As a Unitarian Universalist, one of the things I promise is to affirm and promote the acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations. This is a good thing: most of the people I know want to be accepted and encouraged, and I am not any different.
I especially desire acceptance on the days the rake has fallen off the wall and I step on it as I enter the garage, whacking myself with the pole that is the rake handle. Hilarious when played out in a comedic movie; ouchie in real life.
Comedy, according to the Laws of Slap-stick, occurs when we inadvertently injure ourselves. Resilience is found through laughter and reconnection to feeling loved and loveable, so we can pick ourselves back up, ice the owie, and get back to the real business of existence: whirling in the wonder and magnifying love.
But sometimes I have no idea how to get back to that state. I know I am not alone -- it is among the more common laments of meeting check-ins and phone calls -- all of which are attempts to reconnect to feeling loved and loveable, so we can return to this bigger, much more fun business of life.
This is why my partner, Thandeka, and I created the Life (Crud!) Olympics. If you know your Greek mythology, the goddesses, gods, and demigods were always engaging in Life according to the Laws of Slap-stick Comedy as well as Tragedy. Beloved Readers who want confirmation by experts, the experts have spoken: absolutely no research has confirmed the historical existence of the Life (Crud!) Olympics, and for everyone's sake, it is just better that way. But here they are now, and you, too, can play!
How to play Life (Crud!) Olympics:
1. At the end of day that has felt extremely tedious or been full of owies or had more than its fair share of rake handles in face experiences, announce to a friend it is time to play the Life Olympics!
2. Your friend agrees, because your friend spent the day picking cat waste out of their car that someone generously tossed in there the night before.
3. Toss a coin to see who goes first. Whoever loses the toss goes first to fulfill those words of Scripture: the first shall be last and the last shall be first.
4. The first contestant then must convey the challenges of the day as an Olympic event.
5. The listener must then replay that day as an Olympic event as your favorite sports announcer, ending with "And your name here crosses the finish line, breaking the tape, and the crowd goes wild!"
6. Then the two of you pretend to be the crowd, going wild, roaring with delight.
7. Repeat steps 4-6.
8. Now for the solemn awards ceremony. Note, there should be one medal for every participant, because, we promised to affirm and promote the acceptance of one another and the encouragement to spiritual growth -- no exceptions! At my house, these medals consist of chocolate coins attached to ribbons. The chocolate is not very good, but it is often helpful to have an edible medal.
a. At the awards ceremony, there is always the awardee's national anthem. At my house, we have changed this to the permanent Life Olympics anthems, Gloria Gaynor singing "I Will Survive" or the BeeGees' singing "Stayin' Alive". You choose suitable over-the-top can't-help-but-smile themes for you.
b. each participant places the medal around the other participant's neck, you kiss the medal and hold it out from your chest and beam wildly, often with tears streaming down the face.
Then you have the Olympiad's dinner and rest that is due for someone who won such a grueling competition.
Gentle Readers, you may doubt the effectiveness of the Life Olympics. All I can say is that you will just have to be good scientific experimenters and try this at home!
Remember: just by being born, you are loved; you are inherently loveable; now let us return to our regularly scheduled program of loving this world into justice, hope, equality, and wonder!