This past few weeks have been stressful. I have taken on extra responsibilities at work and at times, have let the stress get the best of me. I’ve spent time worrying about what I couldn’t get done rather than feeling accomplished by what I not only could…but did get done. As I sit here and reflect on the past few weeks, I’ve had to ask myself…why? I’ve spent way too many hours feeling distressed…worried…anxious…and at times…even angry. None of these emotions are very stimulating when trying to write humor…they would be great if I was going for something in the Kill Bill family but they are not Erma Bombeckesque.  Erma handled everything with an unshakable humor that not only kept her sane but those around her.

I’m known at work for being pretty level headed (other than one particularly bad day which involved a 104 degree fever, and a student with a dog in her purse- that day will live on in infamy.) When all hell breaks lose, I slow down…become the voice of calm…and while I may be screaming in my head, my outward appearance is more…”I know it looks like an emergency but it’s really just a flesh wound…no worries…we got this!” The past week, however, I’ve felt less able to project my voice of calm and a bit more like looking around and asking -“someone else want this one?  I’ll take the next one!”

This prompted me to start looking at how Erma did it. What kept her calm in the sea if chaos? I found this quote – “There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.”    Maybe Erma was gifted at finding the line. She even describes it as a thin line because maybe once you find it…it’s not a leap to get to the other side, it’s merely one…step. It’s merely…one…choice. I think she chose to find the humor in the chaos…and in the pain…and in the stress. I think she still allowed herself to feel all those emotions, all the while looking for the line and then leading everyone to the other side. She never went there alone but allowed everyone around her to find the line with her…and join her in the laughter.  Finding the Line

So back to me…and my stress levels. I had multiple moments to laugh this weekend.  A few involved a large dose of wine but others involved a large dose of just not taking it all as seriously. There is only one letter and one fine line between distress and de-stress. I think I’ll approach this week by getting back to basics. I can’t control some of the things being thrown at me this week. What I can control? Looking for the line…and finding the laughter…and taking other people with me…even in the chaos. To Erma…everything was writing material. This week I’ll look for the crazy moments to talk about later. I’m sure there will be a fair share!

Good luck with your week…I hope you find your line as well.



Posted by:Sheri Saretsky

I spent ten years as a single parent of three boys. I then married my wonderful husband and he was inducted into the world of boy raising. Now we get to add my peri-menopause to the mix! Its been a crazy I wouldn't change a minute of....

3 replies on “Finding the Line

  1. Ah, Sheri, I can’t tell you how many times I have been in this place you describe. Wondering how I can claim to be a humor writer when life seems grim. There is indeed a thin line separating laughter and pain and the funny people I know have had more than their fair share of pain as did Erma. What keeps me going is how much the world needs our voices because even though we have the ability to find the line and move to the laughter side, so many cannot. The world needs us more than ever! Celebrating your inner Erma today. Keep your voice ringing through the stress! We need you. I need you. XO


    1. Thank you, Molly – I need you also! I so appreciate your ability to keep me thinking, laughing and enjoying the daily struggles. It always helps to read what others are going through and realize that all of us have ups and downs- and that will never end – well, until the end! Thanks for always being encouraging in your comments – I truly appreciate your support!

      Liked by 1 person

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