I have to laugh at myself…

Smiley Face Clip Art

I do no take much about myself seriously.  At an early age I had to learn not to care what other people think. My dad, very frugal, used to insist he give me a haircut with clippers. It was during the popularity of Mia Farrow’s short cut, so I wasn’t a real outcast because of it…except for the time when he slipped and I had a bald spot on the back of my head.  (Everyone was sympathetic because they thought I had had brain surgery…) Also, during the times of my dad’s schizophrenic episodes, he made sure to let me know that I was ugly.  Being young at the time, I believed him, of course.  However, I sincerely thought, and still think, that beauty on the outside does not matter, beauty on the inside does.

In order to “remain sane”, I do not get easily embarrassed and I have learned to laugh at myself.

For example, the other day driving near our house, I saw my husband’s work van.  Pulling up beside him at a traffic light, I excitedly began to wave and blow kisses.  Until, upon further examination, I noticed that it was not my husband driving, but some other electrician with an identical white van, same ladders on top and roles of wire in the back.  (Go figure there would be another white work van like my husband’s. They are so RARE!)  Anyway, the driver looked at me like I was crazy, and I started laughing.  It was SO funny!  In between giggles, I mouthed the words “sorry, wrong van!”  and I took off so fast when the light turned green that I could have been a contender in a NASCAR race.

At our church picnic last summer, I was organizing the photo of all of the church members.  About 100 people were lined up with a few stragglers.  While walking backwards to the camera, I was giving directions for people to move in closer together. (We all know how easy it is to get a picture of such a large group, with everyone smiling nicely and looking at the camera.) All of a sudden, I tripped over my own two feet and fell on my back, arms and legs in the air.  Several people commented that I looked like a turtle on its back.  Of course, I laughed at myself. Clumsiness is a trait of mine.  So what?  Afterwards, several people came up to me and commented on how embarrassed I must have been.  Embarrassed? Why would I be embarrassed?  I thought it was funny!  (If you picture it in your head, you HAVE to laugh…)

The huge white van I drive is so tall that I have trouble getting into the driver’s seat. I usually do so by  grabbing onto the side of the driver’s seat, hold on for dear life, and alternately pull and wiggle up into the seat.  Sometimes I slip, and once I even fell to the ground with a thud. (Maybe the thud was in my head…because I  doubt the ground actually moved…)  My husband and sons always laugh at me when I get into the van, and I laugh with them.  What else am I going to do?  Well,  I COULD have ridden up on the wheelchair lift on the side of the van, but that wouldn’t be as much of a challenge.

Then there is the story about what happened last week when I met a good friend who is blind for lunch.  I admit I am quite lazy in the morning, (often reading blogs, of ALL things,) and I did not have time to put on any make-up.  As is usually the case, I put it on in the car when I stopped at read lights.  Because I keep one eye on the light and the other on the mirror,  I do one eye at the time; eye shadow and mascara.  It makes a dramatic difference as my eyes are usually kind of squinty and tiny and tired looking.  I often look in the mirror with one eye done and think I look like a “before” and “after” picture on aging, all on the same face.  Anyway, on this particular morning, I was lucky and got mostly green traffic lights.  When I arrived at the restaurant, I excitedly jumped out of the van and ran to meet my friend.  (Getting out for breakfast with a friend is a rarity for me.)  Just as I got inside the restaurant and said hi to my friend, I remembered I only had enough red lights to put make-up on one eye.  “Oh, well” I thought, “there is nothing I can do about it now as my make-up bag in the car and I am way too lazy to go back and get it.”  I figured that, being blind, my friend wouldn’t care.  And when I sat in the booth, I made sure to put my “good eye” on the side the waitress was.  I figured it I always looked ahead, she wouldn’t notice either!  I had a wonderful breakfast and, with a little laugh to myself, I never thought about it again, (until later in the car when I stopped at the next red light and finished the job!)

The moral of my story is…be comfortable with yourself and don’t care what other people think. Life is too short to spend it worrying or bothered by what you may perceive others think of you. Sometimes what you think they may think may not be what they think at all! And if they ARE thinking it, have the confidence to laugh it off!


