Monday, August 8, 2011
Life, Lemons, and Lemonade
Remember last month, back when I fell and hurt my knee on that island with the seals? Well, I probably shouldn't have continued to walk on that leg for two weeks. Yesterday, my knee nearly gave out again on the walk back from Tesco and, this morning, it was swollen pretty badly. After a(n) (un)healthy amount of needless fretting and worrying about what to do, I have an appointment with a local general physician later on today.
As a result, one could say that my spirits are rather low. I have a long and painful history with these knees of mine, and the prospect (however slight) of spending another 6-8 weeks in a cast is, to put it mildly, unsettling.
So, this week I will resolve to not look at the negative. I won't let these worries derail my creativity or make me unproductive. I won't let the misfortune of being the owner of wayward patellas interrupt my happiness. Instead, I will try to inject my life with the miraculously mundane--an everyday sort of magic that slowly (but surely) will spread a smile across one's face.
Question: How? Answer: Silliness. Something I call "being Productively Silly," which is being silly with the goal of "getting out of a funk" or "improving morale." Basically, this involves doing things that may make you feel a little stupid, but are, at their core, fun and funny and totally worth a raised eyebrow. I do this a lot when I'm frustrated at work or stressed out about school or am just bored in general. Sometimes it results in strange looks, which (mostly) I choose not to notice.
Examples of being Productively Silly include:
- 1. Make up a list of puns or plays on words related to your specific occupation. 2. Leave pun-ny notes for your co-workers. (ex: labeling the vanilla base for Frappes "My Vanilla Base Brings All the Boys to the Yard" or "All Your Vanilla Base Are Belong to Us"). 3. Watch and wait for response.
- Leave pleasant/funny/weird notes in strange places around your house/apartment/dorm room for yourself, your roommates, your family, etc. to find. (ex: "You are SO hot right now"; "Coffee date later? Y/N"; "Options for tonight: a) hop a flying carpet to Mexico b.) organize taco party in kitchen") Note: these can be adapted to fit your own brand of humor and cynicism. Just don't be unnecessarily mean in your jokes.
- Organize some mildly weird fun for other people to participate in. (ex: on April Fools Day at work, I coerced my co-workers into playing the French traditional practical joke of putting April Fish on people's backs.) Note: my mother once did this by starting a "Butt List" on the refrigerator--a piece of paper on which we all wrote every conceivable synonym for the gluteus maximus.
- Send something unusual to someone you love that you suspect will make them smile: weird drawings, offbeat flattery, gratitude for important but mundane things, an interesting fact, a hideously stupid joke. (ex: I usually fulfill this with pointless doodles sent to various people)
These are just examples of things I've done in the past, but Productive Silliness can cover almost anything seemingly frivolous that forces you to stop, drop, and get creative. Because when you get creative, you get de-stressed. Really? Yeah, really:
The Healing Imagination- an article on how human brains are hardwired for imagination
The Benefits of Art Therapy - how practicing art can help emotional problems
Laughter is the Best Medicine - the benefits of humor
So, today, I resolve to be silly. I resolve to make bad knee jokes, draw pictures of myself with a wooden leg and a parrot, and design elaborate Wallace and Gromit contraptions to eliminate my need to get up and make coffee. I'll keep you all posted on the results.
Do you ever indulge in Productive Silliness? What do you do? Stories? Tips? Tell me!
First time being Productively Silly? Allow me to help.
The Charmed Life Challenge - A blogger writes about doing one, simple ("frivolous") thing everyday for a month.
20 Indoor Activities For Kids - Wise up. We're all just big kids. Go put on a puppet show.
Do Five Simple Things A Day to Stay Sane - an article on planning your attack
The Lost Art of Play - a look at how play might be hardwired into human genetics.