What’s in a Smile?

I’ve mentioned previously that I love to smile. In fact, I am a walking, breathing smiley face emoticon. It’s weird. Nobody taught me how, or drummed into my mind that it is something one should do as often as possible. It’s just something I do.

Lately, I have been digging deep and looking into the whole ‘self-improvement’ thing that comes along with being between birth and death, and this thing called life. Some things are easy to admit – others I’d like to run from….but since I am not a runner, and possibly couldn’t even if I tried, they need to be faced.

But before I harp on and give you an endless list of my failings and the very many things that need to be improved on….before I spill all the juicy details…..before I devastate myself and have to do the pep talk that goes something like ‘don’t look at how far you have to go, instead look at how far you have come’….

Before all of that, let me tell you, a smile goes a very long way!

It can be slightly annoying to someone who’s feeling grumpy though – a friend of mine, before her morning coffee, will often ask me, “What the hell have you got to be so happy about?”

As I mentioned in a recent article (you can read it here, if you’re interested) I simply can’t think of any better reason to annoy someone, than to do it simply by smiling.

And in all honesty I don’t have a whole lot to be happy about. But I have enough. It’s all about perspective – and knowing that in order for there to be a rainbow, there sure does need to be rain – and rain is better than drought. I like to smile. That’s it. It makes me feel pretty. I don’t necessarily do it because I am happy. I just do it. It comes naturally to me. Perhaps I should add to my list of self-improvements, ‘learn how to smile a little less’?

So what’s in a smile? According to researchers and medical studies and people in the know, a smile exudes complete confidence, and makes you look successful. Apparently, a sincere smile can show others that you are willing to open up to them, thus making you more approachable. It also triggers positive responses in your brain – which encourages a general sense of well-being and happiness.

What I found amusing, and really made me smile, was a comment by some psychologist saying that if you want to fill up your social calendar and spark romantic interest, then the place to start is by smiling more often.

I smile all the time. I’m single, and I can’t remember when last I did a proper ‘adult social’ activity (having coffee with a mommy when I pick up my daughter from a play date does not count)!

I’ll keep smiling though (or smile less, slightly confused here) – who knows what might happen!


Necessary and Possible


It’s called life. And despite my best intentions to control it, it still keeps happening when I have other plans.

And I have plans.

Plans that aren’t panning out at the moment. I take courage in the fact, however, that Life Begins At 40. I am not there yet. I still have a few more years to fine tune my motor, develop my mind, ready myself for what may possibly lie ahead.

And isn’t exciting to think that there is more lying ahead. Depressing if I think about the negative left behind; concerning if I focus on more of the bad, and less of the good. But exciting when I shift my attentions to the infinite possibilities of greatness coming my way.

Today, I read a quote that encouraged me…
Francis of Assisi said : “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible”.

Necessary – check.

Possible – check.

Impossible – challenge accepted.

Ah, yes, the awkward stage between birth and death.


Let’s Do This!


I saw the above picture in one of my moments of mindless Facebook browsing, and the Nike slogan popped into my head, “Just Do It”!

Suddenly my curious mind realised that I have no clue as to the origin of that slogan. Curiosity killed the cat – grateful I am human, or I would have needed more than nine lives – and I was surprised to find that the slogan is based on a death. Well, sort of, anyway.

Apparently the guy who came up with the slogan remembered something from a case back in 1977. A man was sentenced to death after robbing and killing two other men. As they led the condemned man to face the firing squad, he was apparently heard uttering, “Let’s do this”.

The words were altered, although the meaning is pretty much the same, to “Just do it”.

I feel unprepared for a situation I find myself in. In fact, lately, I am facing a lot of things that make me feel like I am the Queen of The Unready. (It’s great to fantasize about being a Queen of my own kingdom and all that, but the other feelings that go with the title are not so great.)

I find myself procrastinating, questioning and hesitating when the tasks before me actually need to be done. I find myself whining to my dog about how unfair life is, and all the reasons why I just don’t want to do the things I have to do – and detailing all the reasons I am so Unready.

And sometimes I think my dog understands.

This morning, with a mammoth task before me, I stood in the kitchen and sipped my coffee, complaining yet again out loud about why I didn’t ‘want to’. And in trots dog. And I mean ‘trots’, because he had a prize in his mouth, and he tends to display show-horse behaviour when he’s bragging about prizes. The prize? A page from a magazine he’d been tearing up. The page? On one side, an ad for Nike.

Yes, Dog…… Just Do It. And so I did! Ah yes, the little things that inspire the mind to accomplish the great tasks. The furniture has all been moved around, and I can cross that off the list. Only another ten things to go – and there are no more magazines lying around for inspiration. I guess I’ll have another cup of coffee 😉