Losing my sense of humour and the need to escape the daily grind
'I have of late - but wherefore I know not - lost all my mirth,' the Great Bard once wrote in Hamlet.
The dread thought dawned on me as I was sitting watching a funny cartoon with The Little Princess on Saturday morning that I had lost my sense of humour.
The cartoon was hilarious and yet I could barely summon a chuckle, while my daughter was in stitches, emitting high octane belly laughs. Even The Little Fella, who was milling around, causing havoc, was smiling broadly at the entertaining goings on and sounds from the TV.
Had I suddenly become a serious, care-worn old man, immune to the silly gag and the spontaneous outburst of laughter?
The cartoon got me thinking about the last time I had enjoyed a good belly laugh. Sometimes, in life, we form a narrative about ourselves. We look back over a certain period of time, say a year, and come to a conclusion about how that year has gone.
In my case, having had a few minor health knocks, I have noticed a tendancy to feel forces have been conspiring against me. Not true, but it's easy to get down about things when you're under the kosh juggling a busy home and work life.
People often muddle along with their lives, never taking a step back to look and see if there is something they can do to improve their mood, relationships, self image etc. Sometimes a big change is needed, but mostly a fresh look at things is all that's needed, along with a good night's sleep.
Super Gran arrived later that morning and left The Good Woman and I away for a night's break to celebrate her birthday.
Before I left I brought my son out the back and lifted him up so that he could see some chickens in action on the other side of the wall. As I rested my hand against the wall I felt a burning sensation and suddenly a cluster of bubbles started appearing on my arm. Some calamine lotion and a heavy duty bandage later (as per Google search engine advice) and we were on the road.
The hotel was nearby and there was no rush as we had nothing planned, apart from dinner at 7. By the time we got settled in the room, both of us were only thinking of getting some badly needed sleep. As The Good Woman had some work to catch up on, I mustered all my strength and managed to get out and about for a while to get her birthday card, a small gift for the mother-in-law and a bite to eat. The evening went well and we hit the hay early, only to find our duvet had a mammoth level of tog power. There's something about the Irish that compels our sense of hospitality to ensure an uncomforable level of heat, be it in our own homes or in the places we pay to stay. After a sleepless night, I returned home to the comfort of the couch I had vacated the previous morning, arm healed and sense of humour still absent. Several hours later, with the children in bed, out of nowhere, my sense of humour returned. As with life, it was in the most unlikely context (I was trying to diffuse a brow knotting serious conversation). The two of us just couldn't stop laughing. I'm not sure if anyone else would have got it, but once you and someone else you get on with can have a laugh, what else do you need.
Jose Mourinho looks like a man who needs a laugh these days. The self-proclaimed 'Special One' is running Donald Trump a very close second as the world's most arrogant man, having dimissed some of his medical staff for doing their job. This after his shameful insults and mind games against fellow managers recently. The Blues have a fittingly coloured boss these days.