The Greatest Thing I Learned in College....To Laugh!

I'm pretty stoked about this week's theme...and I'm glad we've decided to do the themes by week instead of by month!

Laughter is one of my favorite activities yet I can find myself going weeks and months without a good belly-laugh! How tragic! Oh, I generously give out plenty of courtesy laughs and I often find things amusing. But that deep, heartfelt bellow that reaches your toes and leaving your abs fatigued...Nope, I don't get that as often as I'd like. For me, certain people can really bring out my belly laugh. Fortunately for me I roomed with some of the funniest girls during my college years. Or maybe it was the unique combination of our personalities plus the fact that none of us were interested in dating or dieting. We had a blast! I have never laughed so hard, so much on a regular basis. Maybe this drought has something to do with my bountiful years at college.

Looking back, I remember how serious I was as a freshman. I had just lost my step-dad to cancer that summer previous. I was full of trepidation and worry, always taking each step and decision with caution. I had roomed with a friend from high school who was quickly swept away by her boyfriend and was married within the year. I dated my neighbor which didn't feel like a mistake until we broke up and I couldn't avoid seeing him! Anyway, freshman year...not so fun. The one highlight was meeting and befriending our own Mamma Mia which led to 3 more years of pranks, discussions, laughing over a pan of hot brownies, and Sunday night lipsyncs. Boyfriends and fights were minimal. Life was unusually carefree and I owe it all to a group of girls that helped me understand the value of a good laugh.

As we started to seperate either by missions, marriage, or graduation, we did lose some contact.
I think we all started getting busy with husbands (no pun intended), school, careers, etc. And some of us started to feel the wear and tear of life. For myself, I went on a mission, met and married my sweetheart, and wanted so much to start a family but found it difficult to get pregnant. I just forgot how to not take life so seriously. At the time it seemed like every girl around me was getting pregnant! It was incredibly hard for me to be happy for them, which made me feel awful. We tried to be positive saying
things like "We'll be glad that we had this time together..." or "At least we spend money on ourselves and travel; we aren't tied down." We even got a bunny rabbit to nurture and fuss over. It was a lonely time but necessary for us. I wouldn't do it any other way.

Anyway, it was at about this time that Mamma Mia was coming to Utah for a visit as well as another roommate of ours. We met in Salt Lake, went to dinner, stayed in a hotel room, talked and laughed all night. At the time I had no idea Mamma Mia was in the middle of adoption. She was the first of us to have a real struggle (or at least the first to admit it). I was so blown away. I hadn't seen her for years and I felt like someone punched me in the stomach. It wasn't so much that she had gone through this terrible time, but that I didn't know about it! That sounds selfish, but I felt so sorry that we hadn't kept in touch. I dearly love these girls and it's awful when one of us is hurting! After our visit, I vowed I would keep in touch, and not let years pass by without contact.

Slowly, we've all come in regular contact again. I've heard many times that sooner or later you want your friends back in your life. I'm beginning to understand this observation. The greatest thing I did learn in college is how to laugh. And I say this because now is the time that I need to laugh. I find myself reflecting on all those silly pranks I pulled with Mamma Mia (and how I was the one always to get caught!), the crazy lipsyncs, and the times we drew mustaches on DJ when she'd fall asleep early. It gives me the energy and motivation I need to create fun new memories with my family. Because life isn't always about a clean house and a well-kept yard. It's about dancing in the kitchen to music that makes you feel alive!! It's about being there for your friends when they need you and leaning on your friends when you need them. And it's about laughing so hard your stomach aches!


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