I used to watch the sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond, every night until I knew every word in every scene in every episode. And then I stopped watching it. But the other night I wasn’t sleepy at my usual bedtime, so I turned it on. The episode playing was the one in which Raymond turns the bathroom over to his wife Debra who installs a dimmer switch and fills it with candles and flowers.
This one isn’t so funny, I thought. But I put my phone down and started watching it anyway, and before long I was laughing – not just laughing but laughing out loud and long. I couldn’t remember the last time I laughed like that.
After it ended, I turned out the light, put my head on my pillow and, remembering the ending, I laughed again, which felt so good. It changed my perspective. It made me feel better, lighter, happier. It also helped me remember something from my past – a memory came back to me as clear as a bell and I re-lived it and felt it the way I did the first time it happened. Wow, I thought as I felt that most wonderful, most elusive feeling of all – joy.