Humour and Grief -Comedy and Tragedy

Humour and Grief -Comedy and Tragedy

Don’t be shy. You can check out my Laugh Long and Prosper podcast on Spotify or Soundcloud.

‘Laugh Long and Prosper’ is shelf help with a smile, stressbusters with a smirk, and information with a wink wink. You get the point.

In this particular blog, I wanted to write the constantly reoccurring connection between humour and grief -comedy and tragedy.

Author Steven King once stated that humour and fear are closely related in our brain.

For example, tens of thousands of years ago, the cavemen and the cave women would freak out when they heard a scary noise outside the cave. But then when a little animal jumped by, everybody laughed out of relief. Even since the beginning of time, laughter has been one of the ways that our brain tries to cope or make sense of something that scares or confuses us.

When it comes to making sense of the unknown, Monty Python’s Eric Idle has a similar theory. He says, “Life doesn’t make any sense, and we all pretend it does. Comedy’s job is to point out that it doesn’t make sense, and that it doesn’t make much difference anyway.”

I am chatting about humour, tragedy and grief today because I want to explain why I’ve been missing from social media for close to four months. I have still been doing my live presentations of Relieving Work-Related Stress with Humour because I am lucky enough to have good people around me who keep me working. However, I’ve let my blogs, podcasts and social media slide for the most part.

Last May, my dad suddenly passed away.

It was a shock to everyone who knew him. He was indeed eighty-six years old but he was still active. The week before, I golfed with him. The night before, we had dinner at my sister’s place.

I miss him every day. My dad and I were good friends.
In terms of parents, my two sisters and I won the lottery. We hit the jackpot when it came to scoring an amazing mother and father. They were our parents but they were also our friends.

My mom passed away three years ago after a long battle with osteoarthritis. She was in a lot of pain, especially during the last year. She spent the last six months of her life in the hospital with a good part of that in palliative care. My sisters, my dad, Flo (her superhero caregiver) and myself took turns visiting her. Every day she had someone by her side.

Did you know that dogs are allowed to visit palliative care?

When I visited my mom, I always took my dog, Barnie. At first, I didn’t know this was an option. A good friend of mine who is a doctor told me to look into it. All I needed to do was present the paperwork showing that Barnie had all of his shots. Also, if you bring a dog to palliative care, it should always be on a leash and obviously, have a calm, quiet disposition. There is A LOT of sitting around. So, if your dog is this type of a dog, I would highly recommend it. It’s a welcome relief to many other patients, visitors, staff, etc.

Barnie did what dogs do best – he was just present. He’s not particularly smart, he doesn’t do tricks, he doesn’t have a degree, but he just loves people. If they want to give him a pat or a scratch, even better.

During those six months, we sat by my mom’s side for many hours.

My dad was there every day. He insisted on taking the evening shift.

It was a lot of stress on all of us but especially for my dad. So much so that he suffered a minor heart attack during that time. In fact, he ended up down the hospital hallway from my mother for a couple of weeks. They ‘celebrated’ their last anniversary together – in the hospital.

So yes, there has been a lot of stuff going on over the last few years.

Everybody has their own challenge in life to deal with but as my comedic friend, Larry Horowitz, says;

Everyone has their private hell but I wouldn’t trade mine for anyone else’s.”

As comedians, we tend to be fun and funny on the outside, especially when things go dark. We use humour as a coping mechanism.

As author Erma Bombeck once said, There a thin line that separates laughter and pain. Comedy and tragedy. Humour and hurt. That is definitely true. I will tell you comedians are the first people to make a joke when things go off the tracks.”

Two Canadian comedians died recently of cancer – Tim Steeves and Alan Park. I worked with both of them over the years. Great guys. They didn’t deserve to die with so much more love and laughter left to give. At their memorials, many comedians spoke. What would normally be a sad event quickly turned into a roomful of laughter. It was almost a roast. It was all meant out of love but again, that’s how comedians cope. When everyone else is crying, we find the joke. Life is too sad and almost senseless without humour. Your friends are dead from cancer. Two months ago, they were helping you write a punchline. RIP Alan and Tim.

In honouring the humour of my friends and family who have passed, I promise to keep laughing and keep moving forward, especially during times of fear and/or sadness. Not only for myself but also for those around me. I promise to bring the ‘haha back to my podcasts, blogs, vlogs, presentations, etc. as I try to use this gift to stay on course.

If you would like to catch up on any of my other Laugh Long and Prosper episodes, voted one of the best podcasts of 2021 in Canada by CTV, check me out.

