By Samantha Labriola of Mother Haggard
Thirty-one-year-old dental hygienist Bethany Powell has achieved perfect inner harmony after hanging a “Live, Laugh, Love” sign in her living room.
”It’s been wonderful, really,” she states, smiling serenely. “I was so stressed before, you know? The kids, work, Joe’s work, the debt, the fucking neighbors across the hall who keep inviting us to goddamn board game nights. It all seemed to just disappear as soon as I hung the sign.”
She gazes fondly at the sign for several seconds and gives a contented sigh.
“Well, I guess the debt’s still there,” she reflects with a chuckle, patting a stack of unopened credit card statements sitting atop a white wicker coffee table.
“But whenever I think about it, I just look at my sign and remember to live and to laugh and to love.”
The sign, a distressed peach placard with script font lettering, was purchased last week from Marshalls.
“It was 50 percent off,” says Powell proudly. “Plus, it goes so well with the decor. I’m going for a beachy cottage vibe,” the Detroit native adds, gesturing around the pastel-hued basement apartment.
“I had tried everything before. Yoga. Meditation. Keto diet. Bullet journals. High dosage antidepressants. Intermittent fasting. Decluttering. Nothing worked. But as soon as I hung that sign, something just clicked.
“It was like this great light enveloped me,” she recalls. “I felt like I suddenly understood all of the world’s great mysteries. Like, the key to meal prepping is just to pick recipes with not a lot of vegetables to chop! Everything made perfect sense.”
When asked if she would recommend purchasing a “Live, Laugh, Love” sign to others, Powell nods emphatically.
”Oh yes, for sure. Absolutely. If I’m feeling a little off, or can’t stop thinking about the fact that all life is suffering and that we’re all tiny, insignificant specks in the grand scheme of things, I can just take a look at my sign and run through the checklist: Am I living? Am I laughing? Am I loving? It’s very helpful.
”Sometimes I just look at it and laugh. See, I’m doing it now!” she exclaims. She laughs loudly for several minutes until abruptly standing and hurling a decorative blue sea glass vase against the wall. It shatters and sends seashells, sand dollars, and broken glass tumbling to the floor.
Powell gives the mess a blank stare before fixing her gaze back on the sign.
Powell’s husband is spotted momentarily peeking around the corner before hastily returning to the guest bedroom, where a rerun of Kings of Queens can be heard.
When asked her plans for the future now that she has achieved perfect inner harmony, Powell says she is currently considering buying a second “Live, Laugh, Love” sign for the bedroom, but fears it may clash with the “Keep Calm and Smile Every Day” sign already there.
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