April 27, 2013

Happy spring to all of you out there in Doodleland! Isn’t it glorious to see all the greening and blossoming trees and the grass growing like crazy after the ridiculously long winter we’ve had? Even though we didn’t get much snow here in Kentucky, we experienced plenty of cold and nasty illnesses to make winter seem like one really long stinkfest this year. So let’s be HAPPY!!

April, on the Doodle front, has been all about learning some lessons in preserving my sanity while I still have it. At least I think I still have most of it rolling around up there somewhere. You be the judge.

First of all, one of my daughters and I went to Kroger one night after a long day at work. We were in the midst of shopping when I suddenly felt the glimmer of a laughing fit coming on. My entire family has learned to recognize the signs of these fits, because I’ve been having them ever since I was pregnant with my first daughter, 29 years ago. A stray thought will flit through my mind, and even though it usually isn’t all that funny, if I am a bit stressed in my soul at the moment that thought releases a torrent of hysterical laughing. Usually I can barely breathe, much less speak, during these episodes, and I’m sure if anyone who doesn’t know me should witness one, the first thought that comes to mind would be, “That woman is drunk as a rum-guzzling skunk!” So I try really hard to avoid public displays of my personal stress relief. Anyway, so this particular night, my daughter noticed me smiling and making weird stifling noises and said, “Mommy, we’ve got to hurry up and get out of here!” She proceeded to urge the cart and the mom hanging on to the cart through the store at break neck speed.

As we were walking to the car, hysterical fit averted successfully, due to my tremendously honed self-control, the daughter mentioned something about me needing to see a doctor for medication or counseling, because I shouldn’t be having fits in public. I started to say, “I think it’s just the menopause adding to my normal weirdness,” but the thought that flew through my head before I could say it was, “I think it’s just the mentalpause.” Now really, who wouldn’t burst into uncontrollable, gasping-for-air, tear-inducing laughter at that? Thankfully we had made it to the car by then, so no one else witnessed my tiny little fit. It simply delayed our departure for home for a few minutes. And since I had not actually managed to get the words out before the hysteria began, my daughter just saw her mother losing her sanity for no reason, when as we all can agree now, there really was a majorly sensible explanation for such behavior.

So that takes me to my recent check-up at the doctor. We discussed a few problems like my decades long battle with insomnia and I mentioned that one of my daughters thought I might have fibromyalgia, which I too had wondered about for quite some time. The doctor checked the trigger points and they weren’t all that painful and then she told me most fibro patients are somewhat anxious people who think about all their problems and little worries and can’t turn their mind off and relax. And then they can’t sleep and that makes the body hurt and that makes sleep even more difficult and it becomes a cycle of pain and poor sleep. Okay. That sounded just like me. But then she said, “You seem to have **good coping skills**, Debbie. You laugh a lot and I know you write a lot. Those are very good ways to relieve your stress.” WELL, HEY THERE! What do you know about that? I have good coping skills! I suppose that means that if I didn’t, I would be a bigger mess than I already am. This is great news! And what’s even better, I have now received lifetime prescriptions for more laughing fits and more writing! And some sleepy pills! Yippee! Thank you, Dr. Cristy!

That leads me back to my wondrous word for the year, **POEM**. Because I am God’s unique poem, maybe laughing fits, writing and mentalpause are all coming together right now for the beginning of a new stanza in my life, one that will hopefully spurt the joy of the Lord all over everyone! Here’s what I’m going to try to remember, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones” Proverbs 15:30, and “When The Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for US , and WE are filled with JOY” Psalm 125:1-3.

Let us go out and be **Joyful Poems**!