I am incredibly blessed to have bumped into and fallen in love with Don Mackenzie. I have always been an incredibly “serious” person. I am a bit of an over achiever, never felt like I had done enough or that I was enough. I worked overly hard, believing that 12 hours a day at my desk equaled success. I had very little laughter, play or love in my life. I had mastered the art of living alone and had decided this was my life. All good. And I had an old 1970 30-foot Pearson sailboat, so whenever I was able to get out on the water, I felt peaceful and pretty content.
And then I met Don…
And then, while eating a burger at Danford’s here in town, I bumped into Don Mackenzie. When Don was in high school his name was Happy Don. Now here is a man who knows how to enjoy his life. He laughs constantly, mostly at his own jokes. He loves a good play on words and he cracks up every time. Don loves to play – golf, racket ball, paddle tennis, sailing. He is a great believer in taking breaks from work to play, live life, socialize and have fun. He loves to dance and has been known to twist and shake to the ground when the DJ plays the “Shout” song.
Don loves to have fun and he loves people. And he has brought love back into my life; a deep, you are my person, I can always forgive you, I accept all of you 100% no matter what kind of love.
And somewhere in this journey I learned to laugh again, to tell a joke, to be able to kick back with a great punchline. I have learned to let go of work and take time out to play. What I find most incredible is our ability to laugh at ourselves when we get out of sorts or have a ridiculous disagreement.
Laughter and Play Build Deeper Bonds
I remember so clearly the first time Don got frustrated with me – we were driving to Annapolis, Maryland and I was griping about traffic and the directions when he looked at me with a very stern face and said, “This really is not going to work for me!” I froze, stopped whining and then we both began to crack up at the silliness of my complaints.
Laughter is such an amazing medicine in our relationship. Our ability to laugh at the crazy workings of our monkey mind chatter and our focus on the truly insignificant, lightens the load, brings us closer and heals us.
Our ability to step out of our roles in work, as parents or as caregivers and take the time to play helps us to release stress and overwhelm, clears our minds, creates balance in our lives and brings us together, helping us to forge deeper connection and relationships. The bonds formed in love are strengthened through play and laughter.
My life has changed. My definition of success has changed. And I have learned to laugh, to play and to love with abandon once again.
- When was the last time you skipped down the road, danced in the rain, splashed in the puddles or rolled down a grassy hill? Have you taken the time lately to play a board game or a card game?
- When was the last time you laughed until your belly hurt? Are you able to let go and laugh at yourself and the crazy things we say and do?
- Did you know that couples that use laughter and smiling in their communications not only feel better immediately in challenging situations but also report higher levels of satisfaction in their relationships?
- Did you know that “children laugh approximately 400 times a day; adults laugh 15? Somewhere along the way we lost 385 laughs a day.”
So, crank up the tunes, grab your partner, your mom, your dad or your children and dance to your heart’s content. Sing in the shower at the top of your lungs. Play driving games in a traffic jam and hug the ones you love just because you can. Laugh at your mistakes and your funny quirks. Laugh, play and love with abandon. Don’t hold back!
May your life be blessed each and every day with laughter, play and love!
Live Well. Live Alive.