Link to my book

The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane

Link to the Readers Digest review of my book:  http://www.rd.com/recommends/what-to-read-after-a-hurricane/


Comments on: "I have to laugh at myself…" (141)

  1. I love this! I’ve learned to laugh at myself because situations like these truly are what make life balanced. Thanks for the smile today.

  2. What a great post! I, too, laugh at myself..often. Sometimes, it takes a little time for the humor of the blunder I’d made to sink in. Laugh and the world laughs with you has always been my creed and carried me through some really bad times!

  3. I am so glad I read this post, this morning! I’ve done some writing about self-consciousness lately, and I feel like this is something I’ve been working on a lot at this point in my life.

    My big break-through this year (during what I’m calling my Year of Living Non-Judgmentally) is that I walk around — in my very staid town — with my earphones, listening to my favorite music, which brings me such joy, that sometimes I will start singing and dancing, like I’m in a musical! I love doing that so much, and I’ve worked at letting go of caring what other people might think about me. While worrying about what they think, in the past, would squelch me from doing something like that, now I think to myself things like this, “Who cares what they think? How would it hurt me it they thought, ‘There’s that crazy lady again!'” I also like having this thought, “If I saw somebody walking around singing out loud and sometimes breaking into a dance step, I might think they’re in a local musical, and they’re practicing!”

    Anyway, this has been a real source of joy for me, and it’s all because I’ve been working on letting go of self-consciousness. And your blog post, today, is going to help me do this, even better!

    Thanks for the gift you gave me (and the rest of the blogosphere) today.

    All the best, Ann

  4. HI. totally loved your post. I got a good giggle out of it. Waving at the wrong van reminds me of the time I was sitting in the lounge room with my husband and another male friend. I got up and went to the kitchen or something, and didn’t realize my husband and friend had swapped places. I sat down beside my husband and put my arm around his neck, only it felt like the wrong neck. Everyone including me was in fits of laughter. I think they might have done that on purpose.


  5. I really enjoyed this very much…brings back memories of all the absurdities I’ve done…you’re so right about humour…life is too serious to become too serious about yourself! A good laugh puts everything into perspective.

  6. Fab post! I can see myself in you! 😉

  7. hahahaha – that was great! I’m so right there with you on this one! It takes way more to embarrass me than the frequent falls and spills and cases of mistaken identity! 🙂 A friend told me the other day, I’m so accident prone than it rubs off on others! You can’t hang with me if you get embarrassed easily – if you can’t laugh it off, you so won’t survive in my world!

    Great post!!

  8. Onepinkwarrior said:

    Love it!! My whole family is like this! We laugh at ourselves and each other – good hearted of course – Started my day right!!

  9. Love it! My Mom always says there are generally two responses to life, laugh or cry. I opt for laughing 🙂

  10. Wkwkwkwk… it’s so me!!! I do all activity in the red light! Breakfast in each red light, spray perfume next, button my shirt next light, when arrived I wear a different shoe! Yihaaaaa 😀 Like this article! 🙂

  11. Reading your posts and the responses makes me think we should start a Klutz Club. We could even give out prizes each week for the funniest story. I started early in the Klutz department and it took a while to learn to laugh at myself, but when I did, it’s a marvelous grace. That’s where my Blog got it’s name: Laughter: Carbonated Grace. Thanks so much for sharing the laughter and the grace. Loved it.

  12. you cheered me up to day, i’ve had a good giggle. You are so right it is the inside that counts! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  13. I would like to be more like that! Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Hello. 🙂

    Have to say, I’m a lot like this too. My dad isn’t schizophrenic but, well, just mean, lol. He spent most of my childhood reminding me how ugly and deformed I was, we had these so called ‘mirror’ sessions where he would make me stand in front of a mirror and poin out all the ways I was ugly. I still struggle with self image, but I think I’m in a better place.

    Same with the clumsiness lol. I have three left feet (couldn’t possibly trip this much with just two). I’ve learnt to laugh at myself though. I mean, how could I not? XD

    Great post! Loved reading it! 🙂

    • I have such empathy about your situation with your father. Even though my mom tried to reassure me that he didn’t mean it, it still stuck in my little brain…
      And tripping…I HAVE to laugh at myself over that because it is so “me”.

