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Today is for Smiling

26 February 2010

As I walk down the street today, I’m going to make sure there is a smile on my face.

I have one of those faces which, when at rest, looks at best rather serious, and at worst unhappy and anxious.  I can’t count the number of times a total stranger has passed me on the street and told me to smile. “Things aren’t that bad” they say (which seems rather presumptuous to me, I mean, how would they know? My mother could be dying of cancer or something). Generally this takes me rather by surprise, because typically I’m just trying to make a mental list of all the things I need from Walgreens, or am trying to decide if it would be better to call a friend before or after dinner.  It’s almost gotten to the point that when a complete stranger stops me and says “smile” I kind of just want to punch them in the face. Which is a strong reaction, and I’m exaggerating, but it’s weirdly irritating to have strangers essentially tell you to be happy, when you are not, in fact, unhappy.

Today, however, I’m going to make an effort to keep a smile on my face.  Yesterday as I was walking to Potbelly’s for lunch, I encountered a young man exiting that provider of ever so delicious sandwiches (and AMAZING strawberry milkshakes). He didn’t look at me – I doubt he even noticed me – but he had a smile on his face that was positively contagious. It looked like on the inside he was laughing at the funniest joke he’d ever heard. His good mood was positively catching… so much that I couldn’t keep a smile off my face (and I actually did try, I was worried he’d see me smiling at him and think I was laughing at him or something). I immediately felt ten times better (not that I’d been feeling bad before). I’d been feeling fine, but suddenly, I felt BETTER than fine. That small event brightened the rest of my day.

So today, I’m gonna pass it along. Hopefully, someone will see me smile and “catch” happiness too.

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