Spotting Life's Upsets


by Allen Klein


"When you get to the end of your rope, 
tie a knot and hang on. And swing!

-- Leo Buscaglia

In every job, relationship, or life situation there is inevitably some turbulence. Learn to laugh at it. It is part of what you do and who you are.

If you are a baker, for example, chances are you will burn a few cakes every now and then. If you are a homemaker, you will break a few dishes from time to time. If you are a clerk at a supermarket, there is a great possibility that one day one of the grocery bags will burst as you finish filling it. You can be prepared, as one clerk was, with, "They just don't make these bags like they used to; this was supposed to happen in your driveway!"

You cannot expect things to run smoothly twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, for your entire life. Why not prepare for those rough spots before they occur and be ready with some way to lighten them up?

Some days are better (or worse) than others. Like the Boy Scouts, be prepared!

Every joke has a setup and a punch line. Look for the setups of life and be ready to handle them with a humorous punch line. When you encounter one of those not-so-great times, have something funny ready. Use it like a humor mantra, which you can repeat to yourself or out loud, depending on the company you keep. Make up your own or use some of these classic lines that have helped others:

"Oh, what an opportunity for growth and learning."

"It could be worse. I could be pregnant."

"If it's not one thing, it's another."

"Take it back. It's not what I ordered."

"I'd rather be ________ (dancing, skiing, jogging, etc.).

"Don't ask me, I only work here."

"Here we go again."

"I have no time for a crisis, my schedule is full."

"I refuse to be intimidated by reality."

"Beam me up, Scotty."

(Adapted from The Healing Power of Humor (Tarcher, Inc., 1989)

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