My life is full. Very full. I run my own thriving business. I’m a wife and mother, and I’m co-raising my two grandbabies. I’m helping my parents navigate their golden years, which are turning out to be less than golden in some ways. And, I’ve had to deal with some very volatile situations involving people very close to me.
Recently, a friend asked how I manage to keep a smile on my face, even when I’m exhausted from juggling all the balls of life. She’s knows I’m a glass-half-full person by nature, but she was wondering how I’m able to maintain that perspective when it’s comin’ down by the bucketful.
Believe me, I don’t always smile and keep a stiff upper lip when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed. More than once, I’ve sat silently, alone, with tears streaming down my face, wondering how I was going to keep going!
I know many of you have been there. You may be there now.
It can all become so completely overwhelming.
But the blue ball still spins. People still need you. And tomorrow is another day. Somehow, some way, you do what you have to do.
It’s easy to slide into despair, but as bleak as things may seem, two things are most likely true.
You have a lot to be grateful for … and this too shall pass.
I mindfully practice listing the things I’m grateful for on a daily basis. It reminds me that life is good and I have a lot going for me. It gives me some perspective and helps me stay positive.
When you’re face down in the soup, all you see is the soup. Consciously cataloguing all the things you’re grateful for lifts up your gaze and lets you see the bigger, brighter picture.
For 2016, I’ve decided to try something to make me be even more intentional in my efforts to keep a positive outlook.
I call it 365 Days of Smiles. Simply put, each day during 2016, I’ll identify something that made me smile. I’ll keep a journal or maybe even post my “daily smile” on social media.
What’s made me smile this year so far?
My grandbabies having an impromptu dance party to a song on the radio, my chickens running around the yard gobbling up grubs that surfaced after the rain, and a lone daisy blooming in the middle of an otherwise withered bush.
It’s only been a few weeks into the new year, but finding a smile that’s worthy of noting is actually pretty easy, and it’s helping me feel more grounded and happy.
Do you like the idea? Care to share the journaling experience with me? Just hit reply and let me know. I’d be delighted to be your smile pal.
You know, it’s clear that what you think affects how you feel … your physical state. But the opposite is equally true. Your physical state affects how you think, your mood, your energy level, and how you behave.
And we just feel better and do better when we’re looking up and smiling than when our eyes are cast down and crying. So, to feel better, maybe we just need to light up our face with gladness more often.
Most people don’t know it, but the silent film star, Charlie Chaplin was a self-taught musician and composer, who gave us the beautiful song Smile.
Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through … for you
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile what’s the use of crying
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you’ll just Smile
Happy new year everybody.