Where has all the laughter gone?

“I can’t remember the last time I laughed,” she said.

I looked over at my supervisor, a petite woman, with deep set eyes filled with knowledge well beyond her years.

“Like really laughed,” she continued. “It’s really sad. I’ve been so stressed out with work and my kids. There’s no time to laugh anymore.”

I nodded sympathetically, unable to think of a comforting response to her depressing statement.

Where has all the laughter gone?

I thought about my present life. Working full time on a flexible schedule often ate into my personal life. Long hours of standing and running back and forth attending to various tasks made me feel stressed and depleted of energy. Constant, sudden changes in the work schedule often forced me to shift various social commitments around and about. And then, eventually, the feeling of exhaustion would often cause me to cancel these social commitments.

Little did I know, work life had slowly crept up and taken over all other aspects of my life. What could I do? Sadly, not much, unless of course, I wanted to be homeless and/or starving.

The lives of my friends weren’t much different.

“I’m working, I won’t be able to make it.”

“Today was such a long day at work. I’m so tired, I can’t even think about getting ready to go out. Maybe tomorrow.”

“Sorry, I can’t. I’m taking on an extra shift for my job. You know how much I need the money right now. Let’s raincheck for next time okay?”

Where has all the laughter gone? When did we become a society that revolved around work, work, and more work? We work to be able to afford a place to stay. We work to be able to put food on our plates. We work to be able to buy necessities in life we cannot life without. We work to live.

And as a result, more and more of our lives are getting taken up by work. How often do you find yourself going home after a long work day only to check your email to find messages from your bosses, coworkers, or clients? How often do you go home to try to relax only to find yourself thinking about work related problems and issues that you need to deal with the next day?

I went home that night and sat and thought for what seemed like a long time; trying to pinpoint the last time I had a good laugh.

When was the last time I laughed? Like really laughed?

Was it last year when I landed a new job?

Or was it last November at Friendsgiving?

Maybe it was two years ago when I last hung out with my old roommate?

And after what seemed like eternity, I had a gut wrenching realization. I couldn’t even remember the last time I had a good laugh. It had been that long.