Where Logic Meets Love

The Happiness Project: May is Laughter Month

Sunday, May 1, 2011

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The Happiness Project: May Is Laughter Month | Faith Permeating Life

Today is my 100th post! Hooray! Also, this Friday will be my two-year anniversary of having this blog. Strange to think where I was two years ago: Living with my parents, job-searching, apartment-searching, and planning a wedding!

Thanks to everyone who has taken my Positive Feelings Survey! The results are really fascinating, and I'm itching to start doing some analysis, but I want to get at least 100 responses first. Please feel free to link to the survey on your blog if you're interested!

So it's May 1, which means it's time for a happiness project check-in. I've got several months' worth of resolutions now to summarize, so I'll try to be brief!
  • January: I am still doing Wii Fit twice a week, taking my vitamins, and flossing. However, the vitamins are pretty expensive, so I'm going to use up what I have and try taking a break from them once we start getting local produce, since that should have more nutrients anyway.
  • February: I'm still keeping up with my journal of things I'm grateful for and things I'm looking forward to, but I think I may switch to a different format, where I just keep ongoing lists of both things. It's hard to think through each time frame (day, week, month, year) every day without repeating things.
  • March: I've gotten in the habit of always saving my work and doing my tea and tissues check every day. As with last month, things keep breaking and getting holes, but I'm trying very hard to repair them within a reasonable period of time. My emergency kits are still half-finished. I need to work on that.
  • April: Ugh. OK. The good first: I am doing awesome at always keeping an e-mail draft, and I already feel more connected to friends and family because of it. Secondly, I realized I should have better defined social events since I work at a college where I'm always getting invited to different events. But when something is clearly a social event, I'm making an effort to go. I still suck at talking to people while I'm there, though. Which brings me to my third resolution: Pay a compliment. This is way harder than I thought it would be, for a variety of reasons I don't need to go into here. But I'm still pressing on, and I think it's helping to give me an extra push to talk to people when I normally wouldn't.

May's goal is a lot simpler, and comes at a good time. This post from the Happiness Project really jumped out at me because my project so far has been mainly about eliminating sources of guilt (for not exercising, not flossing, not eating right, not maintaining relationships) so that I feel more at peace. But this argument is that it's easier to do all those things when you're happier in the first place. This has been hard for me -- finding things that bring me pure happiness, that aren't wrapped up in "should"s. So I'm glad that I planned this month's theme into the year: Laughter. I have two simple resolutions:
  • Read funny books. I looked over my long list of books I want to read -- mainly recommendations I've collected over the past few years -- and 90% of them are serious, deep, philosophical books about life. I do enjoy those books to an extent, but I know that one of the few things that really brings me happiness is reading books that make me laugh. So I ran a couple Internet searches for books and phrases like "laughed out loud" "funniest book I've read" and "funniest book" "long time" to put together a list, then requested a whole ton of them from my library, since most were at other libraries in our network. If you have suggestions to add to my list, please leave them in comments!
  • Have lunch with a friend once a month. I know this seems like a resolution that fits better with last month, but I chose this because spending time with friends, particularly one on one, is one of the most consistent sources of laughter in my life. Sending so many e-mails this past month actually helped lay the groundwork for this resolution, and I have lunch scheduled with one of my favorite and funniest friends today. Since my resolutions are supposed to be carried throughout the rest of the year, I figured once a month was a reasonable goal.

And that's it! Nice and simple, some easy sources of more happiness on top of all of the self-improvement I've been cultivating so far.

If you have suggestions for ways to incorporate more laughter into my life, I'd love to hear it! I am not usually a big movie-watcher, but I would be open to suggestions of funny movies as well as books. Thanks! (And don't forget to take/re-post the Positive Feelings survey!)


  1. Humor columnist Dave Barry has written two novels that are hilarious!

    The online cartoon "Homestar Runner" is a great source of laughs for my family, and most episodes are only 5-15 minutes. When I first saw the site, though, I clicked on a random cartoon and didn't like it, so I'll point you directly to my two favorites:
    How to draw a dragon.
    A science project with caffeine.

  2. @'Becca
    LOVE Dave Barry. When Mike and I first met, that was one of the first things we discovered we had in common. We've got a bunch of his books, and I managed to find two more at the library that we hadn't read yet. I think the funniest ever is "Dave Barry's Guide to Guys."

    I was obsessed with Homestar Runner in high school. My friend and I actually designed a whole Homestar Runner-themed website ("The Cheat's Tutoring Service") for our Web Design class, and our school blocked the HSR website, so we had to figure out how to get around the filter to get screenshots for our design. I haven't been there in a while. My favorite Strong Bad e-mail is Kids' Book--I felt like nothing could ever match that afterwards. Thanks for the suggestion--I should go back and watch some :)

  3. Aha! I knew there was something else you'd like that I couldn't think of when I was commenting before: XKCD. For example, this comic.

  4. @'Becca
    We must have a very similar sense of humor! I have been on an XKCD kick this whole past week. Three or four different times Mike has shown me something and I'll say, "Oh, there's an XKCD about that!" Then I found explainxkcd.com and started going through all of them again to see what I'd missed!


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