Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

Laughed out loud

A couple of weeks back I fulfilled a long standing ambition. It was an unusual ambition, quirky even, but one that was quite significant to me.

I succeeded in getting three people in a room together – they had never before occupied the same space at the same time Those three people were Ingrid, my partner, Andre, an old school mate of mine and Gerry, a local friend and neighbour. So, what was the big deal about that?

Well, the thing about each of them is that they have one thing in common: the most amazing capacity for laughing out loud. They simply do not hold back. Added to this, all three of them seem to genuinely enjoy it when I make them laugh. To me, that is a most potent combination. I had a whale of a time and so, I think did they (along with a my children and a couple of other friends who were there).

You may be familiar with one of the most common acronyms used on social networking sites – “LOL” or “laughed out loud”. Yet, how often do we give ourselves real permission to do so and, if not, what holds us back? What set my three companions apart from many others is that they simply let go and let rip with the laughter. I find it addictive and very healing. I’m particularly glad that one of them also happens to be my life partner. – and I would say that, in any given day I can hear her laughter resonating through the house any number of times. I assure you though, that it’s not a laugh a minute here at Markiewicz Towers (we are family after all), but when the laughs come, they come with gusto.

I heard a lovely bit of advice some years ago that suggested we laugh out loud in a totally inappropriate setting at least once a day. I tried it once, in the hushed surroundings of the Royal Festival Hall. I think I chose too risky an environment and was kind of put off doing it again! So, for me the fear of embarrassment and/or  being judged can be a dampener.

A few months back, a vivacious Italian girl attending one of my courses spoke about how she’d been advised to tone down her ebullient manner and body language when attending interviews. This saddened me and, just like holding back on the laughter, seemed to represent the convention of remaining sensible and in control rather than being yourself.

Wouldn’t it be great if we were all able to flail around and laugh like the giggling babies and toddlers featured on viral YouTube videos that have us in stitches?

I’m so glad then, that I managed to get my gang of three “laughers” together, the house shook, but boy did it do us good! I’m looking forward to the next time.

So, how about you? Fancy a laugh out loud? Go on, risk it right now  – LOL (for real)!       


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5 Responses to “Laughed out loud”

  1. Dear Chris,
    I tried this in our weekly kick-off business review first thing this morning and I’m now suspended at home on a charge of insubordination and general madness.

  2. I always remember that on the back of “Unreliable Memoirs” the first volume of Clive James’s autobiography, it says “Do not read this book in a public place, you may suffer internal injury through trying to suppress your laughter” I guess the alternative is to avoid injury and just laugh!

  3. I have noticed that spontaneous laughter is much more common in a setting where people are involved (doing something rather than just chatting) in a common activity. In my case this is often making music in an informal way – there is always laughter at my Saturday morning orchestra sessions. I think it is because there is a common cause that releases a natural urge to laugh, not because there is anything inherently funny about struggling to play the overture to ‘The Marriage of Figaro’. And because we laugh, we enjoy the rehearsals. And because we attend, we get (a little bit) better at playing the music!

    Long live laughter (LLL)

  4. Hi Chris, I don’t know your other friends but of course I know Ingrid, and I love coming to your house because you and she are so refreshing to be with, you are a great couple – your jokes and Ingrid laughing at them! (actually I laugh at some of them too…) Next time you invite Andre and Gerry can I come as well, triple the fun!

    I think you can only have a laugh with certain people – Ingrid is one of them and some of my other friends but not everyone. When I see my mum and dad and brothers we usually end up laughing, you know, uncontrollably, and even on the phone to my mum she usually gets the giggles and then I do too. I think it might be people you’re very close to that you laugh with the most, or people who have been through tough times with you. What do you think?

    Thanks for writing your blog, its refreshing and it makes me think.

  5. Ian: I’m astonished that you have only just been suspended on grounds of insubordination! Perhaps you ain’t laughed loud enough until now!

    Graham: I remember the comment on the Clive James book. Perhaps I ned to take out some kind of insurance to cover for the advice I’ve given – just in case of injury

    Jane: I think you’re deqad right about the common purpose thing.A gruesome example of this was when I saw members of search and rescue picking up the body of a suicide victim at the foot of Beach Head one Sunday morning. I was struck by the fact that they were laughing among themselves. Having said that, I recall when younger I would get together with mates just to have a laugh, without any particular focus. It’s great to think that you spend your Saturday mornings making music AND laughing! Perfect

    Sue: I’m glad that’s how you think of coming over to ours’. Believe me, it ain’t always so jolly. You’ll have to swoop in on us, unannounced from time to time – the pcture may be quite different!

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