Judy Croon  On Spotify, Soundcloud ,Amazon, FM PLAYER

Until next time folks, Laugh Long and Prosper!

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This blog and podcast is sponsored by: by TROOL Social Media. TROOL Social knows that to be visible online you have to be fully committed and congruent in who you are and what you do. You must adopt the right mindset. Steer your ship to the SS Optimization & TROOL Social to get you sailing ‘on course’! Check ’em out!

TROOL Social Media your digital integration specialists on the online seas
Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations

Don’t be shy. You can check out my Laugh Long and Prosper podcast on Spotify or Soundcloud.

‘Laugh Long and Prosper’ is shelf help with a smile, stressbusters with a smirk, and information with a wink wink. You get the point. On Mondays, I host the podcast Just Another Mindful Monday.

In this particular blog, I wanted to write about vibrations…good vibrations. Not Beach Boys vibrations but the kind of good vibrations that got scientists like Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla excited.

What if I told you that both Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla, two of the biggest All-stars of the science world, were all about good vibrations?

Albert Einstein said, “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

Nikola Tesla, inventor, electrical and mechanical engineer and futurist stated, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

Scientific American published a great article entitled The Hippies Were Right: It’s All About Vibrations Man.

This incredibly interesting article suggests that over the past decade we have developed a resonance theory of consciousness.

By the way, resonance is just another word for synchronized vibrations.

Everything in the universe, including our planet, is made of smaller components like electrons, protons, quarks, etc. No matter how small that unit is, it vibrates.

Science tells us that when two vibrating objects come within proximity of each other, they start to vibrate at a similar frequency. In other words, everything is affected and influenced by vibrations.

You have probably experienced this phenomenon.

You step into a room and immediately are drawn to or feel the urge to avoid certain people.

Even though you may not have the words to describe it, their vibration or frequency turns you on or off. We consciously and subconsciously make these decisions every day.

That’s why it is so important to tune into the people, places and things that resonate with you because there is physically a connection, through vibrations. 

The article also suggests that there are six fantastic techniques that you can use to raise your own frequency and vibration to continue to attract good into your life! You are probably doing some of these things already. The good news is they are all pretty basic and easy. The practices are as follows: positive thoughts, gratitude, love, generosity, meditation and forgiveness. 

Cold hard scientific facts backed up by heavy hitters like Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla prove that good vibrations are not just for the hippies!

On a parting note, here are a few more quotes on the subject of frequency to keep you thinking and vibrating!

“We are slowed down light and sound waves, a walking bundle of frequencies tuned into the cosmos. We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music.” –Albert Einstein

“Future medicine will be the medicine of frequencies.”  –Albert Einstein

“Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.” –Beach Boys

Okay, that last one is really just for me.

If you like to catch up on any of my other Laugh Long and Prosper episodes- voted by CTV as one of the best podcasts of 2021 in Canada- check me out:

Judy Croon on Soundcloud and /or Amazon and/or FM PLAYER 

Until next time, Laugh Long and Prosper!

Judy-Croon-laugh-long-pro$per-sig-logo

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101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think Part Two

101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think Part Two

Don’t be shy. You can check out my Laugh Long and Prosper podcast on Spotify or Soundcloud.

TROOL Social Media your digital integration specialists on the online seas

This blog and podcast is sponsored by: by TROOL Social Media. TROOL Social knows that to be visible online you have to be fully committed and congruent in who you are and what you do. You must adopt the right mindset. Steer your ship to the SS Optimization & TROOL Social to get you sailing ‘on course’! Check ’em out!

I want to continue covering a shelf help book that is I mentioned in last month’s blog.
It’s called
101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think, by Brianna Wiest. 

This book is getting a lot of traction. Not every chapter might grab you but personally, I think there is enough stuff in here to peak a lot of people’s interest. Also, I’ve certainly heard some of the messages in this book echoed before by other authors, but sometimes a takeaway can be worded a little differently in order to resonate.

My last blog mentioned some of my favorite chapters from the book including;

Chapter 1: Subconscious Behaviors That Are Keeping You from Having the Life You Want.

Chapter 14: Expectations You Must Let Go of In Your 20s.

Chapter 15: Read This If You Don’t Know What You Are Doing with Your Life.

For this month’s blog, I would like to review another stand out chapter – Chapter 2: The Psychology of Daily Routine.

