Loretta LaRoche: Find time to enjoy the monkeys

Loretta LaRoche

Every time I do a seminar, people ask me how I got to be so funny, and how they could possibly see more humor in their own lives. The answer is a little complicated.

For many years, I have studied the benefits humor and optimism can have on reducing stress, and I'm convinced of the following: 1. Some of it is genetic. I grew up with a family of individuals who always seemed to find something to laugh at, even when times were tough.

2. It's your perception of humor. Do you find it hard to laugh because it makes people think you're not serious enough or professional?

3. Are you aware of what is going on around you and how comical it can be, or are you so self-absorbed - "busy" - that you cannot focus on anything else but your "to-do" list.

4. Are you depressed or anxious, which diminishes your ability to laugh and enjoy life? We may not all have the genetics and some of us may be struggling with our biology (i.e. mood disorders).

If most of us were fully present to life, we would laugh a heck of a lot more. Just a simple exercise like reading the newspaper can turn into a comic feast if you allow yourself to read some of the stories that are not about the horrors in the world.

For example, an article I read recently had a headline that immediately pulled me in: "Airline Passengers Spot Flying Monkey."

I fly all the time, and there isn't an airport security system that doesn't stop me because I have a hip replacement. If I'm wearing an under-wire bra and jeans with metal buttons, the searching and patting down go on forever.

I should have a pass saying: "Most-wanted woman in America."

Now here's a man who boarded a flight to Fort Lauderdale from Lima, Peru, with a fist-sized marmoset under his hat, which perched on his ponytail.

Security did not see the monkey, and the flight attendants did not see it either. A passenger spotted the monkey and asked his owner if he knew that he had a monkey.

Once discovered, the monkey spent the remainder of the flight in the man's seat and behaved himself. No monkey business for this little guy.

I was cracking up while I was reading this. There are sitcoms all around us, but most of the time we're just more interested in "catastrophising" and "awfulizing" about some minor irritation.

I am going to see if I can get a monkey to take on the road with me. Maybe he can carry my luggage. I could even buy him an accordion and get him to play and sing "That's Amore" on board.

Now that might help some passengers get the monkey off their backs when they are upset about delayed flights, middle seats or long bathroom lines.

The Patriot Ledger