  15. I need to get better at this. I’m so glad that you can laugh at yourself. I still get embarrassed

  16. this is soooo true…I believe this is one of the reasons God created laughter, to help us not take ourselves too seriously. Life will try to knock us down, but laughter will build us up.

  17. Thanks for sharing that. It is good stuff for positive self talk to remember.

  18. […] A Parents Perspective with a twist […]

  19. Witty and inspiring. If the rest of the world could find some solace in conviviality what a wonderful world it would be

  20. I love this post! It is so true, that once we learn to laugh at ourselves life is so much more entertaining. Who has time to be embarrassed anyway right? Laughter is medicine for the soul 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  21. I love your attitude, it’s so the way I think too, if I hadn’t learned to laugh at myself I would have gone crazy, I’m also super clumsy! But you are right, when you can laugh at yourself it’s no longer embarrasing. You have a beautiful soul… thank you for sharing it.

  22. Beautifullt written…..and hysterical, which is not easy to do 🙂

  23. I love this post. This happens to me all the time and I laugh at myself as well. Like you said, why not. Thanks I needed to hear this from someone else. #beblessed

  24. This story is perfect and I LOVE IT. Even with a dad who taught me early on not to take myself too seriously, it’s taken me a long time to genuinely cut myself slack and laugh at myself for real. It’s a wonderful feeling and I’m never goin’ back. Thank you for the delightful reinforcement — this post is lovely.

  25. Agree with you totally. We spend a lot of time thinking about what others are thinking. Also a friend of mine once told me – laugh at yourself, it’ll save others from laughing at you 🙂

  26. strawberryquicksand said:

    What a lovely and engaging style of writing you have. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post. And no, why would something be embarassing if it was hilarious? That is exactly the sort of thing I’d do! Have a read of my post http://strawberryquicksand.wordpress.com/?s=mammaries and I am sure you will understand!!! 😀

  27. Great story! Made me laugh and you are right about not worrying what others think. How we see ourselves on the inside and not on the outside is the most important thing of all!

  28. I Love this as i am clumsy too…Still being at school, believing in how you look on the inside is the most important and not caring what others think is very much in my every day life but I’m not sure I have quite mastered them yet. However I’m getting there and all of your stories have encouraged me to keep sticking out from the crowd. Love your blog too, can’t wait to read more, God Bless, Bethan xx

    • I know how hard it is in school…I went through it. I didn’t care that I didn’t belong to the “in” crowd, I befriended the friendless, which was a lot more rewarding. (Also, I have a few really great friends I’d had for years in school, and we all stuck together!)

  29. reminds me of my own ignorance and that time I went to the store in the summer… bought some fancy box of lemonade at the check-out … a little treat … it was super expensive.. got in the car … pulled out a lemonade and started to down it… almost home I felt so entirely strange … walked up the sidewalk with my lemonade and the groceries … my husband looked at me and said in the strangest voice … What in the world are you doing?” I had no clue what he was on about … until I figured out that the lemonade indeed was fancy … “hard lemonade” … I had NO clue what I was drinking … I have not had a drink in 17 years … well except for that time … I am so blessed I did not have my kids with me … or got pulled over with them… I know I would have all had them buzzed by the time I got home … “Sorry officer, I had no clue” .. just gotta laugh sometimes !!!!

  30. i wish i could have this kind of confidence. i enjoyed your blog though. x

  31. What a great attitude … can you send some my way? 🙂

  32. I think this is my favorite post. I’m still chuckling at the van incident. I wave and yell Hi all the time to strangers thinking I know them. I practice my hula in the car at red lights. e It’s pretty hard to sway, but I can get the hands goin’ pretty good. I’ve gotten some funny looks, but hey, sometimes this is the only time I have! I’ve danced one way or another all my live so I’m not terribly klutsy, but recently I’ve felt balance to be a problem and I end up on my butt when pulling weeds, etc. Laughter helps us to get through everything. I believe people who can laugh at themselves are happier!

