It’s been a year and I’m still laughing . . . but let me first tell you about my love of this season’s stripe dresses. The girls were feeling the breeze in this fabulous multi-stripe crepe mermaid style number with a tiered ruffle bottom by Tome NYC. I paired it with a Zac Posen yellow bag (actually backpack) with an adorable laser cut multi-color floral hanging keychain. I felt the classy bag with a twist helped balanced out the sass from the dress. What do you think?
“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” Maya Angelou
Last year, I attended a fundraiser for a wonderful non-profit. It wasn’t the biggest or the most glamourous event, but it was one of my most memorable. Elaine, a dear friend of over 45 years joined me that evening. She’s a no nonsense accomplished boss woman, wonderful wife, fantastic mother and supportive friend. I felt she needed a distraction from life, even if it was just a couple of hours, so I asked her to accompany me.
Elaine didn’t know anyone seated at the table with us, but the light conversation was centered around fun and laughter. One joke generated stomach grabbing, head jerking laughter. Then it happened. My friend’s nicely coiffed wig fell off! The laughter was suddenly interrupted with a pregnant pause, followed by eyes dancing around the table. Being the quick wit that she is, Elaine grab her wig midair, cut the tension and fell out laughing. On cue, we all hollered and cried in laughter.
When was the last time you laughed at yourself? Or, did you choose to whimper away with embarrassment? Are you avoiding settings preferring to stay secluded?
One of my favorite spiritual teachers, Dr. Charles Staley of In Touch Ministries, blessed his congregation with his instructions for ‘how to be useful all the days of your life’ (Aired 7/15/2018). In other words, how to keep living after age 55. One is to ‘Keep Laughing’ because he said, “when there’s laughter, love, joy, your body responds accordingly.” He advised, “Get something going to make you laugh.”
This message really touched me because I thought ‘who doesn’t love a good laugh’. But, there are days that I find nothing to laugh at because I may allow current events, personal problems, or whatever to get the best of my emotions and my depression rears its ugly head and yanks me back to parts unknown. My body physically aches during this process. I’m on automatic to recognize, retreat, resign, repress, and return. There’s no timetable for this cycle.
The Center for Disease Control* said that depression is different for older adults. Older adults are at an increased risk for depression often because of chronic illnesses. Therefore, it’s often mistakenly assumed that depression is a natural course for older adults and many will not seek medical treatment. But it’s important to know that most older adults are not depressed and there’s help for those that are symptomatic. That’s the good news.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please seek help immediately by:
- Call 911;
- Visit a nearby medical emergency department or health care provider; or
- Talk to a counselor at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
I am very passionate about removing the stigma surrounding mental illness. My hope is that someone is helped with this message.
*CDC Source: Depression is Not a Normal Part of Growing Older / Healthy Aging / CDC https://www.cdc.gov/aging/mentalhealth/depression.htm @CDCgov