What I Will Tell Sweet E: Learn To Laugh At Yourself

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Oh, my sweet little man, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you, as you grow into the world around you, is this: learn to laugh at yourself.

As I wrote those words, a smile crept across my face.  I thought of the times in my life when I could have been crushed by embarrassment, shame, or humiliation, yet chose a belly laugh instead.  The ripple effect of a laugh made my life, and the lives of those around me, lighter.

Life is a comedy and a tragedy; there will be plenty of both for you.  The key to how easily you’ll move forward, how you’ll cope, will be in your attitude.  Will you stand on the side of indignation?  Of blame?  Of horrified guilt?  Or will you see the funny, at times ever subtle, that is presented in almost every moment and laugh?

Seems like no one would pick anything but the laugh, but I’m here to tell you, baby, that more people than not refuse to laugh at themselves.  They confuse laughter with weakness, when laughter can be an absolute strength.

Learn to Laugh at Yourself

It takes a strong person to point and laugh at their own failings or missteps, figurative and literal.

I’m not saying that a laugh replaces introspection, strengthening and correction of one’s miscues or outright indiscretions, but the wisdom to see foolishness and ill-conceived blunders, as such.

I’m also not saying that sarcastic mocking, even of yourself, is useful, although it too can cause a great laugh. I’m merely offering that the notion to be at ease in your skin enough, to know yourself enough, or not to be threatened when you slip, is a marvel few perfect.

We all slip.  Know that.  Expect that.

With that, I’ll share a very public embarrassment I suffered, but still laugh about today.

Your great grandfather, my dad, was a well-known local celebrity.  I used to accompany him to all kinds of fun city events, and because I was with him, I was often recruited to participate in events when a warm body was needed.

Enter the Cow-Patty Tossing Contest (this was West Texas, after all).

A friend and I were tossing actual cow-patties back and forth to each other when she got overzealous and creamed me with it.  A reporter got the pic and the next day I was in the paper, for all my friends to see, covered in cow-patty glory.

At the time, I was horrified, yet also greatly amused.  I was literally covered in cow shit.  We knew one of us was gonna end up in it, because that’s how kids are; we were aiming for the other from the first pitch.  I was the unlucky contestant and after the picture in the paper hit, I was reminded of it over and over throughout the years by my friends and those who knew my family.

I had a choice.

I could be pissed that I was the one covered in it, or I could laugh because I was the one covered in it. I laughed. Hard.

Even now, it’s a great story and serves to remind me that, if we can muster the strength to laugh at ourselves, life is sweeter even if one is covered in cow patties.

Dear Baby Boy, I know a time will come when you’ll be figuratively covered in shit, and you’ll wonder if you can laugh, but I promise if you can find your way to see the upshot of your situation, you’re entire life and those around you will reap the benefits.

The joy of the ridiculousness is all around us.  All you gotta do is see it.

Choose laughter, Sweet E.


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  1. Talya Tate Boerner says

    I totally agree. Life is what we make it and I choose to be happy. Nothing like peeing-in-your-pants laughter. Even when it’s about ourselves:)) Love this post. A new TX Women Blogger follower!

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      OMGosh! My FIRST TX Women Blogger follower! I wish I had a ribbon for you. So glad you’re here! (i need a pee-in-your-pants laughter moment…pronto!)

  2. Great advice. We laugh at everything around our house.

  3. Life is way to short to take things too seriously. I love that you chose to laugh about your cow chip tossing incident. And now you have a great story!

  4. This is a fantastic post, and I LOVE the photo you chose to go with it.

  5. This is a perfect post!! Life has too many negatives and if we could all just somehow find some laughter we would all probably be in a better place. Thanks for sharing! Great advice!

  6. OK This totally made me giggle!! So true, and yea sometimes you do just hafta laugh!!! Glad I found this on the chicken chick! New follower!!


  7. YES!!!!! I love this! Would you mind if I featured this on my very first Family Friday link up party this coming Friday? I think this is great advice for my readers!

  8. Belinda Brock says

    What a great attitude…and a great post!

  9. Patti, this is invaluable, and so very true! We are sometimes so self-conscious; we take things way too seriously. What a wonderful gift to give to Sweet E- the ability to laugh at himself. 🙂

    Visiting from the Sweet Tea Social!

    Love, Joy @ Yesterfood

  10. Just want to shoot you a note to remind you that you are featured today in our Family Fridays Link-Up Party! Check it out and proudly post your featured button!

  11. Bonnie a.k.a. LadyBlogger says

    What a beautiful piece! This is sage advice for all of us, young and old. Thanks!

  12. Featured and pinned!! Thanks for sharing.


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