We all need a good laugh sometimes. We need the shoulder-shaking, eye-squinting kind of laugh that releases the feel-good inside of us.
It's too easy for our days to become filled with life routines that range from monotonous and dull on one extreme, to stressful and anxiety-producing on the other extreme.
When our weeks feel like they slide on a scale from boredom and tedium to worry and pressure, we need an escape.
There's no purer escape in life than unexpected, all-consuming laughter, and the unadultered, intoxicating type of laughter is always rooted in some type of life encounter.
Stand-up comedy, movies, and jokes are all good, but when you get to live the comedian's story, and when you get to share the joke with family or a good friend, we erupt in the ultimate kind of laughter.
Think about the last time you laughed so hard that you just sat in silence afterwards. With your eyes moist from tears brimming over, ab muscles quivering, and jaw sore from smiling, all you could muster was a, "Whew! That was pretty good. Ah ha..."
Did you have someone to share your laugh with? Did you find yourself in some type of unexpected life moment or encounter? I'll bet so.
This past New Year's Eve, right as the clock struck midnight, my wife Erin and I found a good laugh, compliments of my grandfather. I hope retelling our story gives you a good laugh, too.
My grandfather lives in Honduras, and we call him "Pop." It's short for "Pop Pop." Pop is the kind of grandfather that loves iPads, iPhones, cameras - any type of technology he can get his hands on (a good 25% of the email that I read on any given week is from Pop). That's a good thing because it keeps us connected across borders and thousands of miles.
After a day of snowboarding in Colorado, going for a run in altitude, walking around little mountain shops, seeing a movie, and playing board games with wine, we were beat. A few minutes before 12a.m., we decided that we had sufficiently rung in the New Year, and it'd be appropriate to head to bed.
As we settled into our sheets - me in my boxers and Erin snuggling next to me - I got a call on FaceTime. It was Pop. I let it ring, not wanting to "reject the call," but for obvious reasons, not wanting to answer the call.
A minute later at 11:59p.m., I got another call. It was Pop calling again. Since we were still awake and I hadn't yet flipped my phone over for the night, I felt bad for ignoring the call.
So I answered it.
"Hiya! Oh, oh, oh, I'm so sorry there - I didn't, I mean, I thought you'd be celebrating..." Pop started after seeing me bare-chested and laying on a pillow.
"Oh we were celebrating with everyone, but then we decided to come to bed, to finish celebrating, so we're still awake, together, in bed. Umm, yeah." I answered, trying to ensure that Pop didn't feel guilty for waking us up, but picking an interesting choice of words.
"Oh! I see!" Pop said as Erin retreated underneath the sheets, exclaiming to me, "Nate! Pop thinks we're doing it right now!"
"I'll let you both, you know, go to bed. Good night!" Pop said as he closed FaceTime.
"Nate, Pop thinks you answered FaceTime while we were celebrating New Year's with sexytime. You realize that?!" Erin said as she peeked out from the sheets.
"Umm, yeah. That's my bad. I walked us right into that one." I acquiesced. "Sorry. You think I should call him back?"
"NO!" Erin exclaimed.
"Oh, well he wants grandkids anyway. This was probably a New Year's gift for him!" I tried to rationalize in between bursts of laughter.
We laughed until Erin said, "Okay, that's good for tonight. I think it's bed time."