Loretta LaRoche: 'Ta-dah' moments make life more enjoyable

Loretta LaRoche

Most of the attendees approached the sessions, which were focused on how to extend life, with grim earnestness and very little energy. Their faces looked as if they were getting ready to go to a funeral. In their relentless pursuit of a long and healthy life, they had forgotten the joy of being in the present.

One afternoon, a child of about 3 waltzed down the hotel corridor, twirled, lifted her arms, and yelled, “Ta dah!”

Several adults stopped dead in their tracks. At that instant, I knew they had grasped the absurdity of the situation. The child knew what they had paid hundreds of dollars to find out: how to enjoy life in the moment.

A childlike “ta dah” blesses the moment you’re in. It permits you to enjoy wherever you are and to realize, more often than not, that you choose to be there. If you fail to understand this reality, than you are forever waiting to “be done” before you have fun.

There is even a scientific study that concludes that throwing your arms into the air can lift your spirits. A study by Dr. John Cacioppo, an Ohio State University psychologist, says that it may have something to do with the fact that this upward motion is similar to bringing food to the mouth, an action we instinctively enjoy.

The giddy, goofy desire to throw wide your arms and embrace life not only makes life worth living but may make it last longer. Perhaps euphoria is good for the body; perhaps joy is protective against the corrosive impact of stress, and joyful people may outlive their whining counterparts.

There is even a yoga pose called Tadasana, which means “stand firm, with power and dignity, steadily and comfortably.”

There are endless possibilities to enjoy our existences. Life’s little pleasures too often disappear from our busy days.

The absence of ordinary pleasures may take an even greater toll on our health than stress. So trade frowns for smiles, turn on your imagination, talk to yourself in fun ways, try to be different, tap into the universe of humor, use your good towels, and eat dessert first.

And forget trying to make lemonade out of lemons. Throw those lemons out and get what you really want.Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Mass. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth 02360, send e-mail to, visit the website at, or call toll-free 800-99-TADAH (82324).