Four years ago, about two weeks before the holidays, I went to the mall (my mistake) and got caught up in all of the hustle and bustle. Someone cut me off to get the perfect parking space and another rushed past to get ahead as I approached the cashier to pay for my purchase. It wasn’t a pleasant outing, but the final straw was looking around and not seeing one happy face anywhere. I thought to myself, “This is the season of happiness and joy? Where is it?” Apparently not at the mall, and so I decided right there in line that I would simply refuse to get caught up in the Grinch version of the holidays.
Back at home, I logged into my Facebook page and decided that every day until Christmas I was going to post one thing that made me smile. And so I did, and an amazing thing happened; the more I looked for things that made me smile, the more I found. I love to smile, so the exercise wasn’t too challenging for me, but I can tell you this: it helped me get through the two weeks leading to Christmas in a much happier mood. I was once again reminded that we do not always get to choose what happens to us, but we do get to choose how we respond. Note to Self: Next year, no matter how late hubby tells you that what he wants for Christmas is something from the mall, don’t go! The mall at Christmas and smiling are apparently incompatible.
Though I didn’t find my smile for the day at the mall, when I began to look I realized I did find it in the little things in life. I found my smiles hidden in the box of generations old tree ornaments that I’ve lovingly saved each year; memories of parents who have passed away and children’s elementary school years turned up the corners of my mouth. I found smiles when I was recognized and greeted with “have a good day!” by people whose names I do not know, but see often along my neighborhood walks. I also found smiles when I offered a smile to strangers (not that there are many of these in my life!) and they smiled back. One day I was standing in line to pay at the drug store and told a stranger how pretty she looked. She smiled back at me and said I’d made her day.
It was so easy to find smiles and to create them on the faces of others when I chose to. It wasn’t about tangible gifts (oh heavens, that could require a trip back to the mall!). It was usually simple acts of kindness or noticing things that were already present in my life that made me smile. Now, I will admit that of all the smiles I posted to Facebook during the holidays, everyone’s favorite was my pair of black flats with the bells on top! I do love that my followers on Facebook love shoes. I’m also thinking that those shoes brought smiles to so many places as I jingled through doctor’s offices, restaurants, and grocery stores that I might just keep wearing them and jingle right through 2018! After all, now that I know how easy it is to find smiles and get others to smile, I intend to keep doing my part.
Each year for the past four years, I’ve continued to post Today’s Smile on Facebook between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, I’m sharing smiles from November 14 until my surgery on December 14, because no matter how much I’d like to post smiles until Christmas, it might be challenging (even for an optimist like me) to find a smile while in the hospital and recovering from back surgery. However, I plan to keep looking for those smiles and hope some may come from you! This holiday, what brings a smile to your face? Share below and check out my daily smile posts at my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/cindyconeyfla/smil