Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just for Laughs…

July 15th, 2010

Patty and Ron are one of the neatest couples I know. Some might think that they live clichés by finishing one another’s sentences and thoughts, as well as embracing every moment to “check in” with one another. So attuned and in tune, with one another, they move with fluid ease and are like the twins, Sam and Eric - “Samneric” from Lord of the Flies: the two who are so connected, they just share a run-on name. “Pattynron.” As I spent some time with them this week, I observed the ease and tenderness with which they treat one another, and like most…no…ALL…Coach Poppy newsletters, it got me to thinking about two of the secret ingredients in their lovely and loving relationship. Laughter and Teamwork.

I don’t know about you, yet the simple and routine tasks we do at our home before we start the day usually do not bring a huge smile to my face, much less laughter. Yet, laughter is indeed what jump starts their day. Living in an impeccable home, with only the finest of furnishings - where everything is in its place and each furniture covering and tassled pillow has a unique geographical story origin – I smiled when they shared that they let a few days go by without making their bed in the morning. This would not be like rumpled sheets and bedding…this means that the bedding is military style tucked and fitted; only the taffeta and lace pillows from Aix en Provence were not atop of the Louis XIV-style bedspread for a few days!

Instead of saying to his spouse of 26 years: “Aren’t you ever going to make the bed?” Ron collaboratively said: “Just for laughs…what do you say we make the bed today?” Do you feel the incredible difference in these sentences? The “just for laughs” prompted them to laugh deliriously to the point where they both had tears of laughter streaming from their eyes due to the sheer ridiculous nature of the question. So making a bed can be apparently be fun…who knew?

Not only did the humor create a rather intimate sharing of laughter, it was the collaborative and gentle manner in which the question was asked. No criticism. No pointing fingers. No testiness. Only a team-oriented approach lined with gentle humor. Pattynron are figuratively and literally the “home team.” THIS is what got me to thinking about our work/life relationships. How can we mindfully infuse humor and collaboration into all of our relations? How might we intertwine the two hemispheres of our brain – the reasonable with the creative – to maximize our interpersonal engagements?

William James offers this: “Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.”

As I watched the first round recap of the golf from St Andrews this morning I thought about individual achievement, and while it’s somewhat comforting to wish for an individual triumph, there is nothing like a team win, to really get me jazzed.

Next month football season begins. As a lifelong Green Bay Packer fan, I am psyched to not only cheer on the teams, but to share in the watching of the games with my Dad in the comfort of our homes, rather than the frozen tundra or the -43 degree wind chill at the Milwaukee stadium, where Vince Lombardi would regally stand in his dress coat and hat. The team spirit that I felt as a kid is still present today, and I believe the cornerstone of all of our relations.

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi

Whether it is laughing inspiration from Pattynron or Vince Lombardi, just for laughs, see what we can do today to bring levity to something significant and meaningful to the home team.

Mindfully Yours,


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