To smile more

Four years ago today I wrote this little gem. I’m happy to have discovered it stashed away on an old thumb drive, concealing a small collection from the days that I started having different ideas, questioning life as I knew it, opening up to learning the subtle lessons all around me. Realized I’ve been tuning in much longer than I thought. Grateful for words and language for giving me the ability to *try* to communicate complex feelings and ideas.

I sat down and wrote on a new sheet of lined paper: “What is it that I really want?”

Then I proceeded to write down my answers to this question.

After a few sentences that basically all said, in one way or another, “to let myself be myself”, I stopped for a second to think.

“To smile more.”

Then I realized how good it actually felt to smile. And I wondered if I smiled enough during the day. I wondered if I smiled enough in general.

I smile in pictures (usually). When someone says something funny. When I say something funny. When I’m high. When I’m having fun (do I have enough fun?).

After all, smiling is much more fun than frowning. Or not doing anything. It makes people wonder what you’re thinking. Maybe you know something. When you frown, people figure you’re just pissed. So, why ask?

There are those rare occasions where I step outside and the sun hits me, its warmth hits me, and it’s a natural reaction to smile. Or a certain song comes on in the car, usually one that reminds me of my dad.

I smile when I create something. I smile when I complete some sort of task, regardless of what it is. I smile when I think about the things I’d rather be doing.

I think the physical process of smiling sparks something in the brain. And when you actually take a moment, no matter how brief, to bask in those moments you start to wonder why you don’t feel that way more often. I mean “I” start to wonder. So it became pretty clear that if nothing else, I want to smile more. Who cares about premature wrinkles?

And it makes me think about the fact that I don’t see very many smiling people. I don’t read as many status updates claiming “today is a good day” as much as I read about something that pisses someone off enough to whine about it online. And while they’re taking the time to do that, they’re probably missing out on something just slightly better. [I know I can’t be the only one who thinks this way.]

In my overall mission to simplify and therefore better my life, and achieve happiness, smiling more seems like the best baby step forward I can take. I at least owe myself that.

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