Wednesday, 2 September 2015

light up the world with your smile

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

I've been thinking about smiling lately and how it costs so little to smile at someone. We spend a lot of moments in unconscious social interactions and there are multitudes of opportunities to share a little sunshine and light with other people.

I look around me at people who are head down, tail up and bustling through life. Even those out taking a walk are often focused on their pace or on the music plugged into their ears. It seems fewer and fewer people are taking in the world around them and interacting with others. It costs nothing to look someone in the eye and smile or say hello and it brightens up your day when you get a smile and greeting in return.

The worst that can happen is the other person looks straight through you or avoids eye contact, and I think that's rather sad. I have come to the point where I'd rather risk being the person doing the smiling and interacting rather than becoming the person who hasn't got the desire to crack a smile in return.

Life deals us all different hands and I know that not everyone's life is beer and skittles, but that doesn't mean we have to give in and give up. Life in a first world country is pretty darn fabulous compared to what a lot of our brothers and sisters are going through elsewhere and our petty day to day problems pale in comparison to theirs. Trying to keep a positive outlook and being grateful for the blessings that come our way gives the day a boost and helps put a smile on our faces.

Smile every chance you get. Not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have and all the problems you know you don’t have.

The older I get, the more important this becomes to me. I really don't want to be the grumpy old sarcastic woman who has a sour, pinched expression and looks like she's just waiting to die and be put out of her misery. Who wants to be the grandmother that no-one wants to visit, or the mean old lady that no-one wants to serve at the grocery store check out? I want to be the annoyingly cheerful woman that you know is going to offer you a smile and a "hi" as you walk past me. I'm just going to go about being sunshine and light whenever I have the chance and I'm not going to worry about whether you smile back or not. I'm just going along my merry way doing my best to be grateful for "being alive in such a time as this!"

And finally I'll close with:

smile while you still have teeth!


24 comments:

  1. Oh I know what you mean re what you don't want to look like when old. I see some people with droopy mouths and sour faces and don't want to be like that. Give me laugh lines any day!! Having said that, lately I don't think I've been smiling as much as I used to.

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    1. we tend to forget to crack a smile sometimes Sanch but I'm coming to believe that it's a dying art that we need to work at more and make the world a happier place!

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  2. Tell me about it, Leanne. We were always taught to smile at people around and wish our elders. Now I begin to find myself in the minority. I love it when I smile at a stranger and they smile back openly. Often, I find that people will look back at you suspiciously. It saddens me too when children don't smile back. I wonder what we're all doing wrong to make life so dreary for the world!
    Loved your post! Sending you smiles across the miles! :)

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    1. thanks for your smiles Corinne and I've noticed that people are looking grimmer too. I'm not sure what they're scared of, but it's sad to see so many stressed out looking people!

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  3. Couldn't love this more if I tried, because growing up my mom always used to tell us to smile as it cost nothing to do. She was so right and like you I try very hard to smile and not be grumpy whenever possible, because of my mom's advice those many years ago.

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    1. Your mum sounds like a very wise woman Janine - if we all listened to her the world would be a much nicer place :)

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  4. Yes to every single word of this. It makes me think of the mantra the child and I have off: if you can't find a nice person be a nice person.

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    1. exactly Carla - it really doesn't take very much to make eye contact and crack a smile - and it's an added bonus if it brightens someone's day and they smile back.

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  5. I love this reminder, Leanne. A smile, literal or figurative, is the first step to shining our light. A smile's encourgement can easily make another person's day.

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  6. This is absolutely one of my pet peeves when people don't acknowledge with a smile and "hello!" I get that people have bad days, but I consistently come upon the same people that are grump asses! Cheer up y'all!

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    1. I think it would be really awful to walk through life always being grumpy Laurie - I'm sure there is a story behind some of them but we all ultimately choose our attitudes!

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  7. Hey Leanne! Beer and skittles? hahahaha.... I'm more of a margaritas and chocolate kind of woman! But with that said I so agree that smiling should be a big part of every day. It is such a simple thing and not only inspires the other person we're smiling at--but ourselves as well. There are even studies that show how putting a smile on our face can lift our own mood! I too want to be that annoyingly positive woman that smiles as long as I live! ~Kathy

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    1. We'll walk around spreading sunshine and light Kathy and hopefully a bit of it will wear off on other people along the way :)

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  8. Beautiful, Leanne! :) I believe that smiling for oneself and for others is the best way to be happy. Thanks for such a lovely post!

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    1. My pleasure Vidya - it's nice to share the happiness :)

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  9. Great advice! I think sometimes we do get so caught up in our "problems" we forget about all the good in our lives. Thanks for the reminder!

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  10. This post definitely brought a smile to my mouth. Light shines bright and overcomes darkness. With smiles, we can offer hope to others. I enjoyed reading your post.

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  11. Smiles brighten the lives of those around us - and our own as well. It is harder to feel down when there is a smile on your face.

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  12. I think a smile can change so many things in life. If I'm feeling down I look at a photo of my grandson who always brightens my day and a smile comes to my face. A smiling face beats a beautifuly pouty face anyday. thanks for reminding us to smile at #WednesdaysWisdom, Leanne.

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  13. Love this sentiment. I get surprised at how many times I freak someone out by smiling at them, but I'll keep looking like a crazy person because it feels good!

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  14. Hi Leanne just wanted to let you know that your post was my top pick in #WednesdaysWisdom link up. I really enjoyed your thoughts and congratulations.

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  15. Glad I wound up here through Lisa's linkup. In the hospitality business, they taught us to try to make eye contact with anyone who passed by us, and to greet anyone who made eye contact back. Otherwise, we'd respect their privacy. Still, I think life'd be a lot lighter if you'd look up and see who's smiling at you.

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    1. I so agree - nothing beats a smile in my opinion - I don't think we have enough human connection in our world anymore (we're becoming too scared to make eye contact!)

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