    • I, too, dance in the car. I have convinced myself that it is exercise! (Only I don’t dance with my children in the car because their yelling for me to stop hurts my ears…)
      I think people who do not worry what other people think are happier…less stress…

  33. You’re my inspiration! I get embarrassed SOOOO easily. It’s hard to have fun. But you are inspiring. I want to get to the point where others’ thoughts about me don’t bother me. I’m working on it but not sure if I’ll ever be as good as you are.

  34. Your eye makeup story cracked me up! I totally agree with you – being able to laught at yourself beats the hell out of getting embarrassed, however a lot of people can’t do this.

  35. You seem to have been blessed with 5 amazing children and done wonders with them obviously. Cheers to you and yes sometimes we can be pretty damn funny 😉

  36. You know what . . . Life can be such a strange thing, but when we take charge of our own lives, this is the best accomplishment ever! You can only do what you can. Nice story and this is what I always say, “I have to laugh or I’ll go insane!” I do think this is so true of me! It’s nice to see I’m not the only one that feels this way!

  37. Oh my goodness, that was hysterical!

  38. You are so right. Many times I try and many times I fail. I do the makeup thing in the car also. And I have forgotten an eye or two. 😉

    I enjoy reading your blog.

  39. dreamingforbetter said:

    I laugh at myself also, sometimes I punch myself in the lips. lol
    Right enough, laughing at one’s self is important. I do it at every chance.
    Saves others doing it.

    Thank you for the follow.
    I can imagine you blowing kisses to this man in the van, lol

    Shaun x

    • When I fall or do something clumsy, it may be that others are laughing with me…

      • dreamingforbetter said:

        Yeah that is the hope, lol
        I once *Years ago* was running for a Bus. And I knew it was touch and go, I got to the bus stop, and the bus pulled away. To save face from the many standing waiting on other bus’s, I kept running as if I was out jogging or something. Laughing as I went. I can only guess what people thought.

        Thing like that, years ago, I still burst into laughter about. Thanks for that 🙂


      • That is sooooooooo funny!

      • dreamingforbetter said:

        Yeah I often laugh. I actually just did a blog called “Men” on the back of this debate. haha.

        Thank you..x

        Shaun 🙂

  40. I laugh at myself most days for some reason or another. You have to laugh at yourself to make it through life, I figure!

    • dreamingforbetter said:

      This is what I came up with.
      I once fell and broke my leg, and I seen it on a camera weeks later, I laughed hard. I wish I had the recording, you would laugh at the way I fell also.

      Shaun lol

  41. Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they will always be entertained!” Loved this! I laugh at myself a LOT–life is much more fun that way!

  42. I sympathize….I mean, laugh along with you….and at my own, lets call them “issues!” 😀

  43. amazing. so simple and effective. laugh it off. nice post 🙂

  44. amazing…:) so true…laugh it off!!

  45. Wise words AND a good giggle this morning. Thanks, I needed it!

  46. Reblogged this on My Blog and commented:
    I enjoy reading your blog very much. “Life is too short to spend it worrying or bothered by what you may perceive others think of you.”, will always keep this in mind.

  47. dreamingforbetter said:

    Love this blog may I say, lots of great people having a wee laugh.
    THIS!! Is what it’s all about.

    Respects to all. and let the laughter carry on. lol

    Shaun 🙂

  48. I nominated you for the most inspiring blogger award!

    Congratulations! Now go and do what it says 😉 lol

    • dreamingforbetter said:

      I would like to thank my Mum, and God for this award. I remember when I was about 10, I was playing in a field, and then all of….This isnt for me is it 😦


      • HAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!! That just cracked me up! If I’d known about you to begin with, I’m SURE you would have inspired me to nominate you also! lmbo

      • dreamingforbetter said:

        Yeah I am just a goofball from Scotland. Never mind me…lol

        Glad I made you laugh. I blog for real, and live for fun.
        Thank you!

        Shaun x

      • Scotland eh? My dad tells me that I get my temper from my Scottish ancestry! lol Is that really true of most Scot’s, that they have tempers? I’ll have to tell him that now I know a real Scottish person. He claims to be Scottish but his family’s been here for 200 years! lol

      • dreamingforbetter said:

        A Myth I am afraid. I know Angry people, but so do you. I don’t think the temper of a Scottish person is any lower or higher than anywhere else on earth. Infact, Scottish people really are forgiving people. We have issues with Religion and Sectarianism in the West of Scotland. But I am yet to meet a Scottish person, man or woman who ha temper issues.

