Just For The Fun Of It


Just For The Fun Of ItI got a haircut a few months ago. My head was starting to look like a Christmas tree again – flat on top, wide and frizzy on the bottom – not a cute look. Wild things were starting to nest in there. I chatted with my stylist as she tamed the madness, and she casually recommended a stand-up comedian I might like. I’ve never watched stand-up comedy a day in my life, but it sounded interesting. So a few weeks later after a particularly exhausting day, I put the kids to bed, made myself a jumbo margarita, and watched the recommended comedy show. I loved it. I was mesmerized. It was the same feeling of awe I get every time I see someone deliver an inspirational speech exceptionally well, the thrill of being influenced and persuaded by a person’s words, feeling like they are speaking directly to me. But I was also buzzed from the marg, so I didn’t think much else about it.

A few weeks later, I heard that Leanne Morgan also had a special on Netflix. I’d heard a ton about her and knew she was from Knoxville, so I made a point to watch her show too. That’s when I got hooked.

Since then, I cannot get enough. I’ve started stalking every stand-up comedian I can find. I’ve watched YouTube videos, I’ve listened to podcasts, I’ve searched for more well-known comedians, I’ve followed everyone I can think of on IG. I just want to know more. This is unfamiliar territory for me.

I’m so intrigued by this whole population of people who laugh for a living.

Fun is not something that I’ve considered a high priority in the last few years since my babies were born. My idea of fun lately has been going to bed early or having cream in my morning coffee. I tend to be naturally on the serious side, and when there are so many crucial obligations like working and keeping kids alive, I forget to find opportunities to laugh and have fun during everyday life. But I realized one day as I was down the comedy rabbit hole yet again, that I’m having FUN with this obsession. I’m exploring something new, broadening my horizons. I’m starting to carve out some time for myself. I’m allowing myself to spend time and energy on something unessential, something frivolous – just for the fun of it. 

Interestingly enough, not too long before my obsession with comedy began, I had started to think more about my ability to communicate with others. Effective communication is a huge part of my job and my career path, and a huge part of life in general. And while I’m not terrible at it, I’ve noticed some room for improvement lately. It’s been on my mind a lot, not as an obsession, but more like a slow brewing beneath the surface. I know I need to make some improvements, but I don’t really know how. I’ve been googling stuff like: how to speak better on the fly and how to inspire others with my words. I ordered a book called The Art of Witty Banter. I reached out to join Toastmasters. I’m grasping for straws.

And then I see these comedians up on stage embodying the very things I’m searching for for myself, and I wonder if they’re some rare breed with talents I simply don’t have. Or maybe they’ve trained themselves on the art of effective communication, and they’ve been honing their craft for years, practicing day in and day out on the perfect delivery of a story that garners the most chuckles. Or the perfect timing and intonation that makes the crowd roar with laughter.

Maybe I’m hoping these folks will rub off on me, make me funny. Maybe I can learn something from them about the art of effective communication. Maybe they’ll help me lighten up and see the humor in life. Or at the very least, maybe they’ll make me laugh a little more, which is exactly what I need right now.

Surely I’m not the only one who goes on tangents like this? What are you obsessed with right now, and what is it teaching you about life? Have you ever found something you didn’t even know you were looking for in the most unexpected place? 

Oh, and if you have a favorite comedian, please share so I can go stalk them online too!

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Haley McManigal
Hi there! I’m Haley, a middle-aged-momma to Lukas and Laney, and wife to Dan. I’ve lived in East Tennessee my whole life, and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. After moving all over Knox County and surrounding areas, my family has settled in Hardin Valley where we intend to stay at least until the kids graduate from high school. My son was born in 2017, changing my life forever, and my daughter completed our family in 2020. I work as an architect and project manager at a global design firm. I think it’s pretty cool that I get to meet with people from all over the world from my home office on a daily basis. I am happiest when I’m able to strike just the right balance between home and work life. But my family is my greatest treasure and my most fulfilling role in life so far is Mommy. My favorite things are reading, writing, cooking, exploring, and making things. I don’t have much free time these days but when I’m able to squeeze in a few of these activities it really pays off. I love being a part of Knoxville Moms and I cherish the opportunity to share this journey of motherhood here with you!


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