The Importance of Laughter…

Yesterday… the day before today… Tuesday 19 January 2016. It seems like a lifetime ago, except that it was only yesterday.

At around 14.30 my Sister’s name lit up my mobile phone screen. We were due to meet up that evening at Chester Racecourse, at a party to celebrate our wonderful friend Helen, who last year received the devastating news that at 38 years old she had terminal breast cancer. It was to be her ‘final fling’; a chance to bring together family and friends for one final momentous knees up, and in true Helen style, everything was planned meticulously. So I thought nothing of my sister calling (even though she rarely calls me at work)… She was obviously calling to finalise arrangements for that evening.

Sadly I couldn’t have been more wrong, and I’m heartbroken to have to convey the tragic news that she was actually phoning to tell me of Helen’s passing. In a cruel twist, our friend was taken just hours before being able to attend her own party. Beautiful, courageous and inspiring Helen was gone…

But not one to rest on her laurels, Helen had thought of everything, including the possibility that she might not be around… Hence, she’d instructed her husband to make sure that the party still went ahead, even if it was without her! It seemed incredibly surreal to get ready – black tie and cocktail dresses – to go to a celebration so soon after being given such desperately sad news, but it was Helen’s wish, and that simply couldn’t be ignored! She had promised an evening of ‘fun, laughter and entertainment’ and that’s exactly what we determined we were going to have.

Victor Hugo stated that “Laughter is the sun that drives Winter from the human face” and on this occasion, he couldn’t have been more right! Yes, there was an outpouring of grief – tears by the bucket load in fact –  at the loss of a truly wonderful woman, but there also existed a very real feeling of comfort and togetherness. Laughter bounced off the walls of the Long Room as guests exchanged stories and fond memories of Helen, and smiles and bonds were created that made everyone feel just a little bit better about life in that moment.

I left the party feeling calm – serene even – and made myself a promise to let out a good guffaw on a daily basis; even when circumstances dictate that I don’t really feel like it! Yes there will be (and are) times when life seems so cruel and unfair, but Helen’s plight has really highlighted for me how important it is to live life to the fullest, to make sure I fill each day with love, happiness and laughter. I hope we managed to achieve this last night for Helen…

Shine bright beautiful lady… like a diamond!

Big Love,

Mammahannah xx

 

 

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Just for Fun: 10 Actions that Always Bring Happiness

 

It’s important to make someone happy, and it’s important to start with yourself.  Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design into the present.

Starting today…

  1. Appreciate what you have. – If we counted our blessings instead of our money, we would all be a lot richer.  Happiness is there if you want it to be.  You just have to see that it’s wrapped in beauty and hidden delicately between the seconds of your life.  If you never stop for a minute to notice, you might miss it. 
  2. Focus on things that truly matter. – The simple fact that you are even here, alive, on this planet is a divine miracle, and you should not spend the time you have being busy, being miserable.  Every moment you get is a gift, so stop focusing on unhappy things, and spend your moments on things that truly matter to your heart.
  3. Define your own meaning of life, and pursue it. – What is the meaning of life?  Whatever you want it to be.  Don’t fear failure; fear a lifetime of mediocrity due to lack of effort and commitment.  There are so many people out there who will tell you that you CAN’T.  What you need to do is turn around and say, “Watch me!”
  4. Embrace life’s challenges. – You may think that taking a detour in life is a waste of time and energy, but you can also see the detour as a means of learning more about who you are and where you are heading in your life.  Being off the beaten path may be disorienting and confusing at times, yet it challenges your creative spirit to discover new ways to build a stronger YOU.  In the end, it’s usually the tough situations that feel like your tomb that actually become your cocoon.  Hang in there.  You’re coming out of this stronger and wiser.
  5. Find the balance that allows you to be who you truly are. – Your worst battle is between what you know and what you feel.  One of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make is when to stay put and try harder or when to just take your memories and move on.  Sometimes you have to step outside of the person you’ve been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you are capable of being, and the person you truly are.
  6. Love your body enough to take care of it. – You’re beautiful; but keep in mind that not everyone is going to see that.  Never be ashamed of yourself because you are born into one skin.  You can scar it, stretch it, burn it, mark it, tan it, and peel it.  But you are always in it, so you might as well take care of it and learn to love it. 
  7. Limit your time with negative people. – You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.  So protect your spirit and potential from contamination by limiting your time with negative people.
  8. Treat others the way you want to be treated. – Be conscious of your attitude and your actions.  You may be on top of the world right now – feeling untouchable.  You may have all the tools at your disposal to do and say whatever you want.  But remember, life is a circle – what goes around, comes around eventually.
  9. Set a good example. – If you want to empower others in your life, you need to start living the most empowered version ofyourself first.  You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.  Believe in what you want so much that it has no choice but to become your reality.  And don’t ever compare yourself to anyone else; stay focused on your own journey and leave footprints behind. 

 

 

Accept what is, and live for the possibilities that lie ahead. – Never waste your time wondering about what might have been.  Get busy thinking about what still might be, and trusting that however it plays out, it will leave you glad that what might have been, never came to be.