What I’ve Learned From the Wheeze-Laugh

I am sitting here this morning in a coffee shop, enveloped by the too-loud music, the chatter of the baristas, the shaking of ice in the mixers, and the flow of customers creating an oddly comforting white noise effect around me. I wanted to write a new post for today, and while I have a huge list of topics I want to write about, nothing was really standing out. Truthfully, they all kind of felt like work. And then I came across one I’d jotted down some notes for that was tentatively titled, “The wheeze-laugh and other things that make me smile.” I let out a little chuckle, because I remembered the exact moment that made me write that down. Then a thought came to me: 

What if I just wrote about what felt like the most fun

I mean, it IS an F-word, after all. 

A few months ago, I was grabbing a quick lunch between meetings and was catching up on some reading for one of the books I had going at the time, when the most delightful sound entered my ears. A group of 3 women at a table nearby were cracking up at something, and one of them had the wheeze-laugh. You know, that thing that happens when someone laughs almost too hard, and it ends up making them wheeze, but they’re still laughing? I always enjoy a hearty laugh (coming from someone who has a very distinctive and very loud laugh herself) and that day was no different. I finally glanced over with a smile on my face as they were all wiping tears and trying to get themselves under control. It was so joyous! 

So why hadn’t I added to the blog post yet? What was the hold-up? My original thought was that I would share that example and a few other things that make me smile or laugh, and it would be a post about how we tune our attention to look for those things as well as the constant troubleshooting we normally engage in. I do think that’s a worthy topic, and I darn sure KNOW that’s a worthy practice (learning to widen your focus to include more than just the problems that need to be solved). But this morning when I went to write, it felt like WORK. Now, I’ve spent a lifetime doubling down, putting my nose to the grindstone, and cultivating a reputation as a hard worker. I’m not afraid of it…and yet, I have also learned that there is way more room for choice and for fun than maybe I’ve allowed myself to experience in the past! 

So instead of trying to buckle down and work hard on a post…what if I could just have fun instead? What if I simply tried to find a way to make it 10% more fun? I’m already in a great environment, I’ve got 16 ounces of liquid caffeine to enjoy, a killer playlist going over the speakers at a high decibel rating, and the ability to choose whatever approach I want to take to my morning. Maybe that’s one of the lessons here, too – I get to choose that approach. Yes, there are things on my to-do list for today, yes, I’m keeping an eye on the clock because there are other things scheduled in my day. And yes, I’m going to choose to take the fun route this morning because that’s intentionally what I want to cultivate more of, and not just for this morning, but for my life overall. And if I want more of that, hope can’t be my method! I’m taking control of this, and I’m going to find ways to put more of that kind of F-word in my day today. 

So what feels like the most fun today isn’t carefully crafting some overly-cultivated post that exposes and illustrates a major life lesson complete with lots of checklists and strategies. What feels like more fun is remembering how that wheeze-laugh really made my soul smile. And thinking about what else has been so fun lately like a virtual catch-up session with one of my favorite people I don’t talk to enough, playing a song on repeat in the car over and over and belting out the lyrics (at least the ones I knew, LOL!) until my throat hurt, teaching my 5-year-old to play Go Fish and entering a new phase where we can play cards together, sitting on her bed with her and watching her new fish eat when we feed them, making plans with a human I adore for some quality time together, and eating my leftover piece of tiramisu – slowly – with a hot cup of coffee in a quiet house in the morning. 

I’m going to take it as a personal challenge to see where else I can incorporate more fun not just into my approach to work but into my life. Maybe it’s time to switch it up a bit more and let the fun be the focus instead of the work. I know the work will still get done, but what might I be capable of if my work had more lightness in and around it? I already know what I can create by working hard, but what could I be capable of offering if my world had more fun in it? What could YOU be capable of offering if YOUR world had more fun in it? 

- Nicole



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