also super embarrassing – I mean what are the odds of that happening?
Later my friend told me that she was surprised I was able to laugh about it, that she would’ve been in tears from embarrassment. It was embarrassing, extremely embarrassing, and I hope it doesn’t happen again, but I’ve learned that when things happen that we can’t control, we get to choose our response. It’s as simple as that. Choose to laugh. I’m sure a few of you are asking, “But how? How do you laugh when life is embarrassing?” You just do it. It’s that simple.
Find the humor in hard things. Find the good in every situation. Find the funny in the not-so-funny. Laugh with your friends who are already laughing. Make a habit of laughing at yourself – it’s ok to not take yourself so seriously! Proverbs 15:15 says, “A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.”
“A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.” – Proverbs 15:15
Trust me, I’m not perfect and I don’t always get this right. There are plenty of times when my first response is frustration and tears. Life is hard and we can’t always control what happens to us, but it’s good to remember that we can control our responses. Choosing to laugh when things happen that you can’t control, is a great way to handle them. I’m working on this in my own life and have another frustratingly hilarious situation, involving dollar bills and a lot of wind, that you should also read! READ NOW
Laughter truly is good for you. It’s good for your heart, mind and soul. It’s healing, it releases your frustrations and pain. It’s good for well-being, plus laughter can even burn a few calories! The person who can bring the spirit of laughter into a room is indeed blessed. — Bennett Cerf
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. “ – Proverbs 31:25 (NIV)
When you find yourself in an embarrassing situation, I hope you can choose laughter and remember that laughter is so good for you, even if you find yourself with dog poo all over your shoes! “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. “ – Proverbs 31:25 (NIV)