Now, anybody who knows me knows that I LOVE routine. I don’t know how I would have survived all these years without my daily habits, especially during Covid.
I’m also in a business that does not have a 9-5 structure. So, for me, a semblance of routine not only helps to keep the squirrels out of my head but over the years, it has turned me into a mentally, physically, emotionally and financially happy person.

Needless to say, I could really relate to this chapter. I hope it speaks to you, as well.
Here are seven of my favorite quotes from The Psychology of Daily Routine:

#1
The most successful people in history—the ones many refer to as “geniuses” in their fields, masters of their crafts—had one thing in common, other than talent: Most adhered to rigid (and specific) routines.

#2
As children, routine gives us a feeling of safety. As adults, it gives us the feeling of purpose.

#3
Get a plan, because plans fix problems. Mentally strong people are planners. They think ahead. They prepare. They do what’s best for the long-term outcome. You might think that this disconnects them from the moment, but the opposite is true. Worrying disconnects you from the moment. Overthinking disconnects you from the moment. When you are consistently sidelined from your own anxiety, it’s because you don’t have a plan regarding the thing that’s making you scared.

#4
If you want to change your life, you need to make tiny, nearly undetectable decisions every hour of every day until those choices are habituated.

#5
As your body self-regulates, routine becomes the pathway to flow.

#6
Instead of perfection, focus on progress. Instead of having something done perfectly, focus on just getting it done. From there, you can edit, build, grow, and develop it to exactly what your vision is. But if you don’t get started, you’ll never arrive.

#7
Lack of routine is just a breeding ground for perpetual procrastination.

‘Perpetual procrastination’! Isn’t that the truth??? The funny thing is, as I write this review, I’m actually procrastinating about working on my taxes! So, I better get back to them. However, as I’ve stated before, 101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think by Brianna Weist is a wonderful read! The short, bullet point -style chapters are not everyone’s cup of tea but of course, being a routine-get-to-the-point person, I love that. I hope that you give it a read.

By the way, if you would like to catch this particular podcast or any of my other Laugh Long and Prosper episodes, voted by CTV as one of the best podcasts of 2021 in Canada, check out ‘Judy Croon’ on most of your streaming sources.

Until next time folks, Laugh Long and Prosper!

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101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think, by Brianna Wiest

101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think, by Brianna Wiest

Don’t be shy. You can check out my Laugh Long and Prosper podcast on Spotify or Soundcloud.

This blog and podcast is sponsored by: Linda McEwan at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

The number one most trusted brand in residential real estate.

Go to lmcewan@sothebysrealty.ca

Recently, I read a book that is getting a lot of traction. It’s called 101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think, by Brianna Wiest. 

If the title itself doesn’t sound enticing enough, check out the titles of some of the chapters.

I challenge you -how can you not turn the page?

Chapter 1: Subconscious Behaviors That Are Keeping You from Having the Life You Want. 

What??? Where has this been all my life?

Chapter 14: Expectations You Must Let Go of In Your 20s.

 Wow, I can’t wait until I turn twenty to read this chapter!

Chapter 15: Read This If You Don’t Know What You Are Doing with Your Life.

Honestly, do they have a camera in my house?

Chapter 21: 102 Ways to Not Let Irrational Thoughts Ruin Your Life.

Only 102? What do I do about the other eight thousand thoughts in my head?

Chapter 28: Questions That Will Show You Who You Are and What You’re Meant to Do.

Finally, someone gets it! That I am meant to be a supermodel. Okay, a Buffalo supermodel but still!

Chapter 49: How To (Actually) Change Your Life This Year.

Oh, good. I still have a lot of time left because, you know, I’m only twenty years-old. 

Anyway, as the title of the book suggests, there are one hundred and one chapters. 

A quick side note though.  Not all of the chapters are written in a typical essay format. Many chapters are written using a bullet style format. Personally, I like this because I have the attention span of a goldfish or worse, Donald Trump. 

By the way, the chapters are not meant to be read in any particular order. That means you can jump back and forth or read whatever speaks to you on a particular day. 

Regarding content, not every chapter might grab you but personally, I think there is enough stuff in here to peak a lot of people’s interest.  Also, I’ve certainly heard some of the messages in this book echoed before by other authors, but sometimes a takeaway can be worded a little differently in order to resonate. 

