Last week, I had dental surgery. Since I already had a few procedures done last year and I knew this surgery was coming up, so it didn’t entirely take me by surprise.
What did take me by surprise was the way my mouth swelled and bruised. Extra work was needed to extract a wisdom tooth which hadn’t grown out yet along with the other planned work. By the morning of the next day I looked like a chipmunk that had been in a brawl.
When CC saw me first thing in the morning, she couldn’t help herself; she burst into laughter. I had a quick look in the mirror and wanted to laugh as well. But alas, laughing, or even smiling hurt so much I had to stop right away.
Now for me, that’s kind of a big deal. I hadn’t realized it, but I do enjoy laughing and smiling—a lot. Now, I couldn’t use my humor to get through this time, I’d have to either keep my jokes to myself or try to laugh without smiling—which ended up sounding more like ah, ah, ah rather than ha, ha, ha.
Now I sit here, a few days later; the swelling has gone down some, and smiling no longer makes me feel like crying. As with most things that I take for granted, I appreciate the ability to smile and laugh all the more.
At the same time, I’m reflecting on how much I’ve changed in the last few years. I actually miss laughing when I can no longer laugh. I’ve learned to use a sense of humor to get through sticky or difficult situations. I like that I can make myself smile instead of dwelling on a negative situation. Little things make me happy, like a fresh cup of coffee in the morning, the moment my children walk through the door after school, or seeing the moon shine into my window at night. I feel I’ve learned to be more grateful for the little things, live in the moment more, and find the funny in more situations.