Resolution for 2016: Laugh More and Laugh Easily

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On a train between London and Liverpool, December 2015

So this is it… The year has almost ended and it is time, once again, to take stock and give account.

I made many resolutions for 2015. In fact I had a matrix of resolutions, for various different aspects of my life. I had a resolution for work, for my books, for travel, for family, for love, for fitness and so on.

Some of these resolutions I achieved, some of these I more than met, and others I did not manage to achieve at all.

But all in all, I must say it’s been a good year, whatwith two published books to my name, an expanded portfolio (and job title) at work, new friends made and old friends reconnected with, and a healthy frequency of travel, both for fun and for the ongoing Grand Tour of the East.

For 2016, I will once again have a matrix of goals to achieve. That is only natural and what I now expect of myself. Note, however, that I have now defined these as goals, rather than resolutions, because they have now become part of WORKPLAN, rather than ASPIRATION.

And so in place of my 2016 matrix of then-resolutions, I shall introduce one, and only one resolution alone. And this is to Laugh More and Laugh easily – to laugh as much as I can, indiscriminately and without provocation.

Why so?

Well, because life is simply too short to be lived in a state of dour melancholy and worse yet, general ho-humness. And a life just doing things, achieving goals, without laughter and levity, without celebration and surprise, makes Jack a very dull boy – a fate I’d like to avoid for myself at all costs.

And why a laugh?

Well because its too easy to say “smile more” isn’t it?  Smiles can be half-hearted; and (some) smiles, disingenuous – you never know what they mean. But a laugh – ah – a laugh is visceral, real. The meaning of laughter is always clear (even in the case of wicked, world-domination, Dr Evil laughter – to which I do not refer). Most importantly, a laugh is terribly infectious. Laugh and the world laughs with you – so the saying goes.

So what does it mean to laugh more and laugh easily?

I’d like to think it means three things:

Firstly, to laugh more and laugh easily means to be more thankful and appreciative of what have. I want to laugh more at the simple pleasures of everyday life; at how privileged I am to have family, friends, love, work and a roof over my head. Most importantly, I want to laugh more at my being able to do what it is I love doing; at being in control of my own life and destiny.

In relation to that latter point, to laugh more and to laugh easily requires a clarity of purpose and of boundaries. To laugh more, I must pursue that which brings me happiness with courage and intensity. This involves my knowing what I stand for (my values!) and what I want; and therefore knowing when to say NO to opportunities or to demands of me that do not contribute to or align with my values and aspirations. To laugh more = to have integrity; to be true to one’s self.

Finally, to laugh more and laugh easily means learning how to let go. Of memories that are not worth holding on to; of people that bring you nothing but negative energy; and of everything, really, that is just not worth fretting over in the larger scheme of things. I want to laugh at adversity; respond to absurdity with frivolousness (though never flippancy). To do that, I also have to learn to let go of my own ego. I have to be able to laugh at myself and not take myself too seriously. After all, there are already so many tightly wound-up egos around the place, and I have no wish to add myself to the (body) count.

And so there you have it, my resolution for 2016 – laugh more and laugh easily.

I invite you all, my friends and readers to laugh more and laugh easily with me, at me, for me. Because laughter is infectious. Because to laugh is to feel young at heart. Because no one laughs alone.

And that feeling – the feeling that one is never alone – is the kind of feeling I’d like to have all through 2016. 🙂

Happy New Year to everyone!

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
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