So, here is a sampling of my favourite takeaways:

More is not better. Happiness is not experiencing something else; it’s continually experiencing what you already have in new and different ways.’ (p. 18)

The fact is the way to change your life is to change the way you think, and the way to change the way you think is to change what you read. (p. 74)

You cannot be whatever you want, but if you work hard and don’t give up and happen to be born to circumstances that facilitate it, you can maybe do something that crosses your abilities with your interests. And if you’re really smart, you’ll figure out how to be grateful for it, even on the difficult days. (p. 78)

The author also has some fun chapter topics. 

For example, Experiences We Don’t Have English Words for Yet.

Wiest goes on to describe those experiences. 

“What is the word or words forThe frustration you feel when somebody is mad or upset over completely false things that they’ve made up in their mind, a complete lack of understanding on a situation?’”

Okay, I would like to interject here Brianna Wiest. I’ve got this one. It’s called Tuesday!

All joking aside, I found 101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think an uplifting combination of ideas, philosophies and life hacks. 

I really enjoyed reading it. It’s one of those dog-eared books that I think I will have for a long time.

The title is very catchy and the chapters are even catchier.

It’s like the movie The Godfather – just as you try to put the book down, it pulls you back in!

But isn’t that what a good book is supposed to do?

I would like to leave you with two last feel-good quotes from Wiest that fall along the lines of the Golden Rule. Quite frankly, I don’t think we can be reminded enough. 

“How you treat others is how you will be remembered.”

Start appreciating how rare and beautiful it is to even just have one close friend in life. Not everybody is so lucky.”

Well said, Brianna. 

If you like to catch on this particular podcast on any of my other Laugh Long and Prosper episodes, voted by CTV as one of the best podcasts of 2021 in Canada, check me out!  Judy Croon on most of your streaming sources. 

Until next time, Laugh Long and Prosper!

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Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think

Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think

Don’t be shy. You can check out my Laugh Long and Prosper podcast on Spotify or Soundcloud.

I read a book recently that made me feel just a little bit more peaceful or mindful, shall we say. 

The book is called Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, by Peter H. Diamandis. 

In a nutshell, this book gave me hope that the world is not going to hell in a hand basket.

In fact, quite the opposite is happening. 

Unfortunately, fear sells. 

I blame a lot of this one of my old radio occupations – the news. 

We tend to live in a world where a lot of bad news is reported every day.  

Yes, bad things are happening all the time and it’s sad, but is there an ulterior motive behind some of those headlines? Let’s face it, bad news sells. There is a reason why Fox made two billion dollars last year. 

As Bill Gates once said, “No one wants to hear small incremental good news.” 

However, there IS small, incremental good news happening every day. Lots of good people are continuously doing good things on a local and international level. 

Factfulness and Humankind 

Two of my favourite books are Factfulness:Ten Reasons Why We’re Wrong About the World and Why Things Are Better Than You Think  and Humankind: A Hopeful History. They share the same message: the world is not going to end, just yet.  Abundance adds to this message by putting more specifics behind the dashboard. 

Let me share some of this good news with you. 

Basically, there are all sorts of really great innovations and solutions currently in the works for now and for our future. These innovations are in some fascinating fields like biotechnology, nanotechnology (that’s technology on a really, really small scale that will allow us to create materials that haven’t even been invented yet), 3D printing, solar power and global connectivity. Collectively, this is all shining a bit fat spotlight on a positive, prosperous and abundant future. 

For example, robots and artificial intelligence will help us improve healthcare while nanotechnology and digital manufacturing will help us reduce waste while preserving our precious natural resources. 

Take the year 2020… please! 

One of the interesting things about 2020 is that there were three billion people online. That means there were A LOT of people cranking out ideas, solutions or maybe even writing jokes.

So many people are developing and sharing ideas towards making our planet a better place. 

As Diamandis says, “Technology is a resource-liberating mechanism. It can make the once scarce the now abundant.”

The point is that the more educated and enlightened we are, the better chance we have of being the superheroes of our own planet.  But here’s where the hard work begins for all of us: we have to give up some of our TV time. 

Diamandis states, “If we were to forgo our television addiction for just one year, the world would have over a trillion hours of cognitive surplus to commit to share projects.”

He says, “I’ve got a hunk of gold and you have a watch. If we trade, then I have a watch and you have a hunk of gold. But if you have an idea and I have an idea, and we exchange them, then we both have two ideas. It’s nonzero.”

The computers will figure it out. 

By the way, if we can’t come up with these lifesaving ideas on our own, the computers probably will.  In the next 15 years, computer processors are set to surpass the human brain’s calculation capacity. Just think, you can sit back and watch re-runs of Broadchurch while your robot, Fido, figures it out and, as technology gets cheaper, so will Fido. 