        It really is a Myth. Same as Ginger Hair, wearing Skirts all the time, We wear them sometimes, some of us at wedding etc” And also the myth we are tight with our money. The money one has more truth. Copper Wire was invented over two Scotsmen fighting over a penny is a joke older than Grass and trees.

        Tell your Dad sorry 😦 but no anger issues. lol


      • Hahahahaha! I KNEW it! Can’t wait to tell him the truth 😉 Thanks for shedding light on the other myths too! lol

      • dreamingforbetter said:

        My pleasure.

        OH!! Mean to add, don’t piss off a drunk Scotsman, we would fight Mike Tyson. lol
        I don’t drink, so I am safe.

        Thanks for the laugh and taking time to chat


  49. Reblogged this on lisabuffingtonshonoringyourself and commented:
    Cute story- very lighthearted and humorous. 😉

  50. You gave a lot for this post! You gave us smiles and laughter. You gave us a poignant moment or two. You let us in on your childhood! I loved the waving and kissing at a stranger’s work van similar to your husband’s!

  51. A friend once said to me “Remember that you are unique, just like everyone else” Have a great day. Loved the blog.

  52. ahhh, i love this so much. absolutely agree with this.
    —The moral of my story is…be comfortable with yourself and don’t care what other people think. Life is too short to spend it worrying or bothered by what you may perceive others think of you. Sometimes what you think they may think may not be what they think at all! And if they ARE thinking it, have the confidence to laugh it off!–
    i am trying to have confidence to laugh it off!! MORE, but, sometimes, when my mood was really bad, i couldn’t even give a little smile..
    i almost get exhausted for what i call “verbal bullying”, I’m about to post my thought, but i hold myself. i have no confidence. but, read this post, give me a little confidence again “to laugh it off!”
    thank you for posting a nice one.

  53. This is such a great blog 🙂 As my dad would say…you have two options…to laugh or to cry….you have to laugh. 😀

  54. I have nominated your blog for the Shine-on-award at http://insaneowl.com/2013/02/26/shine-on-award-2/
    Have a great day.
    Fiza Pathan

  55. You are an excellent writer! I enjoyed your post. Needed smile in the middle of the day!

  56. I’m so excited to follow your blog, reading this is such a great reminder of how the quality of your life is all about your attitude!

  57. Hi! I have nominated you for the Beautiful Mama Blog Award! To find out more, and to accept the nomination, please go to: http://mummyshymz.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/beautiful-mama-blog-award/
    Have a great day!

  58. Brilliant! I so relate to this. Years ago, not long after my partner (of 25 years now) and I started going out, we were at his parents place. I left the room to do something while my partner was looking for something in a cupboard. When I came back, I put my arms around him from behind and started nuzzling him. It was only when I looked up and saw him standing in the doorway with his mouth wide open I realised I was fondling his brother. My brother-in-law has NEVER let me forget that!

  59. Very Very funny about the white van 🙂
    my hubby is also an Electrician but this hasn’t happened to me ….. yet !!

  60. Love your storytelling! You have great humour and a wonderful way of looking at life.

  61. Really good advice, which I’ve had to learn to use in my life a lot. If anyone is going to fall off their feet, spill something, say something ridiculous or generally be the one who does something that makes everyone else think “I’m so glad that wasn’t me”, it’ll be me. I too have learnt to laugh at myself in preference to going insane. Good for you!

  62. HAHAHAHAH Yes laughter is the best medicine if you can’t laugh at yourself you are too serious for me. I loved this! Awesome work.

  63. Love your style of writing! I read to the very end!

  64. Great post! Love it. I have been on a journey of strength and encouragement and would love to share this post. Thank you for sharing.

  65. Oh so cute! What a fun glimpse into your life and sense of humor. Life can just be so funny :).

  66. I’m glad you can laugh at yourself. Unfortuantely, I take myself way too seriously.

  67. What a beautiful lady you are … and I only get to see the inside! Blessings on your day!

  68. LMAO plus ROFL! Gloriously funny and filled with so much wisdom.
    Thank you for sharing the laughter – imo that is the greatest gift to share.

