Yesterday I wrote a rather forceful post about hatred and racism. Believe it or not, I don’t like focusing on the things that make me bitter, sad or frustrated. And yet, I often do. It’s really easy to get caught up in the things that make us angry. I realized the other day that my husband and I are more likely to discuss the things that pissed him off on Facebook than the things that make us smile. Why is that, I wonder?
Answer: because the things that make us smile are actually overabundant. They are so common in our day-to-day that we stop noticing them. Things that make us angry are rough and obvious—like a splinter or a toothache. They leak onto the rest of the things that make up our day and suddenly they’re the only things we think about. Notice that I did not say that they’re the only things we can think about—only that we do. So… if you’re having a bad day, then here are some things that make me smile. Maybe you’re familiar with one or two of them, and you can help dig that joy out from whatever is trying to bury it.
Ready? Here we go.
Holding a puppy. Seeing the sunrise. That crisp smell you experience when you first step outside but before the cold actually hits. Getting into a fight with your friend and then seeing his/her name on the caller ID (or facebook or your e-mail or what have you). Taking your shoes (or bra) off after a long day. Hearing someone else snort while they’re laughing. Waking up and realizing you can sleep for two more hours. Hearing a baby giggle. Hearing the first three notes of your favorite song on the radio. Seeing some random stranger do something nice for someone else. Getting a hug. Seeing someone you love get admitted into college. Pretty much anything that has to do with kittens or puppies. Suddenly getting in touch with someone you haven’t seen in years. Feeling sunshine on your shoulders. Getting a sweet text that you weren’t expecting. Seeing a baby announcement. Waking up and being able to breathe after you’ve had a cold. Seeing children play with bubbles. Hearing the ocean in a seashell. Singing SUPER LOUD with a friend. Seeing something you’ve been wanting go on sale. That feeling when your dog meets you at the door (even if you’ve only been gone for five minutes). Cupcakes. Hand-addressed letters in the mail. Flipping eggs without breaking the yolk. Seeing a concert. Finishing something you’ve been working on. Realizing that we’ve surpassed Star Trek communicator technology (seriously, is that not awesome?). A feeling of sudden inspiration. Trying something on and having it fit perfectly. When you and someone close to you say the same thing at the same time. Watching your favorite movie. Seeing your favorite actor in a movie preview. Watching pandas. Seeing someone propose. Watching an elderly couple walk down the street holding hands. Finding a $20 bill in your coat from last winter. When your makeup looks perfect. Completing a crossword puzzle without help. Winding roads through the mountains. Slippers. Drinking a beer on the porch. Hearing someone speak after inhaling helium. Food. The smell after it rains. Getting a gift. A child’s first words. Watching a colt try to walk. Hearing a song that you haven’t heard in forever and realizing you still know every word. When a stranger makes eye-contact and smiles. Looking through family photos. Hearing a joke. Finding a wonderful book. Days off. Seeing the first tulip of Spring. Waking up next to someone you love. Hearing birds sing on a bright morning.
That feeling you get when you realize what we are capable as humans,
and that joy will always outweigh sorrow.
There are so, so many more. If you have something that makes you smile, feel free to put it in the comments below. Or share/retweet/forward whatever link brought you here and add the things that make you smile. Maybe if we start focusing on the things that make us happy, the things that bother us won’t seem so horrible, and we can bring a little joy to other people whose days are not as bright as ours.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing… I hope your day is lovely, and that you find a reason to smile.