Have you ever had a week when you have wondered how you would ever get through it? You start off on Monday having recharged over the weekend. As the week wears on, you find yourself battling against exhaustion, frustration and trying to get some time at home, so your children still remember you. By Friday, you are ready to crawl into bed and heal your wounds. Shoulders slouched, eyes half shut, you arrive home.
Last week, I arrived home, having battled through hours of traffic and the week that had wore me down. In my exhausted state, I hugged the kids and slouched on the sofa. My mind was ready to shut down. Then my little baby girl came over and said “Daddy, why did the toilet roll, roll down the hill?” I had no idea what she was talking about. “I have no idea why”, I replied in my trance state. “because it wanted to get to the bottom!” she threw her head back and started laughing as she rolled on the floor giggling like someone had tickled her. As I sat there watching her, wondering what had just happened, I found myself chuckling. The chuckle became full blown laughter and I too was rolling around on the floor with my little baby, having fun.
How did I feel? I had recharged and broken out of my trance state. My 4 year old daughter had broken the shackles from the week and I had the energy to be the person she knew as Daddy. Had she not come along, how would my evening have gone? I would have carried on in my lethargic state and another evening would have been wasted. My older children came to join in and we sat there telling silly jokes in fits of laughter.
As adults, we think we know everything we need to know. We know how to behave, how to conduct ourselves and how to be in control. As exhausted as I felt, this simple act of my daughter bounding over to tell me her funniest jokes, recharged me to such an extent that I was ready for a fantastic weekend with my lovely family. It’s the simple things, the silly things, the things we don’t have time for, that are what we need, when we think we least need them. Children have a gift that means they know how to have fun at any time. When did we lose that ability? In the workplace, resilience is essential. There are numerous training courses to help achieve resilience, so we stay as productive as possible. But next time you face a tough time, you may want to experience the power of laughter, and this may be through the silly things. Just let yourself go. You will help yourself, but as important, you may help someone else having a tough time, just like my daughter helped me. So next time you’re stressed, you may want to remember, why did the toilet roll, roll down the hill…