  69. See, now I’ve got this image of you, lying on your back like a stranded turtle. And it brings a wry smile to my face. Thank you. We all need something to smile about. And, if we are all honest, we have all suffered the same indignities. Life’s like that. But embarrassment is fleeting and life rolls on. Your sense of the ridiculous and your profound humanity make you a welcome addition to the world. We need many, many more people like you.

  70. I’m so happy for your children that they have *you* for a mom. I laugh at myself too. Sometimes I wonder if it’s possible to embarrass one’s children too much — if so, I’m in trouble. And sometimes I wish I cared more but I just don’t! It’s an effort for me to conform and I feel I have met a kindred spirit through your blog. xoxo blowing kisses to you in your white van, and I don’t have the wrong one!

    • Yes, I feel like you are a kindred spirit, too. Anyone who embarrasses their children are okay in my book. (My kids hide their faces when I do the “happy dance”, especially when I do it in the car when I am driving!)

      • You reminded me of a sweet memory — me dancing to the radio at a red light, and my daughter (12 y.o.) putting her head between her knees. I thought she was carsick and said, oh, no, are you okay, are you sick? And she said, Mom, please! I know people in this town! She was hiding!!!! I did stop dancing but I could not stop laughing (on the inside of course).

  71. I love this article of yours, especially your advice – ‘be comfortable of who you are, and don’t care about what other people think…”. It takes a great sense of maturity to get to that level of thinking and acceptance. I also like the fact that you have a great sense of humor. We all need that, have a good laugh, even of ourselves, otherwise life would feel such an even heavier burden to bear 8)*

  72. You sound amazing 🙂 Love this post!

  73. Your posts are truly inspirational. I was shopping with a friend who just turned forty. She did a cartwheel down the store isle – in a dress – Just because she could! I didn’t dare – (not that I could even try)!

  74. Hee …hee… love this… I’ve had many of these moments! Keep your heart laughin:)

  75. Hi,

    Thank you for liking my blog – you have made my weekend 🙂 I really enjoy the way you write and look forward to being a subscriber. I am new to blogging but am loving the way it reaches out to people far away and how there are people living very different lives who share similar traits. Best wishes from a deranged Spinsta on a sunny summer’s day in Auckland New Zealand.

  76. Great advice–goes right along with Solomon’s wisdom of centuries ago: “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22a). I dare say laughing at yourself is not just good medicine–it’s double strength!

    Thank you for visiting my blog, From the Inside Out. I’m delighted you liked “What’s an Ebenezer?”

  77. I had just prayed for confidence and reading this definitely is a God Send and a good laugh!! Have a wonderful Sunday!

  78. I love your attitude! If we can’t laugh at our mistakes and mishaps, what is the use! May the Lord bless you as you care for His blessings He has given you charge over…

  79. Thank you! Laughing is magic. It can turn the bad stuff good…

  80. I enjoyed this post. Thoroughly. 🙂

  81. What a beautiful perspective on life, no doubt your children have shown you that beauty as you have them. I look forward to getting your book 🙂

  82. Linda,

    I am truly inspired by your outlook on life. Traumatic events in childhood and later in life can be the source of real internal struggle. You are proof that nurturing oneself and ones children with these kinds of struggles is a very powerful healer. Thank you for liking my post. As you and your children have, I am working hard to find peace and an equilibrium in my life. My goal is to find more joy. I’ve found it with my family. We laugh often, but I have room to grow when it comes to my personal joy.

    Your posts are full of love and happiness and your life as a mother to these remarkable human beings is beyond anything I could have imagined before I found your blog today. I look forward to following you, your delightful attitude and beautiful family.

    With love, Amanda

    • Thank you so much for your kind words.
      I enjoy your post, as I enjoy other people with feelings similar to mine.
      Life is too short, we have to find joy so we can enjoy the ride!

  83. This was great! I live my life by my own adage, “I will make fun of myself before anyone ever gets a chance to.” Great blog!

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