Pat Snyder: Humorist and Laughter Leader

PatSnyderPromotional-2Pat Snyder believes laughter is no laughing matter. “It’s the secret weapon,” she says, “against stress in our overbooked lives.”

She should know. Pat, a mom, humor columnist,  certified laughter leader and retired lawyer, has been overbooking her life for as long as she can remember.

Always in a rush, she’s served leftover cereal for dinner, lost winter coats for several seasons after “cheater-cleaning” for company, and made a career of losing her reading glasses.

Columnist
Instead of keeping the craziness to herself, she began a decade ago to write Balancing Act,” a newspaper column that’s covered everything from keeping track of those reading glasses, winter gloves and children to agonizing over the merits of using an electronic planner, the loss of her husband’s leg to diabetes, and the impossibility of finding an answering machine that her elderly mother could actually work.

The column appears regularly in ThisWeek, a chain of 24 suburban papers around Columbus. Pat also offers “Balancing Act” online, on the air and to print media, including newsletters, outside the Columbus, Ohio area.

Certified Laughter Leader
Pat is also a certified laughter with the World Laughter Tour, www.worldlaughtertour.org.

To lead laughter exercises, Pat draws on her training as a certified laughter leader as well as her own experiences as a writer, caregiver, mother and lawyer.

“Once,” she remembers, “I was put in charge of a staff of 30 other lawyers in a large public agency that regulated everything from fireworks to banking. They were all specialists in their areas, but they hardly knew each other. Worse yet, I was the new kid on the block. It was like herding cats.”

She was amazed to find that ideas as simple as an office toy box, competitions with silly prizes and official bubble-blowing contests helped break the ice.

She’s specially designed fun exercises as a certified laughter leader for:

  • Professionals who will benefit from creative thinking and healthier relationships with colleagues.
  • Caregivers and seniors who need regular laughter in their lives.

Speaker/Workshop Leader
Pat’s speeches and workshops show how humor can put an extra day in the week and tame the dogs that eat up our planners. Her presentations inspire writers and speakers to tell their own funny stories to make life light.

Based on her own experiences, she’s designed special workshops to ease the tension of caregiving, stepfamily living, and the practice of law. She keeps up to date on workplace issues and offers lunch-and-learn programs on laughter and stress relief.

Coach
In 2010, she also launched a coaching practice, I Can Fly, tailor-made for lawyers launching their dreams. Her coaching offers new perspectives, including the humor perspective, to lawyers who are feeling stuck or overbooked and want to fly with their natural strengths toward more joyful personal and professional lives. Learn more about her lawyer coaching on her coaching website.  Pat is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC).

Pat also does a limited amount of coaching for those in the arts, who need cheerleading and accountability as they follow their dreams. Read more about this here.

In the beginning….
“Balancing Act” is not Pat’s first venture in journalism. Before law school, she was a consumer news and lifestyle reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal, where she won state and national journalism awards from organizations including Ohio Press Women and National Federation of Press Women, as well as a Penney-Missouri Award.

After that, when her marriage to the late Bob Snyder made him both a stepparent and first-time parent, the two of them co-authored a Sunday column for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer on the challenges of stepfamily living. Her account of their adventures combining his Hanukkah traditions with her Christmas ones was published in the book Cup of Comfort for Christmas, which is available in bookstores during the holidays and on Amazon.com.

She has been a winner of the Thurber House Annual Humor Writing contest with her piece about the nuttiness of children’s sports schedules and has been selected as a reader at the Antioch Writers Conference in Yellow Springs, where she shared her big mid-life adventure: taking hang-gliding lessons.

Meet “The Dog….”
Her first book, The Dog Ate My Planner: Tales and Tips From An Overbooked Life, was released in September 2009. Meanwhile, online visitors are encouraged to share their own tales and survival tips on her blog called The Dog Journal.

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