“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder …” – Henry David Thoreau
The day after my grandmother died, a butterfly danced around me in the garden and alighted on my shoulder. Months later as I was going through some of her things, I opened a clutch purse and found a butterfly broach. I still think of Grandma’s smile each time I see a butterfly.
Grandma’s eyes always danced around a smile, a trait she passed on to my mother, and one I would like to obtain. So today I smiled excessively. It is amazing how often I caught myself not smiling…not smiling at people I passed on the street, not smiling at the cashier in the store, & mostly not smiling while I was alone.
This post is feeling a bit heavy…let’s have a fun break.
I love quotes even more than lists. Here is a list of smiling quotes. Which is your favourite? Leave a comment at the end of this post to vote!
- Keep smiling – it makes people wonder what you’ve been up to. ~Author Unknown
- Start every day with a smile and get it over with. ~W.C. Fields
- A smile confuses an approaching frown. ~Author Unknown
- Have you ever thought of someone and then realized you were smiling the whole time?
- If you smile while no one is around you really mean it.
- “Smile! It’s the second best thing you can do with your lips.” Ian Segail
OK, back to the serious business of smiling.
I realized I avoid eye contact with people on the street and do not smile at them because if I did, they might make eye contact, or worse, talk to me, and I’m really not sure I want to interact with most people I see. (What an awful thing to say.)
Despite my trepidation, most people did smile back when I flashed them a grin. And here is the truly fascinating, unexpected result – when they smiled, they transformed into someone I thought I might actually want to talk to.
I smiled in my car when I was completely alone. Felt like a fool, but here is the truly fascinating, unexpected result – it worked. I felt happy when I smiled for no reason other than the fact that I was forcing my lips into an upward curve.
So perhaps I am not on a journey for the elusive happiness factor (which apparently cannot be found by those actively seeking it anyway), but rather, I am on a search for things that make me smile; whether I want to or not.
I’m going to write a list of things that make me smile as one of my happiness tasks. Butterflies will make the top ten, as will the dancing eyes of my lovely mum.
I’ve had lots of reasons not to smile over the last few years. I should have smiled anyway. Recently, on one such occasion, my mother told me I am beautiful when I smile. It made me cry. 🙂
So…it has come to this!
My biggest problem with smiling when I don’t want to is that I know it will make me happy and sometimes I am not ready to be happy
Rating: Smile excessively day (7 out of 10)
- Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (it takes a lot to get my feet to itch apparently)
- Twitch – yep yep yep
- Happy hour – 4 out of 5 (it really does work)
What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Click here to get to the ‘Happiness Is…?’ page. You’ll find out why I’m doing this and if you scroll towards bottom of the page you can read about the rating system.
Tomorrow: Find a reason to love life every hour. Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.