Finding moments of joy and laughter is magical in a world often filled with challenges and responsibilities. As we celebrate Global Belly Laugh Day on Jan. 24, it’s a perfect opportunity to reflect on the power of laughter, how it connects people, and the myriad ways it enriches our lives.

Laughter, for me, is not just an activity; it’s a cherished pastime that brings immense joy and lightness. While I may not have sisters, I am fortunate to have many female cousins. Every time we get together, whether for family reunions or casual get-togethers, the atmosphere becomes infused with contagious laughter. We share stories and revisit memories, and the sheer act of goofing around culminates in fits of giggles. These moments are not just about humor; they celebrate togetherness and our unique bonds.

On a personal note, while I maintain a professional demeanor when needed, I wholeheartedly embrace silliness, especially with my children. Children have an innate ability to bring out the playfulness in adults, and I find bliss in embracing the whimsy of their world. From imaginative games to jokes and dances, laughter becomes the common language that bridges generations.

As a self-professed lover of romantic comedies, compromise is key in my household. While I indulge in the lightheartedness of romantic comedies, I will also watch a romantic action movie with humor seamlessly woven into its plot. It’s a compromise allowing my husband and I to enjoy movie nights together, the best of both worlds.

“Laughter, for me, is not just an activity; it’s a cherished pastime that brings immense joy and lightness.”

–  Andrea K. Shoup

Speaking of humor, stand-up comedy holds a special place in my heart. Clean comedy, in particular, is a family-friendly entertainment choice so I can play it in the house without worrying about muting it for the kids. When my husband and I travel, we seek out stand-up comedy shows, or at home, we often catch touring comedians. Even my children have picked out some comedians they really enjoy, too The saying, “Laughter is the best medicine,” reminds me of the time when my dad was a first-base coach for my brother’s Little League team. After an unexpected collision with a runner, my dad had a broken rib. The doctors advised there wasn’t much they could do, and he would just have to rest and heal. To offer a distraction while my dad rested, my mom gathered his favorite comedy movies, only to discover that laughter, while indeed therapeutic, was not helpful. Every burst of laughter caused pain, and eventually, we had to take the comedy movies away. Laughter, it turns out, is a potent medicine unless you have a broken rib!

As we honor Global Belly Laugh Day, let’s revel in the magic of laughter. It’s a universal language that transcends barriers, creates lasting bonds, and infuses a touch of the extraordinary into our lives!


Andrea Shoup