I can jump up and down on a ball while juggling knives and telling jokes! ..Nope, not at all. Unless, bare with me on this, the ball I balance on is my career and my home life very well rounded and somewhat hard and very springy and often unpredictable in joyous ways. The daggers I toss in the air are the bi-polar manias of my incredibly talented and sweet natured pre-teen daughter who is super sick with a disease that most of us choose not to try to understand. The son who chooses only to listen to me and even then the term “listening” is a stretch, oh and he thinks we are wealthy. The youngest daughter who doesn’t say much but is full of experience at the ripe old age of nine thanks to her siblings and their oil & water personalities fueled by developmental delays and mental illness. The jokes I tell while jumping and juggling are real, I tell jokes all the time. Jokes to get by, jokes to let people know I’m listening, jokes to make everything okay in the heat of the moment, jokes to feel better, jokes to lift up, jokes that self deprecate, jokes to break the ice. So many jokes. I tell them to myself all day long, hilarious observations that will just die in my stunning memory. I have my buddy Matt who is my steady, my best friend outside my family, who goes down this darkened path of inappropriate humor with me. I cannot describe our relationship very well but to say when I’m not with him regularly I feel less whole. He is the man who makes my juggling seem bearable. I can tell him about the most horrific events that transpire and he’ll help me move on for the minute, hour, day. He’ll turn the worst possible situation into a reason to laugh and trust me when I say he has been put to the test over our nearly twenty year friendship.
I guess a good laugh isn’t always the best option, I know some people are heavily invested in the hearty cry and when I fall off my ball and a knive stabs me right in the heart I can roar like a wounded animal with water works that match. This is not my favorite road to take because then I end up exhausted and listening to The Carpenters as a result of hitting this emotional rock bottom. Then I have to start the process of cycling up musically, maybe next is James Taylor, perhaps Joni Mitchell, then early Springstein from there I can go in a variety of directions but it can be a long process of minor keys.
There’s also getting really angry and needing to give a good physical reaction to release. These were far more common responses for me years past and kinda dangerous roads for me to go down cause I’m pretty strong and my temper can get a little over the top. Then I feel huge waves of regret and occasionally have repairs to tend to. These huge waves of regret can also lead to The Carpenters which puts me in the above mentioned exhaustive cycle.
So I think its safe to say that the inappropriate monologue of humor that runs through my brain as an endless loop and slips out into the open maybe too often is my best course of action.