Three Funny Things. Okay, Maybe Just Two.

Camden, Maine.
Camden, Maine. Photo by Pinaki Chakraborty. All rights reserved ©

What is a pronoun?
It is a noun that has lost its amateur status.

These two lines cracked my 6 year old up. He was reading Calvin and Hobbes. When he narrated the joke to me, I was elbow deep in some mundane work and probably didn’t even crack a real smile. Uh-huh, I must have said. But later that night, as I was getting ready for bed, this silly joke crossed my tired mind and I burst out laughing.

It happens all the time, doesn’t it? A familiar tune. A warm phone call. A funny text. A weird moment. Something that makes us laugh. But then we forget about it. ‘Cause we have forms to fill and errands to run. I wish someone had told me that ninety percent of adult life is filling out forms. And that one day I would be thankful for naps, not view them as some sort of prolonged and unnatural punishment.

Speaking of errands and chores, I often listen to podcasts while doing them, and one fine day I chanced upon The Science of Happiness By PRI and the Greater Good Science Center. I clicked on Three Funny Things readying myself for three funny jokes, or something like that. But instead, I found an exercise for happiness. The podcast suggested we list three funny things from the day gone by, possibly before going to bed. It could be anything as long as it makes you laugh.

I, of course, had to make it simpler. I began by listing two funny things. And I may have counted a wave of nostalgia as a “laugh.” That’s how a Spice Girl number made it to the list. Yes, I know what you are thinking but we are not here to talk about my taste in music.

What I am trying to say here is this – try thinking of two or three funny things that happened during the day. Laughter is important. Happiness is elusive. Even the very rich and very successful and superbly talented falter to find it at times. So, if during the course of a day we happen to find it, we should relive the moment. Make it linger.

After all, when it comes to anecdotes about our families, don’t we remember the ones that are oft-repeated? The ones that are mentioned at every holiday and told to every newcomer at the dinner table?

The makers of the podcast have a detailed step-by-step exercise for practicing Three Funny things. But I went rogue and did it my way. The sillier the better, I thought.

I went through old photos one night. Some of them, like the one above, made me smile. As did the one below.

Mount Mansfield, Vermont
Mount Mansfield, Vermont. Photo by Pinaki Chakraborty. All rights reserved ©

It could be a joke in a group text. Or something you overheard a kid say. Kids say the darndest things as we all know. They provide easy fodder, don’t they? It could be a sarcastic meme you shared with your brother. A ridiculous incident that had everyone cracking up at work. A story recounted by your parents where they seem to agree on almost nothing, so much so, that it sounded like two completely different events.

It could be anything. And everything. Doesn’t even have to make you laugh. Or smile. It just needs to make you feel good. There, I made the exercise simpler. Now go try it.

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4 Comments on “Three Funny Things. Okay, Maybe Just Two.

  1. Nice! Coincidentally, I’m taking a class right now and it’s called “The Science of Happiness and Well-being”. Will listen to the podcast, it might be resourceful for my coursework.

  2. Thanks, Debarati. The podcast, particularly that one episode on three funny things, made a positive impact on my life, which right now is super chaotic. Sounds like an interesting course by the way! Good luck with your pursuit of happiness. 🙂

  3. Appreciate your writing skill.
    I believe that just thinking happy thoughts for fifteen minutes a day can lead to greater happiness.

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