There is hope!

Whether we figure it out or Fido figures it out -there is hope. We have ideas and ideas lead to solutions. 

As the author says, “In today’s hyperlinked world, solving problems anywhere, solves problems everywhere.”

Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, by Peter H. Diamandis.

I give this book two human thumbs way up! I highly recommend this good read. The future does look bright. 

Now turn that light off if you’re not using it. 

If you like to catch on this particular podcast on any of my other Laugh Long and Prosper episodes, voted by CTV as one of the best podcasts of 2021 in Canada, check me out!  Judy Croon On Soundcloud and /or Spotify , and /or Amazon and/or FM PLAYER 

Until next time, Laugh Long and Prosper!

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Sara Blakely – Spanx for the Laughs

Sara Blakely – Spanx for the Laughs

Don’t be shy. You can check out my Laugh Long and Prosper podcast on Spotify or Soundcloud.

 It was voted one of the top podcasts of 2021 by CTV. You can listen to this episode on the podcast too!

Did you know that the founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, actually did stand-up comedy for two years when she was just starting out?

Even now, this incredibly successful American business woman and philanthropist believes that stand-up comedy is so important for customer relations that she makes all of her employees take a stand-up class!

She also encourages her employees to take debating and speaking classes. 

Blakely says that nothing helps you think faster on your stocking-less feet than stand-up comedy.

I agree! Once you’ve gone a couple rounds with hecklers in the peanut gallery at the comedy clubs, you can probably sell anything.

Remember when salespeople used to sell encyclopedias door -to -door? Maybe I’m dating myself with this reference. Hello, is this on??

But get this, Sara Blakely actually sold fax machines door-to-door!

How challenging would that be but that’ exactly how this young Floridian entrepreneur started out in her twenties. 

In fact, in the late 1990’s, Blakely did so well selling fax machines that by the age of 25, she graduated to the position of national sales trainer.

Blakely said she hated wearing pantyhose as she was walking all day in Florida’s hot climate.

She also hated the appearance of a seamed foot while wearing open- toed shoes. (You mean that’s not a style? I better stop doing that.) But she did like the way the control top eliminated panty lines and held all the junk in. So, once when she was invited to a private party, she cut the feet out of her pantyhose when she was getting ready. The pantyhose initially rolled up but, through trial and error with a lot of pantyhose, she developed a prototype that she could wear under her slacks. Tada!  The rest is history.

Those first ‘footless’ pantyhose eventually walked Blakely into Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People of 2012’. In 2014, she was listed as one the top 100 most influential women in the world by Forbes magazine. 

Blakley’s creation Spanx – ‘America’s intimate apparel company with pants and leggings’-was recently valued at 1.2 billion dollars after being purchased by the investment group Blackstone. Blackstone acquired a major stake while retaining Blakely as Executive Chairwoman.

In turn, Blakely celebrated the milestone by giving each of her 750 employees (mostly women) $10,000 dollars cash and two first class plane tickets to any destination in the world.

Now that is a true Boss Lady!

Not only is Blakely funny, brilliant and determined, but she has a heart of gold.

Blakely has always believed in empowering women.

In 2006, she launched The Sara Blakely Foundation to help women through education and entrepreneurial training. She got a little bit of assistance from her mentor Richard Branson. Blakely had once appeared on Branson’s reality show, The Rebel Billionaire. Branson wrote Blakely a cheque for $750,000 to start the foundation.  How much do you love these two entrepreneurs?

The foundation has also funded all sorts of scholarships for young women around the globe. Blakely also donated 1 million dollars to Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls in Africa.

In 2013, Blakely was the first female billionaire to join Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s The Giving Pledge, a group that billionaires commit to, to give away half of their wealth to charity.

And that’s not all. Remember those iconic leather pants that Olivia Newton-John’s character, Sandy, wore at the end of Grease with John Travolta?

Guess who bought them at an auction for over $162,000? Sara Blakely!

The money went towards Olivia Newton-John’s cancer treatment centre in Melbourne Australia.

In appreciation, Newton-John later sang at Blakely’s wedding.

Recently, during the height of the pandemic,  Blakely donated 5 million dollars to support female – run small businesses particularly hard hit by COVID.

 Sara Blakely: funny, generous, a visionary and an apparel powerhouse. To think it all started off with a little bit of stand-up comedy!

Until next time folks, laugh long and prosper!

Judy-Croon-laugh-long-pro$per-sig-logo

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